Favre, Packers sidestep the rush

Skipping camp in attempt to duck addressing his criticism of team an easy way out for Favre, says PackerReport.com's Todd Korth

Brett Favre has now indicated that he won't be at this weekend's mandatory minicamp in Green Bay. Favre's recent ankle surgery and daughter's upcoming graduation are the two main excuses for why he will not be with his teammates, according to reports.

Whatever. If you believe that then you probably believe that Michael Strahan actually had to work hard to sack Favre in the final quarter of the final game of the 2001 season to set the NFL single season sack record (22.5). Yeah, right.

Favre caused a stir in recent days that quickly reached national proportions when he sounded off about the team's inability to trade for wide receiver Randy Moss. Favre made it a point to tell reporters in Mississippi last weekend that he wasn't happy that Moss will not be playing in Green Bay. Then word leaked that he demanded to be traded, which he attempted to smooth over through a statement by the Packers that said, ‘I don't want to be traded.'

Again, whatever.

Favre obviously is unhappy with the Packers because they didn't trade for Moss. The problem is, Moss is in New England. Plus, there is no way that the Packers will trade Favre away, and there is no way that Favre will walk away from football because he loves to play the game. The two sides will be joined at the hips until Favre decides to walk away from Green Bay.

While it appears that Favre is protesting the team's inability to land Moss by not setting foot in Green Bay this weekend, this is nothing more than an argument within the Packer family with a big get-together just ahead. So now what?

They're taking the easy way out.

From a public relations standpoint, the Packers and Favre have no doubt agreed that it would be best to let the dust settle without the quarterback in town from Thursday through Sunday. If Favre attends camp, all the focus of the media horde will be on him. Without Favre in camp, the media will focus on the rest of the team and a little less on Favre.

By the time the Organized Team Activities practices begin in late May, the Favre talk will hopefully have died down, and Favre will be onhand to practice with his teammates.

ESPN reported that Favre has missed "numerous" minicamps in his career. That simply is not true. He has only missed a few, even in recent years because he knows the importance of the practices.

There is no good reason why Favre should not be at this weekend's minicamp. Other veteran quarterbacks across the NFL attend their mandatory camps. But Favre and the Packers are in an awkward situation. So, the best thing for them to do is to be apart. From a public relations standpoint, that is apparently what the Packers will to do, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

The excuse Favre used of preparing for his daughter's high school graduation is a bunch of boloney. And his ankle? He said last week that if there was a game a week after the surgery, he would have played ‘against the doctor's orders.' So, you would think that three months after the surgery Favre could at least throw a few passes to some of his newer receivers to get a feel for them. An ice-breaker type thing. Practices are conducted without pads. Quarterbacks wear red jerseys, meaning nobody can touch them, anyway, so how much of a risk would Favre face in injuring his ankle?

Awkward or not, Favre's presence at the camp would reinforce his commitment to the team, which has taken a beating from the media and Packers fans this week. It also would serve as the first step toward developing chemistry with other players. Yes, it would be uncomfortable for Favre to leave his warm confines of Mississippi for Green Bay and face his teammates, coaches and personnel face to face in wake of what has been said, but in the long run more good than harm would come from the trip north.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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