Brett Favre's staunchest supporter last year was his longtime teammate, Donald Driver.
Driver and Favre remain friends, with Driver saying he'd "wish the best" should the iconic quarterback sign with rival Minnesota and that he'd want a No. 4 Vikings jersey as a memento.
"Oh, yeah, we do talk on the phone and just try to see how each one of us is doing, the family is doing," Driver told Adam Schein and Solomon Wilcots on Sirius NFL Radio's "The Blitz" on Tuesday. "I told him, ‘If you decide to go I wish the best for you. I will — I don't know if I can cheer for you too much, but I hope you do good. But I still want you to lose.'"
Favre's comeback took another small step forward last week, when Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell reportedly flew to Mississippi to watch Favre work out at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg. According to ESPN, Favre threw about 100 passes, then told Bevell and Vikings officials afterward that he might not decide whether to play this season until just before the start of training camp. Players are due to report on July 29, with the first practice on July 31.
On Wednesday, Favre told The Associated Press that his workout earlier in the day went well and his arm has enough velocity to compete at an NFL level, but he's not about his ability to throw the ball through a 16-game regular season.
If Favre does play for the Vikings, it would create an incredibly awkward moment for Packers fans, who lived and died with every Favre pass for 16 historic seasons. It figures to be a strange moment for Driver, too, since the two hooked up 503 times in nine seasons.
"No, I haven't (thought about the emotions), but I'm going to wait until that happens," Driver said. "When that day happens, then I'll pick up a phone and just ask him, ‘Can I get a jersey?' That's all I'll care for."
While many members of a divided fan base might disagree, Driver said a Favre comeback in purple and gold wouldn't ruin Favre's record-setting legacy in Green Bay.
"He's going to be able to still retire as a Green Bay Packer. I don't think anyone will ever wear the No. 4 jersey in Green Bay ever again," Driver said. "It would not hurt him. I think when you love the game as much as he loves it, (if) you're going to go somewhere else and play, then you're going to go somewhere else and play. And that's one thing we don't have control over. We don't have control over our careers. Sometimes you play with a team for a certain amount of years and they let you go and you still feel like you can play, you're going to go out and play and that doesn't matter where it's at."
The Vikings won the NFC North last season but were ousted in their first playoff game, at home against Philadelphia, 26-14. Even with all-world running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' offense was inept in the second half of that game. Favre is seen as the missing piece that could turn the Vikings from division contenders to championship contenders.
"Well, it all depends on how he's feeling. I think that's the biggest thing," Driver said. "I think he still loves the game. He still wants to go out there and play. And when you have that love for the game, I don't care how your arm feels or how everything else feels, you're going to go out there and play. And I know that he's a warrior. He's going to go out there week in and week out and give his best, even though he may not feel up to his best."
If Favre signs with the Vikings, he would be the headliner in a division with unprecedented star power at quarterback. Detroit drafted Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 overall pick, the Bears added a big-time talent in Jay Cutler and the Packers have 4,000-yard passer Aaron Rodgers.
"It will make for an interesting run," Driver said. "And the one thing I can say — I guess I can start with Chicago. I think Chicago did a great job and Lovie Smith went out there and got Jay Cutler to lead this team, but one thing they don't have is they don't have the receiver group. They have the running back, they have the offensive line and they have a great defense. But you're going to have to need receivers to make plays down the field and they don't have that right now. So, I can see on our end we have all of that on our offense. And then you go back to look at Minnesota. Minnesota has a great running game but they just don't have the top of the line quarterback that they need. So, you know, I'm hoping my guy doesn't go over there but if he does then I wish the best for him."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.