Rather than the typical congenial and often light-hearted exchange, there was plenty of tension during his conference call on Thursday, and for the most part, he dodged the difficult questions that have been festering for months.
Here are some of those questions, followed by his answers/nonanswers:
Are you still motivated to "stick it" to Ted Thompson and the Packers?
"Never was motivated for that, for that reason. So, no. That has nothing to do with it."
So, what changed for you, because you told Peter King that part of your motivation for coming back last year was to "stick it" to Ted.
"I didn't say it was about revenge. It wasn't about revenge to begin with. That had nothing to do with it. And, the fact that I had a torn bicep, obviously played a part in how I finished last year, how I played, how our team ended up. Quite frankly, I really was not willing to have the surgery. I felt like it would be too long of a recovery and it wouldn't guarantee that I would be back to as close to as normal as possible, especially at 39 years old. I felt like I could play. I think I proved that last year. So, you know, being released by New York and then talking with Minnesota, I still had to have the surgery if I chose to play, to be effective or at least feel like I could play at a high enough level. I eventually decided to have it. Here I am."
Did Peter King misquote you?
"What I said to Peter was it's human nature to feel – I didn't use the word ‘revenge' -- but to prove that you still could play, to prove someone wrong or prove a group wrong, so you can call it what you want. That's been documented enough. But that's not motivation enough. It never would be for me. It's too long of a season, regardless."
Why Minnesota? You could have stayed with the Jets and had a pretty good chance of making the Super Bowl there this year.
"Ummm, well I wasn't willing to have surgery at that time, that's first and foremost and the biggest. I had left there, we had already done an MRI and we knew what the problem was, and I was like, ‘You know, I'm 39 years old, I'm not willing to go through that.' It was right after – we had started off obviously great, 8-3 and everybody was feeling good about the team and where we were going. And then it was very disappointing after that. I knew I had an injury that would require surgery, if I chose to play. As disappointed as I was, I chose to go home and not have it and they chose to go in another direction. That's how it evolved."
But you asked for your release from the Jets. Why did you do that?
"Well, first of all, none of that matters now anyway. What matters is this game Monday night, and that's all that matters. This team has welcomed me here. It's been a lot of fun. It's been a lot of work but I'm having a good time. And that's all that matters. I had a great time in New York, enjoyed the guys there, enjoyed being with (general manager) Mike Tannenbaum and Woody (Johnson, the owner), those guys were great, Eric (Mangini, the since-fired coach), on down the line. It was fun. I wish we'd ended up a little bit better. But that's over and done with."
You once told a story of being about 14 and going to the Superdome and watching Kenny Stabler, and you said you could never see yourself being like him and playing for another team. Regardless of how this happened, is there part of you that can't believe that it's ended up this way and not just finishing your career with the Packers?
"You know what? I hear that a lot from people. ‘Man, it just seems weird.' My first day at practice in New York, my first day of practice here, was a little odd. I'd always been the -- you've got new guys come in, things change -- but I'd always been the constant in it. That was obviously different. Aside from that, no, I haven't had time. Maybe one day when I look back, it may, but it's all been very quick and before you know it, you're playing."
There's a funny Sears commercial with you being unable to make up your mind. Do you feel that you have trouble making decisions and sticking with them, and do you recognize how that could be problematic for teammates, team executives and fans?
"I don't think it's – no, it's definitely not a problem here. It's all based on winning, obviously, and what have you done for me lately. But, the only thing I can do is do what's expected of me here, and that's study and practice and just be myself. All of the stuff that's happened in the past is over and done with. I would think these guys know here that, not that I'd go out and play great every week, not that anybody will, but I'll do whatever it takes to win. That's really all that matters."
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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. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.