Favre, Rodgers, on Rodgers, Favre

The quarterbacks spoke cordially about each other on Thursday, even though a lingering wound isn't far from the surface.

Even though they won't take a single snap against each other, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers will take center stage on Monday night at the Metrodome.

Teacher vs. Student.

Packers Past vs. Packers Present.

The Legend vs. the Hand-Picked Successor.

Because of age and circumstance, the quarterbacks never shared much of a relationship, and nothing has changed in that regard.

That scab was picked open on Thursday, when Favre was asked why he never returned any of the messages Rodgers had left since Favre's first retirement in March 2008 or "reached out" to Rodgers during the last year.

"For what?" Favre said tersely. "I mean, I think Aaron not only has done well, I think he will, you know, have a great career. I said that from Day 1. I mean, the guy's talented. That's why they drafted him. But, no one's called me. I talk to Driver every once in awhile, and Al and some of the older guys, but … I don't know what to tell you."

Rodgers had no interest in fanning the flames, either in front of a few beat writers after the TV cameras left on Thursday or during his conference call with reporters who cover the Vikings.

Nonetheless, while there will be plenty of fans — both devout Packers fans and casual observers — who will see this game as something of a referendum on the team's decision to part ways with Favre last summer, Rodgers isn't buying into any of that thinking.


Favre and Rodgers enjoy a light-hearted moment in 2007.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
"I think it's probably good for the league and our fans, but it's nothing that I think about," Rodgers said. "I think guys in this locker room are focused on playing the Vikings. It's a tough opponent. We've been making sure we put in the time, the preparation. It's a long week, so you have a lot of time to watch film, study your opponent, study your own game plan, so that's what I've been doing."

Notwithstanding their different recollection of whether Rodgers has ever called Favre to shoot the breeze or compare their golf games, the quarterbacks spoke cordially of each other.

"Well, I can't answer that," Favre said when asked if how he left the Packers made Rodgers' task of replacing a legend even more difficult. "I knew when I left it was a very good football team, and I also knew that Aaron in some ways had kind of slipped through the cracks, at least for a couple years. People had kind of lost sight of him or whatever.

"But he's got all the tools, very knowledgeable of the game, he's been around the offense and the guys for awhile. There was no reason to think that, especially the offense, could not be highly productive. Sure, I mean, I think you can look at it a lot of different ways. Who you're following and what that means. It's no different than me leaving and going somewhere else and playing, and people picking sides. Opinions are the opinions, and for the most part, they either like you, they don't like you, for whatever reason, or it takes awhile to adjust. But, I don't know that answer for sure, but I think he's done a very good job, and I'm not surprised by it at all."

Rodgers, who threw 59 passes as Favre's backup from 2005 through 2007, was gracious when asked about spending three years on the bench behind a quarterback who admittedly had little interest in serving as a mentor.

"Anytime you're in a situation where you can learn from someone who has more experience than you, be it a player or coach, you need to take full advantage of that," Rodgers said. "Be that a player or a coach, you need to take full advantage of that. I feel like my entire career, since I was in high school, I've been blessed with great coaches and great teammates and I've tried to learn something from each person. Nothing changes with that and even with the guys in the locker room we have, I try to pick their brains as often as I can and continue to better myself as a player, especially mentally."


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, 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.


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