After a great run back in '07, the Green Bay Packers who were lead by Favre came up just short of the Super Bowl. What would have capped a great year, was simply just a dream, and the reality was, it wasn't getting any better that off season.
But as Brett was known to do, a couple months from the game got him itching once again, and that he was not yet ready to retire. The words "wanting to play again" haunted Ted Thompson and the Packers as they were forced to make a very big decision.
Everyone is aware that Favre was still playing at a high level late in his career. Even in '07, they had a ton of success with Favre consistently hitting the young Jennings for plenty of scores. To not let Favre come back to the Packers seemed like the boldest, most bizarre move that lead most Packer fans to anger.
Why reject the Hall of Fame quarterback from the team he's brought so much success to for 16 years? It was tough to get the Packer fans on board to that decision, because it seemed like there was not a crazier move.
Getting rid of your franchise quarterback and refusing to take him back is often frowned upon by most fan bases and the firing of Ted Thompson chants were quickly brewing.
But how did Ted know?
How did he know what the correct decision was? It takes a lot of guts to not let Brett Favre come back to your team. Who was going to do better than Brett Favre was?
Just months after missing the Super Bowl by just one overtime, it really seemed no one could fill Favre's void and keep this team competitive against the other 31 teams.
But there was a guy, and Ted Thompson already knew they had him.
It's amazing how they knew they would be more than well, by moving to Rodgers and letting Brett Favre take a hike. Because prior to the start of the '08 season, there wasn't much film of Rodgers that would ease Packer fans minds.
Often hurt, with no real signs of spectacular play, moving on to Rodgers looked to be the start of years of stress like many other teams in the NFL experience.
The Packers have been blessed to not have to deal with the quarterback issues that many of the teams in the NFL face each year. And with many expecting that this would be the beginning of quarterback issues for years to come, it would not be surprising if many fans stocked up on plenty of Tylenol.
But after two years, there should be no doubt in the minds of any Packer fan, that the right move was clearly made and that we were able to avoid years of stress. Fans were expecting stress from poor quarterback play, but if Green Bay had taken back Favre, there was no doubt that it would have ended a lot less pretty.
Favre has played well since the end of his time in Green Bay these last two years, and many feel his success might not be over granted he returns again for the 2010 season.
But even if we were able to get 3 more years out of Favre, the future would have been ugly.
First, in '08, he got injured at the end of the year, and the playoff bound NY Jets, crashed and burned and didn't even get a sniff of the playoffs. The year after, a great run fell short once again in the NFC Championship game. Favre threw another costly pick that allowed the Saints to have their way for a jaw-breaking victory.
It remains seen to see what happens in 2010 should Favre return, but it doesn't seem very likely that many more years are left for Favre. If he does return again this year, it is probably safe to say, this will be his last season.
If we got those three years from Favre in Green Bay, the future would have been cloudy.
Ted Thompson would have gone back on his word of Rodgers to start for the '08 season. Surely Rodgers would not be with the Packers after making him sit another three years.
And Rodgers would be having the success he's having now somewhere else and fans would be all over Ted for getting rid of a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
So far, Green Bay fans need to be thinking what a great thing they have. Rodgers looks to be good for a long time. And with about a 15 year difference in age between Favre and Rodgers, 2010 could be the start of a Packer dynasty.
Just look at the numbers so far: His first year as a starter, he threw for over 4000 yards with a 28:13 TD:INT ratio. A 93.8 QB rating is phenomenal considering the amount of pressure and expectations he had to go through. The season ended with a 6-10 record and the defense was surely preventing the team from a ring that season no matter how well the rest of the team played.
The next season, Rodgers didn't look back. 4,400 yards and a 30:7 TD:INT ratio he surely improved. The off the field pressure he was put through last year was over, but the pressure on the field was not very forgiving. Being sacked 50 times and to be able to have those kind of numbers is quite shocking. And it probably helped him get the second most yards rushing by all quarterbacks.
We don't know what will happen in five years. But things could not look any better and while there are obviously a few concerns, the stress is surely at a level we all could handle.
The next few years will be important. Fans will find out if Rodgers can continue to avoid injury to miss games. He has already proved he can play injured, and so far he's following the consecutive starts tradition Favre brought to Green Bay.
But with injuries aside, Rodgers still has plenty to learn. He holds on the ball too long and it leads to too many sacks and the possibility of getting severely injured. And winning those big games will be on the minds of fans although it looks like he is capable after last season. If the defense played like they did all season, it would have been interesting to see how far they would have gone last year.
All in all, Green Bay is primed for many years of success. And it all comes down to the decision to move on from Favre and on to Rodgers. Had the Packers made the wrong decision two years ago, there would be plenty of headaches, and the stress would have been around for a very long time.
Thank you Ted, if it wasn't for you many fans would probably have a lot less hair.
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