Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009

Favre talks to the press

By Nicole
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In case you missed the big news, Favre spoke to Wisconsin media today. Scroll down for the full transcript, but first some interesting tidbits from the Packers Blog on JSOnline.com:

For the record, in my opinion, Favre came on the call with a defensive stance from the get-go. He knew he would get a lot of combative questions and he came ready to defend himself.

Never heard him like that.

This from Tom Silverstein, who has covered Favre's entire career: "I have to say that I've never heard Favre that nervous or apprehensive in an interview before. It definitely was uncomfortable for him."

Silverstein's theory: Favre hasn't spoken to a Green Bay local media source since January, 2008. He knew he would get grilled over the details of his departure.

UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. from Lori Nickel in Minneapolis/Winter Park:

Favre also just completed his press conference with the Vikings media and seriously downplayed the importance of the game to him. "This game is really no different for me than the fourth game last year..."

Favre really emphasized that he can't get caught up in the emotions of the matchup. "Can't treat this game any differently," he said. "Being able to control that is obviosuly important." He said he's not watching TV coverage or following it in other forms of media. He also said he would never play for revenge and that his comments to Peter King in February -- "Part of me coming back last year, yeah, was to stick it to Ted Thompson" -- were ..."about six months, maybe." And that's the only difference.

"Oh, you know in that conversation, it’s always part of, the story gets out and what sells and things like that. I never played or would play for quote-unquote revenge. It’s too long a season," said Favre.

He did say, however, that 2007 was, he thought, his best season in Green Bay. Ever (won MVPs in mid 90s). Said it was only natural to want to quiet the naysayers. "You would want to prove you can still do it."

Here's the transcript

Favre, the full transcript
By Greg A. Bedard of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 1, 2009 3:08 p.m.

Here you go:

(Are you still motivated to stick it to Ted Thompson?)
"I never was motivated for that, for that reason. So, no, it has nothing to do with it."

(Then what changed, because you told Peter King that sticking it to Ted was part of your motivation for coming back and when got to the Twin Cities you said it wasn't about revenge?)
"I didn't say it was about revenge. I said that it wasn't about revenge to begin with. It had nothing to do with it. 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 that wouldn't guarantee to begin with that I would be back to as close to normal as possible, especially at 39 years old. I felt like I could play. I think I proved that last year. And 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 to at least feel like I could play at a high enough level. So I eventually decided to have it and here I am."

(Did King misquote you when you said that after you retired from the Jets?)
"What I said with Peter was that it's human nature to feel -- I didn't use the word revenge, but (a desire) 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."

(What is your motivation then?)
"I'd like to win it all. I don't think I need to prove anything to anyone, first of all. I'm very proud of my career. The time I spent in Green Bay was unbelievable. We won a lot of games. I wish we had won a couple more championships. I wouldn't play, first of all, if I didn't think I could contribute. And that's not just statistically, as a leader, as a teammate, whatever is required. I feel like I can still do that. I think the guys here would testify to that now. This is a very good football team. It doesn't guarantee anything. But I felt like I could contribute on this team."

(Did the throw in the 49ers game show you've still got it? Need to prove that to yourself after surgery or did you know you still had it all along?)
"No, when I left New York last year, I knew I couldn't throw the way I would (like to). There were numerous, numerous plays I could point to in the latter half of the year that maybe the Average Joe watching just would have assumed that it was a bad throw. For me, I knew that not only was there pain, but on that 20-yard seam route, the ball in my mind was intended to be 2 yards in front of the guy and maybe low and inside, and it was high and outside and it gets tipped and you would just write it off as a bad throw. We all have bad throws, but it seemed like to was more and more frequent to me, along with the pain. So I knew even had I chosen not to play, I didn't need surgery, it was going to pop on its own. When? Who knows? It's the same thing I had to my left bicep 5 or 6 years ago, whatever. But that was my left shoulder. I knew that by having the surgery and speeding it up that I wouldn't have to throw with pain anymore. Throughout my career, I never had arm issues except for tendinitis one preseason. Other than that, I was very lucky and blessed to have thrown it, taken hits and all that stuff the way I've done for so many years. But when I had the surgery, yeah, I needed to (find out). Whenever that recovery time or however long that would be, I needed to see if (I could still throw). The pain for the most part was gone pretty much right away. But I (had), as I would call it, dead arm as I rehabbed back to where I could throw 10 or 15 yards no problem, with the same velocity, but when I would throw a deep in at 30 yards or something, I would turn it loose, with no pain, but it would land at 25 instead of 30. Then that obviously got worse as I threw it further. That was a difficult time because I felt like I could do it but yet the ball was not (getting there). It had nothing to do with pain. So I think I didn't have to prove anything, in my mind, to anyone that I could throw. I had to prove to myself that if I was going to play, I had to feel like in clutch time I could turn it loose and make any throw. It's not a guarantee, but I had to feel that way. I didn't want to second-guess any decision.

(What do you think you’ve done to image with fans here?)
“I can’t answer that. I’m sure that there are some people who are disappointed or upset. Sixteen years I spent there, I know how personal the Packers are to the fans, the state of Wisconsin. I’m very, very aware of that, and that’s the beauty of that organization, and will always be. You can’t find an empty seat in a town, where you can go to New York and L.A.and you can’t fill the seats at times. So it’s a special place, and I know people take a lot of ownership in that, and that’s fine, that’s great. Once again, that’s what makes it such a wonderful place to play and watch a game. But my intentions are not to do anything else but to play and hopefully lead this team to a championship, as the other teams and players feel across this league. I’ve said this 100 times, and I’ll say it again, that you can’t take the 16 years away that I spent there. It was outstanding. I know I left everything I possibly could leave on the field, was honest and genuine and didn’t always play the best, but I’m proud of the career I had there. So if there are people disappointed and have picked sides, I’m not surprised by it, but you can’t take that away. So it is what it is. But I can’t control that.”

(Seattle game in '99, what can you learn about keeping emotions in check?)
“Well I think that goes for every game. When Mike Holmgren was coaching me, every game we played in, especially the start, that was always a big key for him, was to try to – of course for me, too – was to keep your emotions in check. Statistically speaking, that night, it was not a good night. But I don’t think our team in general had a good night, and it all starts with the quarterback, good or bad as we all know. But I thought the world of Mike Holmgren. I was not trying to get back at him, get back at him or whatever you want to call it. I hated that he left. So, that had nothing to do with it, like I had to prove something to Mike or I wanted to get at him for leaving us and all that stuff. I still talk to Mike this day and have the utmost respect and know I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. So that was just, that was bad play.”

(Better now at handling emotions?)
“I would like to think so. I think one thing I have noticed over the last few years is that we all know there are some games that are bigger than others, even though it’s still another game. I found out that I actually look at it more that way, and I think that’s probably age as much as anything and just the experience, and I’m not saying that from like a well-seasoned experience type of thing, I just think that if you’ve done something so many times, it’s not as – I don’t want to say exciting, because it’s still exciting, or I wouldn’t play – but it’s harder to, at times I wish I would be a little more emotional, not that I want to ride the roller coaster, if you will, but. And I think what helps here, obviously, is more than anything, is having a running game with Adrian Peterson. That’s not to say he won’t be stopped. I thought San Francisco did a heck of a job, but you feel like that’s always kind of a crutch for you to fall back on. A pretty good one too.”

(When you decided want to come back last year, was No. 1 choice to play here in Green Bay?)
“Yes, it was. Yes. Why wouldn’t it be? I’d just had probably, in my opinion, the best year in my entire career. I’ve thrown for more touchdowns and whatever, but I really felt like that was my best year.”

(When you were here, did you think you'd ever play in another city?)
“No, never crossed my mind.”

(Why Minnesota this time? Why not stay with Jets?)
“Well, I wasn’t willing to have surgery at that time, that’s first and foremost and the biggest. Because as I left there, we had already done an MRI, we knew what the problem was and I was like, ‘You know, 39 years old, I’m not willing to go through that’ at that time. It was right after we had finished, 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. And I knew I had an injury that would require surgery if I chose to play, and as disappointed as I was, I chose to go home and not have it, and they chose to go in a different direction. That’s how it evolved.”

(But you asked for release, why 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. And 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 Mike Tannenbaum and Woody, those guys were great, Eric, on down the line, it was fun. I wish we’d ended up a little bit better, but that’s over and done with.”

(Why after all this time have you never reached out to Aaron and talked to him?)
(4 second pause) For what? 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 um … no one’s called me. I talk to Driver every once in awhile, and Al and some of the older guys, but uh … I don’t know what to tell ya.

(A few years ago you told the story about going to the Superdome with your dad and bro and seeing the Saints with Kenny Stabler, and you said then that you could never see yourself being like him and going to another team and being viewed as the savior of that team. Regardless of how this has happened or why this has happened, is there part of you that just can’t believe that it’s ended up this way and that you did end up playing for the Jets and now the Vikings and it not just finishing out with the Packers after all you’d done here?)
You know what? I hear that a lot from people. ‘Man, it just seems weird, you know?’ My first day of practice in New York, my first day of practice here, was a little odd. Because I’d always been the, new guys come in, things change, but I’d always been, you know, the constant. And 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.

(Can the damage that’s been done between you and the Packers organization ever be restored?)
You know, it’s … I’m sure it can. Right now, that’s not on anyone’s mind. Their intentions are to win this game, as our intentions are. … We’ll deal with that later.

(It was going to be really hard for whoever the guy was that followed you after what you did here, do you think you made it tougher on Rodgers with all that’s happened?)
Well, I can’t answer that. All I can say is that you guys laughed at me two years, or a year, um, before our 13-3 season when I said this was probably the most talented team I’d ever played on. Everyone thought I was crazy. And then we have the year that we had, almost got there, then everybody said, ‘This team is pretty good.’ 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 those, they either like you, they don’t like you, for whatever reason, or it takes awhile to adjust. But, I, 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.

(The Sears commercial aside, do you have trouble making decisions?)
Um, I don’t think it’s, no, I don’t, it’s definitely not a problem here, and, you know, 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. And … the … all the stuff that’s happened in the past is over and done with. I would think these guys know here that, not that I would go out and play great every week, not that anybody would, but I’ll do whatever it takes to win, and that’s really all that matters.

(Do you have any doubts about being able to make it through a 16-game season?)
You know what? I thought about it my first year, second year, third year. I mean, the chances of any player playing consistently 16 games … not even talk about a career, but just one season, is tough. But you know what? It’s like the way I played the other day. I’m going to get hit, if I have to block, I’ll block, if I have to tackle, I’ll tackle. Can I guarantee you I’ll get up every time? Who can? But I feel pretty good about it.

-END-

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