Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks to ever lace ’em up in the NFL, with the former Green Bay Packers legend breaking a number of all-time passing records prior to retiring for good back in 2010. While Favre was an absolute icon during his time in Green Bay, as we all know, during the 2005 NFL Draft, the team decided to select his eventual replacement, Aaron Rodgers, signaling that the franchise was looking to phase out Favre in the not-so-distant future.
Although Rodgers didn’t take over for Brett Favre until three years later, the relationship between the two signal-callers during that time was reportedly rocky at best. After all, nobody wants a young gun coming in stealing your job, right? Add in the legacy Favre had and it’s no wonder he wasn’t a huge fan of the Packers’ decision to bring Rodgers onboard back then.
While the Favre-Rodgers drama has been well-documented over the past decade, things seem to be all good between the two these days. That’s because, while talking to Wilde And Tausch on ESPN Wisconsin, Brett Favre was candid about how both guys went from “strong enemies” building a relationship that is now “very good.” Take a look at how each gained respect for each other and put their competition aside.
“I would say (we were) strong enemies. I wanted to play my tail off, and so did he, especially when we played against each other. I thought we got along really well when he was a young, 21, 22, 23-year-old, and then we went about our way. Obviously, he has paved his own way and then some. He stands alone in the league today as the best player in my opinion. I’m OK with that.
“Our relationship now is very good, and I’m more happy about that than anything else. I’ve been able to see a different side of him, a non-playing side. I think he’s at a much better place in his life right now, which is great for him, and I think great for the Packers.”
That’s definitely a change in tone from Brett Favre than what it was in 2005 when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers. Back then, the Hall of Fame quarterback said that it wasn’t his job to mentor the young player, which some took as a slight towards Rodgers. Instead, it was the competitor in him coming out. While Favre didn’t mean it that way, he said he doesn’t regret saying it.
“There are a lot of things I’ve said and done in my life that I don’t stand by. Saying ‘I’m not here to mentor anybody, especially a quarterback,’ I stand by that. I think Aaron gets that as well. You want to play as long as you want to play.
“When Aaron was drafted, and obviously a first-round pick which had never happened in my time there, you know to a certain extent the writing’s on the wall. At some point, he is going to get his opportunity, which means you’re getting phased out.
“I wasn’t upset with Aaron at all. My initial thoughts were ‘It’s about time. I knew this time would come.’ But I still felt like I could play, and I knew ultimately that I judged whether or not I would play longer or not by the way I played. I controlled my destiny. Not Aaron. Not anyone else. If I felt like I still could play, I was going to work as hard as I possibly could and do the things that I’d always done and let the chips fall where they may. So, there was never any animosity towards Aaron.”
“It isn’t your job to mentor. That’s a coach’s job. It’s the young guy’s job to get what he can from the guy in front of him. Some people understood that comment. Other people (said) ‘How dare you do that!’ It is a competitive job in sport, and I think sometimes people lose sight of it.”
It’s cool to see both Favre and Rodgers have built a legit friendship, going from enemies to what they are now. As two of the biggest names to ever play for the iconic Packers franchise — not to mention all-timers in NFL history — it’s good for everyone that they both respect one another after a rocky start.
“Honestly, I know people want to (ask), ‘Who’s the best player in Packers history?’ People want to pick sides. I’m not picking sides. I could care less what people say either way. I think Aaron is a great quarterback presently, one of the all-time greats in the league itself and will be remembered as that. I’m really proud of him.
“Aaron and I have really spoke a lot in the last year and a half….he and I were talking not that long ago. He made the comment, sort of joking but so true.
“He goes, ‘I’m kind of now at that spot or time in my career where you exactly were when I came in. I see and understand why you were what you were.’
“You look at it differently when you get to the age that Aaron’s at now. Now he gets it. You look around at the team snack, and you go, ‘You know what, I’m the last guy left.’ That’s reality.”
With Aaron Rodgers in the twilight of his career, he seems to be gaining some insight and relating to how Brett Favre felt years ago. And, seeing as how the two have a good friendship now, there’s a good chance the ol’ gunslinger’s happy to help his buddy out in dealing with all the different changes.
You can read the full piece over at WTMJ.