Saying Aaron Rodgers “fell into a good situation,” Brett Favre said his biggest surprise was that it took Rodgers as long as it did to win his first Super Bowl. Favre made the comments Tuesday on Atlanta radio station 790 The Zone with Mike Morgan and Hans Heiser.
During the interview, Favre recalled thinking before the 2007 season began that the team, despite its youth almost across the board, was the “most talented team that I’ve ever played on.” While the comment raised eyebrows at the time, Favre wound up having a good eye for the talent that surrounded him as the Packers reached the NFC Championship Game.
After that bitter loss to the Giants in that game, Favre retired, unretired and ultimately was traded to the Jets. That cleared the way for Rodgers, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2005, to take control of an ascending team in 2008.
“The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn’t do it sooner," Favre said of Rodgers leading Green Bay to the championship. "Even though the last couple years it’s seemed like he’s almost a rookie, he’s been around awhile. And I’d like to think that he watched, he learned, and then when he got a chance to play, he brought in his ability, which is obviously very good or they wouldn’t have drafted him in the first round.
"He’s got tremendous talent, he’s very bright and he got a chance to sit and watch and see successful teams do it right. And so he just kind of fell into a good situation.
“On top of that, he’s a good player. I don’t think anyone would question now the talent around him is even better than when I was there. So I’m really kind of surprised it took him so long. Really, the early part of last year's season, it hadn’t quite clicked yet and I didn’t know if it would. I just kind of figured when they hit their stride, they’re going to be hard to beat. And that’s what happened.”
Favre admitted there were times last season that he regretted his decision to not retire after his phenomenal 2009 season, in which he almost led the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
“I think the last couple of games which I didn’t play in — and it’d been years since I hadn’t played and watched from the sidelines, better yet in street clothes, that was the first time I’d ever done that — but it gave me a chance to really reflect and look around,” Favre said. “There was no pressure to perform. I was just kind of watching. So I had a chance to really think and think in depth. And to be honest with you, I didn’t regret coming back at that point.
“If I needed an exclamation point on my career, two years ago would have been a great time to walk away. I don’t think anyone wouldn’t have been able to say, ‘Hey, the guy’s got something left in his tank, he probably could have played another year.’ Well, you know, we know now. If anything this past year was the answer that I’d been looking for.”
This time, Favre — who turns 42 on Oct. 10 — really appears to be permanently retired. He said he’s enjoying life away from football and spending time with his daughters and grandson, and doesn’t miss the mental and physical grind of getting ready for games.
About the only regret for Favre is that he couldn’t win another championship after capturing Super Bowl XXXI. He led the Packers to Super Bowl XXXII following the 1997 season and fell short in NFC Championship games in 2007 and 2009.
“It was disappointing to never go back aside from that following year, although we were close,” Favre said. “But my career is very, very rewarding to me. So I have no regrets, and really the disappointment I feel at times is very normal, if anything. I think about those dreams I had as a kid, and to think I’m sitting here now and I’ve far exceeded those dreams is quite an accomplishment.”
Favre made his TV broadcast debut with Morgan on the Comcast Sports Southeast coverage of the Southern Mississippi-Rice game. A transcript of Favre's interview on Tuesday, which we went through and made a few minor edits, was provided by SportsRadioInterviews.com.
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