Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
In the midst of Brett Favre’s physical and conditioning test on Monday, coach Mike McCarthy and the freshly reinstated quarterback will sit down to discuss Favre’s state of mind and his role on the Green Bay Packers.
After meeting with his quarterbacks — including starter-for-now Aaron Rodgers — McCarthy will brief the media on the team’s plans on Monday night. If the Packers are short on cash, perhaps they should sell the news conference video on pay-per-view. As the Dallas Cowboys’ Terrell Owens’ would say, “Bring the popcorn.”
Speaking after Sunday’s Family Night Scrimmage, McCarthy would neither confirm nor deny he intends to reverse course and throw open the quarterback competition.
“There’s been no promises (to Favre),” McCarthy said. “There’s been indecision throughout Brett’s path back to Green Bay.”
It’s that indecision McCarthy wants to address before he decides whether he’ll do an about-face on his frequent statements that the Packers have moved in a new direction and Rodgers is his starting quarterback. When Favre retired in March, he cited mental burnout. McCarthy will want assurances that Favre is 100 percent committed to diving back into the six-month grind.
“From that conversation and the information in that conversation, I’ll make a decision based on how we move forward with the quarterback position,” McCarthy said.
“It’s important for him and I to talk face to face before we move forward,” he added.
Rodgers stood tall amid the media onslaught, even after the latest surreal turn of events that had Favre landing in Green Bay before the start of the lightning-delayed scrimmage, then being followed in his maroon Cadillac Escalade by a helicopter in a scene that conjured memories of O.J. Simpson and a white Chevy Bronco.
Rodgers several times said he didn’t feel betrayed by the organization that touted him as the future of the franchise, and he’s not going to yield an inch of ground to the NFL’s only three-time MVP and preeminent living legend.
“Hopefully, I’ll be the guy this year," Rodgers said. “I don’t know if I am going to get a chance to lead this football team, (but) you’re going to have to pry it out of my fingers this year.”
If McCarthy and the Packers make it an open competition, Rodgers knows he’ll be considered a decided underdog. Rodgers’ struggles during the scrimmage certainly didn’t make believers among the fans and perhaps even his teammates.
“I’m a competitor. I’m going to compete," Rodgers said. “You know, this isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be a dogfight, and I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people will give me a chance, but I believe in myself, and I'm going to be the best I can be and let Coach decide from there.”
For what it’s worth, McCarthy said Rodgers would be his starting quarterback “if we played a game tomorrow.”
“I’m not going to change any direction that we’ve gone with this football team based on the information I have here today,” McCarthy said.
The information he gleans on Monday, however, could change everything.
“If he wants to play football, he should be allowed to play football,” McCarthy said of Favre. “I don’t have any problem with that. I just want to make sure he’s clear on the direction our football team has gone before we move forward.”
Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org