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Extra point: Could Favre have been even better?

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre holds just about every major NFL passing record, so it would be hard to argue with any of the impressive totals he accumulated during his career. But could Favre have been even better had he been more dedicated to working out in the offseason? No one will ever know, and ardent Favre supporters will resent the question in light of Favreís impressive career statistics. But something Packers receiver Donald Driver said earlier this week was interesting. Driver maintains he doesnít feel old at age 37, and he gives credit in part to his ambitious offseason training regimen. I mentioned to Driver that Favre would talk about how old he felt when he reached his late 30s. This was Driverís response: ďYeah, but (Favre) didnít work out like I work out. Thatís night and day. That guy there, he barely lifted a weight, so he just had a strong arm that was able to throw. Iíve been with him, he wouldnít pick up a weight to save his life. His body structure and mine is totally different.Ē Driverís intent wasnít to suggest that Favre should have lifted more weights or worked out more in the offseason. He was simply responding to a question and stating a fact about how his approach differed from Favreís. It should also be noted that quarterbacks tend to get hit more often than receivers, so it would be only natural for Favre to feel old as the shots to his body mounted. In his later years Favre didnít hide the fact that he disliked offseason workouts and practice in general. He lived to play the games on Sunday. Maybe Favre needed time away from the game to recharge his batteries. Maybe rigorous offseason workouts would have burned him out and he wouldnít have lasted 20 seasons in the NFL. Then again, maybe he would have been an even better quarterback had he put in more offseason training time.† Itís interesting that Favreís successor, Aaron Rodgers, takes a different approach to the offseason. Rodgers is a full participant in quarterback school, OTAs and other offseason practices. When I asked Rodgers in May about how long he wanted to play, he said: ďI think itís got to be a combination of how my body feels and Iíve said it a few times over the years, when Iím not committed to being a 100% offseason guy, then thatís probably when I should step away from the game because these guys deserve 100% of my effort and time.Ē Although Rodgers was merely stating how he approaches the game, some will infer that he was taking a shot at Favre. Rodgers is only 28 and perhaps he too will tire of the offseason workouts as he gets older. But he seems to suggest that, unlike Favre, heíll retire when that happens. There is no question Favre will one day soon be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so any criticism of his football methods will sound lame to some people. But there will always be that lingering question: Could he have been an even greater quarterback?

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