GREEN BAY - They wear Green Bay Packers shirts now. It’s easier to sing Brett Favre’s praises, to appreciate his greatness. There was a time a couple assistants under coach Mike McCarthy had a much different view of the Packers' legendary quarterback.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers knows what it’s like to game plan against Favre. He was the Carolina Panthers head coach in 1996, when Favre led the Packers to an NFC championship game win.
Capers isn’t the only one Favre torched in a big game. Linebackers coach Winston Moss played against Favre as a linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, and coached against him with the New Orleans Saints.
Favre will be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. A first-ballot Hall of Famer. On Thursday, Capers and Moss reminisced what it was like competing against the Packers gunslinger. Here are their memories.
Capers on what it was like game planning against Favre: “Well, he was a different guy, a unique guy. Some of the things you would do against the large majority of the quarterbacks, you couldn’t do against him because he had the arm strength and the courage to try to fit the ball into creases. For example, if you were playing a Cover-2, you had to play your Cover-2 with two deep safeties a little bit different against Favre than what you did against most people, because he could throw that ball out on the sideline at 20 yards and it would get there quicker. And you could never relax with Brett. Brett would be a guy, he’d come out early on. I can remember the first couple of series, you didn’t want to let him get settled into a groove. But a tremendous competitor and extremely talented."
Moss on what he remembers playing against Favre and the Packers of the 1990s: “That team was very impressive. That’s when they were on their Super Bowl runs, so you got a lot of great players coming into your building. I’m a very competitive person. It was fun to play against that team, and they ended up smashing us that day. When you’re competing versus the Hall of Fame-caliber player, you have nothing but great memories. You respect what he does. At that same time, in the moment of competing against him, man, it was all about trying to do your best versus him because that’s what you’re trying to measure yourself up against. He’s a Hall of Fame-caliber player. This is a player that is elite. How do you match up? Can you match up with him physically? Can you match up with him mentally? That’s where those great players always try and find out exactly what they are to lift their game up. Brett just had that intangible about him. He was as big as life. I would love to week in and week out play against a competitor like that. That game, as much as it was to lose that way, you have nothing but fun playing in an environment like that, playing against a team like that. I’m with the Packers right now, and it’s great to have that traveling and you see all the Cheeseheads out there, but I was on the other side of that in the Kingdome. You saw – this was way back in ’96 – nothing but Cheeseheads in there. That was unsettling. Didn’t like that too much. But it was all good. It was a great atmosphere, it was a great game. My preference would be to play against guys like Brett Favre. It was awesome.”
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