GREEN BAY, Wis. - Brett Favre slammed both hands on the podium, wanting to be clear: He never suggested he couldn't win with this current group of Packers.
The Green Bay quarterback was trying to defuse a week's worth of comments. And while he was frustrated the Packers did not trade for wide receiver Randy Moss, Favre said during minicamp Friday this was no knock on his teammates.
"Not once did I say anything about the guys I play with," Favre said at a news conference. "And I know that has been brought up, and I want proof that I said something about the guys I play with. Never did I say that."
Favre's appearance came after a tumultuous week in which he publicly complained about the Packers' front office, deflected reports that his agent had asked the team for a trade and considered skipping this weekend's mandatory minicamp to help plan parties for his daughter's high school graduation next week.
The 37-year-old star is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and the team's medical staff is limiting his participation in the three-day camp, which ends Sunday.
Favre said he came to Green Bay to show his commitment to the Packers and clear the air about reports that he asked for a trade.
"I don't think anyone can question my leadership and determination to win, and that hasn't changed," he said. "I know at times people want to do that. And had I not shown up, it becomes even a bigger issue."
Packers coach Mike McCarthy was relieved that the situation was simmering down.
"I'm just glad the firestorm's over," he said. "I'm glad to put away the hose. I say that as a fireman's son."
Hey, we're all adults. I talked to him on a regular basis. There's nothing that's gone on that him and I have not talked about. So I'm just glad that the course that it's taken that it's finally over." After Favre criticized the front office during interviews at his charity golf tournament in Mississippi last Saturday, Fox Sports' Web site reported Sunday that his agent had asked for a trade when the team failed to complete a trade for Moss. The wide receiver was dealt from Oakland to New England during the NFL draft last month. Favre and his agent spent this week issuing carefully worded denials that seemed to leave wiggle room. But Favre issued a stronger denial Friday, saying a trade was never mentioned or requested. "I just don't know where it came from," he said. "That's not true." Favre acknowledged that he has disagreed with decisions by the front office, but he said he has spoken with general manager Ted Thompson and McCarthy this week and wants to put all this behind. Favre said repeatedly he's "fine" with Thompson. "I'm not here to judge the way he runs his team," Favre said. "And I know that he's probably caught a lot of heat. Ted and I go way back, from Day One. He has a plan, that's what he's paid to do, I'm paid to lead this team on the field." Favre wasn't alone in wanting the team to trade for Moss. "I'm not frustrated, but I think it would have been good," wide receiver Donald Driver said. "If he would have been here, it would have helped out. I think Randy's a great receiver." Many wondered whether Favre's comments would upset teammates; by pushing so hard for Moss, was he saying the Packers' current players aren't good enough?
But Favre didn't think he'd hurt any feelings.
"I'm not going to stand up in front of them," he said. "I've seen a lot of the guys in passing, and I mean, we're fine. I don't know what they say when they go home. But you show me where I said anything about the guys I play with. I want you to show me."
Receiver Greg Jennings, a second-round pick last year, said he wasn't bothered at all by Favre's comments.
"I'm a receiver and I didn't take any harm by it," Jennings said. "I didn't take it as if he was knocking our receiver corps, or our team. I just took it as you have a leader who feels like we could have done some things possibly to make the team better, and he has a right to his own opinion."
Favre reiterated that he thinks the Packers have plenty of young talent. He recalled that he was ridiculed before last season when he said the 2006 Packers might be the most talented team he ever played on. "You thought I was crazy," he said. Still, Favre says there's plenty of room for improvement. "We have to get better," he said. "We have to get better in a hurry." He also knows he doesn't have many seasons left. "What has been said and done once again is over, and I think the best way to do that is to move forward," he said. "And there's no hard feelings. I want to win, regardless of who's on this team or not on this team. And hopefully, we're all in this together."comments powered by Disqus