GREEN BAY – “I was at fault.”
That’s what Brett Favre said Thursday. That wasn’t all the former Green Bay Packers quarterback said in a phone interview with Joe Buscaglia on WGR 550 in Buffalo to promote ex-Bills quarterback Jim Kelly's "Hunter's Hope" charity auction, but Favre did say exactly that.
He also said that he and Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy have talked “on numerous occasions,” that his relationship with Aaron Rodgers is “good,” and that “things will be fine in due time.”
To listen to the full interview 12-minute interview, click here. The interview begins with Favre talking about what he’s doing with himself in retirement and about his interest in coaching (he is the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss.), but the discussion about his changing relationship with the Packers sounds very much like a tectonic shift.
Murphy said at the NFL Meetings in March that a reconciliation with Favre was "a priority" and that the team wanted Favre back "in the family." Favre's successor, Aaron Rodgers, told Jim Rome last month that he thought the Packers needed to retire Favre's No. 4 before Favre enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame, presumably as a first-ballot pick in 2016.
Asked by Buscaglia if the Packers have approached him about retiring his number and if he wants to see that to happen, Favre replied: “I don't know of any player who would not want that to happen. I'm honored just by the thought. Obviously there was, if you want to call it, 'bad blood' or whatever, I just think that people started picking sides. And really, I'm over that and have been over it. Mark Murphy and I have talked on numerous occasions. I don’t, I never expected them to do anything. I'm not one to sit here and say, ‘I think they need to do this, do that.’ I think they have a very good ball team and that's their primary focus and it should have always been, which it has.
"As time does, it heals a lot of things. I know for me as I've gotten further and further removed from the game, I think about the statistics and things of that nature, which I don't know of any player where that didn't matter some. It matters a whole lot less now. So the things that transpired that led to us 'breaking up' if you will, to me, are over and done with.
“And so, when will that happen? I don't think either side is trying to push the issue. I think Mark Murphy – and Mark came in really in the last few weeks of my career in Green Bay -- he kind of came into a hornets’ nest if you will. He's been extremely great in trying to make this work. And in our discussions, it’s been, ‘It will happen.’ I think both sides are genuine. I know they are. And that's the way it has to come across because that's the way it should be. We don't want to go out there waving to the crowd with our backs to each other. And I don't think that's going to happen.
“Aaron has said some very nice things. And he and I have a good relationship. I had a chance to present an award with him at the Super Bowl and that was for real. It wasn't for show. And so I think everything will be fine.”
Asked if he regretted the way the summer of 2008 played out, when Favre ultimately was traded to the New York Jets before re-retiring and then unretiring to play for the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and 2010, Favre accepted some responsibility for the ugly divorce that happened – and suggested that his split with the Packers influenced how the Indianapolis Colts handled Peyton Manning’s departure.
“It is what it is. It's over and done with. I was at fault. I feel that both sides had a part in it. If you could go back, would I or they have done things differently? I'm sure both sides would,” Favre said. “But you can't. And I think, I don't know for certain, but I think the situation with Peyton (Manning) and the Colts almost looked like our situation. But then, maybe they thought twice about it and maybe they learned from our situation and they handled it correctly.
“So I hate it, that it happened that way. And I tried to go on and play my best football in spite of those things. And I had a great year my first year in Minnesota and up until my bicep was torn in New York, I really felt we were having a great year. So I look back and have fond memories of all those years.
“In 20 years of football, really I don't hold any regrets. I know I gave it my all. Had 16 great, wonderful years in Green Bay. Had a lot of success, played with a lot of great teammates, was part of some teams that had some great coaches who have all branched out, (Mike) McCarthy being one of those.
"Again, it happened. It's over and done with. I think things will be fine in due time.”
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