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NFL is missing guys like Favre

Favre's decision to turn down the Rams is very unlike him
10/24/2013 5:55 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Brett Favre's last season was in 2010 for the Minnesota Vikings.(AP)
It was reported this morning that the Rams, after losing Sam Bradford to a torn ACL last week, called Brett Favre to see if maybe -- just maybe -- he would come out of retirement to gun sling the Rams back into contention.

How can you not miss having Brett Favre in the NFL? Personally, I would watch him over today's scrambling quarterbacks any day, simply because Favre's arm was solid gold. Even the balls he threw to the other team were perfect spirals that made a loud thud when they hit the chest.

People mocked his jean commercials, complete with a pigskin and a golden retriever. But what those commercials were trying to portray was that Wrangler Jeans are for tough, rugged guys. And it must have seemed obvious to hire one of the toughest guys to ever play the quarterback position. Plus, I'd take commercials for jeans over Uggs any day.

Favre got hit a lot during his career. So many of the offensive lines he played behind in Green Bay were injured and inconsistent. And by the time he got to Minnesota, Favre was a sitting duck for pass rushers. But Favre was the opposite of the type to look to the refs for roughing the passer penalty or a low hit. He understood it was part of the position and took the hits.

More important than Favre's toughness was how much he loved playing the game. Sometimes things were less serious to Favre…he smiled after big plays, and would run into the end zone after his receiver caught a touchdown like a little kid in the back yard. While today's greats like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are terrific passers, they never allow themselves to look like that. Perhaps they are trying to look tough in a different way.

The NFL's lack of quality at the quarterback position has been well documented since this story broke this morning. And while Favre's agent still thinks Favre could be better than most guys, the chances are that his age would make any success an impossibility. But still, I have to admit I'm a little surprised that Favre didn't consider the Rams' offer. Why? Because "being practical" isn't really what Favre was ever about.

What I loved most about Favre was that he was never about doing what was "right." He threw passes that he knew were risky and not in the playbook. He left the pocket when he knew he wasn't supposed to. Heck, he played for two teams after a long career with the Packers when most would have told him not to.

At a time when so many of the NFL's quarterbacks are "game managers," guys who just follow the script and try not to make a mistake, Favre would stick out like a sore thumb today. After all, this is a guy that made a living by breaking the rules. He threw interceptions -- not because of mental mistakes -- but because he enjoyed taking chances. And one day, when he's wearing a gold jacket, he'll be called one of the best gunslinger of all time. And those chances he took will have paid off.

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