Brett Favre shares wisdom for all players on Gruden's QB Camp

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday July 21, 2016


We got a special edition of Gruden’s QB Camp on Thursday night. But it wasn’t a rookie QB. It was Brett Favre, who sat down with Gruden and reminisced about the old days.

Gruden was on the Packers staff from 1992-94, and said Favre is the only person who loves football more than himself. In the episode, Favre was recounting play-calls from the 1990s and remembered how defenses reacted.

Through the show, he shared bits of wisdom on his career and the mentality he always carried, and it’s some good advice. Here were some of the highlights.

On the consecutive start streak (297):

“By far the thing I’m most proud of. That’s hard to do. Along with that, you have to play at a level. Playing hurt, no one’s saying, ‘He’s playing hurt, we’ll let him play.’ You have to play well. On top of being injured, you’ve got to play at a level. Just because you’re playing hurt doesn’t give you an excuse. The coach, they get their ass fired over that. I’m as proud of the fact I endured through all that, but I also played at a good enough level consistently. That’s hard to do healthy.”

How much of that was mental over physical?

“I always tell people your mental toughness is probably way more important than the physical toughness. There’s a point where we all say, ‘That’s it. I’ve had enough. I can’t run another spring. I can’t lift another weight. I can’t just another step. I can’t study.’ Whatever that is. What do you do at that point? Nothing you can say will make me change. It’s got to come within. The tougher the situation, the more I felt like I was ready for the challenge.”

He said succeeding while hurt sets people apart in football:

“I wanted to play and win because I felt like that more than anything set you apart. Anybody can do it when it’s easy. That’s the way I felt. I didn’t want to get hurt, but now is when we find out what I’m really made of, and I feel like I’m up for the challenge.”

On the motivation to stay out there:

“More than anything, I loved to play, and I always remembered how I got my job. The guy in front of me got hurt, and he probably thought he’d be back in a few weeks, and he never got back on the field. I was never going to give somebody the opportunity to take my spot. I was going to play at all costs. First, because I loved to play and it’s what I love to do.”

That mindset was always there. He was always looking over his shoulder:

“I learned at an early level to never think I arrived. I never arrived. When I went on the practice field in year 12, did I have to prove myself? No, but in my mind, I did. I always into training camp thinking, ‘They’re trying to replace me.’ That may sound crazy to a lot of people, but I’d said, ‘I’m going to make throws today in my 12th year, my 15th year, my 20th year.'

“My first year in Minnesota, we’re practicing indoors and we called Fox 2 X Y Hook, and it’s Cover 3, and I hit Sidney Rice on a rope on a post. Why? Did I have to do that to make the team? No, but in my mind, I said I was going to set the record straight right from the get-go. I don’t give a damn if I’m in my 20th year, I can play, and I’ve always proven myself. That was my mentality. I never went in saying I was going to half it today. I didn’t always play great, but I didn’t half it.”

He thought he could make every throw. Sometimes, he could. Sometimes, he couldn't.

“In meetings, Ty Detmer would go, ‘Why would you make that throw?’ Because I can. There were probably times I should have known my limitations, but I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t get in there. … My first thought on any play was, with my arm strength — I may not anybody know this — but my first thought was home run. On every play, if it’s built in. Because I felt like I can make throws that other guys can’t, so I’m going to look at that first.”

On why he played so long:

“I’d love to sit here and say it was because I wanted to win another Super Bowl. Yeah, who wouldn’t? I’d love to win another one. But when asked if I miss the game, I don’t miss the game. I miss jumping on the guys. I miss things you would not think are worth missing. That’s something you can never replace.”

On his happy attitude on the field (including smiling after getting sacked):

“The biggest compliment I’ve gotten and continue to get is, ‘I really liked watching you play, because you looked like you had a lot of fun.’ I get a kick out of people appreciating the fact that ‘He was real. That dude had a blast.’ Not everybody liked Brett Favre. I get that. You can’t disregard the passion. I used to think on the way home, ‘Can you believe they pay us for this? That much? Wow. I’m not going to tell them, but I’d do it for $50.’ That was my mentality.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.