Having rested his mind and his body, QB Brett Favre is eager - perhaps more so than ever - to play football as the 2005 season approaches.
"He's really excited about coming back," Deanna Favre said following the couple's annual charity softball game in Appleton, Wis., Sunday. "He's more excited this year than probably in the last two or three."
That enthusiasm can be seen in how intently the 35-year-old quarterback has followed the NFL this offseason.
"She's probably referring to me watching NFL Network every day, which I haven't done." Brett joked.
He also vehemently agreed with Head Coach Mike Sherman's decision to have him stay home during minicamps.
"Mike has done the right thing," he said. "I've missed the guys, and missed being around, but that's the whole premise of doing this - to come into training camp ready to go because you can get burned out."
Deanna expressed the same notion.
"He probably needed some time to just rejuvenate, and over the last two years, we had a lot happen," she said. "So just staying away and really focusing on family and working out really helped."
Deanna says she also feels rejuvenated. Though her energy level has not returned to pre-breast cancer levels, she is doing well and had several hits and ran the bases during the game.
"I feel great," she said.
Deanna endured a difficult year, losing her brother right before undergoing cancer treatment. A woman who loves to be out and about, she rarely left the house and dressed in her pajamas for seven straight days.
"It was really tough," she said. "I was a little numb. ... It was tough to get through, but I had great support."
Brett shaved his head during her chemotherapy treatments while her daughters sheared their locks much shorter. The community also aided her through a difficult time.
"It was incredible," she said. "All of the fans across Wisconsin ... the prayers and the cards and the gifts. I received a lot of support, and it helped."
Deanna finished her last chemotherapy treatment in January and her last radiation treatment in March. She has worked out with Brett and his personal trainer for five weeks.
Brett spent additional time working out on his own with a personal trainer but laughs off reports of his having washboard abs and tales of his peak condition.
"Obviously this story has been blown out of proportion," he joked.
In addition to improving fitness, the time off has allowed Brett to relax.
"I feel better," he said. "Mentally for me, I think is the biggest part. I want to be refreshed and ready to play. I'm eager to get back out there."
As a result, that competitive fire burns within the 15-year veteran as brightly as ever.
"My main objective ... is to win," he said. "I've achieved everything there is to achieve in this game, and I think I've been fortunate to do that. Not many guys can say that."
However, he does not how long that fire will burn. Brett has not decided about his playing future, but Deanna sounded optimistic when asked whether he will play beyond the 2005 season.
"I think a couple of more," she answered. "Right now, he wants to take it one year at a time. He's not going to make any hasty decisions or anything."
"We are both so excited about this season. So I think we'll have a great year."