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Favre, Not Rodgers, Will Remain Every-Down Starter


Stick a fork in a rumor that has circulated around sports bars for several weeks.

Head Coach Mike Sherman has no plans on playing Aaron Rodgers instead of Brett Favre -- even for a series.

"I don't consider that right now," Sherman said. "The objective is to win the game."

The Packers might have pondered such a move if they knew Rodgers -- not Favre -- would begin the season as the No. 1 quarterback in 2006. With no reason to believe Favre would retire at this point, Sherman will not end Favre's 215-game streak of consecutive starts by having him sit on the bench.

"If we were to do that, it would be an assumption that Brett's not going to be here next year. I'm not going to make that assumption right now," Sherman said. "He's not demonstrated that either by his words, by his actions or by his deeds."

Although some have speculated that a 2-8 season would cause Favre to hang it up, the 15-year veteran denies such a disappointing season would result in his retirement.

"Whether we're 8-2 or 2-8 will really not a play a role in my decision. I feel like I'm playing as well right now as I've played in previous years," Favre said. "I won't base my decision off how we're playing this year."

The ultimate team guy, Favre, however said he would have no problem if the Packers used Rodgers for a series or even a game this year.

"It's their decision. It won't hurt my feelings one way or the other," he said. "One man doesn't make the team. No man is bigger than the team itself."

The precocious Rodgers, however, knows he will remain the No. 2 quarterback.

"I'm not going to play," Rodgers said. "Brett's going to be the guy until he's done playing -- be it next year or whenever."

Rodgers did see brief action this regular season. He completed his lone passing attempt for zero yards during mop-up duty when the Packers drubbed the New Orleans Saints 52-3 in Week 5.

Favre has not displayed any slippage in performance that would cause the coaching staff to consider benching him. Although he has also thrown 17 interceptions, Favre has completed 65.2 percent of his passes and is tied for the NFC lead in touchdowns with 18.

His arm remains as strong as anyone's in the NFL, which he demonstrated during the second play of the Packers' second offensive possession on Monday. Favre faked a handoff to Samkon Gado and then threw a laser to him downfield.

"He's the only quarterback in the league that could make that throw," Sherman said. "He has no diminishing skills."

Rodgers' lack of repetitions as a starter serves as an endorsement of Favre, not an indictment of Rodgers.

"My confidence in Aaron has improved," Sherman said. "He's grown quite a bit in the last six weeks."

Several of Favre's previous backup quarterbacks became effective starters in the NFL, including Matt Hasselbeck, Ty Detmer, Aaron Brooks and Mark Brunell. Although Rodgers' mobility does not rank with Brooks or Brunell, Favre gives high marks to the the rookie's passing abilities.

"Aaron probably has a better arm than those guys," Favre said. "He has all the tools."

Rodgers runs the scout team, but directing the opposing team's offense serves as a good way to immerse himself in the Packers' offense. Many NFL teams run components of the West Coast offense, allowing Rodgers to go through his progressions from a set of plays very similar to the Packers'.

In addition to his practice work, Rodgers can learn by watching a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Favre has most impressed Rodgers with the way he leads his teammates and his anticipation on downfield throws.

"He sees guys come open before they are," Rodgers said. "Brett's been a big help to me both on and off the field."

Rodgers can continue learning from Favre as he plays behind him during gamedays in 2005 and perhaps years to come.

"There's nothing that indicates to me that (Favre) doesn't want to keep playing," Sherman said. "This is no different than last year or the year before or the year before that. I wouldn't have taken him out in those years. So I'm not prepared to (play Rodgers) at this present time."

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