According to an unnamed Jets player, quarterback Brett Favre created resentment in the locker room this season by being distant and unwilling to socialize.
“There was a lot of resentment in the room about him,” a Jets player told Newsday yesterday. He requested anonymity because team owner Woody Johnson has stated publicly that Favre is welcome to return next season if he wants to. (Favre reportedly will take until the end of February to decide about returning.)
The 39-year-old quarterback is not as welcome with his teammates, according to this veteran. After the Jets traded for Favre Aug. 6, the sure Hall of Famer made no effort to ingratiate himself with the already assembled team, the veteran said. He said Favre spent most of his down time at the practice facility in an office specially designated for him near the equipment room, not with teammates in the locker room, even after the media departed.
“He never socialized with us, never went to dinner with anyone,” the player said. Asked to describe Favre in a word, he said: “Distant.”
There was more of the same sentiment from Thomas Jones, who was interviewed on Hot 97 FM Tuesday. Jones wanted to make it clear he wasn’t blaming only Favre but said, “At the same time, you can’t turn the ball over and expect to win. The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. You don’t like it. I don’t like it and I know everybody else on the team doesn’t like it, but all you can do is fight [through it].”
Jones reinforced comments made by other Jets Monday, when the team broke up for the season in complete disarray after Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Dolphins.
On Monday, Kerry Rhodes said: “If he’s dedicated and he wants to come back and do this, and do it the right way … and be here when we’re here in training camp and the minicamps and working out with us … then I’m fine with it. But don’t come back if it’s going to be halfhearted or he doesn’t want to put the time in with us.”
If you read between the lines, you get the feeling that while Favre did want to play this final year, his mind wasn’t entirely into it. Not that he didn’t work hard or loafed, but I think Brett got to the Big Apple and then said, “What the f**k am I doing?” He probably didn’t allow himself to get close to anyone in the locker room because he just wanted to play football and go home.
Obviously this is all just speculation on my part, but these recent comments by Jet players paint the picture that not all was right in the locker room this season and Brett was at the hub of the issue. Either way, I think the Favre is done in New York. The experiment failed and now it’s time to go in another direction with a new coach.