Packers great Brett Favre praises Bevell’s ascendency; suggests Lions part with Stafford

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
 
| The Detroit News

Few individuals have had a greater impact on Darrell Bevell’s career than Brett Favre, and like just about everyone else who has worked with the interim Detroit Lions coach over the years, the Hall of Fame quarterback wonders why it took so long for his former position coach and offensive coordinator to get a shot running his own team. 

“I think he’s a very brilliant, offensive-minded coach,” Favre said while hosting a show SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Very low key. Not a big rah-rah guy, kind of tells you what he’s thinking, and easy to get along with. 

“I think he deserved a shot long before this shot,” Favre continued. “And I know Darrell, he really liked Matt Patricia and thought a lot of him because we had numerous conversations and in no way, shape or form, is he proud of the fact that this is how he got his chance.  But you got to make the most of the opportunity and I’m happy for him. I hate it for Matt, but Darrell is very capable. I think, again, he’s deserved a shot long before, in my opinion.”

Favre and Bevell’s relationship goes way back. The two met in 1995, during a photo shoot when both were quarterbacking teams in Wisconsin. Favre was entering his fifth NFL season and fourth with the Green Bay Packers while Bevell was wrapping up his college career at the University of Wisconsin, where he had led the school to its first Rose Bowl win two years earlier. 

Bevell would then go on to serve as Favre’s quarterback coach in Green Bay from 2000-05 and his offensive coordinator in Minnesota from 2009-10. The two have remained close friends. 

Favre can’t help but laugh thinking back to that photo shoot, where he stood back-to-back with a skinny 25-year-old kid sporting a blond flat top. 

“He looked like Dolph Lundgren, without the muscles,” Favre said. 

Favre was also asked about Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, a player who has drawn comparisons to Favre due to his strong arm, aggressiveness, prolific production and ability to make a play with unorthodox mechanics. 

The biggest difference between the two has always been the team success Favre enjoyed, which included eight division titles, five conference championship appearances and a Super Bowl victory in 1997. 

Stafford, meanwhile, doesn’t have a single division title or postseason win to his name during his 12 seasons.

“I kind of lump Matt Ryan into this conversation — they show you flashes of brilliance, and often, but it doesn’t equate to wins like you would expect,” Favre said. “I don’t know the answer to that. I think there’s some quarterbacks, and I’m not knocking these two guys in any way, but I think there’s something that some of these guys have, that you find a way to win. (Hall of Fame general manager) Ron Wolf and I used to talk about this all the time. He’s like, ‘There’s that it factor or that not it factor.'”

Favre went on to suggest that the Lions should part ways with Stafford sooner than later, based on their lack of success with him at quarterback. 

“Matthew has done wonderful things for Detroit except get to the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl,” Favre said. “Is that enough to pay him whatever they pay and just go status quo? I’m not saying it’s his fault, but why not offload this big price tag and start over because it’s sort of what you’re doing year in and year out any way? Again, I’m not blaming him, but from a business standpoint, that seems to be the better route to take, by investing in a young guy and starting over.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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