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Brett Favre Backups: Over the Years

Often times when a great player plays quarterback for a franchise for a long time, it is interesting to see who played as a backup for him. Who became your own starting quarterback? Who had started elsewhere but was ending their career here? Here we see backups for Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre over the years.

1992: Brett joins the Green Bay Packers

Backup: Don Majkowski (University of Virginia)

Majkowski had started for the Packers early in his career and would later start for the Indianapolis Colts, also appearing in some games for the Detroit Lions.

1993: Brett’s second year

Backup: Ty Detmer (Brigham Young University)

Detmer won the Heisman Trophy playing QB for the BYU Cougars and after backing up at Green Bay in 1993 and 1995 would go on to start for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996 and 1997. He would also see playing time with San Francisco, Cleveland, and Detroit.

1994: Brett’s third year

Backup: Mark Brunell (University of Washington)

Probably the most successful quarterback behind Favre (so far), Mark Brunell would later start games for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins. Brunell made numerous Pro Bowl appearances, and in 1996 he led the league in total passing yards. Brunell is also currently in the top 25 of all time in the following categories: passing attempts, completions and passing yards.

1995: Brett’s fourth year

Backup: Ty Detmer – See above

Backup: Jim McMahon (Brigham Young University)

McMahon had already been a starting quarterback for most of his career and had won a Super Bowl with the 1985 Chicago Bears. He would also start at some point with San Diego, Philadelphia and Minnesota. He also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals briefly before spending his final two years in the league as a backup in Green Bay.

Endorsement: TJ Rubley (University of Tulsa)

Rubley had initial experience with the Los Angeles Rams in 1993, but his time with the 1995 Packers would be his last in the NFL.

1996: Brett and the Packers win the Super Bowl

Backup: Jim McMahon – See above

Reserve: Doug Pederson (NE Louisiana)

Pederson would go on to see time as a starting quarterback with Philadelphia and Cleveland in 1999 and 2000, respectively, before returning to be the backup at Green Bay again during the 2001-2004 seasons.

1997: A loss in the Super Bowl

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

Backup: Steve Bono (UCLA)

Bono had previous experience as a starting quarterback in both San Francisco and Kansas City. Early in his career, he had backup experience with both Minnesota and Pittsburgh, and after this season in Green Bay he would spend two more years in the league (backing the Rams and Carolina Panthers) before retiring.

1998: Brett’s seventh year and Mike Holmgren’s final year as the Packers head coach.

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

1999: Brett’s eighth year and the only season that Ray Rhodes was head coach.

Reserve: Matt Hasselbeck (Boston College)

Hasselbeck would play for Holmgren in Seattle and lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2000: Brett’s ninth year and Mike Sherman’s first year as head coach.

Backup: Matt Hasselbeck – See above

2001: Brett’s 10th year

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

2002: Brett’s 11th year

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

2003: Brett’s twelfth year

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

2004: Brett’s 13th year

Endorsement: Doug Pederson – See above

Backup: Craig Nall (Northwest State)

Nall would throw for four touchdowns in his only NFL action this season. He would go on to be Favre’s backup in 2005 before spending a final year as a backup at Buffalo.

Backup: JT O’Sullivan (University of California-Davis)

O’Sullivan saw no action for Green Bay other than two kneeling at the end of the game, saw no action at all in 2005 or 2006, but has entered the field for the Detroit Lions during the 2007 season.

2005: Brett’s 14th year

Backup: Craig Nall – See above

Reserve: Aaron Rodgers (University of California)

Rodgers is Brett Favre’s current backup and has been tagged as the heir apparent who will take over after his retirement since the Packers selected him.

2006: Brett’s 15th year and Mike McCarthy’s first season as Packers head coach.

Reserve: Aaron Rodgers – See above

Backup: Ingle Martin

Martin came into the game for the last game of the year and delivered the ball once and knelt twice.

2007: Brett’s 16th year

Reserve: Aaron Rodgers – See above

There you have it, the endorsements of Brett Favre throughout the years. This is by no means definitive and is primarily focused on quarterbacks who were not only on the roster, but who made it into the game at some point during the season.

Some observations:

Twice Favre had backups from small colleges in Louisiana (Favre’s home state), with Doug Pederson from Northeast Louisiana and Craig Nall from Northwest Louisiana.

The Packers have had two different former BYU quarterbacks, Brett (Jim McMahon and Ty Detmer). The quarterback who spent the most years as Brett Favre’s backup was Doug Pederson, and he did so in two separate stints with the team (1996-1998 and 2001-2004).

Brett Favre himself was selected by the Falcons, only to play sparingly and then be traded to the Packers in 1992. In 1993, the Packers selected Mark Brunell, who played sparingly for them and was later traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he went on to star for many years. He’s one of the longest-lasting quarterbacks the league will see, and these were the guys who backed him up.

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