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SAM FARMER / ON THE NFL

Favre is full of denials

October 21, 2008|Sam Farmer | Farmer is a Times staff writer.

Brett Favre is not a Detroit Lion.

But is he lyin' about Detroit?

According to a Fox report, the New York Jets quarterback called the Lions before they played Green Bay in Week 2 and gave then-general manager Matt Millen and later the coaching staff an extensive breakdown of the Packers' playbook for offense.

If that actually happened, it didn't help much. The Packers won, 48-25.

Favre wasn't asked about the report after Sunday's loss at Oakland, but before the game he text-messaged NBC's Peter King and flatly denied it.

Big surprise. I heard the same kind of adamant denial last spring, a month after Favre's tearful retirement, when I wrote that Favre's agent was poking around the league to see whether any teams were interested in trading for the future Hall of Famer.

Both Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, immediately came out and called that story hogwash -- "absolutely false" were the words Cook used -- and a lot of people bought into that lie. As we now know, the report was true, including the part about the quarterback being angry the Packers hadn't made a run at signing Randy Moss, another Cook client.

So when it comes to this he said/he said, Fox reporter Jay Glazer has more credibility. It was Glazer, after all, who was first to report that Favre was headed to the Jets.

It's worth noting too that there are no league rules restricting a player from spilling secrets on his former team. Happens all the time.

The reason this report is noteworthy is because Favre presumably still bleeds Packers green.

The San Francisco 49ers fired Mike Nolan as coach Monday and will replace him with assistant head coach Mike Singletary, giving him the nod over offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

So for those keeping the Mike tally at home, it was a bad day for Nolan, a good day for Singletary and a deflating day for Martz.

And for agent Bob LaMonte, it was all three.

That's because LaMonte represents that trio of coaches, among many others. In a phone interview Monday night, as he was preparing to hammer out Singletary's deal with team officials, he described the Hall of Fame linebacker as a "dynamic leader" who's ready to make the next step.

It will be very interesting to see how long of a deal Singletary gets, because that could be a coveted job that might attract the likes of Mike Holmgren, California's Jeff Tedford and others.

As Favre's successor in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers was in a no-win situation.

Somehow, he's winning.

Rodgers has been exceptional, gritting his way through the pain of an injured shoulder to rise as one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Aside from one bad game at Tampa Bay, he's off to a Pro Bowl-caliber start.

In the last three games -- a loss to Atlanta and victories over Seattle and Indianapolis -- Rodgers has thrown for six touchdowns, had one pass intercepted, and has had passer ratings of 109.4, 111.5 and 104.2.

The Chargers and Saints arrived in London on Monday to start preparing for Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium. Neither team was in a particularly good mood, with both coming off losses.

San Diego's defense has to be somewhat relieved, though, that it doesn't have to game plan for Reggie Bush. The New Orleans star didn't make the trip after suffering a knee injury on a punt return Sunday that is expected to keep him out for several weeks at least.

Watching the week-by-week unraveling of the Cowboys, I can't help but think back to what Dallas linebacker Bradie James told NBC.com's Tom Curran at training camp this summer:

"We can't be the Patriots," James said. "The Patriots, they epitomize the whole team concept. Those guys are all about team and that's it. We're not them. We are a team that has a bunch of names, a bunch of personalities and a bunch of youth. We are learning what it takes to win at the right time."

Considering how the Cowboys look increasingly like a group of individuals in search of a true leader, James said a mouthful.

--

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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