Not Easy Replacing a Legend

By Karl Yu
Karl Yu
Karl Yu
August 20, 2008 Updated: August 20, 2008
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers has big shoes to fill after Brett Favre's trade to the New York Jets.   (Greg Trott/Getty Images)
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers has big shoes to fill after Brett Favre's trade to the New York Jets. (Greg Trott/Getty Images)

Facing a chorus of boos, Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers

 The Green Bay Packers probably breathed a sigh of relief when they traded disgruntled QB Brett Favre to the New York Jets on Aug. 7. After all, GM Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy were regularly blitzed with Favre questions during training camp media sessions.
 
Although the move was supposed to leave the door wide open for QB Aaron Rodgers to bloom, Favre’s successor has had a lukewarm preseason as opposed to his predecessor.
 
This past weekend, Favre completed 5 of 6 passes for 48 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs in limited playing time, although the Jets did end up losing 13–10 to the Redskins.
 
Rodgers, on the other hand, failed to lead the Packers into the endzone during his limited playing time, completing 9 of 16 passes for 58 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He did look good in the preseason opener going 9 of 15 for 117 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT, however.
 
But this is the exhibition season and Rodgers has yet to play a full game with the Packers. If his most recent performance is indicative of the upcoming season, though, the post-Favre era in Cheesehead territory could be nasty—after all, Favre threw for 61,655 yards, 442 TDs, and led the Packers to the Super Bowl in 1997.
 
It’s never easy replacing a legend.

Jay Fiedler
 
Fans have a hard time letting go of their revered player and aren’t very receptive to the replacement, no matter how talented that player might be—just ask former Miami Dolphins QB Jay Fiedler.
 
Fiedler had the unenviable task of replacing Hall of Fame and legendary Miami Dolphins QB Dan Marino in 2000.
 
The Rodney Dangerfield of Miami Dolphins QBs, Fiedler didn’t get any respect from the beginning. Even the outgoing Marino publicly stated that QB Damon Huard should start.
 
But Fiedler certainly held his own, playing five seasons for the Fish (2000–04) starting 59 of 62 games, and completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 11,040 yards with 66 TDs and 63 INTs.
 
On top of that, the Ivy League grad led the Dolphins to the playoffs three times, including an AFC East division title his first season—nowhere near Marino numbers but a solid effort nonetheless.
 
However, he never was able to win over the Miami faithful, hearing from boo-birds all too often.
 
In fact, the Dolphins’ front office has failed to add a solid starting QB and has seen the franchise go through 13 quarterbacks since Marino called it a career.
 
Is Rodgers destined to be Green Bay’s Jay Fiedler?
 
The Apprentice Takes Over

Rodgers was drafted by the Packers back in 2005 and has been apprenticing with Favre for the last three seasons.

And while Rodgers has tools to succeed, it doesn’t look like the Cheeseheads want him to.
 
Fans at every opportunity have soundly booed him, and Rodgers even told reporters that it was getting to him.
 
“[Fans] are emotionally involved, and this [Favre fiasco] has been difficult for everyone involved, the fans, the coaches, our team in general,” he said in a San Francisco Chronicle report.
 
“I did take those boos personally.”
 
Either way it seems Favre’s replacement has a steep hill to climb.

Karl Yu
Karl Yu