Mike Holmgren was largely credited with helping develop a young Brett Favre in Green Bay more than 15 years ago. Now, Holmgren is asked to weigh in on an old Favre, the one who is or isn't contemplating a 2009 return with the Minnesota Vikings depending on, well, the day or you who believe.
Holmgren weighed in on a current young quarterback with a strong arm in Jay Cutler on Thursday when he visited with Waddle & Silvy on WMVP-AM 1000. Holmgren and his Seattle Seahawks faced Cutler on Dec. 3, 2006, in Cutler's first NFL start. He threw two touchdowns, was intercepted twice and was sacked three times in a 23-20 loss.
"We played against Jay in Denver, it may have been his first start,'' Holmgren said. "He was a little wild, but he has really good ability. He can really throw it. And I didn't begin to comment on how he's developed and things like that because, but he went to the Pro Bowl. And he's a young quarterback. And I know this, those guys are hard to find. They really are.
"If you have one then you have to cultivate it and build up a trust and ride that horse all the way. And it surprised me a little bit, to be honest. I think it's a wonderful thing for the Bears. I think the Bears have always been a difficult team to play, and their defense has always been very, very strong. And they've always had some question marks over the years at quarterback, and this seems to have solved that problem. I expect it to be a very good thing for Chicago."
That led to the question of whether or not the Bears are a legitimate Super Bowl contender from the NFC, three years removed from making it to that stage with Rex Grossman at quarterback. Of course, the Bears went through Holmgren's Seahawks in the divisional round of the playoffs to get there.
"I'm reluctant to make those types of predictions, honestly,'' Holmgren said. "I think a couple things would have to happen, from an outside looking in. There's a tendency to play the game a certain way, and then you have this quarterback you think you're going to open things up and let him go. You know, you have that decision to make. And I would think that now that they have him in place, and if they like how he's playing, they have to play the game differently and don't worry about it.
"I've always said if I have a great defense, and you have those seasons where you have a great defense, instead of playing it to not make mistakes, open it up because your defense can cover for anything. And a lot of teams with great defenses have a tendency to just pound the ball and let our defense do this. I would take the other track. And it will be interesting to see how the Bears do that, really.''