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'Distant' Brett Favre failed to make friends in Jets locker room

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Asked to describe Brett Favre in one word, an anonymous Jet told Newsday staff writer Arthur Staple the legendary quarterback was "distant."

From Newsday:

"There was a lot of resentment in the room about him," a Jets player told Newsday yesterday. He requested anonymity because team owner Woody Johnson has stated publicly that Favre is welcome to return next season if he wants to. (Favre reportedly will take until the end of February to decide about returning.)

A far less anonymous Thomas Jones went so far as to suggest Favre should have been benched in the team's final loss to the Miami Dolphins. Favre threw three interceptions in the loss that secured the Jets' absence from the playoffs.
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Jones, who was voted by his teammates the Jets MVP, told New York hip hop station Hot 97FM:

"We're a team and we win together ... but at the same time, you can't turn the ball over and expect to win," Jones said in a videotaped studio interview. "The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. I mean, that's just reality. If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's okay,' that's not reality. 

"The reality is, you throw interceptions, I'm (ticked) off, I don't like it. You know what I'm saying? I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it."

Team owner Woody Johnson has stated publicly that he wants Favre to return next year. So perhaps the most revealing aspect of the Newday article is the final line, in which the anonymous Jet makes a veiled suggestion that Favre, and not newly unemployed coach Eric Mangini, was to blame for the Jets' late-season collapse.

It was recently revealed that Favre was playing with a torn right biceps, so it could be argued that the once-indestructible object of Tony Kornheiser's affection was doing himself -- and his teammates apparently -- a disservice by playing through the pain.

In Favre's defense, though, it's tough to be the new guy. While Favre, a consummate class act, would never come out and throw his teammates under the bus by saying they didn't make him feel welcome, it's worth positing. And besides, what does a 39-year-old living legend of the game have in common with a bunch of young players and journeymen who were (and, again, are) proven losers?

Locker room camaraderie can only take a team so far. You can put a team of best friends together and it's not going to matter a bit if they don't have the talent to win on the field. And no one would be complaining about  an aloof teammate right now if the team had made the playoffs. 

If you're going to criticize Favre for anything, criticize him for playing hurt and not admitting his play was potentially harming the team. But being aloof in the locker room? I think Brett Favre has earned that right.

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on January 1, 2009 4:33 PM.

Dinnertime links: Robert Marve leaving Miami, Angel Matos sure went down kicking and time to learn those 'Auld Lang Syne' lyrics was the previous entry in this blog.

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