A longtime friend of former Packers QB Brett Favre, former K Ryan Longwell believes the much-talked-about reconciliation between Favre and the Packers will happen soon.
Longwell retired as a Packer on Tuesday and spoke with reporters. He said he had talked with Favre earlier in the morning and said Favre was “excited” for him to go out this way. He didn’t say if the two specifically talked about a Favre-Packers reunion, but he seemed to confirm that all prior reports about things heading in that direction were true.
“I feel like it will happen soon,” Longwell said. “I feel like everybody is in a good place about it.
“Time heals everything. His desire is to be here. When it happens, it will be the right time, but I don’t know when that is.”
Longwell, of course, went through his own divorce from the Packers after nine seasons (1997-2005), during which he set the franchise’s all-time scoring record and became the team’s all-time leader in field-goal accuracy.
He then spent six seasons (2006-11) in Minnesota, and immediately upon heading to Minneapolis drew the ire of Packers fans for his infamous “Applebee’s” comment regarding restaurant choices in Green Bay, which he claimed was a self-deprecating joke because he and his wife ate at Applebee’s all the time, though he understands how it was misconstrued and regretted ever saying it.
His career ended last season with a one-week playoff stint with Seattle, which he called the “perfect ending,” having been born in Seattle and grown up a Seahawks fan. He also flashed back to the beginning of his career, when he was “disappointed” the Packers claimed him off waivers from the 49ers in ’97 because he wasn’t sure if he’d make it on the roster of the defending Super Bowl champions.
But he did make it, and he recalled his first official professional field goal against the Bears, a 38-yarder on the Monday night season opener. He also recalled his last-second, chip-shot miss the following week on a wet Veterans Stadium turf in Philadelphia that cost the Packers a 10-9 decision, a kick that in hindsight probably changed his career.
“It plays in slow motion in my mind,” he said. “I’ll never forget it.”
He said that miss taught him that every kick needs to be treated with the same value and preceded by the same routine. He had made all six of his field goals in the preseason, plus three against the Bears and three in the Eagles game, and a 12-for-12 start made him think it was “easy,” even when Favre came to the sideline prior to the final moments in Philly and warned him that the rain was starting to make things slippery out on the field.
“I’d like to think I would have learned that lesson had I made it, but I don’t know if I would have,” said Longwell, who confessed to slipping just a bit on the miss. “That slip might have bought me 15 more years in the NFL.”
With his wife and two children in attendance in the Packers media auditorium, Longwell thanked a host of folks for the role they played in his career, particularly former GM Ron Wolf.
“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be standing here,” Longwell said. “The guy took a chance to help out a buddy, who happened to be my agent, and lo and behold, I got the job.”
He’s watching interestedly to see who wins the Packers kicking job this season. He has kept in touch with Mason Crosby over the years and believes he’s a “tremendous talent” whose statistics are skewed by the number of long field goals he has attempted. He also said Giorgio Tavecchio, who like Longwell is from Cal, has a “refreshing mindset” the way he approaches the game.
“It will all work out the way it’s supposed to work out,” Longwell said.
That seems to be his take on the whole Favre thing, too.
“Everything will be made right when the time is right,” he said.
Tags: brett favre, ryan longwell, vikings
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