Jerry Glanville, Brett Favre ‘didn’t see eye to eye on things’

The Falcons drafted Brett Favre in 1991. (AJC file)
The Falcons drafted Brett Favre in 1991. (AJC file)

So what was the real story with Brett Favre and the Falcons?

The NFL great, perhaps one of the five best quarterbacks of all time, was drafted by the Falcons out of Southern Miss in the second round of the 1991 draft (33rd overall). At the time, the Falcons had the injury-prone Chris Miller as their starting quarterback, and Favre signed a three-year, $1.4 million contract.

Jerry Glanville was in his first year as the Falcons’ head coach and didn’t agree with the drafting of Favre. He wanted Browning Nagle out of Louisville. But when it came to the draft, Ken Herock, the vice president of personnel for the club, made the decisions for the Falcons and he took Favre. It was a disaster.

Favre’s first pass with the Falcons was an interception returned for a touchdown and in his four passes during his career here, he was intercepted twice and didn’t complete a pass. On his other snap, he was sacked for an 11-yard loss.

But Favre’s major issues were off the field, mainly with alcohol.

“I tried everything with Brett,’’ Glanville said. “He needed to grow up and he was young, and I even flew in his parents to try to help me with him. But I couldn’t get him to function. I went to all the hangouts in town. You remember Frankie’s (at the Prado), I went there and asked them to stop letting him drink. But sooner or later, one guy can’t be bigger than the organization.

“I knew he was a player. (Pro Bowl offensive lineman) Bill Fralic would holler at him and chew on him, but Bill would always tell me, ‘The kid is going to be a great player.’ In all my years of coaching, he is the only player I ever had that wasn’t in the team picture. Brett knew he screwed up when he missed that. I tried and I probably should have worked harder with him.’’

Favre, back in 1995, told Jeff Schultz of the AJC about Glanville, “I didn’t know him that well, and he didn’t know me. We didn’t spend a lot of time together. I missed the team picture. I missed a couple of other things. I was late for meetings. I was surprised it took them that long to trade me.’’

After the ’91 season, the Falcons traded Favre to Green Bay for a first-round pick, which would turn out to the 19th pick in the ’92 draft and ended up being running back Tony Smith out of Southern Miss. Smith never did much for the Falcons.

At the time of the trade, Favre told Schultz, “I was so naive. I remember when they called me, I was sitting with my brothers, eating crawfish and drinking beer. It was like, ‘Oh, I was traded, great.’ But I wasn’t going to give up my five thousand crawfish.’’

Said Glanville, “I know the Jets were interested in dealing for him, but if he would have been sent to a town like New York, which never closes, you probably would have never heard of Brett Favre. I actually didn’t know about the trade until it was done (by Herock), and it’s a good thing he went to Green Bay, a sleepy town.

“But looking back, everybody who is 25 screws up. I know I have a lot of times. When I was doing TV though, Brett and I became close. He had some kind of career and I know looking back at it now it is a bad trade, but if Chris Miller had stayed healthy when I was in Atlanta, it would have been a different story. You have to have a starting quarterback in this league to do it.’’

Added Favre to Schultz, “Me and Jerry, we didn’t see eye to eye on things. Ken Herock, I know, wanted me. Me and (assistant coach) June (Jones) got along great. Jerry thought I was kind of a jerk. I was a rookie quarterback making a lot of money and I wasn’t playing, so I enjoyed the free time and the money. But if I had stayed there, who knows what would’ve happened.’’

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