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Archive for Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stance on Favre gains favor

Owner expresses support for GM, coach’s position

July 19, 2008

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— Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy restated his support for general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy on Friday in the standoff with Brett Favre.

Murphy attended a meeting of the team's executive committee Friday. He was not available for comment afterward, but team spokesman Aaron Popkey said Murphy has "full confidence" in how Thompson and McCarthy are handling this matter.

Favre is having second thoughts about football after retiring in March. But the Packers have since committed to moving on without the three-time MVP, causing a public rift between the team and one of its greatest players.

Although the Packers are publicly owned, the seven-member executive committee meets in private and doesn't publicize its agenda. The meetings generally cover all aspects of the team's operation and typically include a football report. It was widely assumed, but not confirmed, that the Favre situation would be discussed Friday.

In an interview with The Associated Press this week, Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Davis - an emeritus member of the Packers' board of directors - said Favre was bound to come up in any meeting involving high-level team executives.

"Obviously, right now, this is going to be a heavy discussion," Davis said.

A week filled with awkward moments between Favre and the team could intensify today. Favre is scheduled to present former teammate Frank Winters at the Packers' Hall of Fame induction banquet. He is expected to honor his commitment, but it is not clear whether he will take questions from reporters.

Favre's future also could come up during the Packers' annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field on July 24.

A movement to summon fan support for Favre has fizzled so far. A rally in Green Bay drew fewer than 200 fans Sunday, and Monday's rally in the Milwaukee suburbs drew only 30 despite widespread local media attention. But shareholders supporting Favre still could call attention to the issue.

Shareholders elect the team's board of directors but don't directly control the team's day-to-day decision making.

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