Packers Kick Off Tailgate Tour, Brett Favre's Return Coming

USA TODAY Sports

As the Packers begin their annual Tailgate Tour, team president Mark Murphy discusses Brett Favre's eventual return to Lambeau Field.

One of the principle offseason public relations events for the Packers is the annual Tailgate Tour. In years prior, the event served to showcase some of the incoming talent (both rookies and the occasional free agent signing) as well as interface popular players like John Kuhn with Green Bay's fan base. With the NFL draft pushed back until May, the tailgate tour takes on a different tone as a significant portion of the team's roster has yet to be determined.

Such a dynamic places a greater emphasis on team president Mark Murphy and his set agenda for the tour. As with most tours since 2008, one of the main topics is the eventual return of Brett Favre. According to Murphy, had it not been for Favre's success coaching high school football, the return would have already transpired.

After Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers appeared together at the 2012 NFL Awards show to announce the Comeback Player of the Year, a reunion with the Packers seemed close. A visit to Lambeau during the 2013 season would have set the stage for the inevitable jersey retirement sometime this season. That may still happen sometime this season, but both sides may prefer to reintroduce Favre in multiple steps rather than all at once.

Other tailgate news included comments from Mason Crosby on potential changes to the extra point. With the NFL experimenting with new extra point rules, the media asked Crosby for his thoughts on the perceived "devaluation" of the kicker position. Unlike many of his colleagues, Crosby didn't have a strong opinion. " I think the guys that might not like it are the linemen having to go back and forth." He added, " For [kickers], we'll just start practicing that kick. It's just kind of a change in distance, kind of a change in look, we'll just practice it like we do any other extra point and go out and execute if that rule gets changed."

Brad Jones also met the media during the Tailgate Tour. Despite a tough season in which he missed time in four games with a hamstring injury and another 2 with ankle trouble, Jones appeared upbeat about his role heading into 2014. " I think every year, every year is a competition. Every year, you have to go back out and prove yourself just like you did the year previous. I don't think anything changes." Jones is the incumbent for the right inside linebacker job next to A.J. Hawk. With youngsters Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington nipping at his heels, Jones needs to return to his 2012 form if he hopes to remain in the starting lineup.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.
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