Frank Winters is No Student of NFL History

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Frank Winters

Frank Winters

Frank Winters must have gotten hit in the head one too many times. The former Green Bay Packers center says Brett Favre is one of the five best players of all time.

“In my opinion, he was probably one of the top five players to ever play the game. He was a special person, special individual, and hopefully they can get this thing worked out here in the upcoming months and get him back to Green Bay where he deserves to go into the Hall of Fame and to the NFL Hall of Fame,” Winters told the Marshview Conservation Club’s annual dinner banquet, on Tuesday.

Now, let’s analyze the shit out of this because why the hell not?

No. 1, Brett Favre is not even the best player in Green Bay Packers history. Don Hutson — far and away.

No. 2, I would make the argument that Favre is not even the best quarterback in Packers history. Bart Starr and his five championships get that nod, although there’s probably a more lively debate to be had there.

Even if Favre is the best quarterback in Packers history, most sane people would argue that Favre is not the best quarterback in NFL history. I give that nod to Joe Montana. Life or death situation, one drive, have to score — you sure as hell don’t want Brett Favre leading that charge. You want Joe Montana.

Then there are the old timers who like to back Johnny Unitas as the best quarterback ever. I never saw him play, but I do know he chucked a ton of interceptions, so I’m sticking with Montana.

In any case, let’s say Favre is the third best quarterback of all time, which he probably isn’t. Then, let’s say the Packers somehow have two of the five greatest players of all time, which is impossible because Hutson would come in second in the receiver category behind Jerry Rice. However, in this totally impossible scenario Favre comes in at fifth on the list of greatest players of all time.

Of course, you’d have to completely ignore any other position to achieve that. You know, get rid of running backs like Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. Forget about anyone on defense, like, say, Reggie White.

So, yeah, in other words, Frank Winters made a totally moronic statement. But that’s probably to be expected. Winters spent 10 seasons snapping the ball to Favre and the two were pretty much inseparable off the field.

Besides, the guy’s nickname is Old Bag of Donuts. It’s not The Professor.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

37 Comments on "Frank Winters is No Student of NFL History"

  1. E. Wolf

    I am not sure he is even one of the five best quarterbacks in NFL history.

    1) Montana
    2) Brady (hate to say it because I cannot stand the guy)
    3) Elway (ditto)
    4) Peyton Manning
    5) Number Four, maybe. I do not see how you can put him above any of these other guys, given his post failure season after Holmgren.

    Just in terms of observing how someone plays, the decisions he makes and the pinpoint accuracy of his throws, Rodgers is better than his predecessor, and better than almost anyone on this list. God forbid he were to have a career ending injury this preseason, I would say based on play Rodgers was better than all of these guys except Cool Joe. He has the potential to challenge all but maybe Joe Montana.

    • Phatgzus

      Sorry Wolf, but Elway is the most overrated QB of all time (just above Aikman)-he gets all the credit for those 2 SBs at the end of his career, but the fact is he won them riding the coattails of Terrell Davis and one of the tope defenses of that time, granted he did have that run in SB XXXII. The reason he is remembered so fondly is he retired on top, the exact opposite is true of Favre. Look at Elways stats, Tim Tebowesque for numerous years, not to mention he had lost 2 or 3 SBs prior to finally winning one.

      As for Manning, one of the smartest and best regular season QBs ever, however, Favre has a better playoff record than he (Manning has a losing record in the playoffs, believe it or not), the same number of SB wins, and one more appearance. Manning also had the luxury of playing with numerous HoFers on offense: one of the 10 best wide receivers ever, another who is in the top 50, one of the 20 best pass-catching TE’s, one of the best O-lines of the era led by 10-time Pro-Bowlers Jeff Saturday, and Edgerrin James. Favre had some good-great talent on offense for short stints (Sharpe, Brooks, Green, Henderson, Tauscher, Clifton, he made Freeman and Walker) , but the only good receiver he played with for more than 5 years was Driver.

      Top 5 for me would be:

      1)Montana
      2)Unitas
      3)Starr
      4)Baugh
      5)Brady (as much as it kills me; Spygate does tarnish his legacy some as well, considering he hasn’t won a SB since, though he has been to 2 more)

      Favre would be 6 or 7, (likely) ahead of or behind Young; Manning is somewhere in the top 10 as of now.

      • Phatgzus

        Elway is also famous for all of his comeback wins (Favre had almost as many), but if you’re getting a lot of comeback wins that mans you’re getting a lot of opportunities, i.e. your team is losing a lot at the end of the game. Didn’t Tebow have 6 or 8 comeback wins the year he was the Donkeys’ starter?

        • E. Wolf

          Yes and Rodgers does not have many (ought to have in 08). Further proof as to the promise he yields for us all.

      • E. Wolf

        You present a good case for Elway being overrated. I am aware he was less of a factor in that unfortunate incident we all know about.
        I believe Steve Young said these lists are not good for much besides starting disagreements. I find it pretty interesting. Regardless, it is really hard to rank you-know-who that much highter than #5.

        • Phatgzus

          Agreed, I honestly believe if you can be ranked in the top 5 at your position, a legitimate case could be made that you are the best at that position.

  2. NEWpackersJERSEY

    What does Montana do better than Rodgers? Now; consider what Rodgers does better than Montana. And without Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Bill Walsh, etc. btw… Aaron Rodgers has done more with less, than any other quarterback in the history of the game. And he’s done it with grace. I cant say shit about the 4 championship rings though; kudos to those TEEAAMMSS. Aaron’s individual stats are again, comparably close to, or better than ALL quarterbacks in terms of efficiency and production. You’re watching the best we’ve ever seen…

    • Phatgzus

      I mostly agree with you, though I must say, Favre did a great deal with not that much (a handful of good players on offense and a couple greats in Henderson and Sharpe).

      Rodgers does everything better than Montana so far, except one thing, winning Championships. No one was better than Montana, though some lesser QBs were as good (Bradshaw, Aikman).

  3. Abe Frohman

    Rodgers hasn’t played long enough to really make the list NEWpackersJERSEY. Give it some time and a few more championships and you may very well be right. We all hope you’re right, anyway.

    • Savage57

      To Abe’s point it would be really good for these types of exercises if one QB could rise to a level of play that would make him a unanimous #1, best ever so that the question could be answered with certainty.

      Is #12 the guy who can do it?

      Stay tuned.

  4. Shawn Iltarion

    1. Elway
    2. Montana
    3. Favre
    4. Marino
    5. Brady

    I saw all these guys play their entire careers, and sorry, Elway was the best.

    Best 3rd and 4th down QB of all time. Played for a head coach who believed in running the ball and playing defense, which led to A LOT of 3rd and longs. Once quoted as saying he got paid for 3rd down.

    Could hurt you the most ways. Make a Top 10 list of best arms and best legs, and Elway is the only QB on both lists.

    No QB did more with less. Took three Bronco teams to the Super Bowl that had NO business being there. Hell, two of those teams needed lucky breaks to beat the mighty Browns.

    His best receiver was a TE- Shannon Sharpe.

    Yeah, Elway was partially carried by Davis when he won his Super Bowls, but that was when Elway was 37 and 38 years old!

    Yeah, give me one drive to win. I’ll take John Elway all the fricking way.

    You can make the case for Johnny Unitas at #5, but besides him, forget those old time QBs. The game was about running the ball and defense back then. Bart Starr is an incredible human being, but he won 5 championships thanks to Vince Lombardi and 6 Hall of Famers on defense, two at each level of the defense!

    • Phatgzus

      Sorry but I disagree with you on Elway, his stats (and yes, stats don’t tell the entire story but they’re excellent Cliff Notes) don’t bear that out: career completion percentage of 56.9%, an interception rate only .2% better than Favre, a TD rate nearly 1% below Favre (.9%), a career passer rating 6 points below Favre. He never threw more than 27 TDs in a season (that’s not carrying a team). He didn’t really start performing well until he had Shanahan and Terrell Davis (1 of only 7 people to rush for 2,000 yards in a season). As for his best receiver, Sharpe is, as of right now, the second-best receiving TE to ever play the game and a first-ballot HoFer; you also forgot about Rod Smith-Denver’s all-time receiving leader and a HoF candidate himself, Ed McCaffrey was no slouch either. The Broncos defense during the years they won the SB were among the top 5 in the league as well.

      • Phatgzus

        Apologies for the pseudo-diatribe, I do agree Elway in his last few years was as clutch as you can be, but I just don’t think his performance in the rest of his career justifies his ranking as one of the 10 best to ever play his position.

        As for the old-timers, they had to play without the luxury of the Mel Blount, bearing that in mind, the fact that Starr had the lowest INT % in the history of the game until Rodgers came along is, to me at least, absolutely astounding.

      • Shawn Iltarion

        Montana could have never taken those Bronco teams to the Super Bowl. Montana played with fricking Hall of Famers all around him.

  5. Shawn Iltarion

    Anyway, saying Brett is one of the 5 best players to ever play is a pretty reasonable statement. I do not agree, but it is reasonable. It isn’t like saying Phillip Epps is one of the 5 best. THAT would be moronic.

  6. the real russ letlow

    Packer Report – greatest Packers of all time fan voting – Favre loses to Starr in the semis – it will be Hutson vs. Starr for # 1 & #2; Bert comes in third.

  7. therealChuckywasCecil

    All this is crazy and so is Frank Winters. I enjoy the reasoned debate in the article and the comments but didn’t need to read them to know that #4 is not who Frank Winters thinks he was.

  8. john

    Guys, its Winter’s opinion, no need to argue. He certainly is one of the best players. Actually in today’s game Brett was much better QB tan Star, but it’s a different game

  9. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize Favre was one of the 5 best quarterbacks of all time. Five best players? That just makes for a fruitless apples and oranges discussion.

  10. Forgot to add: Starr was an accurate passer, good game manager and excellent leader. But he played the position surrounded by perhaps the finest NFL talent ever. Many QBs would have looked awfully good with that devastating running game, the sensational protection of (in my opinion) the greatest OL ever, and a dominating, opportunistic defense that gave him (usually) excellent field position. In short, he played his position with every possible advantage.

  11. E. Wolf

    About Starr, and really any quarterback since the rule changes, it is very difficult to compare. It was almost a different game. No contact after five yards, offensive line could not block the way they do now. And now it is even worse with the Brady rules that penalize defenses for so much as touching a quarterback.
    I sort of liken it to comparing a P-51 fighter plane or Tiger tank to modern weaponry. Obviously either of those would not hold up well against an F22 Raptor or Abrams. But in the context of their time and period, they are without parallel.
    I once saw a comparison of Starr with his contemporaires, in terms of accuracy, completions and interceptions, and he was head and shoulders above everyone else.

  12. I don’t doubt you, but those other quarterbacks didn’t play with every possible advantage, the way Bart did. How many of them had such a superb offensive line to give him so much time to throw? How many of them got to work with such a powerful running game to keep LBs and safeties honest? None, and you can bet on that.

    • E. Wolf

      How many quarterbacks had Bill Wash and Jerry Rice? Your line of reasoning could easily be used as a vehcile to devalue Joe Montana, as one example. Similarly, Dan Marino may be highly undervalued, simply because he never had a complete team to contend with.

    • Phatgzus

      Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Dan Marino have all had some of the greatest o-lines in history, Montana’s/Young’s was up there as well and Favre’s and Elway’s ranged from below average to good.

      Manning also had as much talent on the offensive side as Starr, just not the defense (then again that likely made his stats all the more prolific, except for championships participated in and won): Harrison, Wayne, Clark, James, Stokely.

      • E. Wolf

        I cannot opine re Marino’s defense. I was fairly young and never followed the Dolphins. I do know that the Dolphins had a horrible defense, and no real running game. I am not even sure he had really great receivers, but rather made his guys look good.
        I agree absolutely about various rule changes.
        And you are spot on re the offensive line in Brady. Rodgers would be great on the Patriots (idea sickens me), but Brady would not fare well with our current offensive line. The latter is a statute, whereas Rodgers scrambles, runs and makes a play while running for his life.

          • Phatgzus

            Yeah Marino pretty much made that team; Mark Clayton was pretty good and McDuffie wasn’t bad, but other than those two he had no weapons. As for the o-line, Marino was rarely sacked(one season he was sacked 6 times in 16 games, Rodgers was sacked 8 times in one half vs. the Seahawks), part of that was his incredibly quick release (probably the fastest ever in the game) but part of it was also his o-line-the Fish threw a lot of deep balls.

            If Marino had won just one Superbowl, he would be a top 5 QB without a doubt.

  13. CO Bob

    Just thankful we had the guy and we’re even having this debate…

    Imagine being a fan of any other team in our division. Their QBs over the last 2 or 3 decades? Yikes.

  14. the real russ letlow

    Bart Starr is my personal favorite all time Packer. He IS the reason I am a Packers fan/owner. I think he gets hosed when the talk turns to the “great team” that surrounded him. I’m gonna throw some love out there for him and post some good quotes/stats from the Packer Report: led the NFL in passer rating 5 times – Johnny Unitas – 2 times, Joe Montana 2 times; during the 3-peat championships of 65/66/67 GB was 2nd; 1st; & 1st in yards per passing attempt and was 11th, 14th & 4th in yards per rushing attempt. Hornung was hurt the last half of 66 (Starr’s best year) and both Hornung & Taylor were gone in 67. playoff passer rating is a record 104.8 with 15 TDs & 3 INT and a 9-1 record. Of course, the 5 championships are still a record as well. All that goes a long way in the best QB argument , team-wise or NFL wise. And besides all that, he is a high character dude too!

  15. E. Wolf


    Phatgzus:

    Yeah Marino pretty much made that team; Mark Clayton was pretty good and McDuffie wasn’t bad, but other than those two he had no weapons. As for the o-line, Marino was rarely sacked(one season he was sacked 6 times in 16 games, Rodgers was sacked 8 times in one half vs. the Seahawks), part of that was his incredibly quick release (probably the fastest ever in the game) but part of it was also his o-line-the Fish threw a lot of deep balls.
    If Marino had won just one Superbowl, he would be a top 5 QB without a doubt.

    One could easily argue that he is a top five. That’s the cool thing about some of these discussions. All sorts of factors can be used to justify so many different variations.
    I will be honest–I don’t recall and I never followed the Dolphins to comment on whether Marino was ever responsible for some of the post-season collapses. Would love to talk with a knowledgeable Dolphin fan and get their take. A lot of people have suggested that the Patriots win over the Dolphins in the 85 postseason wasa bit of a fluke, and that the Dolphins would have had an excellent chance of beating the Bears. I have no idea why the Dolphins lost that game. I simply have no recollection of it and have not bothered read further about that game, or some of the other Dolphin collapses. I do have a dim recollection of the Seahawks upset of the Dolphins in 83–I was eight at the time.

  16. David Parlo

    OK, Bart Starr is my idol, I still have a teddy bear that I named after him that my wife had framed for my birthday…Don Hutson is the best football player ever…OK I am a Packer fan…My foot ball youth–(8-9-62) was spent defending suckee! teams of the 70’s. Unitas I only saw on the decline, as Starr… I have been following totalpackerss.com for a good amount of time. You seem to try to tell it straight, so I will also. You suck on the Farve! Montana the best of all time. You suck! Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see where it leads this post. Montana, Roger Craig and his fuillback…can’t recall tonight but a good player, John taylor. what was that tight ends name who caught the touchdown that helped them to barley beat the boomer easian bengals, Brent? And oh yeah Jerry Rice…Montana didn’t play defense but how about Lott, Norton, Hayley, the corners thing Wright and I can’t remember, but another good player…Farve played every single game and gave us a chance to win…and I’ll admit lose in every one of those efforts…Had Sterling staid healthy and we had in our possession a weapon equivalent to rice…and in my packers bias better…and if we had to play the bengals…and if we hadn’t of given the team to rodgers as soon as we did…I love rodgers, but that team in his first year with farve at the helm had a better chance of winning the super bowl…Finally, I will in Brett’s defence that if you play with every ounce of effort that you possess and you do that for your entire career and you pull a franchise up from the ashes…and he did…then you should cut him some slack and let him do whatever the hell he wants and respect the fact that he was a superstar and he played for our packers…

    • Shawn Iltarion

      I watched the Packers in the 80’s. I was unaware that they were in “ashes.”

      Brett Favre won 1 Super Bowl in his career, and that was with the #1 ranked defense in football.

      This argument always seems to only have one side. The Packers rescued Brett from the ashes, the dungheap, the arena league. They gave him the guy who coached Montana to coach him. They made him rich, famous and successful. Maybe HE should have shown some humility, loyalty and love for the franchise.

      Yet, NO, for some reason it doesn’t go both ways. For some reason the fans are to forgive everything and just take it up the ass. Funny that.

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