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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Favre, Young 'oversights' by NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

In this Insider postInsider, Football Outsiders takes a look at the 10 biggest oversights in NFL history. Basically, they’re looking at guys that started out with one team, didn’t do much of anything there and went on to greatness elsewhere.

Favre
Favre
Young
Young
Well, guess what? The No. 1 and No. 2 guys on the list come from teams that are now part of the NFC South.

Brett Favre came in at No. 1 and Steve Young is No. 2. Yep, I know it’s ancient history, but Favre and Young each spent a little time with teams now in the NFC South.

Favre was drafted by Atlanta and spent a year with the Falcons. It’s easy to look back and say the Falcons and then-coach Jerry Glanville made a huge mistake in trading away a guy who’s sure to be in the Hall of Fame. But that’s not really a fair way of looking at it. Fact is, Favre was wild in those days and has admitted he was out of control.

There are stories about the Falcons posting a security guard at his door so he wouldn’t sneak out the night before a game. There’s also the legendary story about Favre missing practice and telling Glanville it was because he was in a car accident.

Glanville’s response: "You are a car accident."

Favre put things together when he got Green Bay. But things were never going to work in Atlanta if Favre had stayed on the same path.

Saying the Bucs were flat-out wrong in giving up on Young after two ugly seasons isn’t right either. It just wasn’t the right place or the right time for Young to even have a chance. In the late 1980s, the Bucs were as dysfunctional a team as you’ll ever see. Young spent most Sunday’s running for his life because the Bucs couldn’t protect him.

They gave up on him and traded him to San Francisco, where he prospered after serving some time as Joe Montana’s backup. Tampa Bay turned around and drafted Vinny Testaverde as the franchise quarterback. Testaverde also had enormous talent, but could never get things going with the Bucs because there was so little talent.