Brett Favre foresaw Aaron Rodgers' rise

Updated: October 5, 2011, 12:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Now that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has propelled the Packers to their fourth Super Bowl title, his onetime Green Bay teammate, Brett Favre, wonders why it took so long.

The iconic former Packer, speaking in a radio interview Tuesday on Atlanta's 790 The Zone, said he always expected his previously untested understudy to become his equal in that most meaningful head-to-head statistic: Super Bowl rings.

"I'm going to be honest, I was not surprised," Favre, who won his only Super Bowl in 1997, said during the interview. "The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn't do it sooner."

Favre said he realized all along how good a quarterback Rodgers could be, and had high expectations for him in this position -- in the limelight, winning his first Super Bowl in January.

But he also intimated that Rodgers' rise into elite status has been aided by a supporting cast that was better than what he when he was in Green Bay.

"He's very bright and he got a chance to watch and see successful teams do it right," Favre said of Rodgers, who is among the league leaders this season with 12 touchdown passes and 1,325 yards passing. "And so he just kind of fell into a good situation. On top of that, he's a good player. I don't think there's any pressure on him now, the talent around him is even better than when I was there."

Favre has said previously that it wasn't his job to mentor his understudies, and had acknowledged some friction with Rodgers, but also that their relationship improved.

"Aaron had a chance ... even though the last couple years it's seemed like he's almost a rookie, he's been around a while," Favre said on the radio interview. "And I'd like to think that he watched, he learned, and then when he got a chance to play, he brought in his ability -- which is obviously very good or they wouldn't have drafted him in the first round."

Rodgers bided his time, then took over the starting job from Favre four years ago -- three years after being drafted with the 24th overall pick in 2005.

After winning over skeptical fans and media opposed to his starting, he is now as revered in Green Bay as the guy who wore No. 4 there.

"I'm really kind of surprised it took him so long," Favre said. "In the early part of last season, it hadn't quite clicked yet, and I didn't know it would. I just kind of figured when they hit their stride, they're going to be hard to beat. And that's what happened."

On Wednesday, 790 The Zone released a statement saying Favre's comments were taken out of context by the national media.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.