GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Once upon a time, the quarterback everybody talked about was Brett Favre. First it was his gunslinger ways under center. Then, it was the would he or won't he retire talk. Today, Favre is definitely retired. But, as you're about to read, the game is still a very big part of his life thanks to Oak Grove High School.
"Let's go domino," Brett Favre barked toward his offense. Domino is one of the formations the Oak Grove offensive coordinator has drawn up. As Favre watches the play unfold, he paces the Warriors' sidelines with a rather youthful exuberance.
To Favre's surprise, he calls plays with the same sort of passion he had when he set just about every NFL passing record. "You know what, I didn't think I could feel the way I did after throwing a touchdown pass in Lambeau Field, or 500+ touchdowns, but I have to say that was pretty close tonight," the future hall of famer said after an intense 25-20 victory over Gulfport..
So what kind of coach is Brett Favre? He definitely has Irvin Favre in him. "Evans what in the hell are you doing?" he screamed from the sidelines on one play. He knows that's his dad coming out. "I yell more than I thought I was going to, which is a lot like my dad," Favre said with a smile.
As for his offensive philosophy, mentors Mike Holmgren and Steve Marriuci immediately come to mind when you watch the Oak Grove offense. "I can't say I'm going to teach them a lot about Xs and Os," Favre admitted. "But just trying to get them to maximize their potential. It's been fun so far, it really has."
When his offense comes to the sidelines, Favre often pats his players on their helmets. He often shares tips to help his players compete. "Stack him," Favre told a receiver during one bread. "That way he's gotta go right through you."
Coaching is so much different than playing on the biggest stage. "I think you can complicate things by over teaching," Favre said. "Ty Detmer a good friend of mine who's coaching in Texas has helped me out tremendously. He said what you think is simple is not so simple to those guys. So, I keep that in mind. And the things that I've seen these guys have not seen. And so, trying to put it in layman's terms is the hardest part."
On this night, Favre called the right play at just the right time. "A rocket," he hollered. The clock over his shoulder was ticking down. Oak Grove trailed Gulfport by one with 2:40 remaining. A perfect season was in jeopardy. And then Favre the coach conjured up memories of Favre the Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Remember when he took off his helmet and started running down the Superdome turf after his first Super Bowl touchdown. On Friday night, he dashed down the sidelines toward the end zone as his receiver broke free for the game winning TD. "If my actions were any indication, I'm having a lot of fun," said Favre.
Wherever Oak Grove plays are reminders the Warriors offensive coordinator had a hall of fame caliber NFL career. Several fans wear Favre jerseys. And people often want his picture or his autograph. Favre appreciates that.
But, he also appreciates the chance he's been given to show the next generation of football stars just how great the game can be. "I think these kids are capable of more than they realize, at least at this age," he said. "And trying to get that out of them in a polite way is the trick. And I don't know how polite I am. But I'll be the first to give them a hug and a pat on the back. All I ask for is great effort."