Old dogs might not be good with new tricks, but veteran QBs can certainly have success with new centers. Look to Vikings QB Brett Favre as proof.
For 11 seasons from 1992 to 2002, Favre played in Green Bay with C Frank Winters. Together they went from young starters to crafty veterans, guiding the Green Bay offense to top 10 rankings 7 times and a #1 ranking once, while also having zero losing seasons and winning 1 Super Bowl.
Eventually, Winters retired and Favre played with Mike Flanagan, Grey Ruegamer and Scott Wells as his centers the rest of his time in Green Bay before being traded to the NY Jets before the 2008 season.
While with the Jets, Favre played with C Nick Mangold, who at the time was entering his 3rd season, and the QB had an MVP-caliber 1st half of the season before seeing his production tail off due to injury.
Now in Minnesota, Favre is experiencing success once again with a young center – Vikings 2008 6th round selection John Sullivan. Together, Favre and Sullivan have led an efficient and productive offensive attack. The Vikings rank 7th in total offense and 2nd in scoring offense, and Favre is the league’s highest-rated passer at 107.5.
“He’s done an excellent job,” Favre said of Sullivan. “I have been pretty fortunate to play with him…today’s offenses, so much is asked of the center as opposed to years ago for the calls they have to make. You get so many different looks on defense that you can’t just go up and run a run to the right and say that’s it.
“For me to have two different young centers the last two years – Nick Mangold is an outstanding player who will be a great player for many years to come. I was fortunate to play with him. Sully is a lot like him, young and very, very smart. It is kind of ridiculous how smart he is. You almost go with every call he goes.”
Favre said Sullivan is a lot like Mangold in that he is young and smart, and that many times he goes with whatever call his young center makes.
“The thing that impresses me the most about him is that he’s got the right attitude,” Favre explained. “For us two, we are kind of the quarterbacks of the whole deal and he does a really good job of it.”
Favre and Sullivan’s head coach, Brad Childress, agreed.
““He’s (Sullivan) kind of directing the show,” Childress said. “He and the quarterback have a good relationship directing the show as well.”
Tags: John Sullivan
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