Texans running back Ahman Green played with Favre in Green Bay for seven seasons.
As news of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre's retirement spread around the NFL, Texans players and coaches with ties to the gunslinging future Hall of Famer reflected on some of their favorite memories from Favre's illustrious career.
Texans RB Ahman Green (played with Favre in Green Bay from 2000-2006)
On his overall impression of Brett Favre
"I think back to my first year in Green Bay: It was a Monday Night game, Brett threw the ball to Antonio Freeman, who made the crazy catch in overtime. Before that, Brett just kept everyone pumped up and reminded us that we had to make a play. He threw me one of his famous underhanded passes that game for a touchdown to keep us in the game. Stuff like that made him special."
On his favorite memory of Favre
"My fondest memory was the game after his dad passed away on Monday Night against the Raiders. Everyone really pulled together in terms of moral support for him. He had a tragic loss and we knew what one person could go through and the range of feelings when you lose a family member. We just rallied behind him. He tried to talk the night before and he really couldn't say much, but we knew where he was coming from. From that point on, we knew what we had to do as a team. He knew we were going to go out and give it everything thing we had for him."
On what Favre means to the city of Green Bay"He means a lot. You tell me one guy who could come and change a lot about the town with just him being there. He left on a good note. The people of Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin definitely knew what he was capable of."
Texans linebackers coach Johnny Holland (played with Favre in Green Bay from 1992-1993; was a Packers defensive coach from 1995-1999)
On his favorite memory of Favre"I remember him his rookie year when he came in as a backup player, and he was a locker room prankster. He had a good time being around football, and I think that he was always the locker room clown. He was a very impressive guy and he never changed from day one. We used to call him 'Big Country,' and he lived by that name. He is a very impressive guy on and off the field, and just what you see is what you get of him.
"And the memory of (him) going in his first game, starting when Don Majkowski was injured and Brett took the field playing the Cincinnati Bengals, two-minute drill, marched us down to score and win the game, the guy just showed some amazing talent as a quarterback his first time he stepped on the field as a Green Bay Packer, so that was very impressive. That's probably one of the moments I remember the most about him."
On what Favre means to the city of Green Bay"He was everything to Green Bay, man. I tell you, he put that team back where it was earlier in the '60s and '70s. He put the Green Bay Packers back on the map. Green Bay was a team that nobody early in my era wanted to go to because it was a cold city, they weren't winning, and when Brett Favre came along and Reggie White and other players, he was one of the main reasons for putting the Packers back on the map. And I don't know what they could do for a guy like Brett to show their appreciation, but that team owes him a lot."
On where Favre ranks among the all-time greats"Well, you know, there were definitely some great quarterbacks that played this game. You're talking about the Johnny Unitas's, the Bart Starr's, and there were a lot of other great quarterbacks. And in my era, just having a chance to play with a guy like that and to be around him in the era of coaching against him, coaching on the same team with him, he has a unique personality that he draws players; players want to win for him, and he has great talent. He's at the top of my list of great quarterbacks. He's just got an intangible about him that makes guys around him play better. He had a lot of confidence in his game, and what makes him special is that he's a humble, down-to-earth country guy, and that's what kind of makes him unique. He's not that typical Hollywood quarterback. But I'll put him number one on my list of the great quarterbacks. He's thrown for a lot of yards, won the Super Bowl and MVP of the league, so I put him on top of my list as the best quarterback to ever play the game."
Texans defensive line coach Jethro Franklin (coached the Packers' defensive line from 2000-2004) On his favorite Favre memory
"There are a lot of great memories, but probably the most memorable one, probably one of the saddest ones, that's right after his dad passed away. We were going to play the Oakland Raiders on that Monday night, and how he stood up to the team and spoke to the team and just reassured everyone that he was going to play the game – his dad had passed away that day, and he played. That was a Sunday. We were in Oakland, going to play on that Monday, and just the emotion, how much emotion was in the room and how he was able to be strong enough to get in front of the team and speak to the team and just reassure us that Big Irv, his dad, would want him to play the next day – by the time he was done speaking, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. And as history recorded it, he went out and had one of the most unbelievable Monday night games in the history of football. That's probably the biggest one. There are others, obviously. When you were there, you were just a part of the winning and the things that he would do, and it was just unbelievable."
On what Favre means to the city of Green Bay"Oh, shoot; I mean, he is Green Bay. It's like, him retiring, to the people in Green Bay, we can't really fathom it unless we lived in Green Bay. You can't describe it, but I know how the people probably feel and that's for so long he's done so great and won so many championships and won games, and it's definitely his city. He can do no wrong there, that's for sure."
On if he is surprised that Favre retired after his resurgent 2007 season"No. It's a young man's game, and he did it to the fullest and lived it to the fullest, and that's a long time for a guy to play and those years get hard after a while, now. He went out on top. He had three bad years and he came back and had a hell of a year this year. He went out the way he wanted to go out, and that was as a winner."
On how Favre compares with other great quarterbacks in NFL history"Well, I've never been around a quarterback better than him. History's going to record his success, no doubt; we don't have to rush it and do it ourselves. But he was a pretty damn good quarterback, man. At the end of the day, the guy won a lot of games, and really along with some other players, he's had great players and he made people around him great, so that's always a true sign of a great player is if he's able to make those around him great and he definitely did that."
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak (faced Favre four times as a Denver Broncos coach, notching a victory in Super Bowl XXXII and compiling a 2-2 record overall; coached in the NFL for 14 of Favre's 17 seasons) On Favre's career and contributions to the game"Well, it's amazing how long he lasted and at the level that he played at. I was fortunate to be around a guy who was a lot like him in (John) Elway – played a long time, played 16 years – and the way they played and as aggressive as they played and what they were willing to do to win on Sunday to be able to hold up week-to-week is what's amazing. But I've known Brett for a long time. Great, great guy; we all know his story. And what he's done for the Packer organization's been tremendous, so we just wish him all the best."
On if he is surprised that Favre retired
"You know what, I probably will surprise you and say no, because I've been through this with Elway. We won two Super Bowls back to back with Elway, and the day in March when I went to meet with him to talk to him about next year and get him to come back one more year, he sat me down and said, 'Hey, I've had enough.' I think guys just know when they've had enough, so it really didn't surprise me. I think he's had a tremendous career, he's got a great family and he said, 'Hey, I've had enough. It's time to move on.' So I've seen it happen before.
On how Favre stacks up against the all-time greats
"Well, those certain guys stand out there all by themselves. To say one's the greatest, I don't know if anybody's able to put a finger on one guy. But (Favre was) one of the greatest competitors to ever play the game and he definitely raised the level of everybody who ever played around him, so he's right there in a tremendous category and he's a first-time Hall of Famer, and they don't make guys like that."