If you (or even I) could read my mind Favre says his old QB coach, 49ers' Mariucci, has no idea

January 11, 1998|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Figuring out Brett Favre is no easy task. Even for him.

"I don't think anybody knows anything about me, including myself," the Green Bay Packers' three-time MVP quarterback said. "There's no telling what I'll do."

On the subject of what insight San Francisco 49ers coach Steve Mariucci might have into the Favre phenomenon for today's NFC championship game, the quarterback was understandably coy last week.

Mariucci and Favre were the best of friends when they worked together from 1992 to 1995 in Green Bay. Mariucci was the quarterback coach under Mike Holmgren, Favre the rough-edged prodigy.

"I'm still close to him," said Favre. "He's a great friend and a great coach. What he has done out there is unbelievable. They're a great team, the best team we've played all year."

Mariucci is generally credited as the coach who nurtured Favre from unpolished gem to the first of his three MVP awards (this season shared with Detroit's Barry Sanders). But curiously, Holmgren has a slightly different spin.

Citing Favre's other quarterback coaches -- Marty Mornhinweg (1996) and Andy Reid (1997) -- Holmgren said, "I would slice [credit] up equally.

"Steve had to be a buffer between Brett and me. Part of his job was that. As Brett matured, so have I. Andy doesn't have to work quite as hard in that area as Steve did.

"You have a gifted athlete, just a stallion. And they all have had part of the success Brett has had."

Crossed allegiances abound in today's game. Mariucci's offensive coordinator with the 49ers is Mornhinweg, who departed Green Bay after last year's Super Bowl victory.

Holmgren himself spent six years as a 49ers assistant under Bill Walsh and George Seifert. Packers offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis spent nine years as an assistant in San Francisco. Both teams run essentially the same offense.

"We know their system; they know our system," Mariucci said. "In some ways, it's an intrasquad game because offensively, it's very mirrored. We're very much alike."

Pub Date: 1/11/98

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