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Joe Theismann on Brett Favre's Comeback Chances

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," July 18, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here's the question, can Brett Favre can still be winning as a quarterback? Who better to ask than legendary Red Skin quarterback Joe Theismann who certainly entertained us here in Washington almost every Sunday for a number of years. Joe Theismann was a high school, all-American, was an NFL MVP in 1983, and he won a Super Bowl with the Red Skins. Nice to see you, Joe.

JOE THEISMANN, FORMER NFL, SUPERBOWL QUARTERBACK: Good to see you, Greta. Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: You think Brett can play?

THEISMANN: Absolutely. I know he can play. He won't play in Green Bay. I promise you that. I think there's too much bad blood. And we talked about maybe a Minnesota Viking on Monday night. That also happens to be the night that they're supposed to retire his jersey in Green Bay. So it even muddles the water a little bit more. This has been a difficult situation for Brett. I mean, he's every man. He have gone through the addictions, we've gone through the deaths, the cancer, I mean, so many things we have shared with them openly and cared so much about him, and he has made us laugh. He has made us cry, but right now, he has put the Green Bay Packers in a very difficult situation by saying, "I want to come back now."

Watch Greta's interview with Joe Theismann

Aaron Rogers has spent the entire off season getting ready to be the leader of this football team. Now, all of a sudden, Brett wants to come back. It just doesn't work that way.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I mean, let me ask you this. I mean, Aaron Rogers has not started the game. He has been injured twice. And if you listen to these two fans that talked about how many thousands of yards that Brett through last season and management wants to win. So, they have to make a decision whose going to more likely win for them, Aaron Rogers or Brett Favre. You're a student of the game, if you were coach and forget all the drama associated with it -

THEISMANN: Sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who would you want to be your starting quarterback this fall?

THEISMANN: You know, there is no question. Brett Favre would be your starting quarterback, if you just go proving track records. I personally feel that Aaron Rogers can win for them. The other thing that people have to understand is as great as Brett was, or any quarterback in this league, (John Elway), Dan Marino, Joe Montana. You name it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joe Theismann.

THEISMANN: Well, thank you, you are kind to put me in that category, but it all depends on the team around you, and the Green Bay Packers have put together a very good team around Brett Favre right now or they did last year. Now, that team is around Aaron Rogers. I'm looking at this situation right now. I spent an hour today going through every team in the National Football League saying where would he be possibly be able to go, if they could make a deal, because, after all, he has a value. And so you want to trade him.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what do you say the team, what do you say would likely the teams be?

THEISMANN: You know, I'd look at - the Atlanta Falcons. Going back to where he started.

VAN SUSTEREN: He was there. That's where he got started. They traded him.

THEISMANN: Exactly. And he wound up in Green Bay.

VAN SUSTEREN: That was pretty stupid.

THEISMANN: And now with Matt Ryan, you take a young guy like Matt Ryan to spend a little time with Brett, learn a little bit more about the ropes. Certainly, Mike Smith, the head coach could use him. I think it's a perfect fit in Tampa with John (Bruden). But the thing about Brett's situation that is unique, if he goes somewhere, he doesn't have the luxury of spending a year in the system and then trying to learn what it's all about. He has to go someplace from the system that he left, the West Coast offense, and there are limited numbers.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the other thing too is that he wants to go where he thinks he has a chance of winning because he does not have a long time to - a team to build. So, he's got to go with a team that you know, he thinks can take the place.

THEISMANN: If you go someplace where you think they can win, they probably have somebody in place.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's the point.

THEISMANN: Because you are not the only - that quarterback position isn't the only thing that is keeping that football team from winning or not. So they put together the team around them, and then, you sacrifice the future. Because let's face it, if Brett is going to play, maybe two years on the outside. He'll be 39 this year. It reminds me an awful lot of the Joe Montana situation when he left San Francisco to go to Kansas city. They gave up a number one for him. To me, you know, what is the value of Brett Favre to a team right now? Is it a high draft. Right now, he is a commodity. And the Green Bay Packers, and believe me, I understand the fans.

You know, Brett is, gosh -- him not playing football next year, just I can't imagine it. For all these fans who love him so much, can't imagine it. But still, he made the decision. He made this bed.

VAN SUSTEREN: He admits that it was a wrong decision. And the thing is he just didn't want to sit on the bench. In fact, when we said on the bench, we didn't for Green Bay or start someplace else. You've got that 275 consecutive start record sitting there - I can't imagine that the Packers would want him sitting down the bench to kill that. They'd rather send him some place.

THEISMANN: You couldn't have Aaron Rogers starting and have Brett Favre sitting on the bench. You couldn't have Brett Favre sitting anywhere on the bench waiting to play after what he's done. That to me, would be the ultimate insult. I was disappointed when the Packers basically said to him, hey look, if you're going to come back, you're coming back as a backup. I don't think that was the right thing to say to someone like Brett.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think the teammates think? I mean, as they watch this drama unfold?

THEISMANN: I think they feel bad that this thing is unfolding the way that it is, but, remember. Aaron Rogers went through all the OTA's, the off season training program. He went through the mini camps. Mike McCarthy, the coach, stood up in front of the team and basically said guys, this is now our quarterback, Aaron Rogers. And then all of a sudden, you're a week or two before camp and Brett goes, wait a second, I want to come back. I mean that puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on Mike McCarthy and his team. I think his teammates are basically saying, you know, you didn't want to come. You didn't ant to sit in the meetings. You didn't want to be around. I guess we have got to go forward, and, gee, I wish there was a way to work out that you can play for. I mean, I think they are just torn.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the Ravens? My husband is rooting for the Ravens. And I think he might forgive the colds for leaving if he went for the Ravens.

THEISMANN: Again, it has to be a system that he is comfortable with. I mean, Andy Reid in Philadelphia runs the West Coast, Mike Holmgreen out in Seattle runs the West Coast.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he coached him. He took him to the Super Bowl.

THEISMANN: (Derrick Deval) in Minnesota ((inaudible)) I know there has been a lot of conversation. John Gruden had him. It seems like a lot of coaches in this league had had Brett at one point or another. And they ran the simple, not the simple but the offense that suits what he does. He does not have time on his side to be able to go somewhere wait a year to get comfortable. He's got to come in and play right now. How badly do you disrupt an organization? His biggest problem is as great as he was.

VAN SUSTEREN: And with that, we have to go. Joe, it's always a pleasure to watch you play for the Redskins.

THEISMANN: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you.

THEISMANN: Thanks.

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