LeRoy Butler on Brett Favre: 'He's not human'

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- LeRoy Butler remembers that he took one look at Brett Favre's left ankle after the Green Bay Packers quarterback sprained it against the Minnesota Vikings in 1995.

"That thing was yellow, green, orange and brown," Butler recalled in an interview this week. "I said, 'Dude, you can't play next week.'"

Favre, of course, had other plans.

"He looked at me and said, 'Roy Lee -- that's what he called me -- there ain't a damn thing wrong with my arm,'" Butler said. "He said, 'There ain't nothing wrong with the chicken wing.'"

Sure enough, Favre threw five touchdown passes the next week against the Chicago Bears.

Talk to Favre's former teammates, and they all have a story about his legendary toughness.

"I don't think he's human," said Butler, the four-time All-Pro safety who played for the Packers from 1990-2001. "Whenever it's his time to leave this earth, I want to see the X-rays. I don't believe it. He's not human. I'm telling you the guy's a mixture of Wolverine, RoboCop and Superman."

In advance of his induction into the Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday, several of Favre's former teammates and Packers employees agreed to share their thoughts on the legendary quarterback:

Butler on Favre's gunslinger mentality:

"We had a situation early on where he threw an interception in practice and he was dejected. I said, 'Brett, why are you upset? We'll just get it back. Don't worry about it. Don't let an interception stop you from throwing it between the linebacker and the corner and the safety. Make the throw. We'll take it from here.' That's how we won a Super Bowl. There's not another guy who has that kind of moxie and the kind of the confidence to say, 'You know what? I'm going to make this throw. Forget about the check down in the flat. Forget about the wide-open guy that will get me eight yards. I'm going for 25 because I can make that throw.'"

Kicker Ryan Longwell, who played with Favre in Green Bay and Minnesota, on Favre's fearlessness:

"Ultimately his toughness allowed him the longevity to play the game the way he wanted to, which to me was all about winning. I distinctly remember the St. Louis playoff game where he threw six picks, and I remember the conversation between him and coach [Mike Sherman] on the sideline, and it wasn't real friendly. But the gist of it was, 'Why do you want me to throw the check-down pass when we're three touchdowns behind? And the only way we're going to come back is to force it down the field.' I think for him it was always about winning, which took away some of the anxiety of making the mistake. So many people nowadays in the league are just scared to make a mistake, and their play shows that. He just never had that gene put in his body, and it made him great."

Mark Tauscher, a Packers tackle from 2000-2010, on Favre's iron-man streak of consecutive starts:

"Yeah, he was a great talent, but he was always available. It gave everyone the belief that we thought we could win every game we played in. I've fortunately been able to play with only great quarterbacks -- Brett and Aaron [Rodgers] -- but when you talk to other guys with other teams and there's turnover at that position, there's guys that don't have that belief. With Brett and then with Aaron, there was never a doubt in anyone's mind when we went out to play that we would have a great chance to win that game."

Antonio Freeman, who caught more touchdown passes from Favre than any other receiver, on how Favre helped him develop:

"Everything was just so sudden for me. I was a punt returner/kicker returner and then my second year, I became the No. 1 target for one of the league’s top passers. I think Sterling Sharpe came right in and had success, but I don't know many others that were pushed into that role and had to perform in their second year.

"One of my most memorable times was the 81-yard touchdown in the Super Bowl [XXXI]. There was nothing that could replace that. I was just a second-year kid. I was Brett Favre's guy, and we're in the Super Bowl. That's a lot for a second-year guy to handle, and my quarterback thinks, 'Oh yeah, he can do this. This is nothing.'"

Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, a Packers scout when Favre came to Green Bay, on what made Favre great:

"His physical skills, number one. That arm strength and accuracy as a thrower. And his innate trait, you always knew you were in the game when he was there. You always knew you had a chance. I think that’s rare. You saw all the physical skills right away, but it wasn't until he played in the Cincinnati game [in 1992], that was really the first time watching him close and you see all the physical skills, the arm strength, ability to compete, toughness. But I never knew how good his ability to close was at the end in the fourth quarter. And that's just his competitive zeal and spirit that's just special."

Longwell on his favorite Favre memories:

"The first time I ever saw him in person I was in the locker room and it was just him and me, and [then-general manager] Ron Wolf walks by. They had just won the Super Bowl the year before, and Ron -- in all seriousness, no joking -- asked Brett what this team needed to get back there. And without missing a beat, Favre goes, 'You know what we could really use is a water softener in the showers.' It kind of set the tone for that guy.

"Then personally, I missed that game-winning kick in Philly [in 1997] as a rookie and on the plane ride back, he comes up to me and says, 'You're just so lucky to have this opportunity so early in your career because a lot of guys don't get the chance in Week 2 to bounce back and have this behind them forever. You're so lucky that you can come back next week and make all of your kicks and this thing is over.' I'm thinking, 'Lucky? No way.' It kind of gave me a perspective."