Brett Favre Admits Not Knowing What A Nickel Defense Was: “Who Gives A Sh*t?”

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre drops back to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Sept. 18, 2007, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

One of the most valued attributes NFL scouts look for in a prospective QB is the ability to read a defense. No matter the physical skill, arm strength, mobility, ect., without being able to read defenses by the book, there’s no success at the quarterback position.

Or so we thought.

In an interview with, the great (maybe retired for good) Brett Favre spoke about his time as a quarterback, reminiscing about one specific situation, saying:


“I think it was my second year in Green Bay and we’d drafted Ty Detmer, a good friend of mine. … He and I got along great. Mark Brunell was the other quarterback. Both those guys started for quite a while in the league. Great guys…

“Now if you don’t know what’s going on, the trick is to act like you do. I’m the starting quarterback and (Mike) Holmgren would be up there and … he’s writing “nickel defense is in.” … I’m sitting there and thinking ‘I hear this nickel defense all the time and I’m not sure what it is.’

Then I’m thrown for a loop when he says ‘Long yardage situation, dime comes in.’ And I’m thinking ‘what the hell is dime?’ … but I was afraid to ask, because I’m the starter. So after about our second year, finally I said ‘Ty, I have to ask you a question.’

I said ‘Ty, what’s a nickel defense.’ He gets real quiet and says ‘Are you serious?’ I said ‘yeah, I’m serious.’ He says ‘Well, basically they take out a linebacker and bring in a DB.’

I said ‘that’s it?’ He said ‘That’s it.’ I said ‘Who gives a sh–?’”

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Classic Brett.