Brett Favre Has A Great Story About Asking His Backup To Explain Nickel Defense


Brett Favre threw for over 3,200 yards and 18 touchdowns during a Pro Bowl season with the Green Bay Packers in 1992.

That’s pretty impressive — especially considering he played the entire year not knowing one of the NFL’s most basic defensive concepts.

The Packers legend, never one for subtlety, made this admission in April 2016 during a coaches’ clinic at LSU. Video recently surfaced of the ex-quarterback’s hilarious story, and while it’s longer than some of our 30-second attention spans can handle, it’s definitely worth watching the full 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Favre revealed he went the entire 1992 season without knowing the concept of a “nickel” or “dime” defense and didn’t figure it out until asking Green Bay’s backup QB, Ty Detmer, during a 1993 film session. An incredulous Detmer explained to the future Hall of Famer the simple answer — a nickel defense swaps out one linebacker for an extra defensive back, while a dime defense typically exchanges two linebackers for two extra DBs — which led to this awesome exchange between Favre and Detmer:

“I said, ‘What’s a nickel defense?’ He gets real quiet. He says, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m serious.’ He says, ‘Well, they basically take out a linebacker and bring in a DB.’ I said, ‘That’s it?’ He said, ‘That’s it.’

“I said, ‘Who gives a s—?'”

Favre was the classic example of a “gunslinger” during his 20-year career, so we’re actually not surprised he didn’t know the nuances of NFL defenses. Then again, maybe studying up a bit more on personnel groupings would have helped him cut down on those NFL-record 336 career interceptions.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Network

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