Southern Miss Quarterback Receives Coaching From Favre and All It Entails

NFL Draft prospect Austin Davis is receiving instruction from the Ol' Gunslinger, for better or worse.

INDIANAPOLIS––Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis is doing his best Aaron Rodgers imitation, trying to escape the considerable shadow cast by Brett Favre while at the same time embracing his positive qualities.

Davis, who attended the same college as Favre, is going through the annual rigmarole that is the NFL Combine and dealing with the odd push and pull, gravity and repellant that comes with being associated with Ol' Gunslinger.

On one hand, there's plenty about Favre any quarterback would like to adopt: his arm strength, his toughness, his playmaking ability to name but a few.

But whether it's Aaron Rodgers or Austin Davis, they want to be their own quarterback and forge their own image.

"He's done so much in the NFL. That's really, I'd say, his legacy," said Davis of Favre at Lucas Oil Stadium on Thursday while wearing––as fate would have it––his Combine-issued No. 4 orange Under Armour shirt.

It's just coincidence, however. Davis is the fourth quarterback in alphabetical order at the Combine. But he can't hide from the omnipresence of Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss.

"He's still the legend that he is at Southern," said Davis. "Everybody knows Brett around Hattiesburg, so he's really just another guy."

Most people know Favre as more than "just another guy," though. He's a larger-than-life figure known for both his on- and off-field exploits.

And now, Davis is among a group of players receiving instruction from Favre as the young quarterback prepares for the NFL Draft in April. They practice at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg.

Sound familiar?

According to Davis, it's the site "where he was hiding out during his 'I don't know if I'm going to retire, but maybe I'm going to retire' time period.'"

Favre will show up a half hour into their workout coming from doing whatever it is that retired Brett Favre does.

"I think one day he was planting pine trees," said Davis.

And the instruction begins.

"So he walks up," explains Davis. "We're already working out, and he just starts, 'Do this, do that. I like this. Let's run this route.' And pretty much just coaches us up."

Anyone that's watched Favre play football knows his style of play sometimes defied convention: the innate escapability, the underhanded passes.

Sometimes they led to incredible, seemingly law-defying results. Other times they led to one of his NFL-history-leading 336 interceptions.

As far as could be judged from one conversation with Davis, Favre's coaching style is much the same.

"It's kind of difficult because he'll do stuff, and I'm like 'Brett, I can't do that. I don't have that kind of ability,'" said Davis. "I'm like 'Teach me something.'"

And on the other hand ...

"(Favre is) arguably one of the greatest to ever play the game, so how could you not want to listen to that guy and listen to what he has to say?"

Yup. That's Favre in a nutshell. One part awe-inspiring. One part head-scratching.

The similarities between Davis and Favre are inescapable, Mississippi natives that led Southern Miss to college success. Likewise, their Southern drawl is unmistakeable.

But there are obvious differences too. Favre was a second-round draft choice, while Davis said he's hearing that he'll be anywhere from a late-round draft choice to going undrafted.

Davis has to overcome the notion that he's merely a system quarterback after having operated out of the spread and the shotgun in college. That's one of the things he's working with Favre at improving, footwork that comes with dropping back from under center.

At the same time, it was also the offensive system that allowed Davis to become an even more decorated college quarterback than his mentor.

So just how many school records of Favre's did Davis break?

"All of them," said Davis. "We ran the spread. We probably threw it more than he ever did.

"But I guess I'll always have that over him."

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Comments (13)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Point Packer's picture

February 23, 2012 at 06:50 pm

Kind of like getting marriage advice from Liz Taylor.

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Jack's picture

February 24, 2012 at 02:04 am

+1

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Point Packer's picture

February 23, 2012 at 07:03 pm

Or drug counseling from Snoop Dogg.

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Jack's picture

February 24, 2012 at 02:04 am

+1-1/2

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packsmack25's picture

February 24, 2012 at 12:18 am

Articles like this are the reason for the banner ads, Brian.

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PackerAaron's picture

February 24, 2012 at 01:54 am

Actually, they are based on the readers' browsing habits.

Hmmmm....

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bomdad's picture

February 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I have never been to official brett favre dot com. It was funny when it popped up the other day. You guys are on the take from ol' Bus?

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packsmack25's picture

February 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Aaron, I never read anything about him unless it's here.

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PackerAaron's picture

February 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Lol - just givin' you grief man.

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packsmack25's picture

February 24, 2012 at 03:05 pm

I know. I just loathe the guy. I don't even like saying his name. I won't even watch the last 20 minutes of "There's Something About Mary" anymore. It's an unhealthy hatred toward a man I admittedly don't know personally, and never hope to do so.

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Point Packer's picture

February 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Getting draft advice from Matt Millen.

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Irish Cheesehead's picture

February 24, 2012 at 05:49 pm

That explains the perverted text message my daughter got from some guy named Austin.

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Point Packer's picture

February 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Laughing hard.

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