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Packers react to Favre's signing with Vikings

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Nick Barnett remembers those frustrating days of practice when he'd blow past a blocker and have a clear shot at the quarterback.

His instincts told him to deliver a hit because that's what he always did under the same circumstances in a game. Brett Favre's red jersey mandated that Barnett do something else -- something that never felt natural.

"(He was) like God (so) we would just flee off to the side," the Green Bay Packers' linebacker said.

Those days are long gone. Favre hasn't been a Packer since 2007. And now he plays for Green Bay's biggest rival, the Minnesota Vikings.

"Now he'll be back there and we'll be able to stick our helmet right into his chest," Barnett said during a break at the Packers' training camp. "If we get that opportunity, I definitely will take advantage of it."

"We never got to touch him," Packers linebacker Aaron Kampman said. "He had that red jersey on."

With Favre in a purple jersey, he might as well have a bull's eye painted over his No. 4. That's how members of the Packers defense will be looking at him at least twice during the regular season.

They already have the first crack at the Vikings, and Favre, circled: Monday night, Oct. 5, at Minnesota. The second is on Nov. 1 at Lambeau Field.

"Of course," linebacker A.J. Hawk said when asked if he were looking forward to the first encounter with the Vikings. "I think he's looking (forward to) a good chance of playing against us as well."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who said he was not surprised by the news, is looking forward to facing Favre as well.

"Absolutely," McCarthy said. "It's a great rivalry and that's really where our thoughts are, based on what he does. If it's his choice to play, then I think he ought to play."

One Packer player who had little to say about Favre's signing with the Vikings was the man impacted the most by last year's trade that sent Favre to the New York Jets -- Aaron Rodgers. With Favre gone, Rodgers took over as the starting quarterback.

As he prepares for his second season as the Packers' starter, Rodgers isn't interested in discussing the player who has cast the longest of shadows over the quarterback position in Green Bay history.

"I really don't have a whole lot of reaction," Rodgers said. "It doesn't really affect the Green Bay Packers and it doesn't affect my day-to-day preparation."

"For me, it's nothing personal," guard Daryn Colledge said. "I played with Brett for two years. It's not like we were together long enough to have an emotional attachment. Aaron's more my age and we do things together. Brett had his own family, his own life. So, for me, he's another football player who's trying to play as long as he can."

Several Packers expressed happiness for Favre's ability to add another season to his legendary career.

"He's just a pure football player," linebacker Brady Poppinga said. "That guy's going to play football, I think, until he can't walk or until somebody just kicks him out of the league."

"I think it's very awesome," Barnett said. "I like him. I think he's a great quarterback, and if he wants to play football, let him play."

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