It's obvious that Brett Favre is one of the most respected quarterbacks the league has known. And while his genuine passion for the game is what is often mentioned first, it's his football playing ability that leaves the younger generation of NFL quarterbacks in awe of his accomplishments.
Bills second-year quarterback Trent Edwards is just one example. He had his first opportunity to play against Favre this past season as the 18-year veteran landed on the roster of Buffalo's AFC East rival the New York Jets.
During the game on Nov. 2, Edwards made sure to keep his reverence for Favre in check, but admitted he would try to hold on to some specific memories after the game was over.
"It was kind of a surreal experience," said Edwards. "You go through this game, you play long enough, and you're going to play against guys like that. You have to appreciate the opportunity to do that and that's something I'll definitely make sure I remember."
Edwards had a better passing day than Favre in that Week 9 matchup tossing for 289 yards on 25-34 passing with a touchdown, while the future Hall of Famer managed just 201 yards passing and had an interception returned for a touchdown. But Favre and the Jets won the game.
Despite all the victories, the rocket arm and improvisational plays that will be run on countless Favre highlight reels, what sticks with Edwards the most when looking back on Favre's career is his amazing durability.
"I have a lot of respect for the way he plays the position, but the thing I respect most about him is his toughness and how he was able to get up each week, regardless of injuries, and play through them and start each game and have the long streak that he had," said Edwards. "You look at Tony Romo this past season breaking his finger. I think he had 30 straight starts there. You break your finger, and you can't play. I'm surprised that's never happened to Brett Favre. He can play through a lot, he's got a strong arm, he's obviously very talented and he played this game for a long time."
Having completed just his second NFL season, Edwards at age 25 has trouble even thinking about playing as long as Favre did.
"Hopefully, I can play for a lot longer, I don't know about 18 years," Edwards said. "I don't know if I could play into my 40's, so we'll see. It's definitely impressive, the streak he's put together and the length of time he's played. I think he's thrown touchdown passes to over 50 different receivers in his career. I haven't even thrown half of that many touchdown passes in my career alone, and he's done it with 50 different receivers."
And though Edwards doesn't know for sure what his NFL future holds in terms of longevity he does know that 20 years from now he'll be talking about his game against Favre in 2008.
"I'm probably going to be telling my kids about this some day, that I was able to play against him," said Edwards. "You just have to make sure you're able to remember those little things from the game because it's going to be a good story down the road."