Brett Favre changed Ron Wolf’s career and reversed the Packers’ fortunes. Reggie White put Green Bay back on the NFL map.
“I laid an egg in Tampa. I vowed if I ever got the opportunity again, I wouldn’t let that happen. We were going to do it my way. We did it my way and it worked,” former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said during a conference call on Tuesday. The tele-conference was arranged by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, into which Wolf will be inducted on Aug. 8.
Wolf’s way began by trading a first-round pick to acquire Favre. It was a lesson he learned from his time working for Al Davis in Oakland. Davis traded for Daryl Lamonica, which launched the Raiders into more than a decade of winning.
“If you have a quarterback, you’re going to be successful,” Wolf said. “I had a chance to get Brett Favre and that changed everything.”
White came next. He was the second major building block in Wolf’s resurrection of the Packers.
“We were fighting with the perception Green Bay was a terrible place to play. It was a stigma we were doing our best to erase. To have an opportunity to get a player the caliber of Reggie White … I think the money might’ve won that,” Wolf said.
So, the reconstruction of the then-moribund Packers began with a trade and a free-agent signing. It was Wolf’s way. He wanted to take the fast track.
His track to the Hall of Fame was a slower route. It began by being hired by Davis in 1963. Wolf talked of spending 3-4 hours every night in a room with Davis and four assistant coaches, evaluating the Raiders’ roster position by position.
“He brought me out there on a trial basis; started me at the bottom. I could not have been in a better situation than that at the outset,” Wolf said.
His track ended in Green Bay, with a Super Bowl title and a franchise on the rise. His love for the Packers oozes with every word he speaks.
“When I took the job, I didn’t know what I was walking into,” he said, referring to the Packers’ history and tradition. “(Green Bay) is probably where the Hall of Fame should be.”
Wolf will be presented for Hall of Fame induction by his son, Eliot, the Packers’ director of pro personnel.
“He did it after I retired. He accomplished what he has on his own. Everything he’s done makes me very proud. I think it’s a natural to have him introduce me,” Wolf said.