Longwell reminisces about 'great run' as Packers kicker, discusses Favre
Ryan Longwell.Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - In a news conference filled with smiles and memories, the all-time leading scorer in Green Bay Packers history called it a career.
"I had a great run here, and I'm very proud of it, proud of what I accomplished, humbled by the support, humbled by how I was able to give back," said Ryan Longwell.
He kicked with the Packers from 1997-2005, then spent six years with the Minnesota Vikings and a 2012 playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks.
He chose to retire as a Packer, saying he reached out to Ted Thompson.
Despite the fact he hadn't worn a Packers uniform in eight years, "(The Packers) were all in."
"Great to be a Green Bay Packer again."
Longwell went through a list of people to thank, including the general manager who brought him here.
"I literally would not be here without Ron Wolf. The guy took a chance to help out a buddy who was an agent...and lo and behold, I got the job," explained Longwell.
Before his news conference, Longwell took his wife Sarah and their kids back to a city where kids were born, but where they had few memories.
"To see where daddy used to work was pretty special through their eyes," said Longwell.
"It's good to be back in Wisconsin, good to be back in the Packers and see some very familiar faces.
Longwell finished his career as the 14th-best kicker when it came to field goal percentage in NFL history.
"I'm proud of what I accomplished here...I was blessed to live the Packers experience for nine years," said Longwell.
"See just how special the people are, how crazy the fans are, just seeing how special this was."
There has been talk that perhaps Longwell should come out of retirement to compete for the Packers' kicking job with incumbent Mason Crosby and challenger Giorgio Tavecchio.
He squashed that idea.
"I'm done kicking," said Longwell.
He lives in Orlando, Fla. and works for a group trying to establish a resort in the Bahamas.
"I'm in the working world now. I'm happy about it."
He was willing to discuss the Crosby/Tavecchio kicking battle.
"I think the world of Mason. He is much, much better that last year showed. He's a tremendous talent. It will work out the way it's supposed to work out," said Longwell.
"Giorgio's mindset is so refreshing...I think it will all work out."
Longwell also discussed the controversy of Brett Favre coming to Minnesota, three years after Longwell became a Viking.
"Brett's a great friend. I think as a Viking, we knew what piece we needed, and the best guy available was Brett. That's why it got bigger than we anticipated, but Brett's a great friend. I was sad as a friend to see what happened here, because I knew there were two sides of the argument," said Longwell.
"It was one of those tough, tough decisions that had to be made. People have to do it all the teim in life. No matter what decision was made, some people were going to be happy, some were going to be sad...people lost the overall picture. It was a tough decision."
The final decision that has yet to be made between Favre and the Packers is when a reuniting will happen.
"It will happen soon," said Longwell. "Time heals everything. It's his desire to do it."