The word of the day Friday was closure . At least it was here.
Halfway across the country, Brett Favre's new life was just beginning. From modeling a different shade of green (New York Jets green) to hobnobbing with the mayor of New York City (who gave Favre a Broadway street sign, a Metro card and a keychain for the key to the city he'll receive when the J-E-T-S win the Super Bowl), Favre was the toast of his new town.
Back in the place he left behind, his former Green Bay Packers teammates were glad their lives were getting back to normal. After the uncertainty of whether a reinstated Favre would be rejoining the team he led for 16 years - something for which much of the fan base had been hoping - or traded elsewhere, knowing it was the latter was welcome news to the players. And not just to new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"A guy like me, who's fighting for a job every single day, hasn't been worried about the starting quarterback. But for the fans, though, and for Aaron, it's nice to have the nail in the coffin and be able to say, 'Hey, it's done. He's gone. This is your team. Let's get ready,' " left guard Daryn Colledge said between practices.
"I know a lot of guys on this team have a lot of history with Brett. It's harder on them than it is on me. I only played two years with him. My ties don't run deep. For the guys that played with him a long time, it's going to be hard. And for the fans, it's going to be really hard. But I think the majority of people understand that this is a new team and they're looking forward to that."
Indeed, coach Mike McCarthy was thrilled his post-practice sideline gathering with reporters actually included questions about football rather than the soap opera that had been running ever since news of Favre's "itch" to play again broke July 2.
"A sense of relief? You could say (that)," McCarthy said. "I'm about press conferenced out. The situation needed to be resolved, and it was nice to get to a finality of that. I'm relieved that we're talking about football, our football team. That's what the focus needs to be on."
Nevertheless, not everyone was moving on.
One person along the fence-line at Friday morning's practice was boisterous in making known his displeasure with McCarthy, Rodgers and general manager Ted Thompson over Favre's departure.
"There's closure in the sense that all that attention is now on him in New York and not in our locker room anymore, but that's all," wide receiver Ruvell Martin said. "There's millions of people that want Brett to still be playing here. There was a guy out there screaming today.
"There has been one figure that's been here for 16 years, so it's kind of weird for him not to be here anymore. But that's the NFL."
But just because Favre is gone, he's certainly not forgotten - and Rodgers is well aware of that. So while the Favre case may be closed for his 79 teammates, he knows his situation is different.
"There's really only closure on one part - that he's not going to come back to the Packers. That's the only closure," Rodgers said. "The reaction from the fans that (don't like) that I'm not Brett Favre - I'm going to have to deal with that. You still have to deal with following a legend and all the statistics and wins he's put up. That's still going to be there, not only this year but my entire career."
And Rodgers is getting constant reminders of it. While he doesn't enjoy the boos he hears at practice or heard during Sunday night's intrasquad scrimmage at Lambeau Field - and he hopes to silence any boos in Monday night's preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals - he's heard more than a few personal attacks as he's come to work or walked through crowds.
"I understand it to some point if I put myself into a Favre fanatic's shoes," Rodgers said. "The things I can't understand, the things I really take personally, is when I'm driving up to the (parking lot) gate and punching in my punch code and somebody says, 'Hey Rodgers, Eff you!' to me. That kind of gets to me. That bothers me a little bit. Or when a little kid is yelling swear words at me. That kind of gets to me a little bit.
"The boos, they expect a high level of play and they miss Brett Favre. I understand that. But the 'Eff you!' and the little kids saying swear words to me? I don't understand that."
Rodgers said he's had such situations happen "half a dozen times" during camp, and acknowledged there's not much he can do about it, other than play well.
"What can you do? Do people really feel better about themselves after they say stuff like that to me? I don't know," Rodgers said. "It's disappointing. I'm not too dumb, I'm not going to say anything back to them. If you're going to root for the Jets, you don't have to come to Packers practice."
Rodgers said he learned of the trade Wednesday night while playing cribbage with fullback Korey Hall against right tackle Mark Tauscher and fullback John Kuhn at the St. Norbert College dorms. Asked what his first words were after finding out, Rodgers replied, "I was playing cribbage, so probably '31 for 2.' "
And with that, the new quarterback cracked a joke and everyone took another step toward moving on - and, he hopes, toward a reunion at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., in February.
"It was good to get a resolution to the whole thing. It's definitely been on all of our minds, and we've had to talk about it a lot - everybody in the locker room," Rodgers said. "This is something that's definitely tugged at the emotions of guys on the team. (But) we're excited about moving forward as a team now.
"We're happy for Brett, that he gets to still play. We wish him well, wish him a good season and hope to see him in Tampa."