GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Reggie White's one regret is that he didn't make his comeback in Green Bay.
"Yeah. But the thing is, it wasn't possible," White said Wednesday.
White, who helped restore the Packers to greatness in the 1990s, signed with Carolina last summer after a year away from football. He faces his former team Monday night in Charlotte.
"I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, I miss it there immensely," White said in a conference call with Wisconsin reporters. "Just the aura around Lambeau (Field) and the people there. It's something that you just can't get out of your blood, and it's still in my blood."
White originally retired from the Packers in 1998 but changed his mind and returned for a fantastic farewell season in which he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and made the Pro Bowl for the 13th time.
He had second thoughts about retirement after Ray Rhodes was hired, but general manager Ron Wolf told White his cap dollars were needed elsewhere.
A year later, White called Wolf again and worked out with the Packers during a minicamp. Even though the Packers missed White's lockerroom presence and his pass-rushing skills, they had already added Russell Maryland, John Thierry and David Bowens.
So, White, who was building a home near Charlotte, signed with Carolina.
His return hasn't gone as he'd hoped.
Although he leads the Panthers with 5 1/2 sacks -- giving him 198 for his career -- White said he's disappointed he's been only a parttime pass-rusher and not an every-down player.
"I haven't had the chance to get the feel for everything," he said.
Plus, he's learning a new defensive scheme at 38.
Panthers coach George Seifert acknowledged that White wasn't the player he once was but said he still can prove the difference in a game.
"About the time they let their guard down and they figure Reggie can't do what he did a couple years ago, then he'll make a play," Seifert said.
White takes exception to the notion that he never should have come back.
"The thing is, every time I line up, the guys that I play against know that I give everything that I've got," White said. "Now, the numbers are not there and maybe one of the reasons is because I'm not playing fulltime."
"Right now, I'm not on top of my game," White acknowledged. "But things like that are not going to take away from the legacy that I've been able to achieve."
Packers quarterback Brett Favre said that while he was eager to see White on Monday night, he wasn't exactly thrilled about facing him.
The last time he did that was on Nov. 15, 1992, when White, playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, separated Favre's throwing shoulder only to see Favre return to the game and guide Green Bay to a 27-24 victory.
"That was the game that proved to me that Brett was going to be the player that he is today," White said. "I mean, he came out and I knew I had separated his shoulder. When he came back out, the first thing that ran through my mind was, 'This guy's going to be good."'
So, when White became a free agent that winter, he joined Favre in Green Bay and together they put the title back in Titletown.
"It will be fun to play against Reggie," Favre said. "I wish he was on our side."
Deep down, it seems White does, too.
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