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Farve fallout won't be issue by PG's P Dougherty

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PWT36, May 18, 2007.

  1. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

    Apr 15, 2005
    Posted May 18, 2007

    Favre fallout won't be an issue at minicamp, McCarthy says

    By Pete Dougherty

    This weekend's minicamp is the first time the Green Bay Packers will see their rookie class with the returning players from last year.

    It also will be the first time the team has convened since quarterback Brett Favre criticized the club's front office for failing to land receiver Randy Moss in a trade three weeks ago. The failed trade deeply disappointed Favre and apparently caused a fissure between him and General Manager Ted Thompson.

    Favre also said he probably would skip this mandatory minicamp, though he decided to show up.

    The recent conflict could pose a problem for the chemistry of a team that finished last season with a four-game winning streak and has drawn attention away from what coach Mike McCarthy on Thursday characterized as a successful offseason for players in his workout program.

    When McCarthy accepted the job as the Packers' coach 16 months ago, he said confrontation can be productive, and in an interview Thursday, he said he and Favre will discuss Favre's complaints about not adding Moss one more time this weekend. He also said the two have been in regular contact, and Favre's profound frustration will not cause a problem between the two or for the team.

    "He's the leader of the football team; he's the quarterback of this football team," McCarthy said. "Whatever those issues, he'll be back here and we'll improve as a football team. I don't see that as an issue."

    Favre's criticism of the organization for not landing immediate help at playmaking positions on offense also could be interpreted as criticism of the skill-position players on the roster. That could divide the locker room.

    "I'm in touch with the pulse of the football team. I think it's one of my primary responsibilities as the head coach," McCarthy said. "I don't have a problem in the locker room, I can tell you that. (Favre) has always been a good teammate, and he'll continue to be a good teammate. He'll be here, and we'll move accordingly."

    McCarthy is looking at this minicamp as the first step toward putting together the 2007 team after most players participated in an offseason workout program that began March 19.

    McCarthy would not say how many players took part in most or all of the program, but said it exceeded last year, which saw the most attend in franchise history, according to McCarthy.

    The offseason program consists of two parts: An intensive weight lifting and training program, and player instruction on and off the field with assistant coaches. Coaches are allowed to work on the field four days a week with small groups of players, teaching schemes and individual techniques. McCarthy cited offensive linemen Daryn Colledge and Tony Moll, and receiver Calvin Russell among the players who made substantial physical gains.

    "Almost to a man, you can see improvement in the individuals," McCarthy said. "The shape that we're in for this time of year is excellent. We can see guys that have made improvements."

    This minicamp will be the first time all players will be involved in drills that include 11-on-11 work. McCarthy said he wants shorter, but higher quality, practices in training camp so the players aren't beaten up for the start of the season. To do that, they'll have to be better prepared physically and in the team's schemes from practices this offseason.

    Besides this three-day minicamp, the Packers have 12 days of organized team activities, which is another name for non-padded practices, in late May and June. Favre and other veterans are scheduled to attend nine of those workouts.

    "To me, this is the beginning of the preparation for training camp," McCarthy said, "because when we walk out of here at the end of June, our offense, defense and special teams will be 100 percent installed. It's in, and now we come to training camp, it's time to put the pads on, get it executed and get the continuity and the intensity to the level of the season."

    This minicamp also will be the Packers' first look at their 2007 draft class working against established NFL players. Two weeks ago the Packers had a rookie-orientation camp to better prepare them for this weekend. It's something the Packers haven't done before, though several other teams did this offseason.

    "It's always been in the rule book that you could have (the rookie camps)," Thompson said. "It's just that most everybody has always tried to have that first minicamp with the veterans. I kind of liked the way it was this year. It does help, because these (rookies) come in and have their eyes wide open. They're still going to be wide open this weekend, but at least they have a little bit of a feel for what's going on."

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