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Good Packer Article

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by NiVeK, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. NiVeK

    NiVeK Cheesehead

    Apr 14, 2006
    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5865924 - here's the link....

    ...or here's the Packer part of it....

    GREEN BAY — "You've got to be kidding me," I yelled to Packers general manager Ted Thompson as the Packers ran onto the field in front of, get this folks, 62,000 fans for a practice. This was a practice! Not a scrimmage, not a preseason game. A practice! I found myself sounding much like Allen Iverson yelling, "Practice? It's practice! Practice! It's just practice!" These fans are as diehard as they come.

    "Have you ever seen anything like this?" head coach Mike McCarthy rhetorically asked me later. "It's unbelievable how the fans are up here."
    Unbelievable is an understatement. This is the first practice I had been to that had so many people it was televised locally, included the singing of the national anthem and had introductions for the players and coaches as they ran through the tunnel.

    After watching their scrimmage and taking a look at the Packers' roster, I'm not sure I believe the Packers will be as bad as everyone predicts. Do I think they have a huge uphill battle in getting to the postseason considering their division? Yes. Do I think they'll stink like everyone else believes? Absolutely not. They've still got what could be a dangerous set of skill position players with Favre, Green/Gado/Davenport and Donald Driver, Robert Ferguson and Bubba Franks. Now they've also added young WR Greg Jennings, a second-round pick, to help out. If their offensive line can somehow keep the heat off of Favre, McCarthy's offense could cause some damage.

    Defensively, first-rounder A.J. Hawk adds a much-needed boost to a team that has some studs such as DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and LB Nick Barnett. They added Charles Woodson and Marquandt Manuel via free agency among others. Call me crazy folks, but I just don't think it's as bad a roster as some people think heading into this season. Let's put it another way. Can they stink? Sure. Can they be good? Yes. It can go either way depending upon how quickly the team gels under McCarthy and whether they can stay healthy this year.

    But the change in atmosphere is what makes me more of a believer in this team. I cannot stress this enough. Under former head coach Mike Sherman, the atmosphere, according to several people inside the building, simply became way too tense. Sherman also didn't take input from others well. Even before injuries ravaged the 2005 team, folks inside the building often had to walk on egg shells. As the season progressed, ridiculous things such as canceling a press conference because a cell phone went off began to pop up.

    McCarthy can be tough on guys, but he's not petty; and those inside the building have fun coming to work again. Just like any corporation, if the people running the ship aren't enjoying entering the work atmosphere on a daily basis, it's just a matter of time before failure takes over.

    Standing out
    Second-round pick Greg Jennings was terrific in the one practice I saw. He excelled in and out of breaks as a receiver and seems to have a knack for the big play. He also took a kickoff back about 60 yards. Even though it was called back due to a penalty, Jennings showed a great burst through the coverage team. Losing Javon Walker no doubt hurts this club. Jennings showed the talent to offset some of that loss.

    It was also interesting watching first-rounder A.J. Hawk. He doesn't look like that lost puppy so many other rookies get caught looking like.

    "He's learning a lot in a little time," said linebacker coach Winston Moss. "But he works really, really hard. He's picking it. He'll be fine. He's such an easy guy to work with."

    One of the great things in camp is the story-telling that occurs on the sideline as practice goes on. It was great to hear story after story of Reggie While by ex-teammates who happened to be at practice, as well as team employees. I didn't realize he was that much of a prankster. Former LB George Koonce, now with the Packers as their Player Programs guy, laughed in recalling how White, completely serious, informed Koonce that Ron Wolf had just traded him to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a seven-man blocking sled and a pooch punter. Oh, that is classic!
  2. jdlax

    jdlax Cheesehead

    Dec 16, 2004
    Reggie knew what the CFL was; Sweeeeeeet.:mrgreen:
  3. thetombradyhater

    thetombradyhater Cheesehead

    May 5, 2006
    thats a big IF

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