Lasik surgery works wonders for Ferguson
By BOB McGINN
Posted: April 28, 2005
Green Bay - Donald Driver had his break-out season in 2002 and Javon Walker had one last year. Maybe it'll be Robert Ferguson's turn in 2005.
Earlier this month, Ferguson had all he could do to get to sleep at night and focus during the day. The last thing on his mind was catching passes and scoring touchdowns.
Ferguson still was feeling the effects of the devastating hit from Jacksonville's Donovin Darius in December at Lambeau Field that cost the veteran safety a $75,000 fine from the National Football League. Headaches had been his constant companion for the better part of four months.
At the same time, Ferguson's vision was off in his right eye. His eye problems went back many years but the shot from Darius that caused a concussion and numbness in his limbs certainly didn't help.
Ferguson said he went to three doctors seeking a panacea for the headaches. One suggested that Lasik surgery probably would solve his eye problem and just might curb the headaches.
Two weeks ago, Ferguson decided to undergo Lasik surgery on both eyes. Slade Baker, a doctor in his native Houston, performed the operation.
The results were immediate, dramatic and all-encompassing. The headaches have vanished and he says his eyesight is perfect.
"It's an amazing difference," Ferguson said Thursday at the Green Bay Packers' minicamp. "I should have done it long ago. I'm ready to roll."
The Packers still might have some concerns about Ferguson until he takes his first hit in training camp and plays his first exhibition game. Ferguson, however, allayed some reservations Thursday by making some acrobatic catches in traffic.
"He's back to his old self," Driver said. "I think he proved that today. Catching the ball well. He's fearless."
As tough on the field as he is popular among his teammates, Ferguson never let himself wallow in the self-pity game. From the thumbs-up gesture that he had for shaken fans as he rolled off Lambeau Field on a stretcher to his gutsy return to practice for the playoffs, Ferguson is a player whom teammates and fans feel good about cheering.
"I just look at it like it happened to me and it's a test of my manhood," Ferguson said. "To see how I come back from it. I feel like I came back from it. Time to move on."
Walker had Lasik surgery on both eyes in June 2003 after dropping nine of the 59 passes that were thrown to him as a rookie in '02. Citing much-improved vision, he has dropped merely five of 233 in the last two seasons.
Ferguson dropped too many in 2002 (five of 61) but was fine the last two years with three drops in 72 attempts. Still, there were times when he lined up on the left side, worked inside and had problems picking up the ball with his right eye in dominant position.
"Actually, it was brought to my attention after the Detroit game (Oct. 17)," Ferguson said. "There was a ball that Brett (Favre) threw and I jumped early and the depth perception was bad.
"And after that game I went and got my eyes checked and I found out that I was supposed to wear contacts. I didn't. And I never got it fixed."
Ferguson insisted that he never even thought about the possibility that his career might be finished. Now, he is hell-bent on becoming the third highly productive member of the Packers' receiving corps.
"I've been telling cats already that Javon went across the water and it's my turn now," he said. "I plan on being the No. 1 with him (Walker) or whoever else is here."
In order to increase his durability, Ferguson has added 10 pounds from last season and hopes to remain at 210 in '05.
Ferguson seemed to be hurt almost all of last season and had to settle for 24 receptions, a 15.3-yard average and one touchdown. He is light years advanced from the clueless rookie he was fresh from a four-month stay at Texas A&M, but his four-year production (92 receptions, 1,270 yards and 10 touchdowns, counting playoffs) is something less than electrifying.
If Ferguson still is asked to return kickoffs or chase downfield on the coverage teams, so be it. He'll be the first one running out on the field. That's his personality.
However, the coaches probably would be the first ones encouraging him to look out more for No. 1.
"Right now, my main focus is on playing receiver," he said. "I see a lot of things I missed at with being a receiver, stuff I'm not really allowed to do. So I really want to focus on that."
Married and the father of two daughters, Ferguson has an entirely new lease on life.
"This helps with just the every day things," he said. "Things you take for granted, like walking, playing with kids. You never know how important that is."
Ryan said:Thanks for posting slick, I hate having to enter that crap every time. Collecting bs info like that is not neccessary.
Okay - let's back up a bit and get off the paranoia bandwagon....SlickVision said:Are you asking me why I care? or why jsonline cares?
If asking me, its because others have asked for it to posted because they do not want to go through the hassle of making up a fake register for it.
Is there a problem with me trying to make things easier for others?
IPBprez said:Guys - On most new-er computers... when you type in any box... usually, unless you turn off that feature - it will remember and the next time you type, you can click on what's already there... and it simplifies things... especially when you're just reading sports web sites.... as opposed to hopping over here.... I know that's a stretch, everyone here usually just comes here - I know that -- but it does happen.... On top of that, some of the other guys might like to post articles as well, ya know!
IPBprez said:Oh stop be-laboring the point slick... I mean really now.... geesh!
My point was made and it was easy for all to follow.... get a grip.
PackerTraxx said:By seeing better it should make a big difference I would think. Hope Fergie has a huge year.
I whole heartedly agree. If someone actually reads the article instead of the argument posts in this thread, it says that he is hell-bent on becoming the third highly productive member of the Packers' receiving corps. That will happen, I think, especially if Javon isn't there (I hope Javon's not there). Fergie is the kind of player you want to see do well.arrowgargantuan said:Fergie needs a breakout year.
BrettFavre4MVP said:Hey, speaking of Fergie, is my Favre-Fergie sig showing up? All I see on my comp is a red "x" where the sig is supposed to be.
The info was uploaded for the benefit of a PC teckkie trick....
(and it was not a stab at your postive posting...)
Would that have been the long post to Rison, the long sideline streak to Levens(I think that went for a TD) or the 30 or so yard post-corner to Freeman?IPBprez said:That image of Brett running around the field in New Orleans in 1996 after that first TD, is what it's all about!
IPBprez said:The info was uploaded for the benefit of a PC teckkie trick....
(and it was not a stab at your postive posting...)
Since I will not stand idly by and allow this to be something other than what it was meant to be. Like I said before and have now had to repeat yet again.. You continually gloss over things the important part of the mesage and then defame others when it suits your EGO..... Do everyone a favor and put me on that avoidance list of yours....