Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Miscellaneous Meanderings

OK, Packer fans, we now remember what it feels like to win. Change that, not only win but blow out another team! that international man of mystery, Austin Powers, would say, "Yeah, baby!"

Turns out that the Packers' 52 points are the most scored in their first win of the season by a team starting 0-4...EVER! That's kind of a record with a dark underside to it, but still, we'll take it.

The main question for Packer fans, of course, is how this win will translate to the games after the bye week and particularly the game against the ViQueens in the HumpDome. The string of Packer injuries continues on. Losing Najeh Davenport, especially with the questions regarding Ahman Green's condition, was a blow to the running game. But the Packers think they may have found at least a stop-gap runner in ReShard Lee, who the Pack picked up on Oct. 6. Packer GM, Ted Thompson, and coaches were impressed by Lee during the joint scrimmage this August with Buffalo, for whom Lee previously played. They felt he was a tough runner between the tackles, can catch the ball (always a plus), and perhaps be enough to provide at least spot duty and maybe more. Sherman said in his Tuesday press conference that he was anxious to see what he can do. Lee is getting a crash course in the Packers offense from running backs coach, Edgar Bennett. (If anyone can show a young running back what it takes to excel in this offense it's Edgar.) In the meantime, if Green can't go, Tony Fisher will get the start. While a capable back, Fisher is best suited to third down play coming out of the backfield rather than being the every-down back. If Lee can get up to speed -- and the coaches and media say he is working hard at absorbing as much of the offense as possible -- it's possible we may see split time among the backs, at least for the Oct. 23 game.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online, Lee "only has played running back for three years. At Middle Tennessee State University -- where he earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors -- he served as quarterback, receiver, running back and kickoff returner before declaring for the NFL draft after his junior year." Let's hope -- going against the Packers string of luck this year -- that Lee might turn out to be a diamond in the rough. We could sure use it. But only time will tell.


OK, enough of the (potentially) positive. Let's get back to things which, even when gone, continue to fester. That would be, oh I dunno, maybe...Cletidus Hunt?

The one-time overpaid, undermotivated poster child for taking the money and running is -- surprise, surprise -- continuing to haunt the Pack. Turns out he got a rotator cuff tear while still with the team in August. It was not discovered until recent tests confirmed the problem. So now, in addition to the salary cap hit he was already going to exert on the team this year and next, he now also receives a $1.25 million injury settlement...which gets applied to the salary cap. Combined with other smaller settlements which might be paid to Brennan Curtin and Matt O'Dwyer, the Pack's available salary cap is shriking quickly. Ten days ago, the Pack had a reasonable cap of approximately $4.1 million; with these hits to the cap, the team now has an available surplus of somewhere in the $2.5 million range. This obviously impacts available funds for re-signing free agents and giving contract extensions.

Obviously, the Packers had to do the right thing and compensate Hunt. It is unfortunate, however, that during his time with the team Hunt failed to do right by the Packers and play in the manner he was paid to do. 'Nuff said.