Friday, June 15, 2007

Favre Sore, Fullback Trials, OTAs Continue

As the optional organized team activities continue in Green Bay, the biggest news to report is that QB Brett Favre sat out yesterday's practice with a sore throwing shoulder. That news came from Brett himself who spoke with the media. He indicated that he thought it was probably tendinitis. He also said he learned his lesson a few years ago when he had a sore elbow, kept throwing anyway, and almost missed his start because of it. With age comes wisdom, Brett! Now, rest.

The other news from yesterday was that Brett was actually late for the first practice session. He had a good excuse, though: Coach Mike McCarthy was reviewing new plays with him and must have lost track of the time...or just decided it was important enough to do that review, especially since he knew Brett would be sitting out anyway. McCarthy told the media that he didn't think he used Brett as well as he could have last year, indicating that generating more movement in the pocket was something he probably should have done, and would be doing this year. So look for plays that are designed to move Brett around...intentionally...we all know that he can do that very well on his own. Now they are going to apparently design these schemes to utilize Brett's ability to make plays on the move. Given the changes and questions about the backfield, that's probably a good thing.

Speaking of backfield (subtle segue, eh?), we all know that the solid and long-time combination of William Henderson opening holes for Ahman Green is gone, Green to Houston and Henderson to retirement. While much of the focus has been on who will replace Green, no less important is who will replace Henderson, a player renowned for his work ethic and reliability. Brandon Miree was the newcomer last year who unseated Henderson until an elbow injury returned the starting job to Henderson. Miree was solid, if not spectacular. Now a third-year pro, Miree has the advantage of working in a zone blocking scheme his entire pro career, first with Denver and last year with the Packers. Other candidates are playing catch up in that effort, and all are rookies. Korey Hall, whom the Packers are trying to convert from linebacker, is one of the possibilities. He was a special teams demon at Boise State and the Packers are having him practice with all those units as well. Combine that with having to learn a new position, a new stance, etc., and Hall has his work cut out for him. But according to reports, the Packers like what they see from him so far. Other candidates include draftee Ryan Powdrell, who was rotating in the second- and third-string offense, and free-agent signee Corey White.

Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Game

If you aren't doing anything special this Sunday -- Father's Day -- and just happen to be in the neighborhood of Appleton, WI, drop in at Fox Cities Stadium for the Eighth Annual Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Game. It starts at high noon. As noted on the official site, "The event will feature Brett Favre and members of the Green Bay Packers. The annual game traditionally matches the Packers offense against the Packers defense. All proceeds will benefit the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, whose mission is to provide aid to disadvantaged or disabled children residing in Wisconsin and Mississippi." This is one of the major fundraising events for Brett's foundation. And, as retirement looms, you wonder how many more of these events there will be, particularly in Wisconsin once Brett retires back to Mississippi. Take advantage of these opportunities if you can.