Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Packers' weekend for rookies

The first step on the path to an NFL career for many young men was last weekend's NFL Draft. For those not drafted, it was being signed immediately afterward as a free agent. And for still others, they were invited in for a tryout. All those players come together this weekend for the Packers in Green Bay. The rookie orientation camp began Friday and will run through tomorrow.

In addition to the eight players the Packers drafted, there are 11 rookie free agents along with 21 players in for tryouts. Four players from the Packers practice squad also are participating. This would be a fun weekend to be on hand. But it's not something open to the public, and only one of the three sessions is open to reporters. Still some serious business going on. Such as who among the free agents and/or tryout guys might actually have a shot at making it to the roster.

One of the players that caught Head Coach Mike McCarthy's eye according to a report was former Northwestern RB Tyrell Sutton: "I think Tyrell Sutton jumped out. I don't know what everybody else thought but I thought he showed some ability...He definitely has some athletic ability." John Dorsey, the Packers director of college scouting, had this to say about Sutton: "He is Northwestern's second all-time leading rusher. He's a short guy, not a small guy. He's got some strength from his hip to his knee. He catches the ball really well. We don't have a guy like him." At 5'8" and 213 lbs, perhaps Sutton might be the type of change up or third down back the Packers haven't really had in the last year or two. Will be interesting to see how he comes through the weekend.

If you want to read a capsule summary of Dorsey's take on each of the free agents, you can do so here. You'll also find a list of the players in for tryouts...among whom there are even two punters! Oh...and a safety prospect whose nickname is "Pig." Long-time Packer fans will remember fondly the late, great player and coach Dave "Hawg" Hanner. There can only be one "Hawg." A "Pig" is a long-shot.

Ol' #4 to be a ViQueen?
We've known for almost a year now, especially when the relationship between Packers GM Ted Thompson and our former QB Brett Favre went south -- and I don't mean Mississippi -- that in Brett's mind the best way to stick it to Ted would be to play for the rival ViQueens. That's why the Pack had a poison pill clause in the deal with the Jets that if they traded Brett to anybody in the division the Packers would receive three first round draft picks. But the Jets released Brett this week which makes him a free agent eligible to sign with any team...including any team in the division. Well, let's see...Da Bearz draft, as even one Chicago sports writer mentioned on radio this last week, can be summarized as "Jay Cutler" (oh, and that summarizes next year's draft for Da Bearz too according to this same reporter)...and the woeful Lions of course spent what's left of the Motor City on a rookie QB from Georgia. That leaves...hmm...the ViQueens. And just to stir the pot, "During a minicamp news conference on Friday, Vikings coach Brad Childress said he likely would discuss that (Favre's availability) with his staff at some point."

Oy. Brett, buddy, will ya please retire already? Ride your lawn mower, work on your farm, go huntin' and fishin'. Enjoy your money. Don't do any more damage to your reputation by showing that your shoulder and/or arm isn't what it used to be. And worse: don't EVER wear that funky purple. Yes, we'd still love you. But it would kind go from that admiration and grateful kind of love to more of that love you have for your crazy old uncle who still thinks the government can listen in on your phone calls...well, wait...they did...bad example...well, you know what I mean.

Read more on the latest Favre soap opera here.