With a heavy heart the Green Bay Packers got their leader back Thursday, as quarterback Brett Favre returned to the practice field after being absent for the past few days after the death of his wife’s stepfather. Rocky Byrd passed away Saturday after a heart attack, and after hearing of the passing the QB was excused for most of the teams practices this past week to attend services. “As I was flying back up … as much as any other time in my career, I was really, I shouldn’t say excited, but I was ready to get back here and get on with football,” Favre said during his first news conference of training camp. “If I wasn’t playing, retired, and was at home, it would be much more difficult to be in that environment.”
Favre missed Monday and Tuesday’s practices, then was back in Green Bay on Wednesday and that night was watching film at Lambeau Field. The quarterback, never one to hide his thoughts, stated he is not sure exactly what the Packers are going to do once they take the field this season. “I have no idea what’s going to happen this year. I’m not going to sit here and make predictions,” he stated. This coming from a player who openly slammed the Pack for not going out and making certain free agent moves this past offseason, the biggest of which was not getting him receiver Rany Moss. He then was so upset with the direction of the team he sought a trade, but then quickly took a step back from that as he was getting tons of backlash about such a demand.
“I do see potential,” Favre said. “But, as I told you guys last year, there’s a lot of talent but I said we were very inexperienced. We’re probably more inexperienced this year. I don’t know, I haven’t done the math.” He is right in the pass catching department, as other than Donald Driver, the team is weak in that department, as the 2nd WR Greg Jennings is marginal at best, catching 45 passes a season ago for 632 yards and three touchdowns. If weapons are lack in the wide out department, they are just as shallow in the running game. Leading rusher Ahman Green bolted for Houston via free agency, leaving Verand Morency as the teams #1 back. Morency ran for 421 yards a season ago, but did average 4.6 yards per carry. There were rumors that the Pack was interested in upset back Larry Johnson from Kansas City, who would right away make the Packers a much more complete team on offense.
And now if things are not weak enough in the running game, Morency is going to miss a few weeks after hurting his knee in practice on Monday. Coach Mike McCarthy did say though that the injury would not require surgery. “I don’t think so, no,” McCarthy said. “(Team doctor) Pat McKenzie just thinks it’s a little more serious than he initially thought. Just like I said, it’s going to be maybe a couple weeks.” The option now that McCarthy and the team will likely turn to is rookie Brandon Jackson from Nebraska, who was the team’s second round pick. “I think he’s doing well,” McCarthy said. “He’s getting a lot of reps, which is only going to help him. He’s a gifted young man physically. He has the power and the quickness. … He’s feeling his way on some things and he’s only going to get better.”