Opponent Opinions

Tackle Mark Tauscher has been a fixture on the Green Bay offensive line since joining the Packers as a seventh-round pick in 2000. The former college teammate of Chris Chambers experienced a lot of success with the Pack early in his career before the team fell on hard times in 2005 and again this season. He talked about the Packers and Chambers in a conference call with South Florida media.

Q: Can you talk about the Packers' slow start this season?

Tauscher: "It's been disappointing. It's really been a recipe that we fell into last year where we turned the ball over a lot and we gave up a lot of big plays. If you look at things, that's the reason we're where we're at. With the exception of Chicago, where they manhandled us, it's been a case where we've been in games and had great opportunities to win. But we shoot ourselves in the foot by turning it over and giving the other team points. And we've been unable to recapture that momentum to give us a chance to win games."

Q: How tough has it been to deal with going from being a perennial contender to having such difficult times?

Tauscher: "It makes it tough. It really tests your professionalism and how you hang in there. We've started 1-4 before and been able to regroup. In 2003 and 2004, we were 1-4 and came back to have very good seasons. We made the playoffs, and one year we had a good run going in the playoffs. It's different. The problem is, we're falling into this and we need to pull ourselves out. You can't let guys become satisfied with just playing games. It's got to be about what we need to do, how we react when things go badly and can we pull ourselves out of it and put ourselves back on track in order to win the game."

Q: Is it tougher when you're in a town like Green Bay where everything pretty much revolves around the Packers?

Tauscher: "No, it's not. But the great thing about our fans is, you look at other places, and our fans stick with us. They're not going to jump off the ship. They're angry, and they're going to voice their opinions. In the long run, they look out and they're supporting us. That's a situation where it is tough. People do get down on you. But you have to have the confidence to overcome that and know that you've got better days that are coming."

Q: When the schedule first came out, could you have envisioned Sunday's game matching a 1-4 team against a 1-5 team?

Tauscher: "I don't really think a lot of what the Dolphins were going to be at the time. But they obviously came into the season with high expectations. And we came into the season, maybe not nationally with high expectations, but as a team we had high expectations. Both teams, I think this is game where you can see the turning point for either team. If they fall to 1-6 or we fall to 1-5, that's going to be tough. It's really a case where people are surprised nationally that the Dolphins are down a little bit at 1-5. And I don't know if the national media – or even the local media – really feel like 1-4 is what we were going to be either. Both teams are very disappointed with their starts, and that's going to make for a very good football game on Sunday in order for one of us to pull ourselves out of it and start moving in the right direction."

Q: Can you talk about the opportunity to play with someone like Brett Favre?

Tauscher: "He's obviously a legend -– just the optimism and the hope he brought to this franchise. When I grew up in the '80s, it was tough. We had Lynn Dickey. I don't think they went to the playoffs, I don't know how many years it was. I don't even know if they were in the playoffs in the 80s. If they were, it was once. For him to come in and bring the team back to the spotlight … a lot of people and a lot of players probably thought about this as a graveyard to go into. I remember people talking about that in the 80s. They couldn't bring free agents in for that purpose. They hadn't won, and it's a small town. When Brett came, people saw the potential of winning a lot of games with him. You can't put any type of word as far as how important it's been for what he's done for the Packers and the state as a whole. He brought the tradition back to Green Bay."

Q. How important do you think records are to Favre?

Tauscher: "I think he plays that stuff down. I think he's obviously incredibly proud of his streak, how many games he started in a row. That's unbelievable. I don't know if that will ever be broken again. He's always been a team guy. When he's garnering these stats, he's having a lot of productivity. And when he's doing that, it gives us a better chance to win. He's all about winning. He's all about the team. I think when he's done, and he looks back on it, that stuff means something. I don't think there's any question about that."

Q: When you played with Chris Chambers at the University of Wisconsin, what kind of NFL receiver did you think he could become?

Tauscher: "I just had a hunch. He was great at the university. You could tell a lot about him just from the fact that we ran the ball -– I think in the Rose Bowl game, we threw the ball 11 times. As big of a star as he was, as great of a season he had in the big 10, you didn't hear a peep from him. It was all about the team. Everyone knew about his talents and what he could do. When we gave him the ball, he made a ton of plays. He's just so gifted. Knowing him, he's just a great guy and the Dolphins are incredibly lucky to have him catching passes for them down there."

Q: What do you remember about facing Daunte Culpepper when he played for the Vikings?

Tauscher: "He killed us. It seemed like we could never bring him down. He made a ton of big plays not only throwing the ball, but running it. Two years ago, we were up 17-0, and he single handedly brought that team back and beat us. I just always remember. He's such a playmaker. He can cause so much havoc with both his legs and his arms. He was just a guy you always had to account for."

Q: What about what you remember of Joey Harrington when you faced him in Detroit?

Tauscher: "He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He's going to manage a game and not beat himself. He just seemed like he was a smart guy who knew where to go with the football and he didn't take a lot of sacks. That's what I remember about him."

Q: What can you tell us about Favre in terms of how he relates to his teammates?

Tauscher: "Oh, man. He relates well with everybody. He knows guys' names, and I think that's important when you're coming in as a rookie. He breaks the ice well. He's not afraid to chew somebody's butt out. The funniest story I have for you is, my rookie year we were playing Minnesota up there. Franky Winters was snapping. He was the center. To explain to you how funny those two are together, it'd be hard for me to do. But we had a protection on, and Frank pointed to where we were going. Brett re-id'd it. Somewhere along the line, a protection didn't get picked up the way Brett thought it was going to. Frank snapped the ball, and the guy came through clear and killed Brett. Brett got up and just chucked the ball at him. The only guy that at that time could have said something to him was Frank. He just looked at him and said, 'Well, Dude. Get rid of the ball!' I just remember thinking how funny that was at the time."


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