Quarterback's play impresses coaches

Craig Nall's adventure overseas this spring could not have been more awesome. The second year quarterback started for the Scottish Claymores, performed well and, most of all, did not suffer a major injury. The experience will only enhance his chances of becoming the Green Bay Packers' top backup to Brett Favre this season.<p>

"My time in NFL Europe has been invaluable for me," said Nall, who directed an offense that averaged 30.3 points per game. "I've learned so many things that you can only really work on in game situations, like managing the game and running the two-minute drill. This has been a great experience."

For his effort, Nall today was named as the quarterback of the All-NFLEL team, voted for by a combination of NFLEL coaching staffs, media and fans voting online at NFLEurope.com.

Nall, the Packers' third-string quarterback last year, did not play in any games and barely received any reps with the offense in practice during the regular season.

Packers coaches have been impressed with Nall's performance this spring. Head coach Mike Sherman knew that Nall needed playing time in order to compete with veteran Doug Pederson for the No. 2 job in training camp. Earlier this spring, Sherman was not going to allocate Nall to play in NFL Europe, a six-team league that plays 10 games, plus the World Bowl. But Sherman changed his mind and is happy that he did.

"Watching him in Europe, he certainly has demonstrated some qualities you look for in your quarterback," said Sherman. "I think he has shown that he has leadership capability. He was microphoned during the game, and I've always been on him about his demeanor, playing a little bit faster, like Brett (Favre) does. I think he's improved that. I think he has improved his accuracy."

Nall led Scotland to a 6-4 record and were eliminated from playing in this Saturday's World Bowl when Berlin upset Frankfurt last Saturday. The Galaxy (6-4) had already clinched a World Bowl berth and will face the Rhein Fire (6-4), which whipped Barcelona last week to advance.

Scotland accumulated a league-high 4,169 yards of offense this season. Nall led the league in passing with a 95.9 rating. He completed 151 of 258 attempts (58.5%) for 2,050 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"We watch all the tapes and we follow him close," said Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley. "The last couple weeks he's really come on. I think he's showing what we had hoped he would show over there, and that's an ability to lead a team and make good decisions. His completion percentage has been outstanding."

The Claymores' 303 points scored were second-most in NFL Europe League history, trailing only the 1991 London Monarchs, who posted 310. Buffalo Bills running back Ken Simonton of the Claymores rushed for 151 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Simonton finished the season with 871 yards rushing, most in NFL Europe.

Besides Pederson, other quarterbacks Nall will be competing against on the Packers' roster during training camp include free agents Eric Crouch and Zak Kustok.

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