Crouch packs his bags

Chapter one in the battle of the backup QBs is already in the books: former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch has left the team citing personal reasons, Head Coach/GM Mike Sherman announced.<p>

Crouch was not at practice Tuesday, although he had participated in all three previous sessions for rookies and first year players. His reps, while plentiful in mini-camp, were already dwindling in training camp with Akili Smith on board and Craig Nall back from NFL Europe.

"The whole premise was, he's so far behind," Sherman said, in reference to Crouch's background as an option quarterback. "When he came in here, it was pretty much going to be relegated to cleaning up a little bit and maybe some practice squad snaps and working into next season in the offseason."

The Packers claimed Crouch off the reserve/retired waiver wire in April. He was out of action after another self-imposed departure, that time from the St. Louis Rams who drafted him in the third round of the 2002 draft just five months before out of Nebraska.

Crouch cited personal reasons then as well, although it was publicized that the rookie QB was unhappy with the Rams' plans to make him a wide receiver. His specific reasons for leaving the Packers remain a mystery.

"I talked to him yesterday and we really didn't get into detail," Sherman said. "He just said for personal reasons he didn't want to continue. I said, okay, and we'll leave it at that."

Previous discussions of Crouch possibly trying his hand at return man seemed to sit well with the former Cornhusker star.

"I would love to make this football team," Crouch said Saturday at a press luncheon. "It's been two years where I've been unsure about what I'm doing and it would be nice to be on a roster ... "I wouldn't say it's quarterback or nothing."

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