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The waiting is the hardest part

Hurry up and wait. That could be quarterback hopeful Akili Smith's motto as preseason gets underway.<P> After making it clear that he is "fighting for his NFL life" and cramming to learn the Packers' playbook, Smith's anticipated debut is still to come.<P>

Smith was scheduled to see a lot of second-half playing time Monday night, but the lightning arrived before Smith's opportunity did. Craig Nall played until lightning and torrential rains caused the game to be halted with 5:49 remaining in the third quarter.

"There's nothing I can do about bad weather," Smith said. The bad weather came; it just what's meant for me. I"ll get ready for Saturday."

It's likely that Smith will get his chance to shine when the Packers travel to Atlanta to meet the Falcons Saturday night. After all, weather won't be a factor.

"We're in a dome, so there shouldn't be too many weather problems at all," Smith joked.

The battle between Smith and Nall could have a couple different implications. Most likely, the two are vying for the No. 3 spot behind Brett Favre and veteran backup Doug Pederson. Another scenario is that both Smith and Nall will impress Mike Sherman enough to hand one the No. 2 spot, one the No. 3 spot and drop Pederson's more expensive contract.

Smith's disappointment of not playing Monday night is tempered Green Bay's schedule of five preseason games. Also, he probably didn't lose any ground to Nall, who threw two interceptions against the Chiefs.

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