"It Hurts"

Laura spoke to a number of players such as Mike Wahle (pictured) following the heart-breaking loss to the Eagles last Sunday. Here is what they had to say...

The Packers' amazing late season run, which began in the wake of a humiliating loss to Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, ended with a gut-wrenching overtime loss to Philadelphia. The highlights in between tell a compelling story, but the last few players cleaning out their Lambeau lockers this week know they'll have to deal with the pain of the loss, before they can appreciate the rest.

Only about a dozen players were still collecting their things from the now-stark Packer locker room Tuesday. By the end of the day, it fell silent.

"It was a tough one to swallow," guard Mike Wahle said. "It hurt this morning when I woke up."

Wahle said he feels good about the Packers' ability to put the loss behind them and pick up where they left off last year. Meanwhile, receiver Robert Ferguson said he agrees with Wahle, but isn't ready to close the books on this season just yet.

"I won't watch any football," said Ferguson. The receiver, who emerged as the go-to guy the Packers envisioned when they drafted him in the second round in 2001. The receiver echoed the sentiments of many teammates, saying that realizing how close they were to the next step is what hurts the most.

"Everything was working right," center Mike Flanagan said. "…but when it mattered and it was crunch time, we didn't do it."

Ahman Green, whose fateful stumble over Flanagan on a fourth-down shot at the end zone was one of the keys to the game, had a more philosophical view.

"It hurts, but it really doesn't," Green said. "We gave our heart and effort into it. And they gave their effort. It really came down to who could do it at the end."

That fourth-down play hadn't been used by the team yet this year. It may have colored the coaching staff's decision not to go for a subsequent fourth down late in the game at the Philadelphia 40.. After trying to draw the Eagles offside, the Packers punted. That gave Philly the ball on the 20 along with new life, and, eventually, the win.

Still, not one player after the game nor since has pinned the blame on the coaches.

"Whatever (Sherman) decides is right for the team," Green said.

One player still not heard from is quarterback Brett Favre. After the interception in OT which rapidly led to the Eagles' victory, Favre exited the field and declined to speak to the media. That's a rare occurrence for Favre, who has always been candid with the press win or lose, thoughout his 12 seasons in Green Bay.

"He's hurting as much as anybody," Flanagan said of Favre.


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