Sharper enjoys block party

What started as a mad dash ended with a stumble and perhaps the world's worst Lambeau Leap. It was a beautiful thing, and just what the Packers needed to beat the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night at Lambeau Field.

Darren Sharper flashed his playmaking skills by intercepting a Todd Bouman pass and running it back 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Packers a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.

"I need to save those for the regular season," Sharper said with a laugh.

Sharper began his return by running to the left, where he picked up blocks from cornerbacks Michael Hawthorne and Ahmad Carroll. At about midfield, defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt made a block. Inside the 15, cornerback Joey Thomas glimpsed someone chasing from behind and knocked him out of the picture. From there, Sharper finished it off by ducking a tackle attempt by Saints receiver Joe Horn at the 5-yard line, staggering into the end zone and then trying a Lambeau Leap.

"You saw I couldn't jump in the stands. I had to kind of push myself up. Jump on the wall and push myself up," Sharper said.

Sharper said he's been bothered by a hip flexor and was under doctor's orders not to run if he didn't have to. But, Sharper said, instincts took over once he had the ball in his hands. "Doc told me, if I do get an interception, do not run with it. I run and the situation happens that I go all the way with it."

After being joined in the starting lineup by third-year player Marques Anderson during Monday's preseason opener against Seattle, Mark Roman took his turn in the starting rotation on Saturday. Though he warned the media and fans not to hand the starting job to Roman just yet, Sharper is impressed by the former Cincinnati Bengal.

"He definitely plays with passion, he flies around to the ball, he has a good feel for the game," Sharper said. "He shows good range, good tackling. He's complete."


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