Refreshed Couch looks comfortable

The Packers have a new couch. <p> Well, it's still <!--Default NodeId For Tim Couch is 1331177,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1331177]>Tim Couch</A>, but he looked like a whole new player during Monday's practices.

After sitting out five consecutive days — including Friday's preseason loss at Jacksonville — to rest a sore biceps in his throwing arm, a fresher Couch was on the practice field. Fresher physically and mentally.

"I think (the extra rest) made a big difference," Couch said.

Packers coach Mike Sherman agreed, saying, "It seems like he had some life in his legs and his arm and had some nice throws."

Sherman elected to keep all five quarterbacks with the first wave of cuts, showing that the battle to be the No. 3 passer behind starter Brett Favre and backup Doug Pederson remained wide open.

Favre sat out the one-hour Monday morning practice, with the remaining four splitting the reps. Couch, however, worked with the No. 1 offense during a two-minute drill.

In the afternoon, with Favre in action but Pederson watching, Couch took slightly more reps than did his competitors.

If that breakdown means anything — that Couch is ahead by a nose in the race to be the third quarterback — then Sherman's faith was backed up Monday.

Not only did Couch show some pop with his arm, but he looked more decisive than he had while struggling to 8-of-28 efficiency in his two preseason games. The difference, Couch said, was less thinking and more playing.

"Just make a read and go with it, and if it's wrong, it's wrong," Couch said, adding, "I want to just try to play at full speed, and if I make a mistake I make a mistake."

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