Receiver making most of opportunity

While Javon Walker has made a decision to not attend mini-camp this week because he would like a better contract, Robert Ferguson is cashing in. The wide receiver has scooped up the extra reps made available by Walker's absence in practice to remind his coaches that he's well on the road to recovery from a serious injury last December. During the first two mini-camp practices, Ferguson has made some impressive leaping catches.

He also has muscled the ball away more than a few times from stunned defensive backs.

The soft-spoken Ferguson is making it clear to offensive coordinator Tom Rossley and head coach Mike Sherman that he will be ready to play and catch passes when the Packers open their season in Detroit in September.

"To me right now, the only way I can get those opportunities is to go out there and every play I have, showing them that they need to put my name in the playbook and give me some plays," Ferguson said. "That's what I'm trying to do right now, in mini-camp, opportunity sessions, whatever, show them that I can make plays and put my name in the playbook. I'm trying to make plays now."

Walker became Brett Favre's favorite target last year, leading the team with 89 catches. Driver was second with 84. Ferguson finished seventh in receiving with 24 catches for 367 yards and one touchdown.

Ferguson also returned kickoffs, but because of his injury, he is only focusing on receiving this off-season.

"Right now my main focus is on playing receiver," Ferguson said. "I haven't said that since I've been here. I see a lot of things I miss at being a receiver that I'm really not allowed to do. I really want to focus on that this year."

Speaking of focus, Ferguson is seeing the ball much better thanks to Lasik surgery that he underwent this off-season. Since he was drafted by the Packers in 2001 (41st overall), Ferguson says he has played with poor vision in his right eye.

"I knew it, but I didn't want to wear no glasses," Ferguson said. "I didn't want to wear no contacts, so … I didn't want to."

But he has realized that in order to get back onto Favre's radar, it would be best to optimize his vision. Ferguson says it has now improved to 20-15. It will make lining up on the left side, and catching a Favre laser that much easier. "Imagine how hard it is trying to focus on the ball if your right eye is …," Ferguson said.


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