Commentary: Minicamp by the numbers

Training camp kicks off June 1. As summer flirts with the area, chances are at least some of the practices will be open to the public. Here's a by-the-numbers look at what to watch for.

4. Brett Favre. Will Favre be in attendance? Mike Sherman hasn't said. Favre was held out of the post-draft minicamp last month.

6. Brooks Barnard. Barnard is B.J. Sander's chief competition to be the opening-day punter. With Sander not exactly burning things up in Europe, it's Barnard's chance to, umm, get a leg up in the battle. He averaged 43.4 yards per punt during the preseason last year with the Bears.

12. Aaron Rodgers. The one knock on the first-round pick was that he didn't throw the long ball consistently while at California. Rodgers preferred to dink it and dunk it during the post-draft minicamp. Was that because he's not comfortable going deep, or was it because he just wasn't comfortable running the offense with so little time to study the playbook?

13. Chris Samp. Chances are he won't make the opening-day roster, but Samp played his high school football at Green Bay Preble. It's not often a local kid gets a chance to play for his hometown team. A dynamic player at Division II Winona State, the 6-foot-3, 224-pound Samp has the type of frame that could eventually let him play tight end.

16. Craig Nall. If Sherman keeps Favre home again, Nall will be the first-team quarterback. He struggled in that role during the first minicamp, throwing four interceptions in one practice.

21. Earl Little. Little, a free-agent pickup from Cleveland, is in the running for one of the starting safety positions. He has a knack for the football but too often hasn't been a force in the running game.

27. Mike Hawkins. Perhaps the most controversial of all the Packers' draft picks, Hawkins played less than a year of college football and couldn't even start with his Arena Football League team. Hawkins, however, was one of the standouts at last month's minicamp. The fifth-rounder has the speed and size to be a solid player.

28. Ahmad Carroll. Carroll continued to resort to grabbing at opposing wide receivers during last month's camp. The new coaching staff has had more time to work with him. We'll see if any of that coaching has sunk in.

35. Arturo Freeman. Like Little, Freeman is a newcomer in the running for a starting job. He started about one-third of the games during his five years in Miami, where Jim Bates was defensive coordinator. Both are in Green Bay now, and Freeman's familiarity with the scheme gives him a huge advantage.

36. Nick Collins. Collins, a safety, is the first player to wear the jersey number that LeRoy Butler made famous. And, like Butler, Collins was a second-round pick. A rookie from Bethune Cookman, Collins is raw but he showed a nose for the ball last month.

51. Brady Poppinga and 52. Kurt Campbell. These rookie linebackers have a good chance to make the team, considering Paris Lenon's mediocre resume and the decision not to bring back Torrance Marshall.

70. Adrian Klemm. Klemm was the Packers' biggest off-season acquisition. He is stepping into Mike Wahle's spot at starting guard. Wahle made a name for himself with his ability to lead the way on plays to the perimeter. The injury-plagued Klemm has that sort of ability.

84. Javon Walker. Walker is always the most exciting player on the field. Oh, wait, never mind.

86. Terrence Murphy. Another controversial draft choice, with the defense-impaired Packers picking the wide receiver in the second round. With Walker holding out and Robert Ferguson's health a concern, Murphy might be forced into a big role. Considering most receivers suffer growing pains during their rookie seasons, will Murphy be up to the task?

89. Robert Ferguson. Due to last year's clothesline tackle, Ferguson has said he's had some vision problems when it's bright. He is using a tinted visor to counter that. With practices scheduled for the outdoor practice fields, this will be a big test for Ferguson.

96. Mike Montgomery. The sixth-round pick was the only upgrade on a lackluster defensive line. If Montgomery can show the pass-rush ability he flashed in college at Texas A&M, he could play a big role this season.

98. Kenny Peterson. This is a huge off-season for Peterson, a third-round pick in 2003. In his two seasons, he's only played in 18 of a possible 32 regular-season games.

Practices are scheduled for 11 a.m. June 1-3 and 6-8. There are no practices during the weekend of June 4-5. Camp concludes with a practice at 8:45 a.m. June 9.

Happy camping.

Editor's note: Huber writes for Contact him via e-mail at

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