Favre excused from minicamp

Brett Favre has been excused from the Green Bay Packers' final off-season minicamp, which begins Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

Packers coach Mike Sherman also excused the star quarterback from the team's post-draft minicamp.

"He's had a tough go of it the last year and I just want him to come in busting the door down in July when we start up," Sherman told the AP.

The last 17 months have been tough for Favre and his family. His father, Irvin, died just before a December 2003 game against Oakland. Then in the middle of last season, Favre's brother-in-law Casey Tynes died in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Favre's Mississippi property and Favre's wife, Deanna, started treatment for breast cancer. Last December, Favre's good friend and former teammate Reggie White passed away. For those reasons, Sherman says giving Favre a break is in the veteran QB's best interests.

According to Sherman, Favre's work with a personal training is paying dividends. He said the three-time league MVP wanted to participate in the nine-day camp.

"He's chomping at the bit, but this will give me a chance to work with some of the younger guys," Sherman said.

Sherman says he's not worried about Favre being unprepared when training camp begins July 26.

"In talking to him, it's been beneficial," Sherman said of Favre not attending the minicamps. "This is his 15th season and as long as his physical part is being taken care of, the only concern I would have is him being mentally ready to go when the season started.

"If it started tomorrow, he'd be ready. This is as positive as I've heard him in talking about a season and himself in a long time. He'll come by Friday to see the guys and get caught up on some things we're doing, some new things."

Having Favre just watch, but not participate, wasn't much of an option, Sherman said.

"Brett is not a great one for being a spectator at practice. If he's not taking all the reps, he can be a pain."

Favre is planning to be at his sixth annual charity softball game on June 5 in Appleton. The game benefits the Favre Fourward Foundation, which aids charities in Wisconsin and Mississippi.

The camp consists of three days of practices this week followed by five days next week after the players take the weekend off.

Although the camp is voluntary, "I'm expecting everybody else to be here," Sherman said. What about Pro Bowl receiver Javon Walker, who skipped the team's April minicamp as part of his jockeying for a new contract?

"He hasn't indicated he won't be here, so I'm expecting he will be here," Sherman said. "I'm optimistic."

Walker's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, seemed to indicate that was wishful thinking.

"I'm not going to have any comment on that," Rosenhaus said when asked about Walker's plans. "I doubt my position's going to change."

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