Rookie forced to learn the hard way

School may be officially over for rookie Marques Anderson, but he is still cramming. The defensive back was unable to attend the Green Bay Packers recent June minicamp, so he had to learn about the Packers' defense through his VCR.<p>

The National Football League prohibits college students from participating in practice when school is in session. So, Anderson was forced to miss the Packers' recent seven-day minicamp because UCLA was still in session. While Anderson missed reps on the field, he did not miss out on any classroom work.

Defensive backs coach Bob Slowik was overnighting Anderson two to three instructional tapes a week between late May and June, speaking with Anderson on the phone and communicating with the third-round draft pick as often as possible. Anderson was able to attend the weekend post-draft minicamp, but missed out on the team's opportunity sessions in mid-May.

"He gets everything possible. He's got all the tools he can virtually have without being here," Slowik said.

Anderson's development is crucial as training camp nears. Veteran safety LeRoy Butler and fourth-year pro Antuan Edwards are coming off major injuries and will be limited early in camp, which begins July 27.

"Thank goodness for Bhawoh Jue, that's all I can say," Slowik said. "He's kind of an ace in the hole. He started there last year. If, in an emergency, guys didn't get healthy and have setbacks, he's someone we know could move back."

Jue is expected to play strictly at cornerback this season. He took over in Butler's spot late last year after Butler suffered a broken shoulder blade on Nov. 18 against Atlanta. But Jue injured his groin while working out in May and sat out of the June minicamp. Scott Frost, who signed late in the season last year with the Packers, practiced in Butler's spot next to Darren Sharper.

In the meantime, the Packers do not seem overly concerned that Anderson was unable to practice with the team earlier this month.

"We've been through this before and have gotten guys ready to play," said defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. "(Linebacker) Na'il Diggs was in the same situation and started Game 1. We don't ever like to see a situation like this. What we do is we put that energy toward teaching. We're teaching this guy over the phone. We're sending videotapes. There's a lot of communication going on between him and our secondary coaches."

Of course, seeing the defense and practicing it live are two different things. The testing is far from over for Anderson.

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