Packers notebook

Roman reports; many veterans opt to skip camp

Mark Roman wants to get better, not remain bitter. The safety reported for the Green Bay Packers' mini-camp this weekend, despite threatening to skip it because of his unhappiness with the team's move to sign unrestricted free agent Marquand Manuel this off-season.

Roman, entering his eighth season, says the Manuel signing is behind him.

"It's not because I'm not happy, or nothing like that," he said. "I mean there are other guys who aren't here, too, for whatever reason."

Roman said he instead wants to focus on becoming better as he prepares to compete against Manuel, his former teammate at Cincinnati, in training camp this year. Like in the post-draft mini-camp, Roman worked with the first-team defense in team drills as Manuel, the former Seahawk, recovers from a groin injury he sustained in the playoffs against Pittsburgh.

"I didn't want to miss another opportunity for me to get better," Roman said.

Roman has one season remaining on a four-year deal that he signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2004. The final year of the deal was voided because he has met minimum playing-time requirements. He is coming off his best season as a pro with a career-high 105 tackles, most among defensive backs. He also had two interceptions and eight passes defensed. But he has been criticized for being inconsistent.

"I have no issue with Mark Roman," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I thought that issue was resolved two months ago when we signed Marquand Manuel, and he assured me there wasn't an issue."

Manuel participated in some individual drills on Friday. He is expected to participate in the team's Organized Team Activities later this month and into June.

Not in action
A total of 12 players did not report to the mini-camp because of personal reasons and 10 were sat out because of medical reasons, McCarthy said.

Among the notable players who did not report because of personal reasons include, Brett Favre, A.J. Hawk, Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Ahman Green, William Henderson, and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Hawk is finishing classes at Ohio State.

Wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson missed Friday's practices to attend his daughter's high school graduation.

Those who missed part or all of the practices due to injuries were cornerbacks Jason Horton (shoulder) and Ahmad Carroll (ankle); safety Jeremy Thornburg (shoulder); running backs Chaz Williams (ankle) and Najeh Davenport (ankle); linebackers Brady Poppinga (knee), Kurt Campbell (knee), and Tim Goodwell (ankle); defensive tackle Tim McGill (knee); and tackles Adrian Klemm (knee) and Chad Clifton (knee).

Back at practice
Defensive linemen Donnell Washington, Johnny Jolly and Kenny Peterson returned to practice. All three sat out the previous mini-camp.

Peterson and Jolly missed the previous mini-camp because of ankle injuries. Washington was overweight and held out by McCarthy.

"He hit the marks and targets he needs to hit in conditioning," McCarthy said of Washington, "and all reports are that he had a good day today."

Fight
Cornerback Ahmad Carroll and wide receiver Ruvell Martin got into a fight near the end of the morning practice. Carroll said Martin was grabbing his facemask.

"Everybody doesn't mind a good fight every once in a while, but fighting on the football field isn't very smart," McCarthy said. "We talked about it as a team and we'll learn from it. Two guys being very competitive. It happens."


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