Training camp notebook

Among the candidates to replace Ryan Longwell as the Green Bay Packers' kicker, Billy Cundiff is the only one with a pedigree of NFL success. That's been evident during training camp, as he's the clear leader in his battle with Dave Rayner to fill the void left by Longwell, the leading scorer in Packers history who defected to  rival Minnesota in free agency.

"It's not about erasing the memory of him. I think it's just (the franchise) saying, ‘Hey, he went somewhere else, but I found a guy that's just as good or better.'"

Cundiff connected on all five of his attempts at Wednesday's lone practice — converting from 29, 34, 39, 44 and 52 yards. Rayner did likewise, but Cundiff has been the more consistent kicker throughout camp.

While kicking in Lambeau Field can be a pressure cooker — remember B.J. Sander's follies during the Family Night Scrimmage his rookie season? — Cundiff should be well prepared.  

He spent the 2004 season and half of 2005 kicking for the volatile Bill Parcells in Dallas. While in Dallas, Cundiff estimates he beat out a list of challengers that was "almost double-digits."

Perhaps that's why, despite the pressure, Cundiff said, "I feel like I'm kicking my best."

He might have another challenger to fend off. The Packers brought in former Bears and Vikings kicker Paul Edinger for a workout, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Edinger is a career 73.5 percent on field goals, just a shade better than Cundiff's 73.2 career mark.

Carroll toasted

Coaches have sung the praises for third-year cornerback Ahmad Carroll for his improved work ethic. Wednesday, however, was not a good day.

Carroll was beaten on fade routes by the undistinguished tandem of Chad Lucas and Chris Francies. Worse, he gave up a touchdown to Marc Boerigter, the free-agent signee from Kansas City who has had an otherwise miserable camp.

Back with the Pack

Dorsey Levens signed a one-day contract with Green Bay during the offseason so he could retire as a Packer. He might become a regular on the team payroll again.

Levens will spend the rest of training camp as an assistant in the Packers' personnel department. If Levens likes the gig and the Packers like his work, it could lead to a full-time position.

Levens played for the Packers from 1994 to 2001, leaving as the franchise's fifth leading rusher with 3,937 yards. His 1,435 yards in 1997 is third-best in team history.

Injury update

A day after walking off the field with a bag of ice strapped to his lower right leg after practice, Packers quarterback Brett Favre — wearing a sleeve over his calf — was under center for Wednesday's practice and didn't miss a rep.

"He looked fine," coach Mike McCarthy said. "If we were concerned, we would have sat him, but he's fine. It's not serious."

Favre's blind-side protector, Chad Clifton, did not practice. The left tackle has participated in only three of eight practices during training camp as he recovers from offseason surgery to his right knee, which held him out of both minicamps and the organized team activities.

"He's day-to-day" McCarthy said. "We're just being smart with him. Cornerned or worried? Injuries are just part of the game, and once again, it's opportunities for our young guys to play"

Also sidelined was running back Najeh Davenport, who was held out after a severe leg cramp Tuesday night.

Safety Marquand Manuel (calf), cornerbacks Will Blackmon (foot) and Patrick Dendy (ankle), linebackers Brady Poppinga (knee) and Byron Santiago (back) and running backs Ahman Green (quad) and Arliss Beach (concussion) joined Davenport and Clifton on the sideline.

Look out!

A few players nearly joined them on the injured list, and McCarthy was none too pleased with the reason.

As a heavy shower struck the area during the final period of practice, running back Samkon Gado was shoved out of bounds by safety Nick Collins. They wound up colliding with the water cart, shaking both of them up, along with secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

McCarthy chewed out the training staff, and the cart was moved back about five yards.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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