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There is plenty of competition to back up Ahman Green at running back this season. Prime candidates include Rondell Mealey, Ki-Jana Carter, Jason Brookins and Herbert Goodman. Don't count out rookie free agent Tony Fisher.<p>

A longshot to make the team after he was signed by the Packers after the draft in April, Fisher has been increasing his odds so far in training camp. He has played with the second and third team offenses and received a team-high nine carries for 27 yards in the intrasquad scrimmage Saturday. In short, the coaching staff is taking a long look at the former Notre Dame standout.

"Now with the opportunities that he has been given, he's taking advantage of those and is doing a better than adequate job considering his circumstances of getting here as an undrafted free agent," said Packers coach and GM Mike Sherman. "He's a big player. He has pretty good instincts. Has excellent hands and is a formidable pass blocker. He has all the pieces. We just have to put it together for him."

Fisher admits that he has a lot to learn, but so far he seems to be adjusting nicely to the West Coast offense.

"Everything for a rookie, you just kind of learn on the run and you got to take it from there," Fisher said.

Fisher, 6-1 and 222 pounds, averaged 4.8 yards per carry over his collegiate career at Notre Dame, gaining 1,848 yards in 384 attempts. He also scored 20 career touchdowns (15 rushing, 5 receiving). A four-year letterman, he also played fullback and wide receiver.

"They told us it's going to be tough," Fisher said. "We can't do nothing but just fight through it."

He'll have an uphill battle the rest of the preseason. The Packers probably will keep five running backs, maybe six. Green and fullback William Henderson are the starters. The Packers drafted fullback Najeh Davenport in the fourth round this year, but it is uncertain if he will be ready to play by the time the regular season starts because of a foot injury he sustained at the University of Miami. Carter and Mealey have been slowed by injuries in the past few days, which has left Fisher with plenty of reps in practice. He has been switching with Brookins and Green for carries.


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