Quiet tight ends ready to make some noise

So far, Green Bay tight ends are the best-kept secret on the team. In two preseason games, tight ends have accounted for only three catches.<p> So when will the Packers unveil this "secret weapon?"

"I'd like to get more balls to them, but it's kind of like how the offense unfolds," quarterback Brett Favre said.

Bubba Franks has two catches, rookie Bill Seymour has one. Tyrone Davis and David Martin has yet to get the call.

For Franks, a two-year starter, and Davis, who has been with the team since 1997, the comfort level with Favre is already established. But the preseason tuneup is more important for Martin, Sherman said. The second-year player showed a lot to like last year. He caught 13 passes for 144 yards and 1 touchdown in 14 games and was named the team's Offensive Rookie of the Year for his efforts. But Martin, a sixth-round draft choice from Tennessee, is still learning the transition from his college position of wide receiver.

"I want to see us get him the ball, no question about that," Packer coaach Mike Sherman said of Martin.

Martin suffered a minor injury in last weekend's game at Arizona but is expected to be ready Monday.

Favre has had to focus on creating chemistry with with new wide receivers Terry Glenn and Javon Walker. Robert Ferguson did not catch a pass his rookie year and played in only one game, so he's a new "project" for Favre as well. Favre said that the tight ends are not being ignored on purpose and stressed that he's not worried about a lack of connection with his tight ends.

"We call plays and just execute what we do," Favre said. "If the tight end's open, that's who we go to. I'm not real concerned about it right now.

"Two years ago, Bubba has no touchdowns, aside from the fake field goal, and he has nine last year. It's the way our offense works."

Whether or not Franks garners much attention in the exhibition games, expectations are high after his Pro Bowl honors last year. Don't misread Franks' low visibility in camp as a sign that anything has changed.

"If anything, I think the Pro Bowl has made him aware of what his potential is," Sherman said.

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