Golden opportunity for Jackson

Rookie running back off to a good start in training camp

Brett Favre became the player he is because of Don Majkowski's ankle injury early in the 1992 season. Favre took his opportunity and has never relinquished it.

Brandon Jackson has a similar opportunity. Jackson has a chance to be the Green Bay Packers starting halfback as his main competitor, Vernand Morency, will be out indefinitely with a knee injury. Jackson has a lot of improving to do, something he is aware of in his pursuit to start.

"I feel I can prove myself. I think everyone wants to prove themselves," Jackson said. "You just have to perform and prove that you want the job (as a starter)."

Jackson proved on Saturday night during the Family Night Scrimmage that he can be the guy by rushing for 20 yards in 6 carries, including a 1 yard touchdown for the number one offense against the number two defense. Jackson also opened some eyes by catching a 24 yard pass from Favre that set up his touchdown. He also caught a 23-yard pass that included a nice spin move.

Jackson obviously had the eye of head coach Mike McCarthy. "I thought Brandon had a nice evening. He had some good plays," McCarthy said. "I thought he did some good things."

Jackson had struggled at times catching the ball in the first week of practice, but he feels that receiving is one of his strengths.

"I feel good about catching balls and catching them everyday," Jackson said. "It's all about repetition and catching the ball and keeping your hands tight and fresh and prove to them I can catch the ball."

Jackson also sees the differences between Lincoln, Nebraska, where he played college football, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

" I love the Huskers, but this is by far the most people I've ever seen watch me practice. It's a little overwhelming seeing people watching you, but I have to focus on the play," Jackson said. "Like coach McCarthy says, it's football. Football is football. I have to just concentrate and just take care of business."

Jackson has also struggled a little bit in his blocking technique. That skill will also come from repetition. The Packers are also letting Jackson play a little fullback at practice, to hone his blocking skills. When was the last time Jackson played fullback? Jackson laughed and said, "Middle school."

The Packers utilize a similar zone-blocking run offense to Nebraska, which is making the transition to the NFL a little easier for Jackson.

"It's familiar, but it's different in it's own ways," Jackson said. "But I'm getting the grasp of it and I'm just happy to be here and help my team win ball games."

For the Packers to win ballgames in 2007, Jackson will play a big part. The opportunity that he has now as starting halfback is definitely going to be a factor. Favre never looked back as he was given his opportunity as a starter in 1992. Jackson, like Favre, is a Mississippi native. If Jackson comes anywhere near the career of Favre, the Packers will certainly be ecstatic. It's only training camp, but Jackson is off to a good start.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at greenbaybob@hotmail.com.


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