The Word from Tuesday

Receivers weigh in on Favre saga; whose stock is up and whose is down?

It's the one position that gives a player no control.

The only way a wide receiver can make an impact is if the ball is thrown his way with regularity, hence the core reason so many wide receivers morph into egomaniacs (see: Ocho Cinco, T.O.)

That said, the imminent return of Brett Favre would seem to force Green Bay's wide receivers to pick sides and wreak havoc. Quarterback controversies tend to do this — and fill locker rooms with asbestos. Now that a three-time MVP has filed for reinstatement, the Packers could encounter one of the most awkward quarterback dilemmas in league history.

Brett Favre is the surefire Hall of Famer who is at least 12 years older than nine of the Packers' 10 wideouts, yet certainly made a few receiver friends last season.

Aaron Rodgers is the likable first-year starter who has connected at a much more personable level with teammates.

At least externally, the wide receivers are not putting their two cents in for who they'd prefer under center. No outright campaigning just yet.

"It's going to be an interesting situation with the little that has taken place," said starting wideout Greg Jennings, who led the team with 12 touchdown receptions last season. "We'll see what they do upstairs. We have no control over it. All we can do is catch the balls that they throw to us."

James Jones made a few head waves a couple weeks ago by saying "It was Aaron Rodgers' time now," and that Favre was standoffish. On Tuesday, he stuck to the status quo, yet hinted at his preference for Rodgers.

"As of right now, I'm with who's in this locker room," Jones said. "What they do up top they do up top. We'll see what they do, and we're going to have to deal with it."

Rookie Jordy Nelson never caught a pass from Favre, and is more concerned about getting acclimated before worrying about anything else.

"All I know is that I'm out here trying to learn the playbook and doing what I have to do to improve and help this team win," Nelson said.


Play of the Day

Through most of Tuesday, the Packers' offense abused the defense on slant routes.

But not this time.

Charles Woodson appeared to be in the offense's huddle on one 11-on-11 play. Woodson jumped a slant route for Greg Jennings and wrestled away Rodgers' pass for an interception. The veteran read the play perfectly, showing the ball-hawking instincts that have netted him 12 picks over the last two seasons.


Stock Up

Taj Smith has an uphill battle toward gaining a roster spot. An undrafted pickup thrown into a loaded heap of wide receivers, the former Syracuse wideout will need to make eye-catching plays on a daily basis just to splotch his name on Ted Thompson's radar.

Tuesday was a start.

Smith had two highlight-reel catches. The first came on a beautifully placed pass from Rodgers to a diving Smith, who got a step on Jarrett Bush. The second came in a 7-on-7 drill, as Rodgers hit Smith in stride on a deep go-route over Tracy Porter.

For Smith, who was quiet during minicamp, it's important to keep stacking these types of practices.  

"It's competitive," Smith said. "You have to keep going, because it's not over. One day at a time. Keep grinding."


Stock Down

It's been a rough start for Andre the Giant-built offensive tackle Breno Giacomini. The 6-foot-7, 311-pound fifth-rounder continues to get pummeled in one-on-one pass-rushing drills, which require offensive lineman to block defensive linemen away from a flag representing the quarterback standing in the pocket.

In the drill, Giacomini has been repeatedly stood up and driven back. On Monday, he was beaten twice in a row by veteran end Michael Montgomery. OK, understandable. But on Tuesday, his struggles continued against lesser-known defensive linemen in the crowd-favorite drill. He'll need to start winning some of those wars to secure a roster spot, let alone crack the rotation.

Tyler Dunne is a regular contributor to and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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