Getting back to normal

Atmosphere at training camp has changed since Favre trade, says Packer Report's Todd Korth

At this time of the year, it's not uncommon for my phone to ring with a lonely Green Bay Packers fan from Dallas or South Dakota or Iowa or Philadelphia or Wherever, USA, on the other end. They want to talk Packers, of course, and get a sense of the atmosphere in the Packers training camp.

No problem, I'm always happy to give an update. So for all those lonely fans out there, wondering what it's like this week in the after-effect of the Brett Favre trade, I'll sum it up in a word - subdued.

Practice on Friday evening at Clarke Hinkle Field was noticably subdued compared to a week before when many fans who surrounded the field five to six rows deep, hoping for Favre to show up at camp. That never happened, of course, and now with Favre in New York, it felt like many fans were suffering the effects of a hangover - watching but not really thinking or making much noise as usual over the Packers completing a pass to a receiver or a defender making a big hit.

Maybe reality has set in a little bit for some fans, especially those hoping that the Packers would retain Favre. However, there is a definite sense of relief among players, coaches and the Packers administration staff that the Favre saga has concluded. General manager Ted Thompson, an old linebacker himself, was hanging with the linebackers on the sideline and talking to other various players throughout the practice. There were smiles. It seemed as if Thompson was trying to keep the team as loose as possible. And the Packers certainly appeared to be a little more relaxed and focused on the season for a change rather than having to deal with what Favre might or might not do with his football career.

"It's good to have a resolution," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "I think we can move forward now as a team. It's good to get a resolution to the whole thing. It has definitely been on all of our minds. It's good to move forward as a team."

With four preseason games in 18 days, the Packers will not have many more practices to prepare for the season. Coach Mike McCarthy said that the offense completed the last of its "installations" on Friday night. From here on out, the games and practice time will be used to perfect the schemes that the Packers plan to begin the season with on offense, defense and special teams.

Fortunately for the Packers, the distracting Favre saga is done and now they can focus on the season ahead. The players and coaches seem to have that quiet excitement within them. It may take a few more days for the fans to come around, but once they do that sense of excitement will be in the air again at the practice field. For now, it's a little more subdued than normal.

Todd Korth writes for and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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