On the first day of the Green Bay Packers' rookie camp, their former quarterback remained a hot topic.
On Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress admitted that Brett Favre likely would be discussed by the coaches and personnel staff. Favre, who is retired, asked for and was granted his release from the New York Jets earlier this week.
"We haven't (discussed Favre's availability). It doesn't mean we won't," Childress said. "We talk about everything from what's going on in the United States on the front page today. … We talk about everything. So, yeah, I'm sure we'll talk about that."
Last year, of course, the thought of having Favre showing up in Green Bay wearing a purple uniform made the Packers' brain trust turn a nasty shade of green. Not so much this time, it appears.
"If Brett wants to play football, he should play football, and that's really my stance on it," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Friday's practice. "If he still wants to play, he should take advantage of his opportunities."
In case you've forgotten, the Packers play at Minnesota on "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 5. Green Bay hosts Minnesota on Nov. 1.
A lot of new faces
Along with the eight draft picks, the Packers had 11 undrafted free agents and 21 tryout players on the field on Friday. In addition to those 40 fresh faces, five players from last year's practice squad — receivers Jake Allen, Brett Swain and Lorne Sam, defensive end Anthony Toribio and cornerback Josh Abrams — and recently added nose tackle Brian Soi participated.
Among the tryout players are punters Chris Keagle of Louisiana Tech and Adam Graessle of Pittsburgh. As a senior with the Panthers in 2006, Graessle averaged 42.0 yards per punt with 21 inside-the-20s and one touchback. Keagle averaged 39.6 yards per punt as Tech's punter for all four seasons.
Underwood stars, exits
Cornerback Brandon Underwood, one of the Packers' sixth-round picks, exited late in practice while favoring a leg. McCarthy said Underwood was "a little tight." McCarthy didn't seem worried. Nor was he surprised, given that the players arrived in Green Bay on Thursday and "their anxiety level is high."
Earlier, Underwood zeroed in on scrambling quarterback Brian Johnson and picked him off during an 11-on-11 drill.
"You could see the athletic ability," McCarthy said. "No question, he's definitely one of the players that jumped out. It was one practice. Obviously, I'll feel better about it once I watch it on film."
This three-day camp is a mental and physical whirlwind for the players, which is why McCarthy has scheduled it for a second consecutive year rather than having a full-roster minicamp.
"We really take the time commitment on Friday and Saturday, and cut it in half and go through all the different administrative aspects of someone coming here to the Green Bay Packers," McCarthy said.
On Friday, the players were briefed by the Packers' security staff and learned about the rules of the locker room and training room. On Saturday, they'll talk to the public relations and community relations staffs.
Also on Friday, the players were put through functional strength tests — "just looking for anything where we can help them there individually," McCarthy explained.
After practice, the players were going to have dinner, tour the Hall of Fame and listen to a presentation by Hall of Famers-to-be Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman.
Coupled with the travel, meetings and administrative work on Thursday, McCarthy said a couple of players had "heavy eyes" during Friday's meetings.
Of course, a major emphasis is the on-the-field work, which gives the players a taste of the playbook and gets them prepared for a high-tempo professional practice.
"It (gives) the rookies a legitimate chance to come in here and compete once you're able to bring your whole football team in after May 16," McCarthy said.
The Packers released defensive tackle Fred Bledsoe on Friday. They have 77 players on their 80-man roster. The rookie draft choices don't count toward the limit until they are signed.
That means there is room for three of the tryout players to earn a spot.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.