Tuesday provided the players another decent crowd of fans at training camp despite muggy conditions taking over early. But over the course of several days of training camp, the players have been cool with their interaction with the fans.
Several fans have provided some good-humored, light-hearted moments during the early stages of camp, and some of them can't resist a good Brett Favre poke no matter how much has been written and said on the topic.
On the opening day, former Green Bay Packer and Favre teammate Darren Sharper dove to deflect a pass away from a receiver at the last second and pumped his fist in celebration. What was his thanks from the crowd?
"Come on, Darren, get on that cell phone. Call Brett," one fan yelled.
Sharper appeared to appreciate the good-natured ribbing, smiled and waved his index finger in the air as if telling a kid that subject is off-limits.
"That's how it's going to be when you have people talking about the chance to have him come here and all that. You know people are going to be going different ways – some guys want him, some guys don't," Sharper said. "That's how it always is, just like how it is with the Packers now. Some of the Packers want Brett back and some of them don't. Those people that don't, I don't know what's wrong with them in the head that don't want him back. But that's how it goes: Some people are going to like you, some people aren't."
Not long after Sharper's interaction, receiver Sidney Rice came up with an impressive reception, prompting another fan to yell out: "Big year, Sidney." Rice approved of the congratulations with a sneaky thumbs-up on his way to the sidelines.
"I feel a lot more relaxed," Rice said. "Coming into my second year, I know what to expect and I also know what the coaches are expecting out of us."
The next day, it was the tight ends hearing it from the fans, but that wasn't always as positive. During individual drills, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe dropped a reception he should have caught.
"You should have stayed in New York to get that ring, Shiancoe," one fan called out. After a bit of awkward silence moment, the fan continued, "Wear the crown here in '09."
Shiancoe shook his head and replied, "Exactly."
Another tight end, Jim Kleinsasser, was hearing it shortly thereafter after dropping another pass.
"Come on, Jimmy. Lifting too many weights," a fan yelled.
While not all of the fan comments are positive, head coach Brad Childress has told the fans during player introductions and the media at other times that he appreciates how the crowd can motivate players during the long days of camp.
"A lot of guys are excited, but we all know it's a process. We have to go through the three weeks of training camp and preseason games to get ready for Green Bay," cornerback Antoine Winfield said.
Sharper said that Childress is learning how to motivate different players in different ways, as well.
"Coach has a good feel of what to do to push our buttons, what times during practice to push each other to get each other better," Sharper said. "The thing that's good about this group is that everyone is working hard."
But, while Childress may be putting his psychology background to work, many players say their coach is also more relaxed in his third season at the helm.
"I think you guys can even see, the way coach addresses the media and he's having more fun. I think he's more relaxed and we kind of feed off that," linebacker Ben Leber said. "You can just tell in the team meetings and the way he conducts himself at practice. We like the new and improved Childress from his first year. Things have been great."
Fans, Players, Coaches: All More Relaxed
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