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Diedrick Learning From The Best


It's very hard to dispute how good the Packers rushing attack is. If you were to talk to anyone around the NFL, it's a safe bet that the Packers group of running backs would be atop most people's list.

Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, and Tony Fisher form one of the best backfields in the game today. There's no question that Ahman Green is a special player. Besides being a great runner, he catches the ball out of the backfield as well as anyone in the league. Even though he had 1,883 yards rushing last season, he may just be entering his prime at the age of 27.

Najeh Davenport enters his third year and is starting to come into his own after primarily being a backup the last two seasons. He will receive more carries and take part of the workload off Green. If you figure Tony Fisher into the equation as a third down, change-of -pace-back, the Packers appear set at such a vital position.

So why then, would someone who is trying to make an NFL roster as a running back pick Green Bay?

That is a question that Dahrran Diedrick frequently has to answer these days.

Diedrick, who grew up in Canada and went to college at Nebraska said, "I have gotten positive feedback from the coaches and I feel good about my chances. I just want to come in and play as well as I can."

Realistically though, the 6-0, 225-pound Diedrick, does have a difficult chore ahead of him if he plans on cracking Green Bay's roster. To his credit, he's well aware of that.

"I have an uphill battle, but the competition makes you better," Diedrick said. "I know that I can't be just OK. I have to better than OK because the guys ahead of me are so good. I just have to shake that thought off and do the best I can."

The pressure to make an NFL squad is enormous as it is, but Diedrick understands that his situation is even more difficult than most.

"I get nervous because of the pressure," Diedrick admitted. "It's hard knowing that if I mess up I might go home. If I drop a ball or do something wrong, I get nervous. That's when my confidence may drop, but I just have to stay strong and let stuff like that go."

Considering this situation, one might guess that Diedrick wants the players ahead of him to falter and give him an opening. However, that couldn't be further from the truth.

"I want the guys ahead of me to do well," Diedrick said. "I want us all to do well and let the competition decide what happens around here. I am going to do the best I can, that's all I can do."

Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley thinks Diedrick needs to keep doing what's got him here.

"He has a great attitude, he's a good kid and he's a hard worker," Rossley said. "He comes out of a good program. When you come from Nebraska, you know how to work.

"He's looking for an opening. He's kind of like a cat waiting right there to have that opening where he can get his chance. That makes our team better because it makes the three guys ahead of him work harder and we're glad to have him here. He has a chance to be in this league a long time."

Just where Diedrick spends those years is anybody's guess, but he's not thinking about any other team than Green Bay.

"I don't want to audition," Diedrick said. "I know it is an audition for somewhere else, but I want to be here. I'm really just working hard on being here. Lord willing, my dream will come true and this is where I'll be."

It's obvious Diedrick is fond of Green Bay and he's not afraid to mention how he really feels about the city and the fans.

"I love the Packers," Diedrick explained. "I was in San Diego (at the Chargers 2003 training camp), and it was a bigger city. But this is just like what I am used to in Nebraska. People are really friendly to me and I don't have to be Ahman Green.

"I'm Dahrran Diedrick and people know my name and where I come from. It's a good feeling that people know who you are even though you aren't a superstar on the team."

There happens to be one other reason Diedrick is fond of Titletown.

"Ahman was the reason I went to Nebraska," Diedrick said. "I was a big fan of his before I got to Nebraska and then he was my recruiting host. It's just great to be playing with him here and I told him that he better make sure he does things right because I copy him all the time."

If everything works out, Diedrick will be able to copy Green all season long.

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