*How well do we know the men who make up the Packers roster? Even the most ardent fan - the one who studies every play, knows the 40-yard-dash time of every prospect, is at every practice during training camp - still most likely is familiar primarily with what the players of the Green and Gold are up to on the field.
Packers.com is taking a look at some of the off-the-field interests of the players behind the facemasks that you cheer so heartily for during the football season. This is a chance to get to know the players through a series of questions and answers, some football-related and others having nothing to do with the gridiron.
Let's get to know... Atlas Herrion.*
One of the more thankless jobs in the NFL is that of a player on the practice squad. Every day during the week, you're working hard and getting beat up in practice and spending long hours in meetings just like the rest of the players on the team.
The one thing is, you don't have the chance on Sundays to show all the fans the benefits of the hard work you've put in all week. But one thing is definitely true - the eight players that make up the practice squad at any one time are crucial to getting their teammates ready to face the opponent and come away with the victory.
Over the course of the 2004 season, 20 different players had a run on the Packers' practice squad at one time or another. Some were cut, some were injured, and some were even moved up to the active roster to fill in for an injured player. But only one player was there for every practice all season long, giving his all on the practice squad.
Offensive lineman Atlas Herrion spent his entire rookie season of 2004 on the Green Bay practice squad, learning every day from the veterans in front of him and from venerable line coach Larry Beightol.
Herrion is working just as hard now in the offseason program as he did in each of the practice sessions last season. He hopes to challenge for one of the spots on the active roster in 2005 as a versatile player capable of lining up at both guard and tackle.
Atlas recently took some time to sit down with Packers.com to let everyone know a little bit more about good old #57.
Packers.com: Did you have any tricks played on you as a rookie?
Atlas Herrion: "No, they didn't get me too bad. I was a quiet guy, so they never really said too much to me."
What do you remember about your first NFL game, the preseason game against Seattle last year?
"It was on national TV, in that spotlight, so it was pretty good. It went pretty well - other than the fact that I got hurt a little bit - but it was a nice atmosphere, a lot of people came out.
"What I really remember from last preseason was the Family Night scrimmage game that we had. I didn't expect that many people to come out for a scrimmage game, so that was pretty fun."
What is your best football memory?
"My best memory is playing in my first college game at Alabama. Running out into that stadium filled with 65,000 people - I'd never seen anything like that coming from the small town of Daphne, Alabama (population: 16,000), it was really different for me playing in front of all those people."
Besides the physicality of the game, what is the most difficult part of playing in the NFL?
"Being business-like. The NFL is more of a business than most people think. You've got to be professional at all times."
Who is your favorite athlete to watch in any sport?
"I always liked Bo Jackson. Him being from Alabama, plus I grew up a big fan of his. Baseball, football - he did it all, even if he did go to Auburn."
What was your favorite sports team growing up?
"I'd have to say the Chicago Bulls - I'm not a real big basketball fan, but how could you not watch Michael Jordan?"
What are some of your off-season hobbies?
"I like to go to the movies and play a little basketball and work out."
Do you have some favorite movies?
"I liked "Scarface", "Ray", "Life" and "Harlem Nights". I'd have to say I like comedies best, but "Ray" was the best movie I've seen lately.
What's in your CD player right now?
"If you went out to my car right now, you'd find Ludacris, Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz, and T.I."
Do you have anything that you listen to before games to get ready?
"I listen to Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz and T.I. - stuff like that."
Do you have an all-time favorite TV show?
"I'd have to say Sanford & Son. Fred Sanford was my favorite character."
Do you like to travel?
"I love to travel, especially down south in the heat. I like being on the coast at the Gulf of Mexico. I also like Atlanta and Miami, Las Vegas - the hot spots."
What is your favorite food? Do you have a favorite restaurant?
"I like steaks - steak and potatoes. My favorite restaurant is probably Longhorn Steakhouse. I don't think they have them here in Wisconsin, though."
Do you cook? What's your specialty?
"I cook all the time, especially being up here single by myself. I like cooking collard greens, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken - a lot of my old favorites."
If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?
"I'd probably be a financial planner at a bank somewhere, since financial planning was my major in school."
Did you have any interesting jobs growing up?
"I worked at the Grand Hotel as a busboy for four years all through high school. That was pretty fun, working at a hotel. As a young man, it could get pretty fun sometimes."