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Holliday Reports To Camp


Vonnie Holliday joined the team at Saturday's morning practice.

The much talked about 'holdout' by defensive end Vonnie Holliday was over before training camp's first full-squad practice.

Although the dispute over a contract extension has yet to be resolved, Holliday met with GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman and then underwent a routine physical examination before joining the team midway through Saturday's morning practice.

He saw limited action in team drills by the design of Sherman, who said he preferred that Holliday come into practice Sunday with fewer distractions and geared up to go full-speed, but Holliday's mere presence was a relief to both parties.

"It's nice to see Vonnie out here," Sherman said. "Vonnie's a good guy, make no mistake about that. We're excited to have him here on the practice field with our football team, as I'm sure his teammates are as well."

Said Holliday, "It's a difficult situation to be in. I was certainly frustrated and a little disappointed by what didn't happen in the offseason (in terms of a contract extension), but at the same time I knew how important it was to be here.

"We're building something great here right now, the organization has done a great job of assembling the personnel and the players and I'm one of those guys. I thought it was very important for me to come here and get to work."

The team's top draft choice in 1998, Holliday is coming off one of the finest seasons of his NFL career, in which he led the defensive line with 81 tackles, seven of them quarterback sacks. He is also coming up on the last season of his five-year contract and hopes to play 2002 with his future in Green Bay secure.

"If you remember, when I was a rookie I was the first guy to sign my deal -- the first first-rounder to sign -- and that's how I like it, no problems, go in with a free mind and focused to play football," Holliday said. "This situation just came up and I didn't know exactly what to do, so it took me an extra day to get it together. I'm glad we talked it out and came to some understanding . . .

"I'm confident that we're going to get something done, exactly what that is long-term, short-term, I have no idea, but we're going to work it out so the organization as well as myself, we both can be happy . . .

"I want to be a Packer for life and I think that the organization knows that, and I think they want that also and we'll get it done."

Both Sherman and Holliday stressed that negotiations will continue throughout training camp with the hope of coming to an agreement in the near future. Both also rebuffed any suggestions that Holliday might 'holdout' of any later portion of training camp if an agreement was not made by a certain date.

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