Notebook: Tauscher Draws Rare Penalty


With 10:06 left in the third quarter of Sunday's game, something unusual occurred. Right tackle Mark Tauscher committed a holding penalty for the first time of his six-year career.

That call ended an impressive streak.

"Being non-penalized is a big thing for me and all lineman," Tauscher said. "You don't like to get your camera zoomed in on you."

It also rids Tauscher of a compelling defense argument. When referees came down to practice and flagged him for a hold, he used to reference his impeccable track record.

"I can't make that claim anymore," Tauscher said. "Hopefully the refs down at practice will still let it go."

Finishing off blocks and focusing on proper technique allowed to him go so many years without a penalty.

"It's mainly trying to put yourself in the right position so you don't have to look like you're out of position," he said. "Everybody holds."

Everyone in the NFL plays through aches and pains, and Tauscher did that as well on Sunday. He wore a walking boot on his foot on Monday, but he dismissed the problem as minor inflammation. He expects to wear his walking boot for only four to five days.

Tauscher said his injury paled in comparison to the sprained ankle suffered by left tackle Chad Clifton. Clifton gutted through the game with that injury.

"I didn't feel bad. It wasn't like my warrior friend Chad with his bad ankle," he said. "It definitely wasn't to that extreme."

His foot injury requires rest, ice and stretching to improve. Tauscher will take those measures during the bye week.

"Hopefully I'll get a little rest this week," he said. "And then next week get back at it."


Birthday Boy

When head coach Mike Sherman saw Brett Favre Monday morning, the quarterback's birthday, he jokingly asked whether he was 39 or 40-years-old.

"I feel like I'm 39 or 40," said the 15-year-veteran with grey speckled hair on top of his head. "But I'm actually 36."

Any quarterback who has started 210 consecutive games would feel that way, but his legs look much lively than that of a 36-year-old.

"He's taking off and running the ball," Sherman said. "He's more apt to do that maybe than he has in the past. I think he's a little more confident in his ability to get some yardage and move the chains."

Earning the applause of fans, Favre converted a third down-and-four by running for nine yards against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Favre also churned out a first down last week, running for 12 yards on a carry against the Carolina Panthers.

After undergoing personal training sessions at his Mississippi home with strength coach Ken Kroener to become more elusive in the pocket and build up his endurance, Favre is showing the fruits of his offseason labor.

He has not only avoided sacks but become a more effective runner.

"That core training helped him quite a bit," Sherman said.


Never Rest

An off week? There is no such thing for the Green Bay Packers coaching and administrative staff. Sherman will spend the first three days of the bye week evaluating personnel.

After breaking down tape with the team on Monday, he began meetings with Mike Eayrs, the director of research and development, to assess tendencies and play calling.

"We go through the pluses and minuses of some things we're doing and not doing," Sherman said.

The Packers also will evaluate certain personnel packages. With the tight ends regaining health and the effectiveness of David Martin and Donald Lee during the last two weeks, the team may use more three-tight-end sets, something the Packers employed in 2003.

On Tuesday the coaching staff will begin preparations for the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers' next opponent.

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