Notebook - Teammates Withhold Judgment On Hunt

040603hunt_a.jpg



Two days into the Packers' June mini-camp, defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt remained a no-show in Green Bay.

But even though some of his teammates believe Hunt's absence from the voluntary workouts is ill-advised, they stopped short of calling his absence inexcusable. At least for now.

With the reason for Hunt's absence still a mystery, players were hesitant to pass judgment on the sixth-year veteran until they get more information.

"I don't know the reasons he's not here, so it would be wrong to for me today (to speculate)," safety Darren Sharper said. "There could be a higher power that's keeping him from being here, so that's all I know. (Once) I know, then I can react to it. But I don't know right now."

Although the camp isn't technically mandatory, Hunt is one of just two 'unexcused' absences -- the other being cornerback Mike McKenzie who is boycotting the workouts as part of his recent trade demands.

It was rumored Wednesday that Hunt had missed a flight to Green Bay from his offseason home in Memphis, but his absence Thursday cast a shadow of doubt on that theory.

Pro personnel director Reggie McKenzie said he couldn't think of a reason Hunt would miss the camp.

"I haven't talked to anybody and haven't heard much at all," McKenzie said. "I have no update whatsoever on Cletidus."

GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman didn't meet with the media Thursday afternoon, but said Wednesday that he had expected Hunt to report to camp on time.

The Packers have another mini-camp practice Friday, with five more next week.

Sharper indicated that he hopes Hunt shows up before the end of camp, but isn't concerned with his absence.

"What's today's date?" Sharper asked rhetorically. "As long as he's there August, September and all the way through the rest of the year, that's fine with me."

Reynolds Remains

Having played 18 games -- making just four starts -- over the past three seasons, Jamal Reynolds' NFL career hasn't gone as hoped.

But despite widespread speculation that the Packers would cut ties with their 2001 first-round draft choice this spring, Sherman said Reynolds has at least the rest of mini-camp to make a case for himself.

"We're going to wait and see how this mini-camp goes," Sherman said. "We need an outside rusher to compliment Kabeer (Gbaja-Biamila) and hopefully he can do that. And he'll have some time to hopefully prove it."

Sherman said that the main problem for Reynolds has been inconsistency. A devastating knee injury Reynolds' rookie season, which plagued him throughout much of his sophomore year, hasn't helped in that regard.

But defensive coordinator Bob Slowik said he's liked what he's seen out of Reynolds this offseason, noting especially the physicality of the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder.

"First of all, Jamal is at a good weight," Slowik said. "And he hasn't lost any quickness and speed. And of course that's one of his greatest assets. With that little extra bulk and strength and power, I think it shows. ...

"But with defensive linemen, a lot of things we see right here, it's not as realistic as a skilled player because the pads make a difference. As with any of the defensive linemen, we just have to wait and see if he carries it over into training camp with the pads on."

Decision Delayed

Defensive end Joe Johnson isn't at the Packers' mini-camp, but he isn't off the roster.

Johnson, who has struggled through two injury-plagued seasons with the Packers since signing as a free agent in 2002, has been excused from participating in the team's mini-camps.

But if that would seem to suggest that Johnson's future isn't in Green Bay, the Packers have yet to make the transaction.

"I'm still going to keep my options open," Sherman said. "I've haven't decided exactly what plan of attack we're going to use here. We've had some conversation with his agent and we'll go from there."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising