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Packers Notebook -- Body, Mind Ferguson's Grown


Javon Walker isn't the only wide receiver to hit the weights this offseason. Robert Ferguson reported to mini-camp with more muscle, too.

Ten pounds worth since the end of last season, Ferguson said Saturday. And he's not just bigger, he's stronger and more flexible as well. Faster, even.

Whereas last year Ferguson battled muscle tweaks and pulls in training camp, through four days of mini-camp this year he was feeling nothing but healthy.

"Not tired, not fatigued, just raring to go from start to finish," said Ferguson, who reported running "consistent" 4.3-second 40-yard dashes this spring. "I actually got faster and gained more weight."

Conducting his workouts with a personal trainer at both Texas A&M University and Tyler Junior College near his offseason home, Ferguson said he's focused mostly on his core strength and flexibility.

He started doing yoga, and is so pleased by the results that he regrets not taking part in the Packers' yoga class a year ago.

"I used to think yoga was just for females, but it helps me," Ferguson admitted with a laugh. "If there's any young kids out there, take yoga. It works."

If not evidenced by that comment alone, Ferguson's growth hasn't only been physical. He's a more confident individual than he was in 2002.

He attributes that to a season in the trenches. After a rookie campaign in which he saw action in only one game, Ferguson was a regular contributor in 2002 with 22 catches for 293 yards and 3 touchdowns.

He learned the offense firsthand and knows what an entire NFL season looks like from inside the white lines.

"Once you know what you're doing, you're just oozing with confidence," Ferguson said. "I think it's showing right now. I have my little swagger like I had in college, feeling like I'm 'The Man.'"

With Terry Glenn having been traded to Dallas, Ferguson will now compete for a starting role. But the more-confident Ferguson doesn't see that as pressure, just as an opportunity.

"The door is open now," Ferguson said. "Whether I step into it or step out of it is up to me."

New Coach, New Technology

When the Packers hired a new special teams coordinator to replace the retired Frank Novak last January, Robert Ferguson knew there would be changes. But he didn't know they would look like this.

Saturday, former Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coach John Bonamego introduced to Packers practice a portable microphone system (see photo) that had a few onlookers scratching their heads.

During special teams drills, Bonamego spoke his instructions into a headset that broadcast the sound by means of a speaker system that he wore as a backpack.

Ferguson said the cutting-edge contraption made Bonamego look like "Robocop."

"When I first saw it, I thought it was a flamethrower or something," Ferguson said. "I had to look at him to see what he was doing. It was a little unusual."

Although intended for the players, Bonamego's gadget is great for observing Packers fans, who can hear his instructions just as clearly.

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