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Packers Notebook - By The Numbers


By The Numbers

In the same week that Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves said that the Packers roster includes "six or seven blue chip players," The Sporting News went a step farther, naming five Packers to its annual list of the NFL's top-100 players.

Trailing only Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk of the St. Louis Rams and Randy Moss of the Minnesota Vikings, respectively, Brett Favre drops from a No. 2 ranking last year to match his uniform with a No. 4 ranking in 2002.

Just as appropriately, running back Ahman Green comes in at No. 30, up from 91st last season. Safety Darren Sharper is just behind Green at No. 31, having been ranked 43rd in 2001.

Newly acquired defensive end Joe Johnson slips from 27th last year, but makes the top-50 with an overall ranking of 46th, with Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila riding his 13.5 sacks from 2001 to be ranked 92nd.

Inside The Actors Studio

In this weekend's edition of ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, SportsCenter regular Kenny Mayne will feature Brett Favre in his special 'Mayne Event' segment.

Mayne will focus on Favre's notorious execution of play fakes. With Mayne detailing Favre's 'acting' on the field, actor Ben Stiller will analyze Favre's acting on the big screen.

Stiller starred in the 1998 movie There's Something About Mary, which included a cameo by Favre.

Eye In The Sky

Starting with tonight's 2002 NFL season opener between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants, ESPN will be utilizing its new 'SkyCam' technology to give fans at home yet another angle from which to view the game.

The SkyCam is a remote-controlled camera capable of moving 30 miles per hour from end line to end line and sideline to sideline on a series of wires above the playing field. The camera will be positioned behind the line of scrimmage during game action, so as not to interfere with the play.

ESPN will also debut its 'Virtual Playbook,' which allows telestrator drawings to be made digitally 'under' the feet of the athletes, much like the yellow '1st and Ten' stripe, rather than on top of the screen.

Packers fans will have to wait until December 8, when ESPN carries Green Bay's home game against the Minnesota Vikings, to have a chance of seeing the new technological toys used in a Packers game.

ESPN plans to use the SkyCam feature only in half of its broadcasts this season, with no word yet if the Packers-Vikings game will be among the chosen.

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