In today's world of professional sports, few established players take the time to look out for the young players trying to make the team. It is sometimes the last thing a player wants to do after a tough practice.
However, Donald Driver isn't like most players. The sixth-year wide receiver often stays after practice to lend a helping hand to his younger teammates. He said it's not a big deal, just something that can help the team out in the long run.
"We're all a team," Driver explained. "We have to get better and better. It doesn't matter if you're a first-year guy, a practice squad guy, whatever. We've just got to make sure they are competing."
Driver said that he had veterans mentoring him while he was learning the ropes and now it is his turn to return the favor to his young teammates.
"I always learned from Robert Brooks, Antonio (Freeman) and Bill (Schroeder)," Driver said. "They always told me things in meetings and also when we got out here at practice. I am just trying to make sure my young guys know how to do it."
Driver's teaching isn't limited to just offensive teammates, however. Lately, he has been staying after practice to help rookie cornerback Ahmad Carroll as well.
"I just told him something he can learn without the pulling," Driver said. "That's a big rule now enforced that you can't grab the jersey. I am just trying to make sure he uses his speed more than his hands."'
With Driver's help, Carroll and others will undoubtedly not only become better students of the game, but also better players as well.
No Need For Outbursts
It's safe to say training camp has advanced to a point of irritation. With practices now advancing beyond two weeks, players are starting to get sick of hitting each other instead of another team and it shows.
Friday morning's practice featured two scuffles that GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said were uncalled for. He said that it's alright to be intense but it's another thing to let tempers get out of hand and let battles develop between teammates.
"Sometimes when you bang as much as we are, it's going to happen a little bit," Sherman said. "But to the extent and the degree it did today, I don't like that. They could get kicked out of the game or get a penalty. You need to practice like the way you are going to play in a game.
"It would have hurt us in a game. We would have lost field position and possibly a score. There's no place for that out here when we're scrimmaging."
Still, training camp scuffles are nothing new to NFL football and when players are attempting to make the team, the intensity picks up. Carroll understands how fights escalate and said there's nothing to worry about.
"The thing I love about this football team, is that you can have some scuffles out on the field, but then you see the same two guys in the locker room eating together and laughing," Carroll said. "What happens on the field stays on the field. Everybody is competing for a job."
McBrien Just Wants To Compete
Scott McBrien, a rookie quarterback out of Maryland, is not in the most ideal situation. First of all, he went undrafted before the Packers signed him in April. Secondly, at 6-0 and 188 pounds, he is a little on the small side by NFL quarterback standards. Finally, he is vying for a spot in a crowded quarterbacks race.
Clearly, he has a tough road ahead of him to make Green Bay's roster, yet that doesn't seem to bother McBrien.
"My main goal is to make the team," McBrien said. "I am just going to go out there and do the best I can. If things don't work out here, hopefully they will somewhere else. Right now I am just happy to be a part of this team and hopefully it will continue."
McBrien doesn't think his time in Green Bay has been a waste. He said that learning from Brett Favre, Tim Couch and Doug Pederson has been beneficial.
"That's my job to absorb from them and learn as much as I can from them," McBrien said. "They've been a great help and they don't have to do that. They're great guys to work with and they've been very helpful."
It seems the first thing you hear about McBrien is that he possesses a strong arm and he moves around well, but at the same time his lack of size is a concern. McBrien just sees it as another challenge that he can overcome.
"I've had to deal with that my whole life," McBrien said. "Even in college, I went in at 150 pounds my freshman year. It's never really affected me. I've seemed to succeed in the past. People are going to knock my size, but I am going to go out there, compete my hardest and hopefully get something done."
Injury Bug Rears Its Ugly Head
The morning session became a brief time of concern when linebacker Marcus Wilkins and safety Curtis Fuller were both injured during team drills. The good news is that both players walked off the field on their own power.
According to Sherman, Wilkins had a concussion and Fuller strained his back. Sherman said that their status for Monday's preseason opener is uncertain at this point.
Also missing practice on Friday for the second consecutive day was linebacker Na'il Diggs.
"His back got real tight on him," Sherman said. "We pulled him out today because of the tightness. Hopefully, it will loosen up and he'll be better tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Sherman ruled out quarterback Craig Nall and defensive linemen Ja'Dae McGuire, Chukie Nwokorie and Donnell Washington for Monday's game.
One player who increased his chances of playing Monday is Ahman Green. After sitting out two days of practice with a sore foot, the Pro Bowl running back rejoined his teammates on the practice field for Friday's morning session.