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Packers Notebook - Familiar Faces Return To Lambeau Field


With the Seattle Seahawks coming to town Monday night, there will be plenty of old faces on the opposing sideline as well as some new ones on the Packers side. Forget about introductions, many of the players participating in the game will already know each other from being old teammates.

Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren will be returning to town with his staff that includes many members who also assisted him in Green Bay. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman also spent time on Holmgren's staff in Green Bay and Seattle. In addition to that, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will visit the team that originally selected him in the sixth round of the 1996 draft.

Another aspect to the Seattle-Green Bay reunion features Ahman Green playing against the franchise that drafted him in 1998 out of Nebraska, before trading him to the Packers before the 2000 season. While many players form some sort of resentment toward a former team, Green insists Seattle is just another opponent.

"Playing Seattle never was a big thing," Green said. "It's just another game. I've been different places throughout my whole life playing football. I'd play at one park, go to another park, play at one high school, and play at another high school.

"The only time I didn't switch teams was in college. I stayed at Nebraska for three years. Other than that, I've always been at two different places and done well at both. I will just treat it like another game."

Green may not hold anything against his former team, but when old faces come to town, each team wants to get the upper hand. If anything, it should make for a competitive game.

New Faces Ready To Make Packers Debut

The Packers will finally get a chance to see their new players in action Monday. Or at least some of their new players, that is.

Quarterback Tim Couch and safety Mark Roman were acquired this offseason from the Browns and Bengals, respectively. While Couch was brought in to compete for a backup spot behind Brett Favre, Roman was acquired to challenge for the starting safety position opposite Darren Sharper. Couch rested his sore arm and didn't throw in Saturday's practice, but on Monday, both he and Roman will see their first Packers action.

The team also drafted six new players this offseason, but the status of half of them is still up in the air. Cornerback Ahmad Carroll, punter B.J. Sander and defensive tackle Corey Williams are all scheduled to see action Monday night.

However, the status of defensive tackle Donnell Washington, cornerback Joey Thomas and guard Scott Wells is a different story at this point. Washington is out with a foot injury. Wells has a biceps injury and should play, but Thomas' knee injury has him listed at about 50-50 according to Sherman.

"We rested Joey Thomas today with the hopes that he would be able to play Monday night," Sherman said. "We want him to get game experience and the doctors thought getting him some rest would help."

Team Gets Break From Pads

Although the schedule indicated the Packers would be practicing in pads for Saturday's workout, Sherman thought better of it. He said practicing in shorts was just a way to get his team some additional rest.

"I always say pads for the players' sake, but then if I want to take it back, I will," Sherman explained. "We have been doing a lot of banging in camp. I thought in order to get our full contingent back on the field Monday night, I would rather prepare like it was a Friday practice.

"They practiced at a good speed, and as long as they practice fast, I don't mind taking the pads off. If they practice slow, it's a different deal. We had a fair amount of hitting during the week and we've had tremendous intensity. So I felt like to come out here and beat them up today wouldn't serve them well for Monday night and we will hopefully get some guys back in the process."

Sherman isn't panicking over the team's injuries, either.

"I looked at last year's group and it's far better in regard to last year," he said. "We had seven guys out as of last night, and last year at this time we had 17 out. It seems like we're better in comparison to last year.

"I look around the league and there are lots of bruises, bumps and serious injuries as well. I think we've fared well that way. There are things that are going to heal up in the next couple days and I'm not overly concerned about those. We've avoided the big injuries. I don't think we have had anymore than usual, we probably have less, actually."

With the regular season around the corner, the Packers hope it stays that way.

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