When you have a Hall of Fame quarterback and a man of Brett Favre's caliber, you want to do all you can to protect him, which means fielding a quality offensive line. Luckily for the Packers, they have one of the best offensive lines in the game.
Yet it's hard to keep Favre healthy when the guys who are expected to take care of him are hurt themselves. With center Mike Flanagan and guard Mike Wahle on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the Packers have had to insert Grey Ruegamer and rookie Steve Morley.
Although they have done a good job in camp, Ruegamer and Morley aren't ready to perform at the level of Flanagan and Wahle. Favre said replacing his two starters just isn't an option.
"No offense to those guys, but they'll never beat out Wahle and Flanagan," Favre said. "I think Grey's doing a fine job and Morley, who turned 23 today, has got a lot of potential."
Favre admitted that even Frank Winters, one of his old teammates and a great friend, wasn't as talented as Flanagan.
"As much as I love Frank and as many snaps and as many games we played together, he will be the first to tell you that he can't do near the stuff Flanagan can do," Favre said. "Some of the things that we are able to do with our starting five, even though we try to do them with other guys, we can't.
"There's no telling how many times we've run that power play to the right where Mike Wahle pulls. It's like the Packers sweep of old. It's just hard to throw people in to do that."
Although Flanagan and Wahle are out right now, Favre is happy that his starting offensive line will be back for another year.
"Over time our backups can get better, but once again, you can't replace those guys," Favre said. "We've kept the starting guys together, but once you take one of those guys out of the starting lineup they are tough to replace."
Feeling The Wrath Of Beightol
Favre may be pleased with his offensive line, but line coach Larry Beightol was far from pleased with his unit's performance Monday night.
Without going into specifics, Beightol simply stated that his line had to play better. He added that they will, and if they don't, they won't want to be around him.
"I'm not in a joking mood is what the boys said today," Beightol said. "They didn't like what they were seeing from the Beckster, I guess. We'll just have to wait and see, maybe tonight they will to do a little better. When we start installing the game plan, maybe I will tone it down a tad."
For now though, Beightol said his team better show improvement when they face the New Orleans Saints Saturday night.
"I want to see some guys getting after some folks, is what I want to see. That's the Packers, we don't take prisoners."
Davis Gets Bad Break
After making the All-NFL Europe team this spring as a special teams player and leading the league in kick returns, the Packers were excited about wide receiver Shockmain Davis. However, the excitement turned to a feeling of misfortune on Wednesday.
Davis, who was getting plenty of looks in training camp as the fifth receiver and a possible kick returner on special teams, broke his leg in practice and is out for the season. He received the injury during an early special teams drill and had to be helped off the field.
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said that fullback Vonta Leach was coming down the field and drove into his blocker. Davis got bounced into Kenny Peterson and there was a pileup, which ultimately caused the injury.
Sherman expressed his disappointment with Davis' injury.
"It's unfortunate, I really feel bad for the young man because he was really doing a good job."