With training camp approximately half over, the Packers are still deciding who their starting safety opposite of Darren Sharper will be. The top two candidates appear to be incumbent Marques Anderson and Mark Roman, who signed with the team after playing four seasons with the Bengals.
Anderson received the start against the Seahawks last Monday, but Saturday will be Roman's turn. The coaches have rotated the two players throughout camp and will continue to do so until they determine which player best suits their defense.
The way Roman sees it, his job remains the same regardless of when he plays.
"Every day is a chance to make my mark whether it is in practice or a game," Roman said. "I just want to go out there and have production. I don't want to try and do anything special, I just want to be productive and help my teammates out any way I can.
"I'm the type of guy who wants to make my teammates better. If I can, I am willing to help them out anyway possible."
Roman doesn't concern himself with who will start, either.
"I don't know what the coaches' criteria will be in deciding if I get the starting job or not," Roman explained. "All I can do is play my game to the best of my ability and fit where I can in the defense. All I have to do is my job.
"I have no idea who the coaches will pick. I would have to be looking at film and sitting in the meeting rooms to have an idea on their thought process. I think it will be confined to the whole training camp. One day Marques is up and one day I am up. Everything is even, but once camp is over, they will have to look back and say who has had the most production and what do we want out of the position."
Not Your Average Joe
When the Saints come to town Saturday night, the Packers will have to deal with an offense that contains many weapons. One of those weapons happens to be Joe Horn, one of the league's top wide receivers.
"Joe Horn is a pretty good receiver," cornerback Michael Hawthorne said. "He can be put in the same category as Randy Moss. When he's on, he's on.
"You can only do things within the defense to maintain a guy like that. He's quick, he can stretch the field and he has pretty good hands. When you have a chance to put your hands on him or get a hit on him, you take it."
Roman looks at defending Horn a little differently than Hawthorne does.
"Really, I don't even look at specific players," Roman said. "I just try to look at the schemes they run and where they try to attack us. A player is a player. He's only as good as the offense he's in. He's not out there by himself, so I really don't worry about that."
Hawthorne, a former Saint, said he often thinks back to the early stages of his career, and is ready to see a few familiar faces.
"I reflect on my days with the Saints all the time," Hawthorne said. "You have to reflect and look in the past to move into the future. I had some pretty good times and some pretty rough times, but it made me the person I am today.
"It will be pretty fun to get out there with old teammates. I've been looking forward to it, including seeing some of the old coaches."
Ferguson, Carroll Still Questionable
Two other players that are anxiously waiting for Saturday night include Robert Ferguson and Ahmad Carroll.
Both have ailing hamstring injuries and went through a series of sprints after practice Friday to see if they could play Saturday.
"Whether I play or not is up to the coach," Ferguson said. "If he wants me to play, I'll play. Am I itching to get out there? Yeah. It's been a long training camp so it would be good to go against somebody different."
"I'm feeling alright," Carroll said. "It's up to the coaches right now if I play. I just wanted to see how I moved around full speed. I wanted to get a feel before I made a decision.
"I'll be able to go if they want me to. I feel pretty good right now. They are probably just going to let me know tonight or early tomorrow morning. Whatever the coaches want me to do, I am going to do it."
Ferguson said that every repetition he gets with his quarterback counts for something.
"You need every game in the preseason," Ferguson explained. "I really don't call it the preseason, it's a practice. You go out there to hone your skills and get better. You want to get confidence with Brett and get confidence with the coaches.
"It's worth the risk in my opinion. That's what I work hard for. I want to go out and enjoy myself. It's fun right now playing the game. All the hard work is on the practice field."
Couch Moves Forward
When Tim Couch made his Packer debut against the Seahawks, he was looking for a strong performance. Instead, he finished 2-for-11 and had only 18 yards passing. Couch plans to improve Saturday night.
"I'm excited about it," Couch said. "I'm looking forward to it. I want to play more like myself, and not be so systematic and thinking through everything. I just want to let the game come to me.
"It's coming. I just have to go out relax and try to make plays. I will be ready to go. The arm feels a lot better and ready to go."
Couch said there's no where to go but up.
"The only good thing about last week is that I can't go down from that performance. It can only get better. I am looking forward to going back out there, getting another opportunity and playing better this week."
Couch knows that his situation isn't ideal, but if given time he will do fine.
"I've been in a different offense the last five years," Couch explained. "I'm trying to relearn a whole system in a couple weeks time, and that is a tough thing to do. I wish I could have had the mini-camp to go through, but I wasn't able to do that. I am just trying to learn on the run and it's tough, but that's where we are at and I have to make the best of it.
"I still have a long way to go, but I am willing to do the work to get there."
For Couch, the road to improvement starts Saturday night.