Packers-Saints Press Box Notes

051004saints_green_a.jpg



TODAY: Refusing to give up after an 0-4 start - and three straight losses by a combined six points - the Packers bid for their first win...The Packers, still only 11/2 games out of first, play another non-divisional opponent. Only two of the team's first nine are against division foes in a clouded NFC North race...Green Bay hosts New Orleans for the first time since 1989, ending the NFL's longest one-city drought between same-conference opponents. The Saints make only their second trip to Lambeau Field...Hoping to get back on track, the Packers look for their first home victory. Counting only their first two home games, the Packers are just 1-5 (.167) since 2003. In home games 3-8 since 2003, Green Bay is 8-4 (.667)...The Packers meet former cornerback Mike McKenzie for the first time since trading him to New Orleans one year ago this week. The Saints meet Grady Jackson for the first time since Green Bay claimed him on waivers from New Orleans in 2003.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY -

DONALD DRIVER:

-With a catch, can extend his streak of games with a reception to 53. The strech is the fourth longest in Packers history. Next up on the list are Hall of Famer James Lofton (58), current running backs coach Edgar Bennett (60) and all-time leader Sterling Sharpe (103).

BRETT FAVRE:

-Counting all recorded consecutive-starts streaks, will match the No. 4 streaks, 210, shared by the Vikings' Fred Cox (1963-77) and the Raiders' Jim Otto (1960-74). Favre enters having started 209 consecutive games, the league's longest active streak, and longest ever among quarterbacks.

BUBBA FRANKS:

-Needs five receptions for 200 career.

KABEER GBAJA-BIAMILA:

-On Green Bay's all-time sacks list, needs 21/2 to surpass No. 2 Tim Harris (55). Gbaja-Biamila enters with 53 career sacks, 151/2 shy of Reggie White's franchise record, 681/2.

CONSISTENCY AT QUARTERBACK: The Packers are one of two teams in the NFL without a win, the only club in the NFC, and Brett Favre is 0-4 for the first time in his NFL career. So how will Favre approach this contest, or any game from this point forward? "I'm going to give everyone their money's worth," he said. "I can promise you that. That's the only way to play. If you're going to play, you might as well play your best. I don't want to be embarrassed, individually or as a team."

THE INFIRMARY: The Packers' training room looked like a busy ER this week, with every available bed taken. In all, 13 players appeared on the club's official injury report. Not since Week 6 of the 2000 season, when the club listed 15 before a game at Detroit, has the team's injury report taken up so many lines.

THIS WEEK'S TRANSACTIONS - THE NAME GAME: The Packers this week waived TE Ben Steele (Tuesday), promoted WR Jamal Jones from the practice squad to the active roster (Wednesday), re-signed G Joe Hayes to the practice squad (Wednesday), signed RB ReShard Lee (Thursday) and placed WR Terrence Murphy on injured reserve with neck trauma (Thursday). The addition of Lee elevated the degree of difficulty from a broadcaster's point of view. The Packers' 53-man roster now includes, on offense, a pair of Lees (Donald and ReShard), two Donalds (Lee and Driver) and a couple "Williams" in William Henderson and William Whitticker. On defense, the team's available players include a pair of Nicks (Barnett and Collins), a couple of Thomas' (Joey and Robert) and two "Colins" in Nick Collins and Colin Cole, who occasionally plays next to Cullen Jenkins.

NEITHER 19 NOR 2 HAVE BEEN IN HEAVY CIRCULATION: If Jamal Jones plays today, he'll become the first Packers player to wear No. 19 in a league game since WR Bill Schroeder during a 1994 playoff contest. In fact, only two players over the past two decades-plus have worn 19 in a regular-season or postseason game: Schroeder and QB Rich Campbell (1981-84). Jones had been wearing No. 2, in both training camp and on the practice squad over the first few weeks of the '05 campaign. Only one player in Packers history has worn No. 2 in a league game, B Charlie Mathys in 1925 and '26. Incidentally, Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks wore No. 2 while with the Packers in 1999. That year, Brooks was the inactive third quarterback for all 16 Green Bay games.

ALEX, WELCOME TO THE CLUB: San Francisco's Alex Smith, who may have been drafted by Green Bay had the 49ers taken Aaron Rodgers No. 1 overall, will make his first NFL start later today, vs. Indianapolis. Smith becomes the 187th quarterback to start an NFL game since Brett Favre began his current starting streak (210 counting today), Sept. 27, 1992. Meanwhile, in Buffalo, Kelly Holcomb could become the ninth quarterback to start for the Bills since Favre launched the streak. The Bears have started a league-high 20 during the period.

NATIONAL ANTHEM & FLY-BY: Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Roads, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook), a group of national country recording artists whose current Equity Records album 'The Road to Here' is currently available, will perform the Star Spangled Banner...The group this week held concerts in Wausau and Green Bay...On the heels of the performance - using a coordinated effort that relies on a lot of mathematical formulas and a little bit of luck - the "Blue Blasters," a group of F/A-18 Hornets from Squadron VFA 34 in Virginia Beach, Va., will rocket over the stadium. A pilot in the fly-by, Jason Van Pietersom, is a 1994 graduate of Green Bay's Notre Dame Academy.

HALFTIME: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater marching band will provide today's halftime entertainment.

POOL REPORTERS: Appointed by the Professional Football Writers of America, Cliff Christl (primary) of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Mike Vandermause (alternate) of the Green Bay Press-Gazette are today's pool reporters.

NEXT WEEK: Green Bay observes its Week 6 bye, the Packers' earliest off week since 1999 (Week 4); following the bye, the team begins full-scale preparations for an Oct. 23 showdown at Minnesota (12 noon)...One week from today, New Orleans hosts Atlanta at the Alamodome in San Antonio, a noon kickoff.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising