Convinced that the experience will accelerate Craig Nall's professional development, the Green Bay Packers have assigned the second-year quarterback to the NFL Europe League for its imminent, 10-game spring season, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Wednesday.
Nall, who has been assigned to the Scottish Claymores of NFLE, will report to the league's training camp in Tampa Thursday. The league opened its camp for all players Monday.
"Craig is excited…very excited…about getting the chance to show that he can play," Reggie McKenzie, the Packers' director of pro personnel, said after completing arrangements with Nall by phone Wednesday to join the Claymores. "He said he had been hoping that we might have talked to him about going to the NFLEL when we started working on those assignments towards the end of the season."
McKenzie added, "We're looking forward to watching him play. That's the only way to make a fair evaluation of a player's ability. You can't do that by just watching him work on the practice field."
Nall, a fifth-round draft selection out of Northwestern (La.) State in the 2002 draft, served as the Packers' No. 3 quarterback as a rookie, when he was inactive for all 16 regular-season games as well as the team's playoff contest with Atlanta. He had finished the '02 preseason on a high note, ending non-league play with an 80.8 passer rating (20 completions in 45 attempts for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns – without an interception).
The 23-year-old Alexandria, La., native, 6-3 and 228 pounds, is the 14th member of the Packers' roster to be assigned to NFLE for its 2003 season. He joins guard Bill Ferrrario (Berlin); kick returners Martin Dossett (Barcelona), Kenyatte Morgan (Scotland) and Shawn Mills (Rhein); wide receivers Brian Haugabrook (Frankfurt) and Travis Williams (Amsterdam); safety Bobby Jackson (Scotland); linebackers Isaac Keys (Scotland), Jermaine Petty (Scotland) and Everick Rawls (Amsterdam); quarterback Zak Kustok (Berlin); safety Jeremy Unertl (Frankfurt); and punter Tim Morgan (currently unassigned).