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Sherman Comments On Crouch Departure


Following the Green Bay Packers' training camp practice Tuesday morning, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman confirmed that former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch has left the team for personal reasons.

Crouch had participated in the opening three practices of training camp, for rookies and first-year players, over the weekend, but was not in attendance Tuesday when the Packers returned to Clarke Hinkle Field.

"I talked to him yesterday and we really didn't get into detail," Sherman said. "He just said for personal reasons he didn't want to continue. I said, okay, and we'll leave it at that."

Claimed off reserve/retired waivers by the Packers in April, Crouch's self-imposed departure from an NFL team is his second in as many years.

Last fall, Crouch retired from the St. Louis Rams -- less than five months after the team selected him in the third-round of the 2002 NFL Draft -- because they planned to use him at wide receiver and not quarterback, the position at which he shined in the University of Nebraska's option offense.

When the Packers claimed Crouch off waivers April 18, the team was receptive to giving Crouch an opportunity to develop as a quarterback, and Crouch seemed open to learning other positions along the way.

In two offseason mini-camps, Crouch took the vast majority of his reps at quarterback, getting limited looks as a punt returner.

Crouch's quarterback reps were surely to decrease in training camp, however, due to the signing of Akili Smith and the return of Craig Nall from NFL Europe.

"The whole premise was, he's so far behind," Sherman said, in reference to Crouch's background as an option quarterback. "When he came in here, it was pretty much going to be relegated to cleaning up a little bit and maybe some practice squad snaps and working into next season in the offseason.

"That was really what we were shooting for, because he hadn't been a quarterback in the National Football League in this type of offense. So, the reality of it was he had quite a few steps to take before that would even happen."

As recently as Saturday, Crouch spoke willingly of playing positions other than quarterback if it would help earn him a roster spot.

"I would love to make this football team," Crouch said at a luncheon with members of the Wisconsin media. "It's been two years where I've been unsure about what I'm doing and it would be nice to be on a roster ...

"I wouldn't say it's quarterback or nothing."

At Nebraska, Crouch became just the third player in NCAA Division-I history to amass 3,000 rushing yards and 4,000 passing yards over a career.

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