Thursday, September 30, 2004

Defense Must Get After Warner

by Dave Lawrence,

When the New York Giants come to Wisconsin Sunday to meet the Packers, they will be led by a familiar face - familiar at least to Brett Favre, and anyone else that was in camp with the Pack back in 1994.

Quarterback Kurt Warner, whose tenure as a Packer pre-dates his now-famous story of traveling from the Arena Football League, to NFL Europe, to superstardom with the St. Louis Rams, will be under center for the Giants.

The two-time league MVP, who also picked up a Super Bowl ring with the Rams, first broke into the NFL as an undrafted free agent when he signed with the Packers out of the University of Northern Iowa in 1994.

Coming off of two difficult seasons in St. Louis, the signal-caller looks to have regained some of his old form as he's directed the Giants to a 2-1 record thus far in the young season.

Linebacker Nick Barnett is not buying into the reports that Warner isn't the same player he used once was, and is prepared to face the quarterback that lit up the league from 1999 to 2001...

Defensive end Aaron Kampman, who grew up and went to college in Iowa, is very familiar with the story of the man he will be trying to harass all afternoon Sunday...

The lineman did go on to say that the defense will try to exploit some of the knocks that have dogged Warner over the past few years, such his lack of mobility and the fact that he sometimes will stand in the pocket for a long time searching for open receivers.

Barnett expects that the pressure defense employed by coordinator Bob Slowik will be in full effect Sunday, and he knows that they must be more successful in reaching their target in the backfield than in their two recent losses...

Go Packers!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Still Holding

Michael Hawthorne has now acquired the starting position at conerback after beating out the Packers first round draft pick, Ahmad Carroll. Originally the position belonged to the Packers defensive star of 2003, Mike Mekenzie. Mekenzie is still a hold out, after being upset with the team when several lesser talented conerbacks were being compensated more than him. When April came around, Mekenzie asked to be traded. In the end, head coach Mike Sherman says Mekenzies' hold out has not been a distraction, and it hasn't.

The battle between Hawthorne and Carroll this pre-season proved both can play, yet Hawthorne will have the upper hand over Carroll against Carolina. Hawthorne picked up from the Saints, was team mates with Jake Delhomme from 2000-2002. Hawthorne has more than enough knowledge and practice against Delhomme. I am sure this is why the coaches started Hawthorne over Carroll.

Carroll was a three year stand out at Arkansas and was the 25 pick overall in the draft this year. Carroll gave a taste of what he can do with a pick in the final pre-season game.

"And Carroll is going to play, he's going to play in the base, as well. He's just not going to start the game," Sherman said.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Rookie Ahmad Carroll's Big Break


Green Bay Packers rookie cornerback Ahmad Carroll could get his first start on Friday at Tennessee.

Coach Mike Sherman said Wednesday that Carroll would replace Michael Hawthorne at left cornerback, if his strained back does not improve.

When asked if Carroll would get the start, Sherman said, ``As of right now, it looks that way because Hawthorne hasn't been able to get out on the field. So, if Hawthorne is not out there, Carroll will start.''

Carroll, taken 25th overall in the April draft, has lined up in Hawthorne's place at practice all week.

"I'm always ready to step in,'' Carroll said. ``Wherever the coaches want me at, I'll be able to play.''

The speedy, 5-foot-10 Carroll, meanwhile, has pleased the coaches with his progress.
Carroll struggled with penalties in the first two exhibition games, but was penalty-free and broke up his first pass of the preseason against the Jaguars. His nine tackles rank fourth on the team.