Showing posts with label Robert Ferguson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Robert Ferguson. Show all posts

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ferguson released

Oft-injured six-year veteran receiver Robert Ferguson was released by the Packers on Friday. According to reports, the team tried to trade Fergie and had no takers. Given the glut of young and apparently talented receivers the Pack now have in camp, Ferguson -- as had been speculated since Spring practices -- was deemed expendable.

In a statement by Packers GM Ted Thompson, he said: "We thank Robert for everything he has given to the Packers. In addition to his contributions on the playing field, Robert has been a positive influence in our locker room and a good teammate. As with any veteran player who has been here, we wanted to make this move early because this gives him the best chance to catch on with another organization in the NFL."

No doubt some team will pick him up. On those seemingly rare occasions when he wasn't nursing an injury, Ferguson showed real flashes of what he could be: a very solid receiver. He was also a leader on special teams. So give Fergie his due.

Still, many fans never liked this pick by former GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman. As you may recall, Sherman chose the raw and unproven potential of Ferguson ahead of the proven abilities of University of Wisconsin receiver Chris Chambers. Wisconsin fans never quite forgave Sherman for that choice, nor Ferguson for being the choice. It was an unfair bit of baggage the yougster had to carry with him his entire time in Green Bay. Of course...this is just this own writer's opinion...as critical as this same writer's posts have sometimes been of Ferguson. You still have to wish Fergie well wherever he lands.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Minicamp Wrap-Up

Now that the first mandatory minicamp has come and gone, a few bits of this and that. (How's that for being specific!)

RB Vernand Morency seems to be penciled in right now as the replacement for Ahman Green. But that's not something anyone should take to the bank quite yet. Coaches, according to reports, seem high on him. They like his quick feet and elusiveness. Last season, without benefit of any camp or experience with the new zone blocking scheme offense -- which, of course, none of the lineman really had either -- Morency performed respectably. But he is a different body type than Green. And despite the fact that he refers to himself as a "beast," it remains to be seen whether he can take the pounding that Green took as the featured running back. If not, it may be running back by committee. While it could well be argued that the receiver position is the most competitive in camp (that would be the position of this writer), it can't be denied that running back gives it a run for the money. There are six backs currently in camp, competing for probably three positions. Unfortunately, rookie running back Brandon Jackson missed the entire minicamp. He and other top rookies were ordered by the NFL to attend promotional events in Los Angeles. Great timing. Seventh-round pick DeShawn Wynn was limited in his practice time due to an injury. So the running back situation will likely take a good chunk of camp to figure out.

As for the aforementioned receiver situation, third-round pick James Jones apparently caught everything in sight and was very impressive. Some of the veteran defensive backs mentioned that he went up for everything and likewise usually came down with everything. If he continues to perform like he began the Packers may yet have themselves a solid receiving corps going into the season.

Whether that unit will include veteran and oft-injured receiver Robert Ferguson...? First of all, what are the odds he actually completes the season? Track record there, admittedly through no fault of his own, isn't in his favor. Still, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ferguson has worked very hard in the off-season to take advantage of what he knows is probably his last chance. He also has changed his number from 89 to 87 in the hopes of getting some good luck. He's due. It will take more than that, though. With all the receivers -- young and old -- in camp, he has his work cut out for him. Ever since Mike Sherman selected Ferguson in the draft rather than UW -- and now pro! -- standout receiver Chris Chambers six years ago, he has carried some baggage that was not his fault. Combine that with only playing in 60 games in his entire career and Ferguson has never been a fan favorite, despite showing some flashes of receiving brilliance. Still, at this point, he's almost an underdog story.

Last, but certainly not least, was the presence of Mr. Favre at camp. Actually, not merely the presence but also practice. Brett threw the ball for the first time since the end of the season. He wasn't expected to actually practice as he is still recovering from his ankle surgery earlier this year. But...you know Brett. Video of some of the practices also showed a smiling Brett. Looked like he was having some fun. Despite confessing to being bored with these minicamps, the leadership he provides merely by attending was huge. Vernand Morency described just one instance of this according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "I was in the locker room messing around, and he came up to me. We went over a single play and I understood what he wanted and we got that fixed. If he wouldn't (have come) we wouldn't have ever got that fixed." When Brett speaks, people listen. Coach McCarthy -- not surprisingly -- said players and coaches alike benefit from just having Brett on hand. Yes, Coach has a flare for understatement.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ground Hog's Day in a Packers' Uniform

Let's see...who was that receiver drafted in the 2001 second round by former (thank goodness) general manager, Mike Sherman, out of Texas A&M? You know, the one taken ahead of University of Wisconsin receiver and current Miami Dolphis star receiver Chris Chambers? The poor soul who has been injured seemingly (actually?) every season? Oh yeah, that's right, it's Robert Ferguson. Ferguson is the guy with all the physical potential but with all the bad breaks, or at least pulls, strains, etc. He is like the boxer with a glass jaw: he just can't stay healthy. Given that record, despite momentary flashes and undeniable toughness, he shouldn't be back in uniform. However, according to reports out of Green Bay, current Packers' GM Ted Thompson says he wants Ferguson back. OKaaaaaaaaay....

Ferguson will be competing with Greg Jennings, Ruvell Martin, Carlyle Holiday, Shaun Bodiford, Chris Francies, Carlton Brewster and Calvin Russell for a spot on the receiving corps this spring and summer. In addition, the Packers are likely to add a receiver in the draft. And don't forget that the Packers still have the rights to Koren Robinson when he comes off his suspension next fall.

So, why is Thompson so keen to give Ferguson another shot? Perhaps less for his receiving ability than for his special teams work. Ferguson has been productive in that capacity both as a returner -- we need one! -- and on coverage units. And to be fair, Ferguson's injury problems are due at least in part to his work on special teams. Still, competition among receivers is always a good thing. And the downside is minimal: the Pack has plenty of cap room to bring Ferguson to camp, and if they wind up cutting him the team will only incur a $700,000 cap hit in 2008 according to reports.

So, it is a bit of deja vu all over again...Ground Hog's Day -- the Bill Murray version -- in a Packers' uniform.