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Packers excuse Favre from minicamp

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (May 31, 2005) -- Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman is excusing Brett Favre from the team's voluntary minicamp, saying he wants the quarterback to be raring to go when training camp starts in July.

Sherman also asked Favre to skip the post-draft minicamp this spring because of the emotional wear and tear he had been under the previous 18 months, when he lost his father to a heart attack, his brother-in-law to an ATV accident and friend Reggie White to a respiratory ailment. His wife, Deanna, underwent treatment for breast cancer.

"He's had a tough go of it the last year and I just want him to come in busting the door down in July when we start up," Sherman told The Associated Press.

Sherman said Favre's personal trainer reports the quarterback is in top shape because of a special diet and workout regimen, and Favre wanted to participate in the minicamp.

"He's chomping at the bit, but this will give me a chance to work with some of the younger guys," including top draft pick Aaron Rodgers of Cal, Sherman said.

"Brett is not a great one for being a spectator at practice. If he's not taking all the reps, he can be a pain."

Favre, however, will visit club headquarters to get updated on some changes implemented since the Packers' playoff loss to Minnesota. He'll also participate in his annual celebrity softball game Sunday in Appleton.

"In talking to him, it's been beneficial" to skip the grind of offseason team workouts, Sherman said. "This is his 15th season, and as long as his physical part is being taken care of, the only concern I would have is him being mentally ready to go when the season started.

"If it started tomorrow, he'd be ready. This is as positive as I've heard him in talking about a season and himself in a long time. He'll come by (June 3) to see the guys and get caught up on some things we're doing, some new things."

The camp consists of three days of practices this week followed by five days next week after the players take the weekend off.

Although the camp is voluntary, "I'm expecting everybody else to be here," Sherman said.

What about Pro Bowl receiver Javon Walker, who skipped the team's April minicamp as part of his jockeying for a new contract?

"He hasn't indicated he won't be here, so I'm expecting he will be here," Sherman said. "I'm optimistic."

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