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Old 08-04-2006   #1
texan279
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Default A.J. Hawk

Hawk slowly taking flight in training camp

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=479849

Anybody thinking that rookie linebacker A.J. Hawk was going to walk in and take the Green Bay Packers' training camp by storm would be disappointed.

Not only has Hawk yet to show the punishing big-play capability that led the Packers to make him the No. 5 pick in the draft but he hasn't had any more impact than fellow all-Big Ten linebacker Abdul Hodge, a third-round selection.

Of course, Hawk hasn't even been asked to make his first tackle in the National Football League. An eighth day of limited contact drills will give way to a semblance of the real thing Saturday night during the intrasquad scrimmage at Lambeau Field.

"Any time you get a game-type atmosphere it helps, especially for a rookie like me," Hawk said Thursday. "I need to have that game-type experience."

Part of the problem trying to evaluate Hawk is the hype associated with him. As the NFL's highest-drafted linebacker since LaVar Arrington went No. 2 in 2000, Hawk and impending greatness have become almost one and the same in the minds of some fans.

But as practices stack up, Hawk has done little to distinguish himself as the starting linebacker on the weak side.

"I think the guy's really done a good job," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's shown toughness and his ability. But he's made rookie mistakes. He still is a rookie."

As for Hodge, McCarthy said, "I like the way he's playing. He's very aggressive against the run. As far as running sideline-to-sideline, that's something he's going to have to work on."

There's little doubt that Hawk's decision to marry his fiancée, Laura Quinn, in a civil ceremony 10 days ago might still be on his mind. Given the unexpected nature of the wedding, the couple undoubtedly had to do some long-distance explaining with family members who were caught completely off-guard.

Then came contract negotiations. They were completed last Friday afternoon when Hawk agreed to a six-year, $37.5 million deal. Becoming an instant millionaire takes some getting used to as well.

On the field, Hawk appears to be feeling his way through Week 1 of pro football in a defense that is much different from Ohio State's.
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Old 08-04-2006   #2
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DeMeco would have been a much better choice for them
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Old 08-04-2006   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanFan881
DeMeco would have been a much better choice for them :
So true, but we got him!
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Old 08-05-2006   #4
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It's too early to tell. But I think Hawk will prove his worth to the NFL over time. He was one of my top hoped-for picks. I'm glad he went to a team that I can root for him and not be disgusted (like VY to the Titans...can't root for him because of his team now).
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Old 08-05-2006   #5
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It's way too early to draw any conclusions about rookies - nobody has even
played an exibition game yet. But of the elite picks this year to include Mario,
RB, VY, D'Brick, and Hawk, the former Ohio State LB was generally considered to have the least "downside", and therefor it would be a big surprise if he ends up being anything but atleast outstanding in the NFL.
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Old 08-05-2006   #6
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I think that AJ Hawk is going to be a monster. He's gonna worth every penny that GB spent on him. Its too early to call him great but hopefully he will have the same impact that DJ Williams had for the Broncos his rookie year.
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