TALES FROM TRAINING CAMP III
FIRST GUY CUT
The reality of NFL training camp is that a lot of guys who are there on day one, aren't there at the end of week 6... whether they're good guys or not.
It's just a couple days before the Packers first pre-season game. SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT: you can watch it right here on Today's TMJ4.
For we the fans, it's a little taste of things to come. For veteran players, it's little more than a chance to hit someone who's not your teammate. For the guys from small programs or other long shots... it's everything. A good performance means they might make it to next week still with a chance to make the team.
Working my first training camp in 1994, I guess I wasn't really prepared for what was coming. Guys who we liked and pulled for, would all of a sudden not show up for lunch or dinner. They found out at practice in between meals that they were going home.
The first guy that happened to when I was there was Greenfield's own Matt Turk. The guy graduated from Division III Whitewater. Guys like that don't make NFL teams very often. He had to know that going in.
You could tell right away this dude was different. He was always smiling, and carried such a positive attitude. He was really polite, and even talked with some of us camp workers. Come to think of it.. the guy was only a couple years older than me, and coming from a small Wisconsin school, just like me. He had a lot more in common with me than he did with Reggie White and the like.
A friend told me just after lunch one day the Turk got cut. Man was I sad.
Well, he wouldn't be the last good guy to not make the team... but I sure was pulling for him. He's probably got no hard feelings. What a career Turk went on to have in the NFL. In every year he's been in the league, the guy has only had one sub-40 punt average. He's played in Washington, Miami, St. Louis, and I believe he's with the Texans in Houston for this season.
I've always felt good about watching his success... and remember that he was good guy. I'm glad it turned out that way for him.