- The Washington Times - Friday, May 12, 2006

Green Bay is glad Javon Walker is an ex-Packer. So is the formerly disgruntled receiver.

But now Walker’s buddy, Ashley Lelie, is upset: Walker has taken his job as a starter with the Broncos.

“I’m not going to accept somebody telling me without a fair chance that I’m the No. 3 receiver,” said Lelie, who’s in the last year of his rookie deal and has caught just 168 passes in four years.

Lelie has fired his agent and is threatening a holdout. Walker held out while with Green Bay last season.

“Obviously, it was a situation that needed to end,” said first-year Packers coach Mike McCarthy of the holdout Walker had promised. “Best of luck to him in Denver. These types of situations cannot occur.”

Walker, who exchanged verbal barbs with Brett Favre last year, said he bears no ill will toward the Packers’ quarterback and is grateful for the fresh start.

“When I said retirement, I didn’t say retirement from football,” said Walker, who signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension with Denver. “I just said retirement from Green Bay. Why would I go back and take all those hits in a place where I’m not happy? I’m happy to be in Denver.”

The Packers still have receiver Donald Driver, who caught 86 passes last season. After Driver, however, the corps is thin: Robert Ferguson, Rod Gardner, Marc Boerigter (48 catches among them) and rookie Greg Jennings, the team’s second round pick.

After Walker suffered a season-ending injury in the opener last year, the Packers finished 4-12.

Still, McCarthy said he isn’t worried.

“We’re fine,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think the cupboard’s bare at all.”

A true big brother — Former Maryland safety Madieu Williams is not your average NFL bachelor. Williams has been the guardian for his 13-year-old brother, Mike, since their mother died in April 2005 of a stroke at 45.

The brothers live in Cincinnati, where Mike is in seventh grade and Williams starts for the Bengals. Williams is rarely out on the town. He’s too busy checking homework and attending school functions.

“It made me stronger, more determined, more focused,” the 24-year-old Williams said. “My mother always told me to take care of my brother. Mike was always her baby. She was always protective of Mike.”

How to win friends? — Don’t look for Minnesota rookie coach Brad Childress to make any visits to Division I-AA Alabama State anytime soon.

After the Vikings drafted Hornets quarterback Tarvaris Jackson with the last selection of the second round, Childress said, “What I see with Tarvaris Jackson … is a piece of clay [who] has all the skills. You are talking about a guy that never had a quarterback coach. So what can he do with coaching?”

Trouble is that Jackson did have a quarterback coach last year at Alabama State, former NFL receiver/punt returner Reggie Barlow.

“This isn’t junior high,” Barlow said. “We did run an offense where you do make reads. I don’t care what level you’re playing, when the quarterback is completing 65, 67 percent [of his passes], there must be something in the offense that’s helping him. I did play eight years in the NFL. I do have some understanding of the game.”

Battered Browns — Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., Cleveland’s top pick in 2004, was limited by injuries to just two games in his first two seasons. Receiver Braylon Edwards, the Browns’ first choice in 2005, is following a similar pattern. Edwards missed six games as a rookie and now the Browns finally have admitted he won’t be ready for the start of the season as they had maintained. Edwards doesn’t figure to return from knee surgery until November.

And then there were two — Charley Casserly’s unsurprising resignation as Houston’s general manager for a likely job in the NFL office leaves only two true warhorses running teams: the Giants’ Ernie Accorsi, who was hired as the Baltimore Colts’ assistant GM in 1977, and Kansas City’s Carl Peterson, who was named Philadelphia’s director of player personnel that year. Casserly, then 28, was hired by Washington coach George Allen as an unpaid intern that same year. By 1989, he had worked his way up to GM.

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