A lot of Packer fans this morning are irate with wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Valdes-Scantling’s fumble in overtime Sunday set up sudden death, and the Indianapolis Colts’ Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 39-yard field goal to seal a 34-31 comeback win against the Packers. Green Bay’s collapse sent their record to 7-3, knocking them out of the top spot in the NFC playoffs seeding behind New Orleans (8-2).
Cut Valdes-Scantling right now howled angry Packer faithful. He’s got hands of stone.
Is it too early to get down on the speedster that announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were praising all day before the fateful drop? I recall this player from the Packer glory years.
As dynamic and flashy as Williams was he had an issue.
“Travis had a little problem with fumble-itis, something Vince Lombardi did not have much patience for,” longtime Packer PR Director Lee Remmel said. “During training camp, after he fumbled in a pre-season game, Lombardi made him carry the ball everywhere, from the bathroom to the dining hall to bed. He learned how to hang onto the football.”
In his book, “Instant Replay,” Jerry Kramer wrote about how backup quarterback Zeke Bratkowski taped a handle on the football to help The Roadrunner.
“I think Vince is just about running out of patience with Travis,” wrote Kramer. “His speed is so impressive that a lot of us are hoping he’ll learn to hold the ball and make the club. Zeke gave Travis a football with a handle made of tape. The kid accepted the needling good-naturedly, but you can tell from looking at him how scared he is. He’s got a wife and two kids, and a third on the way, and while we’re in training camp he’s earning only $70 a week. That’s what everybody gets, and it doesn’t go very far.”
Lombardi never lost faith in Williams. He got his big break on that kickoff return against the St. Louis Cardinals and then caught on fire.
As for Valdes-Scanting during his brief NFL career he has now fumbled three times. All three were lost. Time for him to start carrying a football everywhere he goes? Premature to give up on him, that’s for sure.