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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Barnett antsy

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

The sequence of events was interesting, at least. On Monday afternoon, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy had this to say to reporters:

"You could make an argument that Brandon Chillar is our most productive linebacker to this point in training camp. He seems very natural in the pressure packages, both base and sub. He's someone that can play a number of different positions and can give us flexibility in our coverage schemes. Another instinctive football player, has excellent range. We also expect him to be an impactful player on special teams, but Brandon is having an exceptional training camp."

That assessment jibes with the performance I witnessed last week. A few hours later, Nick Barnett -- the injured player Chillar has replaced -- offered this on his Twitter account: "Getting a little bit upset about this pup crap."

(Pup = physically unable to perform list)

I don't get the sense the Packers are looking to replace Barnett or necessarily want Chillar to be their starter. One of Chillar's strengths is his ability to move between positions, thus making him an ideal multi-purpose backup. But his performance has definitely thrust a degree of urgency on Barnett, who is expected to be tested at some point this week to determine if he can be activated off the PUP list.

There's nothing like the success of a replacement to speed that process along.

Continuing around the NFC North: