Havner headed for Green Bay
Since being unceremoniously cut from the Washington Redskins on Sept. 2, Spencer Havner has had a lot more time on his hands than he expected this fall.
Havner, a former Nevada Union and UCLA standout, has been hanging out in his hometown of Nevada City and flying off for individual workouts with NFL franchises over the past month waiting for word of another chance.
The call Havner had been waiting for came at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the Green Bay Packers signed the 6-foot, 4-inch, 245-pound linebacker to their practice squad.
“It feels great,” Havner said in a telephone interview prior to flying from Sacramento International to Green Bay, Wisc. Tuesday night. “Finally. Goodness. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to see if something would come around.”
Havner said he is scheduled to land in Green Bay at 7:30 a.m. today. And, he said, he expects to be wearing the green and yellow of the Packers for practice later today.
“They don’t need a starter,” he said. “They probably just need a linebacker body or some special teams help. But it’s another chance to play.”
Over the past month, between flights to Buffalo and Green Bay for workouts, Havner said he had been visiting family and friends in Nevada City, Placerville and Sacramento. During that unexpected down time, he said, he tried to get away from the game a bit, but he did tune into the Packers’ 31-9 loss to Philadelphia on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
“It’s tough,” Havner said of being away from the game for the first time since he started playing youth football. “It hasn’t bothered that much lately, because I’ve tried to distance myself from it. I didn’t watch much over the past two to three weeks.”
The way he learned that he was cut from the Redskins left somewhat of a bitter taste in his mouth, Havner said. But, he said, it was an eye-opener to the bottom line of the big business that is the NFL.
“They had an intern call and let you know you were released and that you had some paperwork to forms to sign,” Havner said. “I never got to see or talk with my coaches. It was just a pretty cold deal.”
In addition to the Packers and the Buffalo Bills, Havner also had a workout scheduled with Denver Broncos. But once the call came Tuesday, that workout was scratched.
“I had also been in contact with the Raiders, the Eagles, the Saints and the Texans,” he said. “It was all over the place.”
Just more than a month removed from training under the guidance of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs, Havner now will be working out in the land of Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau and, of course, cheeseheads.
“I am totally excited,” Havner said. “I didn’t want go to a bad organization. Even though the Packers are struggling right now, they have a great tradition, a great stadium and a great town with a lot of support. I wanted to be part of something special.”
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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