Avant's not ready to accept his star

Posted: September 10, 2007

GREEN BAY - Someone called him "an emerging star."

Jason Avant had another word for himself after yesterday's 16-13 loss to the Packers.

"Bonehead," he said.

Avant was referring to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he picked up on an Eagles' punt midway through the fourth quarter, pushing Green Bay to midfield in a tie game.

"It was all my fault," he said. "I can't blame the referee in any way. I almost kicked the guy. I pulled it back, but it looked like it was something. It was my fault. It was dumb. I let my teammates down."

He was far from alone yesterday. Avant's special-teams' transgression was uniquely benign amid a loss defined by them. Three plays after, Trent Cole stripped Brett Favre in the backfield, Jevon Kearse recovered, and a threat had been averted.

At that point Avant was back in the Hero ledger, since his 9-yard, second-quarter touchdown reception had tied the game at 10.

"The coaches got me in a good play where I was lined up on a linebacker and all I had to do was beat him to win," he said. "And Christ gave me favor to do it."

Avant had two other catches, including a 31-yard pass over the middle during a go-ahead drive in the third quarter.

That's where the emerging star business came from. Dating back to a breakout game against Atlanta at the end of last season, there seems to be a growing trust in the catching and playmaking abilities of the second-year pro. And he has responded.

"I don't really get into that," he said. "Because in this offense, whoever is open is going to get the ball. It may be me with two catches this week. Next week it might be Reggie Brown with eight. It doesn't really matter."

Well it does, actually. Because when teams focus on Brown or Kevin Curtis, as the Packers did, guys like Avant must emerge. Hank Baskett and Greg Lewis were once thought of that way.

It seems to be Avant now.

Even if it makes him uneasy.

"It's not about that," he said. "It's about whoever is open. Greg Lewis, any of us can do the job. We all bring something to the game. It's about our whole unit." *

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