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Mosinee Native Kole Heckendorf's Training Camp Blog

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff

BLOG WRAPUP--9/10/09

Its been a couple of days now so hopefully it's a little easier for me to
write today than it was this weekend. This week has been a rollercoaster as one day I was on top of the world and the next back to reality, for I am writing this blog from home in Mosinee and not in Green Bay. I'm a little surprised with the outcome of the weekend, but then again not so surprised for the NFL does stand for Not For Long.

First of all, the game last week with Tennessee went alright, but not
how I thought it would I guess. I figured I was going to get a little
more playing time than I did, but my agent wasn't surprised. He figured
that I wasn't going to make the 53 man roster, but they wanted me on the practice squad. Therefore they didn't want another team to find interest in me and pick me up. Not sure if you noticed, but I wasn't at my 100% throughout the Tennessee game. I had been having a bit of a hamstring problem that I found out Friday ended up being a strain.

As for the weekend, Saturday morning I was called to come to the stadium and where I was told that I did not make the 53 man roster. I talked to two player personell, coach Robinson the wide receiver coach ,and coach McCarthy that shared the news. The ironic part of all this is that I heard nothing but good things from all of the different coaches. They told me that I need to put a little weight on and get a little stronger, but skill wise all feedback was positive. They said I was a great candidate for the practice squad and they were going to have me stay in Green Bay that night to wait for the waivers to go through. Then Sunday came and I didn't get a call until about noon. They told me to stick around and the news would come within the next 30-40 minutes. Then 40 minutes later they called back and told me they didn't have a spot left on the practice squad for me. This was not an enjoyable call and probably one of the biggest disappointments I have experienced so far in my life.

My run with the Packers might be over for now, but my NFL run isn't done quite yet! I'm back home in Mosinee living with my parents and preparing for what's next. The first thing I need to do is get my hamstring back to 100%. We will see what happens after that. My agent has talked to a couple of different teams so hopefully I still have a shot at getting picked up. Until then I will be working out and staying in shape.

I want to thank everyone for the support throughout the last several months. Having the local pride was both wonderful, yet added to the
disappointment. I hope that I can continue to share positive news with
you guys in the upcoming months/years.

Kole
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Day 32--9/1/09

Kind of a weird day in Packer land as we had our final fall camp practice this morning in front of the great fans. The days have gone by so slow, but it seems like just yesterday we were all moving into dorms at St. Norbert. This last month has been a great opportunity for myself and I took full advantage of it. I've learned new things about this game, from what I think is the best wide receiver core in the league. I know for myself, I became a better football player over the last month. I also know that I can get better in a lot of ways so my full potential is still out there!! Hopefully today wasn't my last practice, but if it was I know I left everything I could out there.

Tomorrow we leave for Tennessee and I am pretty excited for the game. Not only am I playing against one of my best friends, but my brother Keith and his fiancée Mia will be coming to the game. My brother Keith is a football coach at Western Carolina and they're playing their first game of the year Saturday at LP Field. He hasn't had very many opportunities to see me play so I am pretty excited he can come. My family has been a huge inspiration for me over the years and I wouldn't be here without them. I love you Mom, Dad, Keith, and Kyle!! Thank you for being who you are and what you've helped me become!!

Just wanted to wish North Dakota State good luck as they're playing Thursday night at Iowa State.

Kole
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Day 31-8/31/09

Today was our tough day of the week as we had a long practice with full pads. It was a little sad as we didn't have to ride bikes today and drove vehicles over to the practices fields. I did see Riley outside the fence as I went with the guys to the cars. I wish we would keep riding bikes, but what can yeah do I guess. I know I will miss that part of this experience for sure. Hopefully next year if I am in Green Bay, Riley will be back and maybe even with a bigger bike? HAHA!

The coolest part of my day occurred when we were scouting the Titans. We were watching film when number 39 came on the field as the new safety for the Titans. Usually in meetings the coaches will talk about the players and pick apart tendencies and skills. Well, today I was able to speak up in the meeting and give the low-down about number 39; for Nick was a former teammate and roommate of mine throughout college. It was funny seeing him running around in baby blue and white as I’m used to strictly green and gold.

It will be exciting to play against someone I know so well. He might be a
bigger hitter, but for his sake hopefully he won’t have to cover me one on one. Since we have the afternoon free on Wednesday in Tennessee, I am hoping that we have the chance to catch up a bit before the game.

Kole
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Day 30--8/30/09
Today, I realized that professional football is no longer just a game, but
instead a business. Additional cuts were made this morning and the roster is now going down. When I came in there were 5 rookie receivers and now I am alone. Hopefully I will not have to carry all of the veteran's equipment by myself tomorrow…. In college your teammates become your best friends and you know that you will spend the next five years with them. In the league, you form friendships but you never know when someone will be let go or traded. It was hard seeing some of the guys that I have spent the last couple months with pack up and go. For instance, JaRon Harris was an enemy for 5 years when I played for NDSU... Despite the rivalry, we have gotten along real well over fall camp and developed a close friendship. Despite popular belief Jackrabbits and Bison can get along.

Today was a surprise as we ended earlier then expected. We had an early practice and were able to get out of there by dinner time which was nice being that we were scheduled to end around 9:00 PM.

I am pretty excited for this week as it is predicted that the starters
will probably only be playing one series and the rest of us will have the
chance to get in.

Kole
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Days 27-29--8/29/09

I will tell you one thing, I am glad to be back in Wisconsin as I wasn’t
used to the 110 degree weather. At least we didn’t have to play in it as
Arizona kept the roof on over the dome for the game. I couldn’t imagine
having to play a game in that kind of heat! Even when we left the stadium it was around 100 degree’s at 12 o’clock at night.

Thursday started with meetings in the morning and a walk through going
over the plays that were going to be used in the game. Then came one more rookie duty as I had to order food from Chili’s for all the wide receivers and coach Robinson. As my family knows, I don’t like to call places and have to order things. Its just not my cup of tea I guess, yeah its weird. I figured that they wanted food because weren’t going to get any on the airplane, but that was wrong. I should have known after eating a burger from Chili’s I could have had a great meal on the airplane. I did get dessert on the plane as they came around with cookies and milk and ice cream!! It was a 3 hour flight, but with our own movie player in the sit ahead of owns it made it a lot easier. I watched a couple of movies on the way.

The first step out of the airplane left like we walked into a steam room,
but nope, just Phoenix, AZ. After getting to the hotel and settling in, my
friend Jerimiah Wurzbacher and I went out to dinner at a sweet sushi
restaurant. “Wurz,” his nickname, was a TE at NDSU with me during my 5 years at college and is a good friend of mine. He just moved out there a couple of months ago and is really liking AZ and his job. After dinner I want back to the hotel and watched a little TV. Then at 9 we had snack with the team and check in with the coaches. The snack wasn't really a snack, but another dinner pretty much. After snack we couldn't leave the hotel so I went to back to my room and watched TV and went to bed.

Game day was pretty normal as we had breakfast and meetings in the morning and then around 3 we had our team meal and then headed to the stadium. There were a lot more Packer fans then I figured which was pretty cool to see. There must be Packer fans all over the country!! The game went as expected for myself as I got in during the 4th quarter on offense and special teams. Next week will be the game when I hopefully get the most playing time so I am pretty excited about that. The Cardinals made it a much closer game then it should have been as the first team players on the Packers had a great first half. Our first team "O" and "D" didn’t play at all in the 2nd half. After the game we were checked for boarding the airplane before getting onto the buses and then we went right to the plane. We left AZ at 1:00 am so when we got back to Green Bay it was 6am our time which sucked as it was light out. I really didn’t sleep much on the plane so I went back to the hotel and slept until around 3 this afternoon. One more short week of pre-season as we play Tennessee on Thursday thisweek.

Kole
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Day 26--8/26/09

8/26/09

Pretty easy day today as we had a short practice this morning without
pads. The practice was a review of all of the aspects of the game as we head to Arizona tomorrow. The week has flown by as we only had three practices to prepare for this week's game. Friday should be an interesting game since the last two games have been at home with 70,000 plus fans supporting the green and gold. The table will turn as the Cardinal fans root for their home team who were Super Bowl participants last year. It should be a good test for us.

I am curious to see if there are any rookie traditions that take place
when traveling on the road. Back at North Dakota State it was tradition
for the rooks to bring the upperclassman junk food on the plane rides.

I am looking forward to my first experience traveling with the Packers and playing at a new field. The starters will be playing more during this
preseason game than they did in the last two. I am hoping to get an
opportunity to see the field either in special teams or late in the game
on offense. We really never know what to expect for playing time until
the time comes. I'll make sure to tell Driver to score some early touchdowns so that the rookies have a better chance of getting into the game.

As Wisconsin high school football starts up this week, I want to wish
Mosinee High School and Coach Paul Nievinski the best of luck during this year's season. Also, good luck to all the other high school players out there. Work hard and have fun this season!

Because of traveling, my next blog won't be until Saturday.

Kole
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Day 25--8/25/09

Tough practice today, but it was really nice to be done before dark! Being a short week before the game, today was like a Thursday practice during a normal Sunday game week. The practice was almost 3 hours with full pads as it was a long one. We spent most of the time outside, but with around 45 minutes left we had to go inside and finish because of the weather. We were done around 3:30 and had the rest of the day off. It felt pretty good just to do nothing and relax this afternoon. I had to run to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things, but otherwise sat in my king-size bed at the hotel and watched TV.

I can't ride a bike to practice without someone wanting an autograph, but I can walk through Wal-Mart with nobody even having an idea of who I am. I think that's pretty funny!! I'm a pretty normal guy and don't look like an NFL player unless I am wearing an NFL jersey! Devin got out of the hospital today and was back in the hotel with his wife. I sat around and talked to him for a while and just talked a little about football and life in general. He's a great guy and I wish him the best as he recovers from his broken leg. Otherwise, not too much else new in Green Bay. Only 1 more practice this week as we head to Arizona Thursday for Fridays game.

Kole
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Day 24--8/24/09

I thought that this week was going to get easy, but that hasn’t happened
just yet. We had a full day of work today as we had lifting to start off
the morning and then meetings and meetings and more meetings before
finally getting out onto the field tonight at 6:30. We're having a normal
week, just like the team will have during the regular season. He (coach McCarthy) talked a lot about the game plan going in for Arizona and getting to know what to expect from each player. This week is the 3rd preseason game so the starters will be playing a lot more and I am not sure if I will get to see the field. I’ll be ready to go if they need me though. I’m really starting to understand the offense a lot more and feel really comfortable in there. The game felt just like any other day in practice and I was having fun out there. The next couple of days shouldn’t be so long and I am looking forward to doing nothing during our time off. Just relax and watch a little TV will do for me.

I had to move into a new hotel room tonight as Devin and his family are
going to stay in our old room. I do get my own room now, but that means I better set a couple of alarm clocks!! I don’t need any fines for being late that’s for sure!

Kole
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Days 21-23--8/23/09

The last couple days have been both busy and exciting. Friday we moved out of the dorms and into the hotel. I was supposed to have the same roommate as I did back at St. Norbert, but unfortunately Devin suffered an injury and I am not sure when he will be back. The hotel has been an upgrade and I have enjoyed having a TV, a spacious shower, and a full sized bed.

I wanted to start off by thanking all of my family and friends that came to
Saturday’s game. I wasn’t able to meet with everyone after the game, but wanted to let you know that the support was much appreciated. As for the game, it was pretty exciting. I am not used to not starting a game and have had to adjust to waiting on the sidelines until the second half. While the starters are joking around and having fun on the sidelines after the first half, I have to remain focused and save my performance for the second half. It’s hard to stay warm and stretched out when you have been standing for so long. The anticipation builds as I wait for my coach to give me the go ahead.

I was glad to have my first NFL catches Saturday night. It felt good to finally be involved in the game and have the opportunity to catch a few passes. It was a relief to have my first catch under my belt and it made it easy to play relaxed and confident the rest of the quarter. This week we start up in-season practices and only have one-a-day. This will be a nice change from preseason.

Kole
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NOTE: Kole spent most of the day on Friday, August 21, moving out of the dorm at St. Norbert and into his hotel room in Green Bay. Therefore, he will be unable to update his blog for a few days. But he promises to return to the blogosphere on Sunday, August 23, with a full recap from the last few days, including his 2nd preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. But I'll talk 1-on-1 with Kole Saturday night, and be sure to catch what Kole has to say about his game performance on NewsChannel 7 at 5:30 on Sunday.

Dale Ryman
NewsChannel 7 Sports Diirector

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Day 20-- 8/20/09

I never thought this day would come. No more two a days. My body will appreciate the break.

Today, an interesting event occurred. Two of the offensive linemen received letters from the commissioner's office dealing with last Saturday's game versus the Browns. The big concern with the commissioner's office is player safety. The commissioner's office watch every game over and over and note any plays that are dangerous. The two guys who received the letters were fined $7,500!!!! What an unpleasant surprise. I assume that the fines are taken out of these player's first check of the year.

The last rookie trivia took place today. BJ Raji was called up to the
stand. He only arrived a couple days ago, and the coaches asked him at least eight questions. Usually the rooks are asked four. They were making it hard on him. We thought it was pretty funny.

Today was a sad day, for it was the last day at St. Norberts. We enjoyed one final mouth-watering meal. Tonight will be my last night in this spider-infested dorm. The spiders on campus must eat our leftovers for they are huge! Tomorrow we check out of the dorms and move into a hotel. Veteran players who have their own place are able to go home but the rookies will stay in the hotel until final cuts are made.

Tomorrow is a pretty light day with a walk through practice, treatment,
and moving. It should be a good day to rest and get my legs back 100%. Looking forward to Saturday and hoping to get my first catch in an NFL game.

Kole
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Day 19--8/19/09

I'm actually pretty excited for tomorrow's two-a-day!! Yeah, you heard me!!

Not sure if it's because I just love the game of football or because its our final two-a-day of fall camp. Today was our day off, or should I say afternoon off. We had lifting this morning at 7 and then meetings until 1:00. Didn't do much this afternoon besides running to a couple of stores and finally got my hair cut. The funny thing is I am not use to having to pay for someone to cut my hair. For most of my college career I had a teammate "Tyler Roehl" cut it. I'm not going to lie he did a pretty nice job and it was free!

I haven't really been too surprised by anything so far playing at this level. On the field each and every guy is very good so you better make sure you bring your game every play. You can't take a play off and relax, you need to go 100% otherwise your going to look bad. The guys in the middle might be a little bigger and fast then I have seen in the past, but I try to stay away from those guys. I really don't have any favorite route to run besides maybe the "go" route. I think its because people don't think I look that fast, but as I am running by them they figure it out. Otherwise pretty easy day and looking forward to getting to bed a little early tonight!!

Kole
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Day 18--8/18/09

I am sure that you are all wondering what's happening in Green Bay after the Brett Farve drama, but it really hasn't been that big of a deal here. The team really hasn't talked about it, and we are focusing on ourselves not Brett. Last year, the team got caught up in the Farve deal and I think it may have caused a loss of focus on the goals at hand. It seems like the team is only worrying about the Packers and the drama has been reserved for Minnesota. Even though I never got a chance to work along side Farve, my feelings are that you couldn't ask for a better quarterback than Aaron Rogers. He has done some amazing things in practice and is a great leader.

Today we had the third rookie initiation. Driver, Jennings, Martin, and Jones made me go get a high quality dinner for them at Wendys. Being I
was an undrafted rookie, they made Jordy (last years 2nd round draft pick) pay for the $40.00 worth of burgers, fries, and frostys. Meanwhile, Jordy and I went to St. Norberts to eat filet mignon, chicken breast, shrimp, and potatoes while those guys ate their fast food. I don't know what they were thinking. Maybe they didn't want to interrupt the heated card game that was going on.

Tonight there was a large group from Mosinee that came to watch practice as well as my high school coach and his son. It was nice to have the hometown support.

Tomorrow we have the day off from practice, but we have lifting and meetings in the morning. After that, there is only one more two-a-day left of preseason.

Kole
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Day 17-- 8/17/09

Back to the grind today. Even though we only had one true practice today, the day was packed with meetings, film, and lifting. After watching film, I was pleased with a few things from the weekend such as running my routes and blocking, but there were also areas that need more work. We have two double practice days left of preseason. This is the last week of true fall camp and the last week in the dorms. After this I believe that we go back to staying in a hotel until the final roster has been made September 3rd. Not too much else to write about today. The days are getting repetitious and not a whole lot of exciting events are taking place.

Kole
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Day 15/16--8/16/09

Yesterday will be a day that I will never forget the rest of my life. My grandchildren won't believe the story in 50 years, but it will be a true one. Running out onto Lambeau Field as a Packer was one of the coolest moments in my life in recent years. It was kind of a weird feeling as I knew I wasn’t going to see the field that first half, but it was pretty exciting as 70-thousand Packer fans cheered. I ended up getting in the game during the 3rd quarter with the offense and also a couple of times on special teams. The special teams plays were probably the most exciting thing that happened during the game for me. I had a really good play on punt defense which you probably wouldn’t have noticed by just watching the game. I also had two passes thrown my way, but both just a little out of reach. Overall I thought it was a good first game, but still a lot of work to do. The funniest part of the game was seeing my mother is the stands with a #19 jersey on! I guess you can have jerseys made at the pro shop! It was nice having Sunday off as I caught up on sleep and rested my legs for the long week to come. The Bills and T.O. are coming to town this next week so it should be a fun and interesting week.

Kole

P.S. Friday night we had our second rookie prank done on us. As we opened up the door friday night there was a bucket full of water that came flowing in. Yeah pretty sweet! HaHa

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Day 14--8/14/09

Pretty easy day today as we were off after morning meetings and a little practice. Pretty much a walk through going over the plays and personnel for tomorrow. The foot is feeling a lot better and will be ready to go for tomorrow’s game! My reps have been much the same as they were during OTA’s and maybe a little more as we're running cards for the defense so I am getting a lot during those periods. I’ve been keeping up with learning all the different positions at WR and feel confident with the 5 different ones. The biggest thing that surprised me are the fans in Green Bay. Its crazy when you have thousands of fans come and watch you practice each and every day. It’s a pretty cool feeling having fans cheering during a practice and getting excited. It makes it much easier to practice!! Well its time for my first NFL game tomorrow and I better get some sleep so wish me luck!! You should hopefully see #19 during the second half!!

Kole

P.S. Driver still needs a little work on the ball tricks. I told him the other day that I would keep working with him if he told me the tricks to say in the NFL for so all!!!
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Day 13--8/13/09

Long day today, as we had two practices with full pads during each of them. That was our first time doing it that way which was fine, but hard on our bodies. I thought I had a pretty good day at each of the practices as I ended with a TD on the second to last play of the night one. I had a good feeling walking off into the locker room after tonight. I’m getting pretty excited for my first game this weekend! It will be weird as it will be my first football game where I didn’t start. I don’t even think I will play in the first half, but I should see the field that second half sometime. I just need to keep my mind right and stay into the game so when I get my chance I will be ready! Its been a long two weeks having to play against each other and we're all ready to finally line up and play against a different opponent. It should be an exciting time in Green Bay come Saturday night!! Not to much else going on today so I am going to get some well needed sleep!!

Kole

P.S. If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask- it helps with me writing this because my days are pretty repetitive and I run out of ideas!! Thanks!!

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Day 12--8/12/09 (Day Off)

Not a whole lot going on today. We had lifting this morning and then
meetings for a little bit. We got our installs for the Cleveland Browns
for the game this weekend. It looks like the game plan is pretty simple so
hopefully I wont mess up! I'm pretty excited for the game even though I
am not really sure what kind of playing time I will be getting. All I know
is when the opportunity calls I will be ready to roll! It must be
something with Wednesdays with our day off because the food was extremely great today!!! With Lobster tails, shrimp and small crab legs for lunch and then King crab legs and prime rib for dinner the day couldn't have been much better. The thing I don't understand is why I can't gain any weight. I've been eating like a king and drinking water and Gatorade almost the whole day, but the weight is still the same if not a little less then what I came in at. Played a little cards with the guys and didn't do much the rest of the day, but relaxed. Another two a day
tomorrow as I am getting to bed early and catching up on some sleep.

Also wanted to wish the Bison and the Dog Pound good luck as they started camp this week! Once a Bison always a Bison!!! Good luck guys!!

Kole

P.S. The post from Kim had me going for a while, but with the help from my mother and a little thinking your Katie and Becky Napiwocki's mom! Hope you and your family are doing well! Hopefully that's right!

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Day 11--8/11/09

Wow, what a long day! Another two-a-day! I'm not going to lie, but today
was the first day that I really didn't want to practice during our second
one. Its not that I didn't want to practice, but my body was pretty dead
from the first. During the first practice in the morning, I caught a pass
over the middle and as I turned up to run, Aaron Kampman stepped on the back of my foot and down my Achilles tendon. Yeah it hurt!! I'm glad it was during the last period of the morning practice because I couldn't run too well after that. After getting treatment on it after practice, and before our second one, it really wasn't feeling much better. It just so happened that today we finally got into game mode and the offense and defense had to run cards for each other. So the younger guys got to take more reps than normal as we run a different offense for the defense.

It felt twice as long as normal, but I made it though practice and I don't
think the foot got any worse, so hopefully with our day off tomorrow I will be back at 100% for Thursday's practices. I feel more and more comfortable each day with the offense and we finally have everything in, so nothing more to learn! Hopefully!!

The greatest part of all this is getting to learn from the wide receivers they have here. Driver and Jennings are one of the best one-two punches in the NFL and are sure fun to watch. I can't believe Driver is still playing after 12 seasons in the NFL. You can't understand what your body goes through each and everyday and having done it so long is incredible . The coolest part of it is Driver is always having fun out there. From the first period to the last you can usually find him with a smile on his face. It's a blessing that I get to play this great game each and everyday.

Kole

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8/10/09--Day 10

My morning started extra early as I was woken up by someone knocking on the wall inside my room. The intruders were athletic trainers who had come to give us a random drug test. We followed the trainers downstairs as they initiated a pee test. Getting back to sleep at 5:30 AM wasn't going to happen. I rolled around until 6:45, then got up to lift. Our lifting routine is unique because you are always doing something. Between sets, you are working with trainers, stretching, working your core etc. The entire 45 minute lift is jammed packed. The lifting differs from college because you test your endurance as well as your strength. We don't have the long wait period between sets and no time is wasted.

We had one afternoon practice today. It was very hot and muggy and I lost 4.5 pounds in a two and half hour practice! Today was the second to last day of installing the offense. At this point about 95% of the offense has been installed. I am feeling more and more comfortable with the offense each day. I look forward to the day when I no longer have to think on the field and can just play. It has been encouraging and rewarding to hear more and more compliments from my teammates and the fans.

The rookie trivia questions are getting harder and harder each day. It is
assumed that as time goes on we know more and more about Packer personnel.

My cards game is also improving.

Two a day tomorrow, which means I need to get some rest.

Kole
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8/9/09--Day 8 (Family Night) and Day 9 (off day)

Sorry that this blog wasn’t sent in earlier, but it became a late night
with the long game delay and I spent the rest of the evening with family
and friends.

Well, the much anticipated Family Night Scrimmage ended up a big
disappointment due to pouring rain and constant lightning. Earlier in the
day, I had a chance to step out onto Lambeau Field for a walk through. To my surprise, the stadium didn’t seem as big as I remembered it from the stands (even though I have only had the chance to attend one Packer game in my life). During the walk through, I was talking to Donald and Jordy quite a bit. They knew that tonight was going to be my first time on Lambeau Field. They were asking me a bunch of questions and getting me excited about the night. Donald asked me if I was going to dig up and steal some turf to bring home after the game and I told him, “No, I would try stealing his jersey before I went for the turf.”

*Donald’s comment made me remember a high school tradition we had of stealing a bit of grass from opponents after we beat them on the road and coming back to Mosinee to bury the game score with their soil.

Back to the scrimmage. I pulled up to the stadium in my 1999 Kia Sportage and parked next to a range rover and escalade. Surprisingly, I never really felt nervous to play. Usually before college games my stomach would feel a bit edgy and remind me that it was a game day, but this was not the case. Running through the tunnel I was ready to get the show on the road. It was great to see the stand full and I was ready to show them what I could do. Unfortunately, a half hour of warm ups were all that they were going to see. The game was delayed and we went back and sat in the locker room for the next hour and a half. I thought it was funny that instead of sitting in the locker room quietly and mentally preparing, the guys were playing cards and watching TV. We waited and waited as the start time got pushed further and further back until the final message relayed to the locker room was that the scrimmage had been canceled. How disappointing. I met up with family and friends and watched a really good fire works show the remainder of the night.

Sunday was our first full day off. I was able to sleep in until 9:00 AM
which was much appreciated. I spent the rest of the day touring Green Bay with family friends.

Back to the grind tomorrow as we prepare for the Browns that are coming to
town!

Kole
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8/7/09-- Day 7

Today we had practice inside due to the weather. It was a remotely short practice with no pads. It's hard to believe that one week has already passed by. It seems like the individual days go by slow since they are jammed pack with practices, meetings, and team activities, but when I look back the week has flown by. It seems like I was just moving into my dorm yesterday.

Tomorrow I have my first opportunity to play on Lambeau Field. Up to
this point we have been practicing on Nitschke field across the street from the stadium. At this point I am not nervous for the scrimmage.
Hopefully that doesn't change walking out in front of sixty thousand fans. I don't really know what to expect for how much playing time I will get tomorrow, but I am guessing I will get some opportunities to do some
things!!

Well I am off to bed. Big day tomorrow.

Kole

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8/6/09--Day 6

In response to an earlier comment, my current roommate is Devin
Frischknecht. He is a rookie tight end from Washington State. All of the
rookies are housed on the 3rd floor at the dorms. We think they put us on the upper level to keep us in shape since there are no elevators. We have only had one prank pulled on the rookies, and that was a candid phone call asking for two UFC fighters to meet downstairs in the lobby. They were looking for two guys that could take a punch and hold their ground in the ring. I told this caller that I was a light weight and that they were out of my league. Devin has been a great roommate except for a few minor snoring occurrences. I resolved this problem quickly with a pair of heavy duty ear plugs.

Today in an interview, I was asked what my goal is. My personal goal is to do whatever I can to help the Packers succeed and win games. Whether that is on the 53 man roster or on the practice squad time will tell. Either way, I will end camp knowing that I gave everything I could and put my best efforts forth.

The most exciting part of today was hearing a couple thousand fans in the stands cheering for me after I caught a deep ball from Aaron Rogers.

Kole

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8/5/09-- Day 5, Off Day

Today was like a vacation. Not only did we have the day off of practice, but I had the two greatest back to back meals of my life. After morning meetings, we met in the cafeteria for a gourmet lunch. Many of the guys missed out on this event and went elsewhere to eat since we were let free after the morning meetings. Luckily I stuck around. The meals consisted of sword fish, a good rib eye steak, (but not quite as good as my dad's), shrimp skewers, corn on the cob, and a baked potato. For dessert I had an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup. I didn't want to go to dinner since I was stuffed from lunch and knew that it couldn't be topped.but it might have been close. The dinner menu consisted of the largest crab legs that I have ever seen (similar to the ones seen on The Deadliest Catch, my favorite TV show) , prime rib, and a lot of other sides that I didn't even crack into after getting my fill of meat. Although I love my lunch ladies back at North Dakota State, the meals have not been comparable. I will have to send back recipes and menus. I spent the rest of my afternoon exploring Green Bay in addition to taking my first nap of fall camp.

I've found that each day I leave practice with a new nickname. As of now I am referred to as: Heck, Hecky, Dorf, Gumby, and Harry Potter. I feel as if all of these names add to my intimidation factor.

Back to the real world tomorrow with another double day.

Kole

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8/4/09--Day 4

Wow, today was a long one. The morning practice wasn't nearly as hard as our first two-a-day, but the second practice made up for it. (Especially after being asked to repeat a few periods because of player
confrontations). Overall, I felt like both practices went well. I have
been able to get quite a few repetitions and I have been involved in all
of the periods. I know that there is still a lot of work to be done, and I
will take the game one practice at a time and keeping trying to improve.

Whenever we have a few spare minutes off, I usually spend them with the other rookies on the team. In addition, today I learned a new card game called "baseball" from a couple of the offensive lineman. I have some work to do in my card playing in order to keep up with these "300 pounders."

My biker friend from yesterday returned again today. I was able to snap a few pictures with him and his family. Packer fans sure are loyal, especially the ten year olds.

Tomorrow I have the day off from practice. After a few morning meetings, I am looking forward to resting the legs and laying low. Maybe even work on my card game.

Kole

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8/3/09--Day 3

The excitement of today was "Rookie Trivia." Every day a different rookie is asked to come to the front of the meeting hall where he is asked trivia questions relating to Packer football. I assumed that I had a few weeks to prepare for my trivia debut, but that wasn't the case as I saw Kole Heckendorf #19 flash onto the projector screen. My trivia performance was as followed:

#1 "Who am I? I was the 3rd leading receiver for the Packers last year with 33 receptions, 366 yards, and 2 touchdowns."
My Answer: Jordy Nelson CORRECT

#2 "Who am I?" (asked by the coach relaying trivia questions)
My Answer: Coach Flocum the special teams coach CORRECT

#3 "How many different NFL teams has Jimmy Robinson coached for?"
My Answer: 4 INCORRECT Right Answer 5

#4 "True or False Donald Driver was a three time SWAC champion in the long jump?"
My Answer: "False", I knew Donald Driver was an amazing HIGH Jumper and qualified for the 1996 Olympics in this event so I figured he couldn't have done another event so well. INCORRECT: right answer is True-- Apparently, Donald can not only fly vertically but can also jump horizontally. He was a champion in both of these events.

All in all, my trivia performance was fair. Rookie trivia was a great way
to get to know your coaches and teammates, as well as a way for the
veterans to get to know us first year guys. Besides trivia, I was pleased with my day of practice. My legs felt much better and the offensive is starting to click in my mind a bit more. It was a much better day with only having one practice, but tomorrow is another two a day so I better get some sleep as its past 11!

Kole

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8/2/09--Day 2

Today I had my first NFL two-a-day practice. The day has been physically challenging as well as mentally challenging as I learn a new offense and get adjusted the faster pace of the professional game. In addition to the dual practice, we spent the remainder of our day in meetings. While here, we learned the new offensive install plays for the upcoming practices in addition to watching film from previous practices. More than ever, I am learning how important it is to be a student of the game.

The Packer bike riding tradition continues. Today I was accompanied by a ten year old boy who stuck around not only through the first practice but was there to greet me after the second practice as well. I was very appreciative of this child who by choosing to assist me, a rookie, was not only asked to help carry my pads but also the pads of several veteran players. This is one of the luxuries of being a “rook.”

Well, it’s 10:30 PM back at the dorms, which means it’s well past my bed
time. Time to rest up and prepare for another day of work…

Kole
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8/1/09
After a long day of paperwork and meetings, today we were able to put on
the pads and get to business. My morning started out at 6:00 AM as I met
the other players at Lambeau Field for morning breakfast. After a morning
of lifting and meetings, we were ready for the first practice. On our
way to and from practice we were joined by children from around the state
who offered us rides on their bikes. While we rode their bikes, the kids
helped us out by carrying our helmets and practice gear. Its was pretty
cool for the children and for myself.

My first practice went well despite the windy Green Bay weather
conditions. Practice consisted of a mixture of positional as well as
team drills. After practice I was assigned fan duty. Each day ten
players are chosen to meet with the fans after practice and sign
autographs.

All around, I had an enjoyable but long first day.

P.S. Driver is still not up to par with my ball tricks, but i am still
working on him….Heckendorf Teaches Veterans His "Tricks"

Kole
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What would it be like to try out for a professional football team? Think of being alongside the players you see scoring touchdowns every week, impressing the coaches and fans with your athletic and mental ability, hearing the words, "You made the team," and getting to help your team go all the way!

Kole Heckendorf, a wide receiver and Mosinee native, will be trying to make that dream come true in Green Bay this season. You can follow his actions here at WSAW.com as Heckendorf blogs about his experiences.

Heckendorf, 23, was signed by Green Bay as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2009. He is the all-time leading receiver for the North Dakota State University Bisons, starting 42 of 43 games. In the 2008 season opener vs. Austin Peay, he racked up eight receptions for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Heckendorf will be wearing number 19 for the green and gold.

More:
North Dakota State University biography


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