OCONOMOCOC, WIS., SEPT. 2 -- With his passing, his scrambling and his self-confidence, Don Majkowski has made himself much more than just the Green Bay Packers' 10th-round draft choice.
Eleven days before the Packers open their regular season, the former University of Virginia star is pushing Randy Wright for the starting quarterback job.
It's not his, yet. That determination won't be made until Saturday's final preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
"If he continues to improve and Randy doesn't, if he makes strides this week, he could get the job," said Packers quarterback coach George Sefcik.
Majkowski, who was a rock 'n' roll guitarist in high school and is an oil painter with exhibits in a Buffalo, N.Y., museum, is taking his early success in perspective.
"I've always had confidence in my ability. It was a matter of how fast I would pick up the system. I thought it would take a lot longer than it did," he said this week.
At a minicamp in May, the Packers' system began to click for the U-Va. management major, and Majkowski let his ability take over when regular camp began.
Last week in the Packers' third preseason game, he completed 13 of 24 second-half passes for 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He also ran for 21 yards. He says moving out of the pocket is something he learned by necessity as a college senior.
"At Virginia I had to scramble a lot," he said. "We'd graduated all our veteran linemen and were starting freshmen and sophomores. I had to learn to scramble or I would have been dead."
A shoulder injury that reduced his throwing strength and durability and the Cavaliers' 3-8 record last season didn't help Majkowski when it came time to be drafted.
"Maybe the scouts didn't feel I had the potential, but I knew as soon as I healed my shoulder, I'd be ready to play," he said. "Not being drafted until the 10th round was disappointing.
"But it's not the first time I've face a situation where I've sort of been an underdog."
Packers Coach Forrest Gregg said Majkowski's biggest asset is that "he's a gutsy guy.
"The players respond to him, and he sure can move out of that pocket."
Gregg might wince at times when he sees the rookie take off, but Majkowski said "there are just certain situations where it helps.
"When you see good coverage downfield, even if you've got good time, you can't wait too long, so I'll take it and run.
"If I can get out of the pack, I can make something happen."