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Huygue had said that he wouldn't allow Clarett to sign with the Nighthawks unless the team provided a strong support system. Ahman Green, a native of Omaha and four-time Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers, has agreed to serve as Clarett's mentor.
"He's a grown man. He paid his debt to society. Right now he just wants to play," Green said.
The Nighthawks practiced in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads, and Clarett walked through a few plays at the start. When he stepped the wrong direction on a play, defensive tackle Hollis Thomas bellowed, "Hey, new guy!"
Clarett went through station drills with the running backs, then watched from the sideline with his helmet off as the team ran seven-on-seven plays. He spent much of his down time with wide receiver Roy Hall, an Ohio State classmate and friend of Clarett who also signed Monday.
Hall played coy when it was suggested that the Nighthawks signed him to be part of a support system for Clarett.
"I don't believe in coincidences," Hall said wryly.
Clarett and Hall have been working out together for about seven weeks at Ohio State, since Hall was released by the New Orleans Saints.
"He's a good friend of mine," Hall said. "Going through the ups and downs with him early, and watching what happened, it was exciting for me to be able to help him and embrace him. We're brothers, and we preach that."
Clarett plays in a league where the average salary is $50,000. Besides Green, the Nighthawks feature Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Garcia and several other players with NFL experience.
"We're going to be patient with him," Mueller said of Clarett. "We have to be smart about it and so does Maurice. This kid is anxious to get out there and show what he can do, but it's no good if he's hurt.
"He's done everything he can personally, legally and physically to put himself in condition to be successful. Now we have to find out if he can get back."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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