Linebacker Na'il Diggs walks out of Bank of America Stadium Monday morning for the final time this season and instinctively braces for the cold.
Like Green Bay, I tell him.
"Getting there," says Diggs, who played his first six seasons for the Packers.
After their final meeting, the players scatter. Tight end Gary Barnidge is the first to leave.
Players wear hoodies, jackets, coats and, in the case of rookie running back Tyrell Sutton, colorfu baggy pants that look like pajamas.
The media, which began to gather before 8 a.m., waits. We lean against the building, pull our caps down and our scarves up, guzzle hot coffee and hold tape recorders and take notes with numb hands. Mine hands are numb, anyway. I can't write with my gloves on.
We ask some players to stop and talk. As far as I can tell, all but two do, and one talks when he reaches his car.
"It will be the same answers as last time," says quarterback Jake Delhomme.
Different questions, I tell him.
"Same answers," he says.
He's right. He is consistent. He wants to be back next season and expects to be.
Quarterback Matt Moore does. Linebacker Jon Beason does. Tackle Jordan Gross does.
Asked what head coach John Fox told them, Gross says, "Save your money."
There's a good chance that owners will lock out players after the 2010 season.
Brad Hoover walks out wearing his helmet. He's neither riding a motorcycle nor making a statement. The helmet is easier to wear than to carry, he says.
Not all the players who asked to talk agree to..
"Got a minute?" I ask Steve Smith.
"Nope," Smith says without breaking stride.
Julius Peppers walks out of the stadium, a green garbage bag full of his stuff dangling from his left hand. With him is fellow defensive end Charles Johnson. The media follows Peppers. At least 10 men and women follow the big man to his blue Maserati. Johnson, who is free of reporters, watches the scene and laughs.
Peppers opens the trunk and throws in the garbage bag. In the trunk of a Maserati, even a garbage bag looks elegant.
On the way to his BMW 340-pound defensive tackle Hollis Thomas looks at the crowd outside Peppers' car.
"It's too cold out here to try to get a story," he says.
If there's an alternative, big man, tell me what it is.