Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver (80) rushes with the football in front of safety M.D. Jennings (43) during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Do you like an honest coach?
The Packers held their first padded training camp practice on Saturday and head coach Mike McCarthy wasn't all that impressed.
"I though it was just OK," McCarthy said at the post-practice press conference.
"It looked like a group just trying to get used to their pads. Our leverage was up and down, the tempo and the distortion that you usually have in your first padded practice I thought was evident. I thought some of the drills were sloppy."
"I thought the third down work was excellent," McCarthy noted on the positive side. "I thought the pressure defense was very good, the offensive protection had some really good pickups, some of the quarterback throws and catches really stood out. But it's the process of training camp and that's how it usually goes."
The Packers will mostly be in pads from this point forward throughout training camp.
After Saturday the Packers will have 17 practices, 15 of which will be in pads, the other two will be helmets but not pads. The Packers final training camp practice will be Tuesday August 28th leading up to the final preseason game August 30th.
Woodson's move to safety
The biggest news in camp so far is that Charles Woodson will play strong safety in the base defense, but still play corner in the nickel defense.
"Charles has played that position," McCarthy said as reported by the Associated Press. "We used to call it our 'Three Okie' package, and now he's just lined up in 'Okie' playing strong safety. So it really isn't anything new . it's the same really as it's always been."
The move comes after the Packers released Charlie Peprah, a player who made key interceptions but got burned one to many times last season.
Woodson told ESPNMilwaukee "I think it can in situations where I'm able to kind of roam a little bit and help out. It's different from corner, where you're usually worried about a particular receiver and how he can threaten you as a corner. As a safety, you get to move around a little bit more and show different looks and not have that responsibility of just having one guy. It will be fun to play more safety. I'm getting a lot more of the calls as a safety. I'm used to being out at corner and seeing plays from that angle. To be able to play at safety and really, really, really understand the play even more, I think will play to my advantage"
Jermichael's wife, and his injury
Jermichael Finley has missed the start of training camp due to a concussion. The news broke via Twitter as so often it does, but unusually it was reported by the players wife. Mrs. Finley tweeted that Finley was concussed and then at some point deleted the Twitter post, perhaps realizing that NFL protocol doesn't allow the wives of players to due injury reporting. Injury reporting is so hush hush these days, even if it's a matter of a concussion a few days missed in training camp.
Courtney Finley wrote "Got a slight very mild concussion at practice yesterday & protocol is to sit a few days."
When it comes to being precise, McCarthy is as conventional and to the book and regimented as he is unconventional-what ever it takes but he wants his practices, games and players to be precise. So it may not surprise you to learn that the offense is on a 2.5 second timer, complete with a sounding buzzer.
As reported by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, during 7-on-7 drills the offense will hear a noise at 2.5 seconds, which should signify how long it takes for the ball to be snapped and the quarterback to have the ball out, beyond 2.5 seconds it's scrambling mode. In the very few times the Packers' offense did break down it seemed as though the longer Rodgers was forced to hold on to the ball the less productive the offense was, that and of course a myriad of dropped passes an inopportune times.
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