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Official Training Camp Thread 5

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by TOPHAT, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://packers.scout.com/2/672187.html

    Players who have stepped it up in camp

    Atari Bigby
    It appears that Bigby has replaced Marquand Manuel as the starter at strong safety. It's early, but Bigby looks like he has some similar attributes as LeRoy Butler, especially blitzing the quarterback. If Bigby can play like he has played the last two weeks of the pre-season in the regular season, then the Packers will be elated.

    James Jones
    WHO did Ted Thompson draft at WR? The was the response from Packer fans when the Packers selected Jones in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft. Thompson looks like he knew what he was doing right now. Jones has had a very strong camp showing great physical ability and nice hands. Jones needs to refine his route running more thoroughly though.

    Aaron Rodgers
    Rodgers may languish on the bench again this season if Brett Favre continues his consecutive starts streak that is now at 237 games (257, including playoff games). But Rodgers has shown in the pre-season that he is now DEFINITELY the heir apparent to Favre when he hangs up his cleats. Rodgers is mobile and fully understands coach Mike McCarthy's offensive system.

    Cullen Jenkins
    Like Aaron Kampman the year before, Jenkins is not letting a new, big contract stop his development as a football player. Jenkins has been the Packers' best defensive linemen in camp and Green Bay may now have its best defensive line since the 1996 season.

    Will Blackmon
    Blackmon had injury issues as a rookie in 2006, but he has been excellent this year in training camp. Head coach Mike McCarthy basically said that Blackmon is his return specialist this year for both kickoffs and punts, and Blackmon will also play a key role in Green Bay's nickel and dime defensive packages.

    Brandon Jackson
    Jackson has won the role as starting halfback by default due to injuries to players like Vernand Morency, but Jackson has shown enough to get the coaching staff excited. Jackson has shown good cut back moves as a runner and has also shown that he has excellent hands out of the backfield. Jackson has struggled as a blocker though, and has to improve that requirement if he ever wants to be a complete back.

    Korey Hall
    Hall has not played fullback since high school, but Hall might win the starting fullback job and will be a key special teams player. Hall showed good hands in college as a linebacker as he intercepted 11 passes and that is important as the Packer fullbacks need to be able to catch the ball. The Packers are also very excited about what Hall will bring to special teams as he was a head hunter at college on all four special team units.

    Bubba Franks
    Franks looks like he could be turning back into the player he was from 2000-2004. Franks has had an excellent camp and is catching almost everything thrown his way. Franks looks more chiseled than he has the last couple of years and his production this year, along with fellow TE Donald Lee, will be an immense help to the Packers passing game.

    The kickers (Dave Rayner and/or Mason Crosby)
    This has been one of the best battles in recent camp memory. Both kickers have been virtually flawless in field goal attempts, and both have done well on kickoffs. There is a chance that the Packers will keep both of them on the roster, especially if the Packers only carry two quarterbacks.

    Nick Barnett
    Barnett finally got the long-term contract that he was seeking this off-season, and his production thus far has been outstanding. In fact, the Packers may have the best set of linebackers in the division, with A.J. Hawk and Brady Poppinga on the outside of Barnett. The defense as a whole looks like it will be the straw that stirs the Green Bay drink in 2007 as it has been dominant this pre-season, much like it was in late 2006.
     
  2. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Practice wrap-up

    Taking all the reps today for the first time in weeks, punter Jon Ryan average 49.06 yards and 4.6 seconds of hang time on 16 punts. Two of Ryan's punts traveled 60 yards, while only two went less than 40. He also had one blocked. The Packers released punter Ryan Dougherty on Friday.

    Elsewhere ...

    -- With Jason Spitz (calf) sitting out, Junius Coston played right guard with the first unit. Rookie Allen Barbre and Tyson Walter each rotated in for a series at left guard, while regular left guard Daryn Colledge got some work at left tackle.
    -- Coaches shuffled players throughout the defense during opponent work. The most notable change was to the cornerback pairings. Starters Charles Woodson and Al Harris worked together as usual, but Will Blackmon -- not Patrick Dendy -- was paired with Jarrett Bush as the second pairing. Dendy, the No. 3 cornerback until Bush passed him last week, worked with Frank Walker.
    -- Recently demoted safety Marquand Manuel spent a few plays alongside starting free safety Nick Collins but played mostly alongside soon-to-be-released reserve Alvin Nnabuife.
    -- Rookie running back DeShawn Wynn, back at practice for the first time in nearly three weeks, had a simple swing pass go straight through his hands. He also struggled with the blocking sled because his pad level was too high.
    -- The No. 1 offense's 2-minute drill included a long completion down the right sideline to rookie receiver James Jones, who'd beaten Walker. But the drive stalled after that, with two draws, a badly thrown fade from Brett Favre to Greg Jennings, and a bullet intended for Zac Alcorn with Desmond Bishop in coverage.
    -- Rookie defensive end Larry Birdine left late in practice because of leg cramps.
    -- Carlyle Holiday dropped two passes, while rookie David Clowney had a series of nice catches.
    -- A bad drop by Chris Francies led to an easy interception for rookie linebacker Rory Johnson. Dendy also had an interception on a ball Paul Thompson threw to Francies.
    -- Alcorn had the catch of the day, a one-handed stab on a high throw into the left flat. Ruvell Martin came in a close second with his leaping grab over Blackmon and Tyrone Culver.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Favre could play at Tennessee

    Going back on his hunch Brett Favre wouldn't play in the preseason finale, coach Mike McCarthy said today his starting quarterback could play one or two series Thursday at Tennessee, though no final decision has been reached. McCarthy said the starting offense likely would play a little more than the starting defense, though that will be dictated by practice.

    INJURY REPORT

    WR Donald Driver (foot) and RG Jason Spitz (calf), who left last week's game with injuries, will not play against Tennessee. But McCarthy said he's hopeful both will be ready for the season opener Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. McCarthy repeated he is hopeful RB Vernand Morency (knee) also will suit up for the opener. RB Brandon Jackson left practice and did not return after LB Brady Poppinga knocked him to the ground on a running play during the 2-minute drill. S Aaron Rouse sat out practice because of a tight hamstring and LB Spencer Havner a back strain. LB Abdul Hodge sat out because of knee tendonitis, which has plagued him throughout camp. McCarthy said the injury flared up again.CB Will Blackmon has a sprained thumb but practiced.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Crosby edges Rayner in field-goal drill

    Rookie Mason Crosby held a slight edge over incumbent Dave Rayner as he has done for most of training camp. During a field-goal drill, Crosby booted 6 of 6 field goals, compared with Rayner's 5 of 6. Crosby made kicks from 27, 27, 34, 34, 44 and 50 yards. Rayner kicked from the same distances, and his one miss was wide left from 44 yards. He wasn't helped by a low snap from backup Clark Harris on the missed kick.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rouse, Havner miss practice

    A couple of new faces were added to the injured list today. Safety Aaron Rouse and linebacker Spencer Havner did not practice at today's 10:45 a.m. workout on Clarke Hinkle Field. The nature of the injuries to Rouse and Havner was not immediately known. Also in shorts and not practicing were Abdul Hodge, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Tony Palmer, Orrin Thompson, Jason Spitz, Tony Moll and Vernand Morency. Not in attendance in practice today were Donald Driver, Shaun Bodiford, Ryan Powdrell and Mike Montgomery. All four of those players had suffered previous injuries in the last two weeks.
     
  3. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/7141734

    WR sleepers: Watch for...James Jones, Green Bay

    This third-round rookie is set to become Green Bay's No. 3 wideout behind Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. He's impressed greatly in training camp and preseason games. In fact, he's led the Packers in catches and receiving yards in their first two preseason games. He had six catches for 58 yards in the first preseason contest against Pittsburgh. He also caught four passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns in the second contest against Seattle. That included a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre at the beginning of the second quarter. The release of Robert Ferguson opens the door for Jones to be firmly entrenched as one of Brett Favre's top receiving targets this season. With the loss of Green Bay's best receiving [ :?: ] tight end Donald Martin to Miami, expect Favre to utilize his three-receiver sets heavily.
     
  4. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    Donald Martin? :lol:
     
  5. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    SUNDAY MORNING SESSION

    http://packers.scout.com/2/672269.html

    The Word: Training Camp Day 30: Packers begin ‘in-season’ schedule; Favre to play against Titans; Crosby edges Rayner

    Though training camp is still in session, the Green Bay Packers began a practice schedule today as if it were the regular season. While the Packers are preparing for their preseason finale against Tennessee on Thursday, their practices this week are in accordance with their regular season practice schedule. The Packers returned to Clarke Hinkle Field this morning after receiving Friday and Saturday off. The team will practice once on Monday and Tuesday before traveling to Nashville on Wednesday prior to Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Titans. In Packers time, today was similar to a Wednesday practice during the regular season. Monday’s practice will be similar to a Thursday practice. McCarthy said some of the veterans are already preparing for the regular season opener against Philadelphia with their position coaches. In the meantime, the coach plans to use this week and the game on Thursday to see as much as possible players who are on the bubble, as well as some of the starters on the first-team offense and defense. McCarthy hinted last week that he might keep Brett Favre out of the final preseason game, but said today that he needs the veteran to continue to develop chemistry with some of the younger players on the offense. Favre will be followed by Aaron Rodgers against the Titans. Rookie quarterback Paul Thompson is expected to play the majority of the third and fourth quarters. The Packers have to reduce their roster to the NFL mandated 53 players by 3 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday, Sept. 1.

    Play of the Day

    Wide receiver Ruvell Martin made an impressive one-handed catch while leaping over cornerback Will Blackmon to catch a pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a 45-yard gain during an 11-on-11 scrimmage. Martin, who will be battling for playing time with James Jones this season, ran a fly pattern along the right sideline. He jumped up over Blackmon to catch the ball, and cradled it with one arm while falling to the ground to cheers of the nearby ‘railbirds’ perched along Oneida Street.

    Stock is up

    Chalk one up for Mason Crosby. The rookie edged incumbent Dave Rayner by making all six of his field goal attempts from various distances today in practice while Rayner made 5 of 6 attempts. Rayner’s miss came from 44 yards when his boot sailed wide left. Rayner followed by making a 50-yard attempt, though, Crosby also made his 50-yard attempt that sailed much farther past the portable field goal posts. At this point, it appears that Crosby has the slight edge over Rayner in the competition for the place-kicking duties on the team. Crosby has made a few more of his attempts in practices, and his kickoffs have been a little deeper overall than Rayner’s kickoffs. McCarthy said that the decision on which kicker the team will keep won’t come until after the team’s final preseason game.

    Stock is down

    Neither Spencer Havner nor Abdul Hodge helped themselves in the battle for the sixth linebacker spot today. Both did not practice due to injuries. Havner has a strained back and Hodge’s knee tendonitis, which has bothered him all off-season, “flared up,” according to McCarthy. It is uncertain if both will return for Monday’s practice, but playing on Thursday against the Titans would be to their advantage. Outside linebacker Tracy White and middle linebacker Desmond Bishop seem to be locks as backups behind starters Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk and Brady Poppinga. The versatile Havner has been playing with the second team defense throughout training camp, and Hodge has been with the third team.

    He said it

    “I’m just trying to go one day at a time and trying to get out there as soon as possible. I’m a competitive guy. I want to be out there sweating and bleeding and fighting with my teammates. It pains me not to be out there.”
    -- running back Vernand Morency on when he thinks he’ll return
     
  6. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    ROSTER BATTLES

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=672290

    Down to the wire: Comments on the favorites in the battles for key backup positions and starting spots in the Packers' training camp

    Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy will need all of this week and Thursday night’s preseason game at Tennessee to determine which players to keep and which to part with by Sept. 1. As it stands, the Packers have ongoing battles at a handful of positions that will go down to the 3 p.m. (CDT) deadline. How some players perform this week in practice and against the Titans Thursday could make all the difference. The Packers must reduce their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players by this Saturday. The majority of starting positions on offense and defense have been set, though, there are still a few battles in process. Soon after Thursday's preseason finale, Thompson and McCarthy will have to decide the fate of the following players, who will serve the team as starters, reserves, practice squad invitees, or be placed on waivers:

    Safety: Atari Bigby vs. Marquand Manuel

    Bigby is expected to get his second straight start at strong safety Thursday against Tennessee, but that doesn’t mean he has the job locked up over incumbent Marquand Manuel. However, it appears that Bigby is on his way toward starting ahead of Manuel when the Packers open the regular season Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. Bigby has provided more big plays in training camp practices than Manuel, and McCarthy likes his explosiveness as a blitzer and tackler. Bigby’s interception of a pass by Brett Favre during a two-minute drill a few days after Green Bay’s preseason loss to Pittsburgh stands out as does the plays he made against Seattle in an exhibition game last Thursday. On the other hand, Manuel has been quiet in the big play department. Bigby sustained a broken hand during the Family Night scrimmage in training camp last year, then injured his hamstring shortly after he was signed off the team’s practice squad in November, but McCarthy has liked his big-play ability all along. How well Bigby can call formations and communicate with other defensive backs may determine if he will start ahead of Manuel. If Bigby struggles to make the calls against Tennessee, Manuel probably will get the call for the season opener as the starter. If not, look for Bigby to start and Manuel to come off the bench.

    Cornerback: Frank Walker vs. Patrick Dendy

    The Packers are expected to keep five cornerbacks on the roster. Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Will Blackmon and Jarrett Bush are locks to make the team. That means the final spot will be up for grabs between Walker, the team’s only signing in unrestricted free agency this year, and Dendy. Tramon Williams may be a darkhorse here, but the Packers probably will release him, then try to sign him to the practice squad. Walker and Dendy have both played well in training camp, but Dendy seems to be the favorite of coaches. His experience with the Packers last season certainly plays to his advantage, and he has been stepping in with the second team defense ahead of Walker throughout camp. Dendy probably will get the nod over Walker, but a great week of practice and solid game on defense and special teams on Thursday might allow Walker to nose out Dendy for a roster spot.

    Kicker: Dave Rayner vs. Mason Crosby

    Crosby has a slight advantage over Rayner, the Packers’ kicker last year, but when it is time to name a kicker, Crosby will be the one. The rookie from Colorado has made a few more field goals in practice and has had deeper kickoffs overall in practice than Rayner. Plus, Crosby was selected in the sixth round of the recent NFL Draft by the Packers. In the long run, Crosby will be a tad better for the Packers. He has kicked the past four seasons in Denver, which is no stranger to cold and snowy weather, so adjusting to the conditions in Lambeau Field when the weather gets nasty should be no problem. Still, if Crosby misses a field goal attempt or two on Thursday, and Rayner comes through, Rayner could retain his job.

    Linebacker: Spencer Havner vs. Abdul Hodge

    Havner and Hodge both missed practice today because of injuries, but both are expected to return to practice either tomorrow or Tuesday. Havner has been playing with the second team defense throughout training camp and has the advantage over Hodge, who impressed many in training camp last year. Hodge missed all of the team’s offseason practices with knee tendonitis. Though he hasn’t missed many practices in training camp, he hasn’t done enough to get past Havner, who can play all three positions. Both Havner and Hodge play on special teams, so their performance on those units may determine their fate in Green Bay. If both Havner and Hodge are not able to play on Thursday, it’s possible that both will be released and the Packers sign a healthy linebacker released by another team.

    Tight end: Zac Alcorn vs. Clark Harris

    Alcorn made an impressive one-handed catch today in practice, which certainly will help his chance of making the team. Harris, a rookie seventh round pick, has caught the ball better recently in practices, so he has that going for him. The Packers likely will go with three tight ends this season, so either Alcorn or Harris will remain with the team behind Donald Lee and Bubba Franks. Harris’s ability to snap the ball for punts and field goal attempts plays in his favor, but he isn’t going to beat out veteran long snapper Rob Davis at this point. Alcorn’s experience with the Packers plays in his favor. Ultimately, whichever player has the better week of practice and plays better on Thursday probably will win the backup job. For now, let’s give the nod to Alcorn because of his experience in the system. The Packers will then make every attempt to sign Harris to the team's practice squad.
     
  7. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    UPDATE: Jackson Okay? & Blocking Explanation

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=652348

    Unable to gain ground. Jackson's injury latest in series of backfield woes

    On Sunday, rookie Brandon Jackson went down hard after a collision with another player during a 2-minute drill, and after taking a few more snaps in a non-contact 7-on-7 drill was unable to finish practice. Jackson, according to other players, suffered a blow to the head that most thought wasn't serious. After practice, however, the usually affable Jackson looked to be in a fog as he prepared to walk from his locker to the training room and did not respond to questions about his injury. Coach Mike McCarthy was unaware of the extent of Jackson's injury immediately after practice, so it's unclear whether Jackson suffered a concussion. "Any time a guy lays down like that, that's not a positive sign," McCarthy said. "Hopefully he'll be OK." If he has suffered a concussion, his status for the exhibition finale is in question, especially considering the extra attention head injuries are being given around the NFL after recent criticism aimed at the league. The Packers are generally conservative about allowing players who suffer head injuries back on the field, so there's no telling when he'll be back.

    Even if the injury is minor, it's just another example of how tenuous and unsettled the Packers' running game remains. With Jackson out, the only healthy running backs were veteran Noah Herron, rookie free agent Corey White and seventh-round pick DeShawn Wynn, who was making his first appearance in practice after missing 18 days with a strained right thigh muscle. Veteran Vernand Morency still hasn't practiced since hurting his knee the first day of camp and is a question mark for the start of the regular season. Wynn's return is the best news the Packers have had with regard to their backfield in some time, but it's questionable whether he can make up enough ground in the next two weeks to be anything more than a complement come the start of the regular season. Though he looked heavier, the 5-foot-10 Wynn said he weighed in at 227 pounds, 6 pounds less than he weighed before he got injured.

    "I felt pretty good," Wynn said. "It definitely felt good to get the runs in and get the football conditioning back in. Coach (Edgar) Bennett gave me a lot just to get prepared for the game Thursday. I think he's going to continue doing it the rest of the week, and I'm looking forward to getting those extra reps in against the defense in a game-time situation." Wynn has better size and power than the 5-10, 212-pound Jackson, and yet moves almost as quickly. One thing he was able to do was stay on top of the offense while he was out, attending meetings daily and taking assignment quizzes before every game. He said he did not make many assignment errors in his first practice back. The Packers need Wynn's help. In three exhibition games, they have averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and have only one rush of at least 20 yards. Jackson and White, the two leading rushers with 40 and 32 attempts, respectively, are both averaging 3.3 yards per carry.

    "You have to have some concern," tackle Mark Tauscher said. "But it (working on the run game) is tough for what we do. You're not live tackling, you're not live cutting. "With the system we have in place you want to always look good, but when you can't really cut a guy, you just want to get your reads and get in a good rhythm showing the running back where his reads are. We're not in mid-season form from a cutting standpoint. We have a ways to go." Cut-blocking is a basic element of the zone run scheme and is used primarily on the back side of a run play to knock down pursuing defensive ends and tackles. It keeps those defenders from tying up the guards and center, whose job often is to push forward and block a linebacker. Jacksonville slanted its defensive line so that it could rub out the guard and mess up the running lanes, essentially forcing the back to run outside the tackles every time. The Packers insist that if it were a regular-season game they would have done something to counter that strategy.

    "We've got a very minimal part of the running game going on in the games," guard Daryn Colledge said. "We're doing fundamental stuff: outside, inside, left and right. When we have the ability to put in everything - we have our fakes and our counters and our nakeds (bootlegs) and our full run game - we'll have a lot more success in the run game. "Right now people know we're running a very vanilla run game. Linebackers can just fill and fill and fill and it makes it real easy (to stop the run)." Tauscher insisted that if the line did its job, the running back situation wouldn't be as dire as some perceive it to be. He said the experience of having all five starters together for the 2006 season would start to show benefits when the real games begin. "I don't think there's any question we have our hands full and we're expected to be a lot better running the football," Tauscher said. "That will come with playing together and trusting each other a little more. I think you have to hold your judgment (in the exhibition season). I think we're going to be able to run the ball much more effectively than last year." Maybe so, but time is running out to show it.
     
  8. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    DAY 30 REPORT

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=652361

    Sunday camp report

    THUMBS UP

    Aside from a couple of passes by Brett Favre that had a little bit too much juice on short patterns, practice Sunday was very sharp for the quarterbacks, especially with deep passes. Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Paul Thompson each completed at least one pass of more than 20 yards. Wide receiver Greg Jennings, looking much more confident, caught three of the bombs, two coming from Favre. Ruvell Martin (two) and David Clowney also got behind the secondary. The highlight came in the 2-minute drill, when James Jones flew past cornerback Frank Walker down the right sideline and hauled in a 43-yard pass from Favre to the 6-yard line. The offense could not capitalize, however, as two runs and two incomplete passes turned the ball over on downs.

    THUMBS DOWN

    If the quarterbacks had a good day, then that means the secondary struggled. The main culprits were cornerbacks Jarrett Bush and Will Blackmon, who got an opportunity to play with the first team as they competed for the nickel back spot. Bush was beat deep twice, once each by Martin and Clowney. And Blackmon was victimized by Martin on a great one-handed catch down the left sideline. Given the opportunity Bush and Blackmon had, you would've expected both to raise their level of play. That wasn't the case.

    INJURY REPORT

    Running back DeShawn Wynn (thigh) returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 7 and participated fully. Linebackers Abdul Hodge (knee tendinitis) and Spencer Havner (back strain) and safety Aaron Rouse (hamstring) were at practice, but did not suit up. They are day-to-day. Coach Mike McCarthy said wide receiver Donald Driver (right foot sprain) was improving and was on track to play in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Running back Vernand Morency (knee) and left guard Jason Spitz (calf strain) also won't play in the final exhibition game Thursday against the Tennessee Titans. Blackmon practiced with a splint on his sprained left thumb. He suffered the injury Thursday night in the exhibition loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    ODDS AND ENDS

    The tight kicking competition between incumbent Dave Rayner and sixth-round draft pick Mason Crosby is into its final week. Both got six attempts: two from 27 yards, two from 34 and one each from 44 and 50. Crosby converted all of his opportunities. Rayner missed to the left from 44. Punter Jon Ryan got a lot of work during practice and appeared to have one of his better days, booming several kicks with some nice hangtime. His protection let him down once, however, when linebacker Tracy White eluded tight end Zac Alcorn and blocked one of Ryan's punts solidly. Free safety Nick Collins and strong safety Atari Bigby got every repetition with the first team, but McCarthy stopped short of saying his secondary was set. "This Thursday's game is very important for that whole defensive backfield," McCarthy said. "Special teams will factor into a lot of (who ultimately starts), but those decisions won't be made until Friday."

    With Spitz out, tackle Junius Coston took his place at right guard. Coston has created a niche for himself by being able to play several positions on the offensive line, and he also played left and right tackle during practice. Coston hasn't let the constant movement affect his play. He had a good day in the one-on-one passing drills by winning both his matchups against Johnny Jolly and Daniel Muir. The Packers are using this week to get into their regular-season game-week rhythm. Practice Sunday was treated as an in-season Wednesday.

    SCHEDULE MONDAY

    Open practice at 10:45 a.m. Players will be in full pads.
     
  9. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    DAY 30 REPORT

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...20070827/PKR01/708270429/1057/PKR&located=RSS

    Insider

    Thumbs up

    Early in training camp, David Clowney looked like another Cory Rodgers, the fourth-round draft pick in 2006 who didn't make it through his rookie preseason because he was a receiver/kick returner who couldn't catch the ball. Clowney, a fifth-round pick this year, had his share of troubles at the beginning but has come on of late. The undersized (6-foot, 188 pounds) but speedy (4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash) Clowney had perhaps his best practice of the summer on Sunday during one of the last full-pads practices of camp. The rookie from Virginia Tech had at least five receptions during team and 7-on-7 periods combined, including a deep catch against safety Nick Collins. A few weeks ago, Clowney was dropping balls that were hitting him in the hands and chest. Now, he's making the tough catches. He caught a ball that was tipped by cornerback Patrick Dendy and then went low to haul one in that nearly hit the ground. If Clowney can make the team as perhaps the fifth or sixth receiver (if General Manager Ted Thompson opts to keep six), he could be a difference maker, because he's the one receiver on the roster with legitimate deep-threat speed. Clowney's big day coincided with a poor practice by Carlyle Holiday, who last week looked like a good bet to make the roster. Holiday dropped at two passes and juggled another on Sunday, perhaps clearing the way for the Packers to keep Clowney instead.

    Thumbs down

    The 2-minute drill has been a disaster for the No. 1 offense. The starting offense has failed to score in all four of its end-of-game scenarios throughout training camp. The latest miscue came on Sunday. Starting at his 40-yard line and trailing 21-17 with 1:31 remaining, quarterback Brett Favre completed a deep sideline pass to James Jones for a 43-yard gain that set up a first-and-goal at the 6-yard line. But after two running plays gained a total of 3 yards, the drive ended after Favre missed Greg Jennings on a fade route and linebacker Desmond Bishop broke up a pass intended for Zac Alcorn. The 2-minute troubles started with the July 31 practice at City Stadium, when Aaron Rodgers led the starting offense to the 6-yard line, where the time expired after a failed third-and-goal play. During two other attempts, Favre threw drive-ending interceptions.

    Did you notice?

    Dendy appears to have fallen down the depth chart even more. Last week, Jarrett Bush replaced Dendy as the third cornerback in the nickel defense. On Sunday, Bush and Will Blackmon worked ahead of Dendy as the No. 2 cornerback tandem, and Frank Walker worked ahead of Dendy in the No. 2 nickel package.

    Junius Coston continues to be the most versatile lineman on the roster. On Sunday, he lined up at right guard in place of the injured Jason Spitz with the No. 1 offense. Allen Barbre and Tyson Walter each rotated in for a series at left guard, while regular left guard Daryn Colledge got some work at left tackle.

    Favre made one of his best throws of camp during a team period, when he lofted a pass over the outstretched hands of cornerback Charles Woodson to hit Jennings in stride for a 20-yard out.

    Linebacker Tracy White blocked one of Jon Ryan's punts during a special teams period. Ryan averaged 49.1 yards and 4.6 seconds of hang time on his other 16 punts.
     
  10. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    Re: DAY 30 REPORT

    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Hodge at practice; Driver, Bodiford, Powdrell absent today

    Linebacker Abdul Hodge arrived late to today's practice and is on the field. Hodge has been battling tendinitis in both his knees throughout training camp. Injured players wide receiver Donald Driver, return specialist Shaun Bodiford and fullback Ryan Powdrell are absent again. In addition, most of the same players who sat out Sunday's workout appear to be not practicing again. Players are working out in shorts, although the practice initially had been scheduled as a pads workout.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    RB Jackson not practicing today

    Rookie running back Brandon Jackson is not on the field for this morning's practice. Jackson suffered an upper body injury during Sunday's practice on an inadvertent hit from linebacker Brady Poppinga and did not participate in contact drills after that. His status for Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee is uncertain, but Coach Mike McCarthy has indicated that as a precaution, he will hold out a number of starters nursing injuries.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rain moves Packers practice indoors

    Practice is under way at the Don Hutson Center. It was raining steadily until about 10:40 a.m. and Clarke Hinkle Field appears soaked. The team is letting in some fans for the early portions of practice, but they probably will not be allowed to stay for the entire 2 ½ hour session. Today is the second-to-last practice open to the public.
     
  11. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Great to hear about Clowney finally showing something.

    Yay!
     
  12. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    MONDAY SESSION

    Hodge leaning toward knee surgery

    Abdul Hodge will get a second opinion on the patellar tendonitis in his knees Wednesday, and he's leaning toward having corrective surgery that would force the Green Bay Packers to place him on injured reserve for the second consecutive season. "I definitely want to play, but I want to play to my potential, and I don't want to play in pain," Hodge said Monday afternoon. "When I play in pain, I'm not able to do the things I know I do. I don't look like myself, and I don't like that." Hodge is scheduled to fly Wednesday to New York, where he'll be examined by Dr. Russell Warren, the New York Giants' team physician. If he opts for surgery, Hodge almost certainly would be placed on I.R., freeing up a roster spot before Saturday's 53-man cutdown. Hodge sat out practice Monday for the 10th time in training camp.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Powdrell placed on injured reserve

    The Packers got to the 75-man roster limit this afternoon by placing fullback Ryan Powdrell on injured reserve. Powdrell, an undrafted rookie from Southern California, was expected to miss three to six weeks after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in an exhibition game Aug. 18 against Seattle. He was far from a lock to make the roster before the injury, so there's a good chance this is a temporary move until an injury settlement is reached. The Packers cut 11 players Friday and had until Tuesday to get down to 75. The 53-man cutdown is Saturday.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Practice wrap-up

    Coach Mike McCarthy said his starting secondary won't change this week, confirming that Atari Bigby will make his second consecutive start at strong safety. The secondary is one of several positions that will be evaluated heavily this week, however, so Marquand Manuel could replace Bigby as early as the second series. "Some guys may play one series; some starters may play three series," McCarthy said. "It's really about position." Manuel got equal, if not more work alongside starting free safety Nick Collins in practice. Manuel, who started all 16 games a year ago, hasn't spoken with his reporters since his demotion last week.

    Elsewhere ...

    -- Junius Coston spent his second straight day at right guard with the first unit in place of Jason Spitz (calf). With Brandon Jackson sitting out, fellow rookie DeShawn Wynn and Noah Herron opened periods at running back.

    -- As speculated earlier, practice was in shells, not pads, this morning because of low numbers. "We've got a number of guys that are out that we're just being really cautious with," McCarthy said.

    -- McCarthy declined to specify how many spots on the 53-man roster remain undecided, saying only that Thursday's game will be important for evaluating many players.

    -- T Orrin Thompson (knee) participated in contact drills, which he's sat out often since suffering a medial collateral ligament injury against Seattle on Aug. 18.

    -- McCarthy said he called a running play instead of a pass in one situation last week against Jacksonville to set up a field-goal attempt, and he said he would consider doing the same this week. The play McCarthy referred to likely was a third-and-1 at the Jaguars' 20 midway through the fourth quarter. Noah Herron ran for no gain. Then, Mason Crosby converted a 38-yard field goal.

    -- QB Paul Thompson threw three interceptions. Charlie Peprah got the first and Patrick Dendy the next two, one of them off a tip by Frank Walker. All of them, however, came during opponent work.

    -- Walker, who it appears is fighting Dendy for the fifth and final cornerback spot, spent time alongside starters Charles Woodson and Al Harris in nickel situations. Jarrett Bush remains the No. 3 cornerback.

    -- In his second day subbing in at tight end, international practice squad player Carl-Johan Bjork had a touchdown during opponent work.

    -- Rookie LB Desmond Bishop intercepted Aaron Rodgers during opponent work.

    -- And in the only competitive 11-on-11 period, Brett Favre was 3-for-4 with a 7-yard touchdown strike to Greg Jennings.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    McCarthy: Jackson questionable with concussion

    Rookie running back Brandon Jackson has a mild concussion and is questionable for Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee. Jackson suffered the injury in practice on Sunday. It is his first concussion, coach Mike McCarthy said, but the team plans to address it cautiously. "It's something that we're going to be very cautious with," McCarthy said. "We'll see how he's doing later today and then in the morning." McCarthy said Noah Herron, the only non-rookie running back expected to play, would start Thursday if Jackson cannot. DeShawn Wynn also is expected to get a lot of carries, which coaches hope will free up Corey White to play some snaps at fullback. In other injury news, tight end Donald Lee did not finish practice today. He was “banged in (Thursday's) game,” McCarthy said, and his knee may be bothering him. Linebacker Abdul Hodge, who sat out the second straight day with patellar tendinitis in his knees, could be placed on injured reserve, McCarthy said. He is scheduled to get a second opinion this week.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rookie Crosby again holds slight advantage over Rayner; Morency seen running on sidelines

    Rookie Mason Crosby once again held a slight advantage over incumbent Dave Rayner during a field-goal drill. Crosby made both of his extra-point-attempts and five of six field goals. His successful kicks came 37, 42, 47, 47 and 52 yards. His only miss was wide right from 52 yards. Rayner made both of his extra-point-attempts and four of six field goals. His successful kicks came from 37, 42, 47 and 52 yards. He missed wide left from 47 and 52 yards. Jon Ryan was the holder for all of the kicks and longsnapper Rob Davis snapped on all of the attempts.

    *** Injured running back Vernand Morency was running along the sidelines in sweats while the team practiced today. Morency injured his knee in the first practice of training camp almost a month ago.

    *** Receivers James Jones and Ruvell Martin each caught long passes along the sidelines during a team drill. Safety Charlie Peprah picked off a Paul Thompson pass intended for Calvin Russell. Later, Peprah was victimized by a Brett Favre-to-Greg Jennings touchdown pass.

    *** The large contingent of fans that watched the early part of practice was ushered out of the building about 45 minutes into the workout.
     
  13. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    SCOUT.COM VIEW

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=672915

    A diamond in the rough: Jones continues to silence draft-day doubters by making plays

    When the Green Bay Packers selected James Jones in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft, a lot of Packer fans were puzzled. The first question was WHO? Then people looked at the fact that Jones was selected two or three rounds ahead of schedule based on some of the draft guru information. Then there was the perception that Jones didn't have world class speed. People didn't realize that Jones was a bonafide playmaker at San Jose State. Also forgotten was the physical strengths that Jones possesses. Brett Favre has compared Jones physically to Sterling Sharpe. And then there are the hands. Jones has outstanding hands catching the football. Either way Jones didn't give much credence to the fans' opinions.


    Jones has had an excellent preseason so far catching 16 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, but Jones knows he still has to keep improving. "The main thing right now is just limiting my mistakes," Jones said. Jones knows that to be a complete receiver, all phases of his game have to be above average. That means blocking for the running game as well. Jones will start this week along with second year receiver Greg Jennings as Donald Driver will sit out with a foot sprain. Jones might find that starting will soon become a habit. The Packers were poor in 2006 in the red zone and in converting third downs. A physical receiver like Jones, who has great hands, should help improve both of those areas.
    ______________________________________________________________

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=672936

    Linebacker's season nears end

    Hodge should opt to repair ailing knees first, then focus on football, says PackerReport.com. Abdul Hodge will be traveling to New York on Wednesday to undergo further tests on his ailing knees. The Packers' medical staff says that Hodge has patellar tendonitis in both knees, but to be sure, Hodge will seek out further advice from the New York Giants' team doctor to determine if surgery is needed in one or both knees.
    Hodge's knee problems date back to last season, one that began with a lot of promise in training camp, but then fizzled as he sustained injuries to not only his knees, but shoulder later in the season as well. Hodge played 102 snaps from scrimmage in 2006 and finished with 12 tackles. Hodge's sore knees prevented him from participating in practices throughout the off-season, and he has missed nearly a dozen training camp practices. In the meantime, the Packers selected University of California linebacker Desmond Bishop in the recent NFL draft, and Bishop has passed up Hodge as Barnett's top backup.

    The Packers are not about to cut Bishop, who gave fans and the team a snapshot of his punch last Thursday against Jacksonville when he nearly knocked Reggie Williams' block off. Hodge? He seems to be headed either toward the season-ending injured reserve list, or released altogether. Because the Packers used a third-round pick on Hodge in 2006 (67th overall), they probably will place him on IR and hope that his ailing knees heal in time for next season. That seems to be the best move for Hodge and the team at this time. Hodge hasn't practiced at all this week and is not expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee. At this point, he has little value to the Packers or anyone else in the league because of his knees, so a year of rehab after a possible surgery and conditioning will only help Hodge and the Packers.
    ______________________________________________________________

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=672908

    Sydney Speaks! It's not just the scheme!

    Green Bay's defense should be among the best in the NFL and special teams should improved this season, but the offense is still missing a key ingredient, says PackerReport.com's Harry Sydney. In three preseason games we have seen the directions and growth of this team, especially in certain areas which are directly impacted by Ted Thompson’s plan. I do like much of what he has done on the defensive side of the ball because if you read my stuff you know what I think about the defense and its play-makers. This defense could and should be one of the best defenses in the National Football League, not just the NFC. I say that because there really isn’t a weak area. I know that they still have some work to do, but I believe they have the personnel to get it done, of course, providing there are no key injuries.

    The Packers have proven players on defense, they have players that for the most part have played in the league, and the expectations are real. They have been tested and you know what they can do. There isn’t a lot wondering or questioning, trying to determine if they might be able to do this or that with coaching, and in the right scheme. You can trust that Aaron Kampman, A.J. Hawk, Nick Barnett, Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Ryan Pickett and even Cullen Jenkins, because he is trying to make me a believer, would be players in any scheme. You have enough of these guys on defense to carry the load and help this team win, or at least I hope so, but the defense can’t do it alone. Special teams and offense has to do their share to win, but can they?

    I think special teams will be better, but then again it’s not just the return guys that make the difference, it’s the guys blocking and they have to be better. Up to this point Will Blackmon should be the returner and since kickers are counted as the special teams I don’t think that the Packers can go wrong with either Mason Crosby or Dave Rayner. Again, the Packers appear to have two kickers that can get it done because they are just good enough. Some gimmick isn’t going to make them better they stand on their ability to kick. If you know me or listen to my radio show in Green Bay you would really understand how I feel about kickers.

    Also, the special teams is where you find out about who has the desire. This is where you learn who is willing to run into that wall and take no prisoner stuff. Trust me, that doesn’t take long. This is where it’s more about heart than talent, but a good scheme doesn’t hurt. I’m looking for better production from this unit because it appears to have the athletes and they can’t be as bad as last year, I hope.

    The defense and special teams will be better because they have the talent to be, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Let me explain: On offense the Packers have Brett Favre who will do everything possible to help this team win, but he can’t carry this team on his back anymore. Those days are over. He’s not great anymore, but he’s still pretty good. He will be throwing to a group of receivers that so far in training camp have held their own. Donald Driver is what he is, and that’s an outstanding playmaker that hopefully won’t be sidelined by his injury too long. James Jones seems to be the real deal, thus far, and has been impressive because of his route running ability. So far he seems to have the ability to make the big play. Who knows, he might even take the number two job from Greg Jennings. As for the offensive line we all know they are a bunch of better than average athletes who are hoping the scheme will make them better. I understand what they are trying to do with their running game, but unfortunately, they forgot on important element. Any guesses????? Ted Thompson forgot the most important thing in the running game and that’s a running back. This back by committee only works when you have good backs. Brandon Jackson is an average back at best and Vernand Morency is the same guy.
    _____________________________________________________________

    http://packers.scout.com/2/672732.html

    The Word: Training Camp Day 31:Running game takes another hit; roster move; Crosby wins again

    The Green Bay Packers may be without their top two running backs Thursday when they travel to play the Tennessee Titans in the preseason finale. Brandon Jackson did not practice today after sustaining a mild concussion in practice on Sunday. Coach Mike McCarthy said after practice that Jackson is “questionable” for the game on Thursday. Vernand Morency, who has been out since the first day of training camp, is not expected to play against the Titans. If Jackson and Morency do not play, McCarthy said that Noah Herron will start at running back and be backed up by rookies DeShawn Wynn and Corey White. Fullbacks Brandon Miree and Korey Hall are expected to play Thursday. The Packers will be taking a good look at Wynn, a seventh round pick.

    Running back is the main area of concern as the Packers prepare for their opener Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. Morency is expected to suit up for that game, but there is no guarantee. Jackson has averaged a ho-hum 3.3 yards per carry on 40 attempts this preseason for a team-high 131 yards rushing. With Donald Driver hobbled after spraining his ankle in last Thursday’s preseason game against Jacksonville, the Packers are extra thin on playmakers.


    Rookie receiver James Jones has been impressive this preseason, which gives the Packers hope of another solid playmaker. Jones has a team-high 16 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns. If Driver is able to return by the opener, all the better for Green Bay. “I assume he’ll be back,” said Favre. “In talking with him, he feels the same way. Of course, when a player like that gets injured, it makes for good TV and radio and things like that, but it does concern you. I think he’ll fine, but being that he’s a receiver and it’s a foot injury, that is a concern being that he has to cut and do those things. Donald has played through injuries before. You talk with him and he’s very optimistic.” Despite the injuries in the backfield, McCarthy is not overly concerned. "I'm not as concerned about the running game as you are," McCarthy told reporters. "You want to win the game but this is a big game for us evaluation wise."

    Powdrell placed on injured reserve

    Fullback Ryan Powdrell was placed on injured reserve today, the Packers announced. Powdrell injured his MCL Aug. 18 against the Seattle Seahawks. By placing Powdrell, a non-drafted free agent from Southern California, on injured reserve, the Packers reduced their roster to 75 players.

    Play of the day

    Patrick Dendy got the first of his two interceptions off of third-string quarterback Paul Thompson during a red zone drill in a 7-on-7 drill thanks to cornerback Frank Walker. Walker jumped in front of tight end Carl-Johan Bjork and attempted to intercept the pass, but it bounced out of his arms and right to Dendy, who was in the right place at the right time.

    Stock up

    Orrin Thompson returned to practice today and it appears that he will be ready to play Thursday at Tennessee. That’s good news for Thompson, who is on the bubble of making the roster. Thompson had been playing left tackle behind Chad Clifton with the second-team offensive line through most of training camp and in the offseason practices. He sustained an MCL injury in a preseason game on Sept. 18 and was unable to practice until today. The final roster spot among offensive linemen appears to be between Thompson and guard/center Tony Palmer, who has been out with a hamstring injury since the first preseason game on Aug. 11. Palmer’s versatility plays in his favor, but Thompson’s size (6-foot-6, 322 pounds) may be too good to pass on for the Packers.

    Stock down

    All eyes again were on Mason Crosby and Dave Rayner in today’s field goal kicking competition. Crosby again edged Rayner by making all but one of his attempts. Rayner missed wide left from 47 and 52 yards. Crosby’s only miss came when he was wide right from 52 yards. Both Rayner and Crosby have made all three of their field goal attempts during three preseason games. However, Crosby has made a few more attempts during practices and has displayed a stronger leg in both field goal attempts and kickoffs.

    Extra points

    -- Junius Coston practiced for the second straight day at right guard with the first unit in place of Jason Spitz, who is not expected to play on Thursday due to a calf injury.

    -- Some fans were allowed inside the Hutson Center about 50 yards from the door along the east sideline. The fans were asked to leave by security guards about midway through practice. It marked one of the few times that the Packers have allowed fans inside the Hutson Center to watch a practice due to the restricted space around the field.

    -- Tuesday’s practice, which begins at 10 a.m. at Clarke Hinkle Field, will be the last of training camp that will be open to the public.

    -- Morency again was wearing pads today in the no pads practice. He often ran sprints along the sideline in front of reporters while the team was in 11-on-11 drills.
     
  14. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    NEWS TIDBITS

    http://www.railbirdcentral.blogspot.com/

    The truth comes out

    What's more impressive is that since the beginning of the season setback, Jolly has worked himself into position to become a starter a defensive tackle. Nothing is set in stone yet, but Jolly has proved himself to be part of the rotation for sure. His run stuffing ability is among the best on the team. "The way things were done last year, the Packers started either Williams, Jenkins or Colin Cole based on the opponent and they plan to do the same with Williams, Jolly, Cole and rookie Justin Harrell this season," according to Silverstein. "Jolly has the potential to be the most complete player of the group, which is why he's being considered for a starting spot."
    ______________________________________________________________

    Blackmon hurt again

    Will Blackmon currently has a cast for his injured left thumb, and he's questionable to be playing in the regular season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Definitely out of the question is Thursday's exhibition finale. Blackmon has a long injury history that spans such a short career. He had been one of the bright spots this preseason prior to the injury. He had also been in the running for the nickel back job on defense. "Cornerback Tramon Williams will return punts Thursday night in Tennessee," writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Stock said he wouldn't be fearful of using Williams against the Eagles if he makes the team, but Charles Woodson probably would get the nod." David Clowney, Noah Herron and DeShawn Wynn appear to be in line for the kick return duties on Thurday. No word on if Blackmon will play on defense on Thursday
    ______________________________________________________________

    Rumor mill heats up

    "The Newark Star-Ledger reported the Packers contacted the New York Giants recently about trading one of their kickers, Dave Rayner or rookie Mason Crosby, for a late-round draft pick," writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "The Giants weren't interested, but that was before Saturday, when Giants kickers Lawrence Tynes and Josh Huston went 1-for-4 on field goals. The report said the Giants might revisit the issue after their last preseason game." Don't be surprised if a defensive tackle isn't paired up in any trade that the Packers might try.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Favre steps in at cornerback

    One of the little known tidbits that very few people saw happened at Green Bay Packers training camp on Monday. "Found it interesting to see Brett Favre playing cornerback in offensive walkthroughs in the red zone," writes Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "After WR Chris Francies did his route, Favre could be seen giving Francies some pointers. I've never seen a QB do that, especially one of Favre's stature." After seeing Favre's scolding of James Jones the past preseason game and now this, I wonder if Favre has a future in coaching.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Manuel goes mute

    FYI - The word out of Green Bay is that Packers strong safety Marquand Manuel is not talking to reporters ever since his demotion. Manuel faces being cut after Thursday's exhibition finale. Atari Bigby has taken most of the snaps with the starters for the last two weeks. It's possible that the Packers could keep Manuel around as an insurance policy, although he hasn't been seen contributing on special teams.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Crosby edges up on Rayner

    "For the second straight day, rookie Mason Crosby held a slight edge during a kicking period," reports Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette speaking on Monday's training camp practice. "Crosby made 6-of-7 field goals, converting from 23, 37, 42, 47, 47 and 52 and missing wide right from 52. Dave Rayner was 5-of-7, missing once from 47 (wide left) and once from 52 (wide left). A day earlier, Crosby went 6-for-6 while Rayner went 5-for-6. Crosby holds the training camp lead at 98-of-115, while Rayner has made 91-of-114 kicks." Of course, judging by exhibition games, Rayner has a leg up on Crosby on kickoffs. One of Rayner's kickoffs this past Thursday went nine yards deep in the endzone.
     
  15. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    TUESDAY WRAP UP

    Practice wraps up; McCarthy said S Manuel won't play Thursday

    Safety Marquand Manuel will not play in Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee, but Coach Mike McCarthy declined to say after practice today whether that means Manuel's spot on the 53-man roster is safe. Manuel and rookie Aaron Rouse, who has a hamstring injury, will not see any action, allowing coaches to evaluate a number of backups, including Charlie Peprah and Tyrone Culver. Atari Bigby, who replaced Manuel as the starting strong safety last week, will play through the second quarter, McCarthy said. Also sitting out Thursday's game will be staring cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Quarterback Brett Favre will play two to three series, McCarthy said.

    Cornerback Will Blackmon will return the first punt despite a thumb injury that McCarthy today called a fracture, not a sprain. Blackmon has been wearing a cast during practice this week. McCarthy said the team will make its final cuts from 75 to 53 players sometime Friday, but wouldn't specify what time.

    Donald Driver, Shaun Bodiford and Michael Montgomery were not at practice today. Attending practice but not participating in any contact drills were Brandon Jackson, Tony Moll, Vernand Morency, Tony Palmer, Spencer Havner, Jason Spitz, Kabeer Gbaja Biamila, Rouse and Abdul Hodge. Morency did take part in some of the individual drills.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Practice under way at Clarke Hinkle Field

    The last training camp practice open to the public is about to get under way today in shorts at Clarke Hinkle Field. Rookie running back Brandon Jackson, who suffered a mild concussion Sunday and sat out practice Monday, is on the field but does not have his helmet, indicating he won't practice today. Running back Noah Herron is expected to start in Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee in Jackson’s absence.
     
  16. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I think you can pack your bags Marquand.. they don't want you to get injuried and be on the hook for his salary this season. Cut-city or they are trying to trade him for something yet this week. Giants are down a couple veteran safeties.. so maybe a package of Rayner and Manuel for a late round pick.
     
  17. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    TC DAY 32: Tuesday

    http://blogs.jsonline.com/packers/default.aspx


    Coach Mike McCarthy ran what is essentially a regular Friday practice. I know that doesn't make too much sense, but think of it this way: Thursday (the day of the Tennessee game) is a Sunday during the regular season. Wednesday is a Saturday when the team travels. Tuesday is a Friday when the team wraps up its practice schedule. As I'm writing this I'm wondering to myself what day it is. When I woke up this morning I had to ask that very question. Can you tell camp is a grind?

    Here are the highlights from practice:

    Running back Brandon Jackson was in attendance but did not practice due to the concussion he suffered in practice Sunday. He stood around in his jersey and shorts. After practice he was able to do interviews at his locker. There's no way the Packers are going to let him play Thursday, so his goal will be to get ready for the opener. By the way, the players all take a written neurological test on a computer at the start of camp and it serves as a baseline for the season. Before they can be cleared to practice following a concussion they have to show the same clarity as they did on the baseline exam. It's not the only prerequisite for returning but it is a significant one.\
    The only other injury news was that tight end Donald Lee (knee) returned to practice. Mostly he took yesterday off to rest his body. He gets so many snaps during practice because of the limited amount of tight ends in camp that McCarthy gives him days off.

    It doesn't look like either Charles Woodson or Al Harris are going to play against the Titans. They spent the entire week playing on the scout team so younger corners like Jarrett Bush, Will Blackmon, Patrick Dendy, Frank Walker and Tramon Williams could compete for the backup jobs. Harris laughed when I asked him the last time he played on the scout team. "Probably 1998," he said. That would have been his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles. Harris said he likes playing scout team "because you can do whatever you want." He is expected to run Tennessee's defense, but he's free to take gambles he's normally not allowed to take. What are his thoughts on the Titans' defensive scheme? "I hate it," Harris said. "You're always playing off (the receiver)."

    With Woodson and Harris out, the Packers are expected to line up with Blackmon at left corner and Bush at right corner. Dendy is the nickel back. It's also questionable whether Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins will play. Expect Jason Hunter and Larry Birdine, two guys who are probably competing for one spot to play the majority of time at end. Those two are having a serious battle, but I'd give the edge to Hunter.

    After practice, I got a chance to talk to kickers Mason Crosby and Dave Rayner about their kicking battle. Both have no idea how the thing is going to turn out. Neither one said he has any regrets. The Packers have had discussions with the New York Giants and other teams about trading for a kicker, but Crosby and Rayner both said they're not thinking about where they might end up. If you had to handicap it right now, you'd figure it's going to be Crosby who stays because he's been slightly more consistent and Rayner would be more attractive in a trade because of his experience. Incidentally, the Falcons had punter Michael Koenen kick both of their long field goals last night. He missed both. Billy Cundiff hit his only attempt, a 37-yarder. His long this season is 46 yards. Cundiff doesn't have near the leg Rayner and Crosby do and the Falcons have to be wondering whether one of those two would be a major upgrade.

    Third-string quarterback Paul Thompson is doing nothing to help his cause. Though he's often playing on the scout team against the No. 1 defense, the rookie from Oklahoma keeps throwing interception after interception. Mostly the coaches don't mind too much if you force the ball into coverage as a scout team quarterback, but throwing all those interceptions is going to become a habit. He had three more today after throwing three on Monday and two on Sunday. Is it any wonder he threw one in just five attempts in his only exhibition game action last Thursday?

    Running back Noah Herron had a pretty solid day. OK, the players were in shells (modified shoulder pads) and it was just a practice, but there were a number of runs in which he made nice cuts into the hole and wound up in the secondary before nearing a defender. There's no question he wants to use his start Thursday night against the Titans to show he's worthy of being more than just a third-down back.
     
  18. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    TC DAY 32: Tuesday

    http://packers.scout.com/a.z?s=61&p=2&c=673161

    The Word: Training Camp Day 32: Manuel to be held out of preseason finale; Coston's stock is up, Miree's is down

    Marquand Manuel’s fate with the Green Bay Packers may depend on how some reserves perform Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans. Coach Mike McCarthy said after the team’s final training camp practice of the preseason that Manuel will not play against the Titans at LP Field so the staff can take a look at some younger players. It appears that second-year pro Atari Bigby has unseated Manuel for the starting spot at strong safety next to free safety Nick Collins. Bigby has practiced with the first team defense for the last two weeks and will start against Tennessee.
    Third-round draft pick Aaron Rouse will not play against the Titans because of a hamstring injury, leaving the Packers with Culver, Peprah, and Alvin Nnabuife, who spent the last eight weeks of the 2006 season on the Packers’ practice squad, as backups. If one of those three play well, it is possible that the Packers will part ways with the higher-priced Manuel and keep either Culver, Peprah or Nnabuife as the fourth safety.

    Stock is Up

    If the regular season began today, Junius Coston would serve as the Packers’ first lineman off the bench in the event of an injury to a starter. Coston has the ability to play all five positions on the line. Coston is expected to start at right guard for the injured Jason Spitz Thursday night at Tennessee. Last Thursday, when Spitz injured his calf, Coston played in his place. Coston then moved to left tackle with the second-team offensive line. “If we played a game today I'd be comfortable with ‘Juice’ as a starter even in that sixth slot,” said McCarthy. Coston missed the early part of last season with a knee injury. He was behind Tony Moll as the team’s swing lineman last year, but Moll has been sidelined for a few weeks in training camp with a pinched nerve in his neck. That injury has allowed Coston to pass Moll up on the depth chart. Moll will not play against the Titans.

    Stock is Down

    Fullback Brandon Miree may be on the outside looking in after the final cuts are made this weekend, but that could change with a strong performance Thursday night at Tennessee. The Packers have been giving rookie Corey White more reps at fullback this week in practice, which could be a signal that the end is near for Miree, a third-year pro. Rookie Korey Hall is expected to make the roster as one of the fullbacks, so the Packers will have to decide either Miree, who has experience in the zone blocking system, or White, a rookie who has shown a lot of potential in camp. Miree missed Green Bay’s first two preseason games after sustaining a neck stinger early in training camp. He returned to play against Jacksonville and says he is back to normal.

    Play of the Day

    Ryan Pickett showed off his hands during an 11-on-11 red zone drill by picking off a pass thrown by Aaron Rodgers from the 3-yard line. Rodgers’ pass was deflected at the line and bounced off a few players before the 322-pound Pickett gathered it in.

    Extra points

    -- Wide receiver Carlyle Holiday took snaps from center Scott Wells after practice today for the first time in training camp. Holiday last played quarterback in 2003 and part of ’04 at Notre Dame.

    -- After practice, the Packers dressed up and attended the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce’s 51st annual Welcome Back Luncheon.

    -- McCarthy said after practice that Brett Favre will play 2-3 series against the Titans.

    -- Cornerback Will Blackmon has a broken left thumb from last Thursday’s game against Jacksonville, and his hand was in a cast today. Blackmon practiced and will play and return at least one punt against Tennessee.

    -- Woodson led the Packers with an unofficial seven interceptions during training camp to win a pool established by defensive backs.
     
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    TC DAY 32

    http://blogs.jsonline.com/packers/

    Tuesday post-practice update


    McCarthy said cornerback Will Blackmon's thumb injury is a Bennett's Fracture Disclocation, not a sprain. I looked up a Bennett's fracture online and it is essentially a break that occurs at the base of the thumb. According to one Web site, if it is not treated properly the thumb joint can become arthritic and stiff and reduce gripping ability. The injury can be treated with a cast or surgery. Blackmon has been practicing with a plaster splint that holds his thumb in place. Special teams coach Mike Stock said Monday that he didn't want Blackmon returning punts with a cast on, but McCarthy said he definitely would be back for the first punt return against Tennessee. Blackmon will have to wear the splint or awhile, but it doesn't appear he's in danger of missing any time. "I was told not to be concerned about it," McCarthy said.

    Updating the early report about starters, McCarthy said Woodson and Harris won't play. Surprisingly, neither will safety Marquand Manuel. You can read that move two different ways. One, the Packers know about Manuel and what he does in this game isn't going to change their opinion of him. They'll judge whether to keep him based on how the other safeties play against Tennessee. Two, the Packers have no intention of keeping Manuel and aren't wasting their time by playing him. In all likelihood, it's the former. They can't part with him unless they know either Charlie Peprah or Tyrone Culver is reliable enough to be a starter because if Manuel goes one of them will be the No. 1 backup.

    Fullback Korey Hall all but has the starting job wrapped up. He'll start against the Titans, McCarthy said, and play a couple of series. Then Brandon Miree, last year's starter, will play. Miree has missed 13 practices and all three exhibition games with a stinger. He's basically battling rookie free agent Corey White for a roster spot. If White proves he can play fullback and halfback, Miree will be expendable. After playing halfback most of the summer, White will play some fullback Thursday night.
    Rookie DeShawn Wynn is going to state his case for the roster Thursday night. McCarthy said. Wynn needs to do something pretty significant to solidify his place on the team.
     
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    Insider: The highs and lows of camp

    With training camp practices coming to a close on Tuesday, here's a look at the highs and lows:

    Thumbs up

    James Jones: By far, the third-round draft pick was the star of camp. Within a week, he had solidified himself as the No. 3 receiver and ended up having a better training camp than Greg Jennings did as a rookie a year ago.
    Aaron Rodgers: The third-year quarterback made the biggest improvement during his pro career. He showed an intimate understanding of the offense, improved arm strength, poise in the pocket, the ability to escape pressure and a chemistry with most of the receivers that came from spending most of the offseason in Green Bay.
    Cullen Jenkins: The versatile defensive lineman was one of the best pass rushers in camp. He might not have had the top winning percentage in the one-on-one drills, but he won his share of the all-important reps against the starting offensive linemen. It looks like he's worth the four-year, $16 million contract extension he signed in the offseason.
    Nick Barnett: While A.J. Hawk flashed, especially early in camp, Barnett was the most consistent linebacker.
    Charles Woodson: He's prone to loafing his way through practice, but when he wants to crank it up, the guy can make big-time plays. After a slow first week, Woodson began picking off passes left and right.

    Thumbs down

    Justin Harrell: An argument could be made that the first-round draft pick was the sixth-best defensive tackle, behind even rookie free agent Daniel Muir. That's a significant fall for a guy who was listed as a starter on the depth chart when camp opened. It's hard to imagine that Harrell will be active for the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia. He has shown some power during the one-on-ones, but he lacks stamina.
    Patrick Dendy: Another player who was listed high on the depth chart at the beginning of camp. Dendy opened as the No. 3 cornerback and worked in the No. 1 nickel defense for most of camp but gave up too many plays. Now, he's in danger of getting cut.
    Ingle Martin and Paul Thompson: The rookie free agent Thompson will get one more chance in Thursday's preseason finale at Tennessee, but he's been horrific in practice since Martin was released. Neither proved worthy of the No. 3 quarterback job.
    Zac Alcorn and Clark Harris: Both had legitimate shots at roster spots as the No. 2 or No. 3 tight end, but neither grabbed it. For all the talk about Alcorn's hands, he dropped several passes. Harris never made any eye-popping plays. There's a decent chance the No. 3 tight end will be acquired in a trade or a waiver claim.
    DeShawn Wynn: Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise that a guy with a reputation for being lazy and soft missed most of camp. He finally returned this week and could get a lion's share of the reps at running back on Thursday, but it might be too late for the rookie seventh-round pick to make it.

    Did you notice?

    Running back Vernand Morency, who injured his knee during the first training camp practice on July 28 and never again took part in a full practice, was more active on Tuesday than he has been since the injury. Morency took part in the ball security drill and caught some short passes from Brett Favre during a quarterback-center exchange period.

    There was no field-goal kicking during the final practice, meaning rookie Mason Crosby finished camp with a better percentage than incumbent Dave Rayner. Crosby finished 98-for-115, while Rayner was 91-for-114.
     
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    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070829/PKR01/708290531/1989

    Battles go down to wire for roster spots: The Green Bay Packers probably will max out their defensive-line depth when it comes to final cuts on Saturday.


    The Packers finished last season with eight defensive linemen on their roster, and many teams prefer to carry nine. But the Packers have quality depth on the line, with at least five defensive tackles worth keeping and also probably five defensive ends, especially with injuries to Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Michael Montgomery. That opens the door for one of two young ends to make the 53-man roster: Jason Hunter or Larry Birdine. Hunter and Birdine will get extended playing time Thursday night to make their final arguments, along with all the other Packers backups. The coaching and scouting staffs will use this game to help set the depth chart and determine who makes the final open roster spots.

    Several positions will warrant an especially close look.

    Kicker: This has been a quality battle throughout camp between incumbent Dave Rayner and sixth-round draft pick Mason Crosby. Both belong in the NFL, and General Manager Ted Thompson is looking to trade one. Both have good temperaments for the job and strong legs, though Crosby might rate a slight edge because his more compact swing could give him an accuracy edge over the long haul. In camp, according to the Press-Gazette's unofficial tally of all live kicking (more than 100 kicks each), Crosby made 85.2 percent of his kicks to Rayner's 79.8 percent. In the first three preseason games, both are 3-for-3.

    Safety: Atari Bigby can win the starting job opposite Nick Collins with another good performance in his second straight start on Thursday. Manuel will not play, which might bode poorly for the 28-year-old making the final roster. If Bigby wins the job, the Packers might want to keep a young, developmental and special-teams safety ahead of Manuel, and by sitting him Thursday night, they can avoid having to pay Manuel for a few weeks or more if he was injured. With rookie Aaron Rouse ready to return from a hamstring injury next week, that would leave the fourth and final safety spot to either Charlie Peprah or Tyrone Culver, two second-year pros. Both will play extensively, and Peprah might go in with a slight edge, in part because of an interception against Seattle.

    Cornerback: Coach Mike McCarthy is holding out starters Al Harris and Charles Woodson at Tennessee for a long look at his backups for the final three cornerback spots. Jarrett Bush appears all but locked into the No. 3 job, and second-year pro Will Blackmon is sure to make the roster as a backup cornerback and primary return man. He's the leading candidate for the No. 4 job as well. Free agent Frank Walker, former No. 3 cornerback Patrick Dendy and first-year pro Tramon Williams are battling for the final spot. Dendy has slipped from the No. 3 job to probably being a little behind Walker. Williams started camp well but looks like the long shot of the group.

    Tight end: Zac Alcorn and seventh-round pick Clark Harris will play extensively and try to prove they deserve the No. 3 job behind Donald Lee and Bubba Franks. If neither performs well enough, the Packers will look to the waiver wire or a trade.

    Running back: The Packers are a mess here because of injuries to their top two backs, Brandon Jackson (concussion) and Vernand Morency (patellar-tendon strain). Noah Herron is a lock as a backup because he's assignment-sure, but his physical limitations make him only a situational back. The question is whether intriguing seventh-round pick DeShawn Wynn can win a spot after missing the first three preseason games because of a quadriceps injury. His history of injuries and underachievement make him a risk to keep on the final 53, but he has a shot. Undrafted rookie Corey White is trying to win a job as a backup halfback-fullback, and has to show some blocking ability. Brandon Miree, the starting fullback coming into training camp, is on shaky ground because he missed two weeks of camp with a shoulder stinger that's still slowing him. He hasn't blocked as well as when he joined the team last year. Thompson just as likely could add a halfback and fullback via trade or waivers if he's unsatisfied with what he sees.

    Receiver: The only question is whether fifth-round pick David Clowney can win a job as the sixth receiver — Carlyle Holiday appears to have the No. 5 job wrapped up because of his strong special teams play, where he's a member of all four No. 1 units. After a quiet early camp, Clowney has been more visible the past two weeks and has an outside shot at winning a job, though he's raw and more likely a practice squad candidate.
     
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