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Pair pulled from practice early

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By GREG BEDARD and GARY D'AMATO
    gbedard@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Jan. 16, 2008

    Green Bay - Coach Mike McCarthy continued to play up the angle Wednesday that his Green Bay Packers are the healthiest they've been all season.

    Well, they are. Sort of.

    The six players listed on the injury report matched a season low set last week in advance of the divisional playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. But two important starters, linebacker Nick Barnett and center Scott Wells, were pulled early from practice for precautionary reasons.

    Barnett had a sore hamstring that started giving him trouble last Thursday.

    "Just being safe with him," said McCarthy, who had a lengthy conversation with Barnett before he left practice for treatment.

    After pulling a gluteal muscle in the early portion of jog-throughs, Wells failed to finish practice for the first time since the week of Nov. 11, when he returned after missing three games because of a broken eye socket and pneumonia.

    "I'm fine," Wells said. "I'm just fine."

    Tight end Bubba Franks (knee), cornerback Charles Woodson (knee) and wide receivers Greg Jennings (groin) and Koren Robinson (knee) also were limited participants.

    Cornerback Will Blackmon resumed his normal duties as punt returner but appeared to be limping on his right foot as McCarthy watched him carefully in the early stages of practice.

    "I felt fine," said Blackmon, who was inactive against Seattle. "I practiced fine. I did everything I was supposed to do."

    McCarthy, however, said it was too early to tell whether Blackmon would play against the New York Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

    "How he feels (today) will be key," McCarthy said. "He felt a little sore as he went through it, but he was able to work (Wednesday), so we'll see how he is (today)."

    McAuley gets call
    Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said on the NFL Network that Terry McAuley will referee the NFC Championship Game.

    McAuley worked the Packers' 17-14 victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 6. In that game, a questionable holding penalty against right tackle Mark Tauscher - one of three he was assessed all season - negated a 23-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to James Jones in the third quarter.

    In the fourth quarter, an apparent touchdown reception by Franks was not allowed when an official ruled the play a forceout. Pereira later said the call was wrong.

    "Clearly Bubba Franks would have come down in bounds and it would have been a catch," Pereira said. "I think we were really wrong in making that judgment."

    On Sunday, McAuley will be working with a different crew, an all-star crew that is comprised of officials that were ranked in the top three at their positions.

    Cracking the whip
    In the session of practice open to the media, McCarthy loudly voiced his displeasure with how his offensive line was operating. At one point, McCarthy pulled left guard Daryn Colledge for a play after Colledge pass-blocked on a run.

    "Obviously nobody's out there lollygagging for no reason," Colledge said. "We're all working hard, but he's trying to re-center the focus. He's trying to pinpoint that energy and get us all on the same page."

    One step away
    Donald Driver played in six playoff games in his first eight seasons in Green Bay, but the Packers lost in the wild-card round or the divisional round every time.

    As one of the team's elder statesman, Driver had a message for the young corps of receivers around him this year.

    "I talked to my receivers one night before we played Detroit and I told my guys, 'You know, I've had opportunities to be in the Super Bowl and we always seem to lose the first or second round,' " Driver said. "I told those guys, 'All I'm going to ask you guys to do is to get me to the NFC Championship Game.' And I said, 'After that I know you guys can get me to the Super Bowl.' I said, 'I don't have too many more years left.'

    "Those guys said they're going to put it on their back to get me there. So my guys got my back. They know I've got theirs."

    The cold shoulder
    Several Packers said they wouldn't wear long-sleeved shirts under their jerseys Sunday, no matter how cold it got.

    "I don't wear sleeves or anything like that," Driver said. "I just have my pants and jersey on. That's it."

    Said Woodson, "You know, in football we all like to think of ourselves as tough guys, so no matter what the weather is, I think most guys will probably go out there and play it just like it was 80 degrees."

    Said Greg Jennings: "No sleeves. You mentally block that (cold) out."
     

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