Post-draft minicamp notes

The Green Bay Packers opened their post-draft minicamp today with veterans and recently signed free agents participating inside the Don Hutson Center. Green Bay's nine draft picks and rookie free agents will join the veterans on Friday.<p>

The Packers met for the first time since getting ousted from the playoffs by the Atlanta Falcons in early January. Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman welcomed a number of new faces as well as familiar faces such as Brett Favre, Ahman Green, Darren Sharper and Bubba Franks.

The team will practice without pads through this camp and the June minicamp in preparation for the start of training camp in mid-July. Sherman did not hesitate when asked what his top objective is for this camp.

"Not to get anybody hurt, No. 1. We don't want to get anybody banged up in this camp," Sherman said. "The major point of emphasis in talking to this team is to get everybody back together, to get used to playing together, get used to playing with each other. We have about 15 new faces today that weren't with us (in 2002) and 15 faces who were with us and are no longer there. We're trying to get everybody together, to get the veteran players to help the new players along and the new players to learn how we do things here in Green Bay."

Sherman said the Packers will work on some new schemes on offense and defense tomorrow and Friday, then progress to "red zone" on third downs, base offense, and special teams this weekend. The camp's final practice is on Sunday morning.

Injury report

The following players will not participate in the minicamp due to recent injuries, or because they are recovering from off-season surgery: safety Marques Anderson (hamstring), defensive tackle Rod Walker (shoulder), defensive end Joe Johnson (triceps), and cornerback Bhawoh Jue (ankle).

Sherman said that Anderson pulled his hamstring two to three weeks ago will working out on his own.

Walker underwent minor shoulder surgery this off-season and has working out with trainers to regain strength.

Johnson had surgery on his triceps last fall. Sherman wants to hold him out of the camp for precautionary reasons.

Jue recently had bone chips removed from his ankle.

So far so good

Sherman said that he was happy with how free agent quarterback Eric Crouch performed in practice. Crouch, who won the Heisman Trophy at Nebraska in 2001, is trying to revive his football career as a quarterback. He abruptly retired from football last year from the St. Louis Rams, who wanted him to play as a wide receiver.

"I was fairly encouraged. ... He made some good throws," Sherman said. "He has a live arm, a strong arm. The ball gets out of there. We know what type of athlete he is. Certainly, he's an athlete worth working with. It's just a matter of him learning how we do things from an offensive standpoint in this type of offense as opposed to where he's coming from."


Defensive tackle Chukie Nwokorie knocked down backup quarterback Doug Pederson during one of the drills. Quarterbacks wear red jerseys during practice, meaning they are not to be touched.

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