With 70,000 fans in attendance and Saturday’s Family Night practice airing on statewide television, there are plenty of ways for inquiring minds who want to know about the 2015 Green Bay Packers to get a sneak peek.
The possibility of letting a cat or two out of the bag doesn’t bother coach Mike McCarthy, he said after Friday’s abbreviated practice.
“We’re going to install (the playbook),” McCarthy said. “We know what’s going in. The scripts have been done since back in June. Yeah, we’ll have some things that would probably be of interest but, hey, once you get to those games, every game is its own entity and the game-planning and everything that goes into it. Tomorrow night’s an install practice, so whatever we show, we show.”
In some regards, Family Night will be much like every other practice at training camp, though there will be changes because Lambeau Field offers less space than the 100- and 70-yard fields at Ray Nitschke Field. More than anything, McCarthy wants to see how his young players perform in their first time under the lights.
“There’s two things that’ll be different tomorrow night,” he said. “The structure of the practice will be a little different because we’re working on Lambeau Field. As far as the drill work that we’re going to do, it’ll be limited. So, it’ll be pretty much full-unit work, so that part will be different. And the second part is really handling the football in front of the crowd, in the lights, at night. Those are the things that I’m really looking at. But as far as the practice structure and the competitive level, it’ll definitely go up. It better go up. I don’t know how the hell you can’t go up in front of 70,000 people (and it not increase). So, the atmosphere will be electric, it’ll be awesome, and yes, you want to see how your young guys respond to that. But we’re going to make sure we handle the ball a bunch tomorrow night because it’s our only work at night before we go to New England (for the preseason opener on Thursday).”
Old injuries: WR Adrian Coxson (concussion), WR Ricky Collins (heel), OLB Adrian Hubbard (groin), OT Vince Kowalski (concussion), LB Clay Matthews (knee), WR Jared Abbrederis (concussion), OLB Mike Neal (abdomen/hernia), OLB Nick Perry (groin).
Of the six additions to the injury list, Henry and Pennel missed the entire practice and Elliott, Francis, Lang and Randall dropped out. Without Elliott, Matthews, Neal, Perry and Hubbard, the Packers are down to only four outside linebackers – with Julius Peppers and Andy Mulumba forming the starting tandem and undrafted rookies James Vaughters and Jermauria Rasco forming the other tandem.
Returned: RB John Crockett (ankle).
Family Night is Saturday. The scheduled start is 6:25 but the football portion of the event will not start until about 7:30. After an off day on Sunday, the Packers will practice at 12:15 p.m. on Monday and 11:45 a.m. Wednesday’s practice is closed to fans.
Because of the injuries and with Family Night coming up, practice was only 1 hour, 36 minutes, with McCarthy cutting about a half-hour out of practice – more than the 20 minutes he had planned. “This is frankly the point in camp when you get to eight, nine, 10 practices in, this is the threshold in where you have to be smart with trying to prevent the fatigue injuries. It was a little slick out there with the light rain. That’s why we cut it back and got some extra ball-drill work.” … Without Lang, Don Barclay and Josh Walker rotated with the No. 1 offense.
McCARTHY SAID …
On the new extra-point rules: “I think it’s appropriate. It’s something we talk about on that two-point conversation breakdown, how we’re going to move forward with that. Really, it’s not philosophically how we’re going to approach it, but how we think other people are going to approach it. I think it’s only natural you’ll see more two-point conversion opportunity just because of the personality of certain people. But if you do it strictly by the numbers, from a risk-assessment standpoint, you should probably still kick the extra point. But going to the one, it adds a whole other element. That takes the numbers to a different level. So I think with that opportunity going to the one, you’ll see those two-point opportunities go up.”
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.