Packers Won’t Hold Joint Practices

For coach Mike McCarthy, there are practical reasons. For GM Ted Thompson, it's the fear of injury. Guard Josh Sitton simply called them "stupid."




On Wednesday, the Bears and Colts held a joint practice in Indianapolis.

Earlier this week, the Rams and Cowboys got into a big brawl, and there were several fights when the Redskins and Texans got together.

That’s just one reason why the Green Bay Packers probably won’t be holding any joint practices under coach Mike McCarthy’s watch, even though he saw them as a positive when he was an assistant with the Chiefs.

“I have (discussed it with another team). I may be the only who has in the building,” McCarthy said before Wednesday’s practice. “Really, our situation is unique in the fact we would never take the team out of Green Bay, so that’s one factor. There’s a team in the past that was interested and wanted to get into one time in Green Bay and one time somewhere else and that wasn’t going to work. But, really, with the new CBA and the limited practices, I’m not really open to it because the way we do it. It takes eight installation practices to get your offense and defense in and then transition to in-season practices. It’s tough. It’s great work. I’ve been part of teams in the past. If you do have a good working relationship with the other team it’s very productive.”

General manager Ted Thompson said the team would “never” be in favor of conducting a practice with another team because of the injury risk. Thompson recalled his playing days with the Houston Oilers and a joint practice held with the Denver Broncos.

“We had a head coach then named Jerry Glanville,” Thompson said. “Jerry coached his own way, good guy and all that, did well in television. But he was very aggressive. And I remember (Denver) coach Dan Reeves got mad because one of our safeties (Jeff Donaldson) just clobber-knocked the guy during (a) skeleton (passing drill). The guy was trying to catch the ball and J.D. comes over the top and hits him right in the thing. So, Coach Reeves gets all upset about it. He’s going to pull his team off the field and tell us, the Oilers, to go home.

“(Jerry) goes, ‘Oh, no, I’ll straighten him out. That was his fault. I’ll straighten him out.’ Jerry gets in the huddle and goes, ‘That’s good hitting, J.D.’ So you have people speaking out of both sides of their mouth. There’s a competitiveness that — these are grown men that have been competing all their lives. You put them in a situation where it doesn’t take much to get that out of whack. So, we’ve seen it happen. It happens. I don’t think there’s any ill feelings one club towards another, but we’d rather it not happen (because of) the risk of injury, somebody whacking their hand or something like that.” <p>

Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton called joint practices “stupid” because they’re just “inviting fighting. Asked a question about his own team’s lack of training camp fights, Sitton might as well have been talking about the fights around the league.

“We’ve kind of learned,” Sitton said, “that fighting makes you tired.”


Bill Huber is publisher of and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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