Weekend practices wrap up

The Packers have yet to conduct their first full practice of 2004 Training Camp, but there's already electricity in the air. More than 500 fans lined the Clarke Hinkle Field fences under to watch rookies and first-year players Saturday.<P>

No practices are scheduled for today as players participate in physical testing. The first day of practice for veterans and first day with pads is Monday.

Coach Mike Sherman was back Saturday after attending funeral services for Packer VP of football operations Mark Hatley Friday in Tulsa.

"It's a good thing to be able to come back to something like this - it gets you going," Sherman said after practice. "I can't wait to see the guys tonight in the first meeting of the year. It's exhilarating. But it's been a difficult week as I'm sure you can understand."

Even without the familiar sound of clashing shoulder pads, the weekend practices under sunny skies offered fans plenty to see. Sixth-round pick Corey Williams joined the team for the last half of practice after signing his contract in the morning.

One of the highlights of training camp year in and year out is the chance to see unknown players take advantage of their time to shine. Wide receiver Chris Day, a rookie free agent from Grambling, caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from rookie QB Scott O'Brien, drawing some of the day's biggest cheers.

The Packers' veteran depth at running back meant that the pickings were slim for the rookies/first year players' offensive drills Saturday. That put Dahrran Diedrick in the spotlight. The free agent, who was on the Packers' practice squad last season, handled most of the reps as he was the only true running back at practice.

The only players missing the practice due to injury were CB Chris Johnson (knee) and DT Eric Powell (knee).

Practice resumes Monday with morning and afternoon sessions - both with pads and a full cast of players.

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