Post-draft mini-camp wraps up

The Green Bay Packers finished their post-draft mini-camp Sunday at the Don Hutson Center. Coach Mike Sherman said he was pleased with what he saw from the team's draft picks and rookie free agents.

All 11 of the Packers' draft picks took part in the mandatory mini-camp, including first-round pick Aaron Rodgers.

"I think that each guy showed a little something at different times," Sherman said. "I guess the best answer would be that no one disappointed me. Usually you come out here and say 'I don't know about that one.' But I felt pretty good about all of our draft picks. I think it's a good group. I think they're athletic and we have good speed on the field. I think that's a plus and I saw good effort out here."

Rodgers was as advertised. The quarterback displayed a strong arm, quick release and good accuracy for his first pro camp.

"He's better than I thought he would be, and I thought he would be good," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. "I'm very excited that we got him."

The players practiced in shorts throughout the camp. They'll do the same in the June mini-camp before they begin contract drills in training camp. Some of the rookies and selected veterans will participate in an "opportunity" practice sessions, beginning May 16. Rodgers plans to return on May 20 after traveling back to his hometown of Chico, Calif.

The Packers used the practices to install a few new wrinkles in the offense, and the new defensive scheme under coordinator Jim Bates.

"I thought the week went real well," Sherman said. "I'm cautious because you have to take it to the field. I remember saying the same thing after this camp last year and felt good about it and I feel good about it now. I think we had a good week of work. I thought there was good enthusiasm, guys running around trying to make plays. I thought it was money in the bank."

With Favre excused by head coach Mike Sherman for the entire five-day minicamp, which started Wednesday with only the veteran players on the field, Rodgers had plenty of reps during practices.

He is looking forward to returning for the June mini-camp and a chance to meet Favre, who was excused for the post-draft camp by Sherman. Rodgers didn't consider Favre's absence at the rookie's introductory minicamp a setback.

"Brett has been doing this for a long time. There's really no reason for him to be here," Rodgers said. "He's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. I just can't wait to meet him and get to start working with him. But, at the same time, (incumbent backups) J.T. (O'Sullivan) and Craig (Nall) have been very supportive and helpful."

Rodgers worked in a rotation with Nall and O'Sullivan during team drills over the weekend.


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