Packers open training camp July 28

The Green Bay Packers' 61st training camp will feature at least eight evening practices at Clarke Hinkle Field this summer. Unlike previous seasons under Mike Sherman, the entire team will begin on the same day, and in pads.

Head coach Mike McCarthy released the schedule for the four-week camp today, which kicks off with a "Friday Night Lights" session at 6:30 p.m. July 28.

In recent years, the Packers opened their training camps by inviting rookies and selected free agents earlier in the week. The team then practiced a few times without pads before engaging in contact.

McCarthy has installed a new "2-1-2-1" training camp schedule, used by a handful of teams around the NFL, in an effort to practice more efficiently. On days when the team practices twice, the first session will take place at 9 a.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m., finishing under the lights. In between, the club will break down film of the morning practice. Then, on the following day, the Packers will report in the morning to evaluate the previous night's practice, hit the field at 2 p.m., and return to the film room that night.

"I just think it has so many more benefits. It flows," McCarthy said. "There's a number of things I did not like about (the old schedule). Particularly as a position coach, you felt like you were never caught up on your ability to watch film. You come off a practice, then you've got another practice, then you've got to meet at night. That's not truly beneficial to you, particularly your young guys.

"(And), in the 2-1-2-1 schedule, you never have two practices back-to-back, so that enables the players to take care of their bodies. Obviously, the start of the season is the most important part of their conditioning and that's another reason why."

Here are some important dates on the preseason calendar:

-- Friday, July 28 – Players report; first practice, 6:30 p.m., Hinkle Field (full pads)

-- Saturday, Aug. 5 – Family Night intra-squad scrimmage, 6:30 p.m., Lambeau Field

-- Saturday, Aug. 26 – Last practice open to public, 10 a.m., Hinkle Field (shells)

-- Tuesday, Aug. 29 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 65 players, by 3 p.m. CDT

Saturday, Sept. 2 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players, by 3 p.m. CDT

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