-- The Packers practiced in pads this afternoon under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-80s, and that's a good thing. In recent seasons under Mike Sherman, the practice before the Family Night scrimmage was usually a 'shells' practices, meaning players practiced in shorts with no pads.
-- Junius Coston worked again with the first-team offense at left tackle, where he will line up for Saturday night's scrimmage in Lambeau Field. Chad Clifton again did not practice because of his sore right knee.
-- Special teams worked on punting out of the end zone and covering/blocking field goal attempts that are run back out of the end zone. Free agent punter Jon Ryan, who has been impressive in camp, boomed a few 70-yard kicks, but also shanked a couple. Still, Ryan has far out-performed B.J. Sander.
-- Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins left practice with ice wrapped around his left forearm.
Thursday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
-- Aaron Rodgers continues to have an impressive training camp. He used his quickness to run for a touchdown in an 11-on-11 goal-line offense drill from the 5 yard line. He also passed to tight end Donald Lee for a touchdown in a red-zone drill from the 20.
-- Later in the evening practice, Brett Favre and Rodgers led the offense on touchdown drives during 11-on-11 scrimmages. The offense was much sharper than in previous practices.
-- A.J. Hawk intercepted a deep pass intended for wide receiver Donald Driver after it was deflected by Nick Collins during a 7-on-7 drill. Hawk not only showed good hands trying to reel the ball in, but speed in getting down the middle of the field with Driver and Collins.
-- Why has William Henderson lasted as long as he has in the NFL? The fullback is a hard worker. While most of the team had left Clarke Hinkle Field after the evening practice, there was Henderson catching passes off the jugs machine and working on a pass route. His shirt off and his upper body glistening under the lights, Henderson worked with Samkon Gado and Noah Herron, teaching them the proper way to make a cut while coming out of the backfield.
-- The team had some fun with kickers Billy Cundiff and Dave Rayner at the end of practice. Each kicker attempted field goals from 34, 44, 32, 44 and 53 yards while their teammates were allowed to do anything but touch them. Players were yelling, sounding the air horn and standing as close as possible to the kickers as they attempted their field goals. Despite the harrassment, each kicker only missed one of their five attempts - Rayner was wide left from 44 yards and Cundiff's 53-yard attempt hit the crossbar and bounced back onto the field.
"We put them in an unnatural environment," McCarthy said afterward. "I thought they both handled it pretty well. It's healthy."
-- After neither the first, second or third team offenses were able to score in the two-minute drill on Tuesday night, the third-string offense, with Aaron Rodgers, at quarterback moved far enough downfield for Billy Cundiff's 24-yard field goal attempt. Cundiff split the uprights and the Packers won their simulated game 12-10.
It was the first time this training camp that the offense practiced the two-minute drill when trailing by less than seven points.
-- Brett Favre took the morning practice off, allowing Rodgers to take snaps with the first team offense as well as the third team.
-- Cory Rodgers made his best catch of training camp thus far, hauling in a 30-yard pass along the right sideline from Rodgers that set up Cundiff's "winning" kick.
-- NFL officials arrived at practice and will be in Green Bay through Saturday's Family Night intra-squad scrimmage. The officials are wearing new uniforms this season that feature wider black and white stripes.
-- Third-string quarterback Ingle Martin, who led the second-team offense today, has struggled with accuracy. He was unable to move the offense in four plays during the time that he took part in the two-minute drill. Martin has had problems in other drills completing passes, but so did Rodgers last year at this time as a rookie. Martin's woes are probably from trying to think too much when he's on the field.
Tuesday, Aug. 1, 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. practices
-- Wide receiver Cory Rodgers (hamstring), guard Junius Coston (heat), running back Najeh Davenport (heat) and cornerback Mike Hawkins (knee) sat out the morning practice, which lasted 75 minutes. Rodgers, Davenport and Hawkins returned for the evening practice.
Davenport and Coston were taken out of practice Monday because of the excessive heat.
-- The Packers worked on their 'dime' defense, which featured Nick Barnett as the only linebacker, along with defensive backs Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Nick Collins, Marviel Underwood, Ahmad Carroll and Jason Horton.
Barnett and A.J. Hawk played in the team's 'nickel' defense. Culver was the extra defensive back.
-- Brett Favre, who threw five interceptions in Monday's practice, took part in the morning practice. Favre originally was scheduled to get the morning practice off when the team practices twice in a day. Favre was intercepted in the team's two-minute drill during the evening practice.
-- Special teams practiced fake field goal formations during the evening practice. Punters B.J. Sander and Jon Ryan practiced punting the ball inside the 20.
-- Wide receiver Rod Gardner made a diving catch of a deep pass between Tyrone Culver and Mike Hawkins during a 7-on-7 drill in the evening practice.
Monday, July 31, 2 p.m. practice
-- Hot, hot, hot, and we're not talking about Brett Favre, or the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. More on Favre in a bit.
The Packers' 2 p.m. practice today opened with an official temperature of 98 degrees and a heat index of 111 degrees. Because of the heat, not as many fans were in the stands -- Because of the heat, the practice was shorted to 2 hours, 8 minutes, comparied to the 2 hour, 30 minute practice Sunday evening under pleasant temperatures.
-- The Packers set up a cooling tent near the practice field with an ice tub and large fans. Defensive tackle Kenderick Allen, running back Najeh Davenport, and guard Junius Coston left practice because of the heat.
-- Favre was intercepted five times during team and 7-on-7 drills. Charles Woodson had three of the pickoffs. Woodson intercepted two passes in 7-on-7 drills and one in an 11-on-11 scrimmage. Marviel Underwood and Ahmad Carroll also intercepted Favre.
"I hope he doesn't keep throwing those damn things," said offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, shaking his head back and forth after practice. "You don't throw it to people that are covered. The big thing is you can't throw it down the middle. That's just a cardinal rule."
-- While Favre had his troubles today, Aaron Rodgers continued to look impressive. Rodgers has completed a variety of passes in drills, deep and short, and is showing good command of the offense. He has much better arm strength than last year and appears much more confident with the offense.
Sunday, July 30, 9 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. practices
-- Left tackle Chad Clifton is definitely trying to shake the rust off. Clifton had off-season surgery on his knee and did not participate in any of the team's minicamps or Organized Team Activities practices.
As a result, Clifton is struggling to get in sync with the snap count. Clifton committed a pair of false start penalties during an 11-on-11 session in the evening practice. He did not participate in the morning practice as a precautionary measure for his knee.
-- Maybe it's just me, but Brett Favre is throwing a lot of short passes during drills thus far in camp. It's almost like he is concentrating and practicing the dump-off passes. Maybe he is preparing for the fact that he won't have much time in the pocket to throw deep behind a young interior line, and maybe, just maybe, Mike McCarthy and company want to reign him in a little more. We'll see.
-- When the team has two practices on the same day, Favre will get the morning off. That means 12 more reps for Aaron Rodgers, which is good for Rodgers and good for the team. Good decision by McCarthy. It also gives Favre a break, which isn't bad, either.
-- Donald Driver put a scare into everyone watching the evening practice when he twisted his right ankle while attempting to catch a deep pass from Favre. Charles Woodson broke up the pass and tumbled to the ground with Driver. Driver sat out a few plays and returned to run routes. He was still limping at the end of practice, though, he went up to Woodson and told him he was 'OK.'
-- The team had its most intense practice thus far, especially in the 'nutcracker' drill during the evening session. The players and fans were into it. The drill features a fullback or running back shedding a linebacker within a small area and trying to tackle the ballcarrier.
-- Wide receiver Greg Jennings continues to look impressive. He made a few nice catches on deep passes. He is very smooth running his routes and catching the ball. He'll be a serious contender for a starting position along with Robert Ferguson as training camp progresses.
-- The Packers practiced for 90 minutes inside the Don Hutson Center for the morning practice, and for two-and-a-half hours outside under pleasant weather conditions at Clarke Hinkle Field. The morning practice was moved inside because of a threat of thunderstorms in the Green Bay area.
Saturday, July 29, 2 p.m. practice
- The Packers practiced during the hottest part of the day. Temperatures were in the 90's when practice began, but a brisk breeze helped keep playes a little cooler. McCarthy said after practice that the weather was no factor today.
-- Packers fans continue to amaze me. Many of them were seated in the bleachers facing an empty Clarke Hinke Field one-and-a-half hours before the start of practice. Seating is free, but those fans, obviously, wanted the best seats available.
-- There were a lot of dropped passes today by receivers in practice. Brett Favre completed some deep throws, but seemed to settle for shorter, dump-off passes. Maybe it's a sign of things to come from the gunslinger.
-- It was good to see Robert Ferguson back at practice. He made a few nice catches of deep passes. Ferguson missed Friday's practice with a sore back, though, he participated in some individual drills.
This is a do-or-die camp for Ferguson. Today's practice was a step in the right direction for the sixth-year receiver.
-- Marviel Underwood has been starting at safety in place of Marquand Manuel (strained calf) the last two practices. Underwood made a nice 'pick' off a deep pass by Aaron Rodgers during a 7-on-7 drill.
-- I spoke with Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila in the locker room after practice and he was real sluggish. A pads practice last night, followed by the afternoon pads practice in much hotter weather will help him sleep well tonight!
-- Attended A.J. Hawk's noon press conference at Lambeau Field. He seems very relieved that he is under contract. He very much wanted to practice Friday night but couldn't because the six-year deal was not fully completed.
-- General manager Ted Thompson also addressed the media in the Lambeau Field auditorium. The GM was loose and relaxed. He answered questions on Hawk, Charles Woodson, the portable lights, Mark Roman's release and the linebacker corp. As usual, he didn't deliver any earth-shattering news.
Friday, July 28, 6:30 p.m. practice
-- An estimated 5,000 fans attended the practice on a very balmy night in Green Bay. The portable lights surrounding the field and new electronic message board on the face of one of the perches of the Don Hutson Center gave an 'electric' feeling to the start of training camp.
-- It's very early, but Green Bay's defense is far ahead of the offense. Brett Favre had trouble completing passes during team scrimmage periods. He completed one pass to himself after DT Colin Cole batted a pass high in the air and into Favre's hands. It must have seemed like 1992 all over again against Tampa Bay for Favre. In fact, the offense, no matter who was at quarterback, struggled to complete passes.
-- Jon Ryan absolutely nailed a few punts. A tailwinde helped, but B.J. Sander also had the same wind and wasn't even close to the distance that Ryan recorded. Like earlier this off-season, he has picked up where he left off in the punting competition - far ahead of B.J. Sander.
-- Wide receiver Leo Bookman, who has run the 40-yard dash in 4.2 seconds, sprained his ankle in practice. It will be a while before the coaches can determine if he can catch the ball better than he did in the minicamps.
-- Charles Woodson is the team's top punt returner at this point. He was followed by Greg Jennings, Cory Rodgers and Donald Driver in returning punts. Woodson said afterward in the locker room that he "definitely will have some fun" returning punts.