Training camp notebook

As can be expected, the Packers offense has been sluggish in the early going of training camp. The Packers are learning a new zone-blocking scheme, and Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers are getting used to a few new receivers.

As a result, the offense has been losing the majority of the battles to the defense during 11-on-11 team drills in practices this week.

Aside from Favre's 57-yard sideline pass to rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings, the first- and second-team offenses were unable to get the ball into the end zone during 11-on-11 drills Tuesday night at Clarke Hinkle Field. In fact, the offenses committed a handful of penalties in the process and never got close to the goal line.

After Favre's pass to Jennings, who made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch against cornerback Jason Horton, got the Packers to the 31, the offense was penalized three times before Favre ended the drive on fourth down by throwing an interception over the middle to free agent safety Tra Boger.

The second team offense wasn't much better. Aaron Rodgers was unable to move the team more than 10 yards in four downs.

Jennings, however, has been a bright spot for Green Bay. The team's second of two second-round draft selections this year, Jennings has consistently made impressive catches and has shown an excellent ability to create separation against defensive backs.

"Where we drafted Greg tells you what we feel about him," said McCarthy. "To date, he has answered our expectations. I think he has been very productive, particularly for young guys who have a feel for crossing routes over the middle, I've been very pleased with that. When you see a young guy come into training camp at the receiver position and be exposed to so much bump and run, especially against a very talented corner group, it's very promising to see the ability he has had to separate from the corners."

Offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said that it took about three weeks in training camp before the Atlanta Falcons began to get comfortable with the new zone-blocking scheme. Jagodzinski said it will help the offense when it goes live in this Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage and in preseason games.

"They're coming along," Jagodzinski said. "We're a lot farther along than in Atlanta when we put this thing in."

Against a solid Green Bay defense, it may take a few more practices before the offense starts winning some battles.

Injury update
To make matters worse for the offense, Favre injured his calf muscle toward the end of practice and had to treat it with ice. McCarthy said the injury was not serious.

"He just got banged in the back of his leg," McCarthy said. "It was during the blitz drill."

McCarthy said Favre will be evaluated by trainers in the morning to determine if he will take part in the team's 2 p.m. practice.

Otherwise, the list of injured players only changed slightly Tuesday. Though wide receiver Cory Rodgers sat out of the morning practice with a sore hamstring, he returned for the evening practice.

Offensive tackle Chad Clifton did not participate in either of the two practices, a precautionary measure to rest his surgically repaired right knee.

Wide receiver Leo Bookman returned to practice after spraining his right ankle in the first practice of camp.

Running back Arliss Beach did not practice today due to a concussion that he sustained in training camp on Sunday, and guard Junius Coston was held out of practices after he became ill from the heat on Monday.

Those who continue to sit idle included: RB Ahman Green (quadriceps), LB Brady Poppinga (knee), CB Will Blackmon (foot), CB Patrick Dendy (ankle). S Marquand Manuel, and LB Byron Santiago (back).


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