Packers release training camp schedule

In hopes of a better start, McCarthy plans to skip three mid-week practices in camp

The Green Bay Packers released its training camp schedule, which includes eight night practices, today. Coach Mike McCarthy also added a new twist this season by giving his team the first three Wednesdays of the camp off.

The 62nd camp, which began in 1946 under Curly Lambeau, opens at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28 with a full-pads workout on Clarke Hinkle Field, where all outdoor practices are scheduled to take place. Hinkle Field is adjacent to the Don Hutson Center, across from Lambeau Field.

The first of the night practices will be the next day, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. The first of the three Wednesday's off occurs on Aug. 1, after the first six practices of training camp. The non-traditional off days, also scheduled for the following two Wednesdays (Aug. 8 and 15), will consist of meetings and film review in the mornings, with most players getting the afternoon and evening off to recoup for two practices the following day.

"You look at the middle of the week, specifically with the two-a-day format, that's really a hump day," McCarthy explained. "So we've adjusted some of our practices, really starting this spring, the number of things we were able to get done this spring gave us the ability to have those three Wednesdays where we only meet and have walk-throughs in the gym at the end, things like that. It's clearly on the rest and recovery, (that) was the mindset there. To be able to do that in training camp - I've never done it before, never been in places and been a part of it, and we put a lot of thought into it and crunched a lot of numbers. I feel it will really help our football team particularly at the end of the year."

McCarthy said that he will surrender about "100 reps" by giving the team three Wednesdays off, but hopes that the rest will help keep players fresh and eventually lead to a better start of the season. Last year the Packers started 1-4, and McCarthy felt he didn't give his team enough time off near the end of camp.

"It's clearly the focus," McCarthy said. "We need to start fast. It's been a problem here of late, particularly last year. Starting fast is very important, and we'll be fresh coming out of training camp especially with us playing at Tennessee on a Thursday night, so no excuses."

Family Night is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4, at Lambeau Field. The on-field football portion of the event, which concludes with fireworks, kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

The team will not practice on the days following preseason games, nor on the day following the Family Night scrimmage. In addition, if scheduled, practices the day before preseason games will not be open to the public.

The last practice open to the public is at 10 a.m. Aug. 28.

Key training camp dates
Saturday, July 28 – First practice, 2 p.m., Hinkle Field (full pads)

Sunday, July 29 – First night practice, 6:30 p.m., Hinkle Field (full pads)

Saturday, Aug. 4 – Family Night intra-squad scrimmage, 6:30 p.m., Lambeau Field

Tuesday, Aug. 28 – Last practice open to public, 10 a.m., Hinkle Field (shells); NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 75 players

Saturday, Sept. 1 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players

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