The Word: Training Camp Day 10

Jones, Barbre step in for injured starters; Martin shows deep route ability

Green Bay's co-offensive rookie of the years from 2006 both missed practice today, opening the door for players from this year's rookie class to get additional reps.

Receiver Greg Jennings (hip flexor) and guard Daryn Colledge (mid-back sprain) were sidelined, allowing James Jones and Allen Barbre to see extensive time with the first team offense. Mike McCarthy noted that Jennings' hip has been sore the past week and that Colledge should be back on the field for Tuesday's practices.

A larger role in Monday's practice didn't faze Jones, who has seen plenty of snaps this summer.

"There are a lot of reps every day," Jones said. "They run us every day. But it feels good to get more reps because it is more opportunities to show the coaches what you can do. So, I just try to take advantage of them and show that I'm a guy who can make plays."

The extra time on the field with quarterback Brett Favre has helped translate concepts learned in the classroom, Jones said.

"We meet with the quarterbacks and do all those kinds of things," he said. "We know where Brett [Favre] and [Aaron] Rodgers want us on certain routes."

Barbre was known for a nasty streak at Missouri Southern State. Accompany that with 90-degree heat and what do you get? The first scrum of training camp.

Barbre and linebacker Nick Barnett engaged in a brief wrestling match during today's practice. Barnett was eventually pulled away by cornerback Charles Woodson.

Testiness didn't end there, either.

In 7-on-7 passing drills, contact is typically vanilla. Emphasis is put on timing, location, and body movement between the quarterback and receivers.

Safety Marviel Underwood, however, unleashed on a vulnerable DeShawn Wynn after the rookie caught a pass near the right sideline. The hit sent Wynn flying, as he nearly crashed into the sideline water cooler. All Wynn could do what shake his head, while Frank Walker screamed, ‘Man down!'

One scrum is enough.

Here are some other notes on today's afternoon practice:

Offensive Play of the Day
At the end of last season Ruvell Martin showed reliable hands on third down - the epitome of a possession receiver.

But Martin showed again today that he has some deep ball potential, too.

Favre took a five-step drop and heaved a bullet of a deep post to Martin, who got separation on cornerback Patrick Dendy and hauled in the 40-yard touchdown.

It was just a similar to when Favre and Javon Walker torched defenses with in 2003 and '04.

"It was just a deep post route," Martin said.

Does Martin see himself developing into the deep threat the Packers certainly need?

"My philosophy is the same as always," he said. "I do whatever to help the team. If they call on me to go deep [more often] than great. If it's as a third down or possession receiver than that's fine too."

Defensive Play of the Day
Cornerback Will Blackmon and linebacker Spencer Havner teamed up for a play the Packers pulled off five times last year - six points the other way.

Tight end Zac Alcorn caught a pass on a quick out and had it stripped out of his grip by Blackmon. The ball flew up into the air, Havner gobbled it up and strolled up the right sideline for a sure six points.

Havner spent 13 weeks on the Packers' practice squad last year after spending training camp with the Washington Redskins last summer. The 6-foot-3, 244 lbs. Havner was a four-year starter at UCLA, where he finished as the school's third all-time leading tackler with 402.

Stock is Rising
His best shot at making the team is probably on the practice squad, but tight end Joe Werner has made huge strides in a matter of days. Just last week, he could be seen blocking downfield on passing plays. Today Werner caught a deep seam laser from Favre for a touchdown in red zone work.

"Joe just needs to hang on to every word and take full advantage of every opportunity he is given," McCarthy said. "I think Joe is doing that. He has a great attitude and approach. He's very raw. I think that's evident to everybody. I'm happy he's here. He has a lot in front of him."

Werner played semi-pro football this summer with the Winona/La Crosse Rough Riders and a little bit as a student at McDonell Central School. The 6-foot-6, 252-pound Werner played basketball at Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he averaged 16.7 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. Werner was named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Player of the Year.

With Bubba Franks, Donald Lee, Zac Alcorn, and Clark Harris ahead of him on the depth chart, Werner is a long shot to make the roster. However, he has shown vast improvement and could have football in his future somewhere.

Stock is Falling
The race for the No. 3 cornerback job behind starters Al Harris and Charles Woodson could become the most heated at camp with five strong candidates.

Jarrett Bush, Will Blackmon, Patrick Dendy, Frank Walker, and Tramon Williams have all had their moments in practices. But Walker's opportunities have been the scarcest.

The Packers' lone off-season free agent pickup may have signed a one-year, $1.24 million contract, but there's a decent chance he won't make the team, mainly because of the play by others.

Bush and Blackmon were exceptional on Family Night, with the latter picking off two passes (although one was nullified due to a penalty). Dendy has seen the most action as the team's nickel corner and Tramon Williams has been one of the most intriguing players because of his big play potential.

That leaves Walker out of the loop for now. He will need a strong preseason to solidify a roster spot.

He Said It
"I don't think about that. But obviously every time you make a kick, someone other than this team is going to see it and other teams will see it. Everything is filmed and everything is watched. Every kick counts. That's my focus every time I go to practice. I have to make it as game-like as possible. It's one shot each time."
- Kicker Mason Crosby when asked on if he is not only auditioning for the Packers but other teams as well through training camp and preseason

Tyler Dunne

Tyler Dunne is a student at Syracuse University. He is in Green Bay covering the Packers during training camp for and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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