Packers notebook

Mandatory minicamp pushed to June; Bigby comments on proposal; Morency re-signs; shareholders' meeting July 24

The Packers' shift to later dates for their mandatory minicamp was revealed in late January, but head coach Mike McCarthy wasn't asked about the matter for two months.

McCarthy, in his third year at the helm, will conduct the minicamp June 17-19, which falls at the end of the team's offseason schedule. In previous years, the required minicamp for all players came in May.

The revised practice schedule following the April 26-27 draft will start with an orientation camp for the rookies May 2-4. In turn, voluntary organized team activities will be spread out from mid-May until before the minicamp.

The crux behind the changes is promoting individual development of the younger players, McCarthy said April 2 at the league owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

"I think it's a better way. It's a better teaching progression," McCarthy said. "Now, we'll have a more competitive minicamp. We can get more done, and we leave (before the start of training camp in July) as a football team, as opposed to coming together as a football team in May. I always felt like we kind of splintered off at the end of OTAs."

Bigby comments on proposal
Cornerback Al Harris and safety Atari Bigby are good to keep their flowing dreadlocks. The league owners at the meetings earlier this month tabled a proposal by the Kansas City Chiefs for players to cut their long hair or tuck it underneath the helmet so it doesn't hang over the name and number on the back of the uniform.

Both Harris and Bigby were outspoken about such a measure being considered.

"It's not a uniform violation; it's not a part of the uniform. So, what's the problem?" Bigby told WLUK-TV in Green Bay. "It's a personal choice, by a human being. To have that taken away from you, that's everything that's against America and freedom and your constitutional rights."

Morency signs tender offer
Running back Vernand Morency re-signed with the club as a restricted free agent. The backup received a one-year contract for $927,000.

The Packers' lone unsigned restricted free agent is defensive tackle Colin Cole.

Shareholders' meeting set for July 24
The publicly owned Packers' annual shareholders meeting will be July 24 at Lambeau Field. The meeting, which entitles admission for each fan who owns non-dividend-paying stock in the team, will be held at the famed stadium for the fifth time since 1998.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't have a date for you. It bothered me. There's no question about that. It still bothers you when you see a highlight or something like that. It's definitely an experience we need to learn from as a football team because you're only given so many opportunities, especially in this business. That was an excellent opportunity for our football team, and we didn't take advantage of it. That's how I really view the game now."
-- Head coach Mike McCarthy, on April 2 at the league owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., when asked how long did it take for him to get over the Packers' 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship on Jan. 20

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