Minicamp starts Tuesday morning

Focus will be on polishing what was accomplished in OTAs, and will be last practices before training camp starts on July 28

The Packers' only minicamp of the offseason begins Tuesday with the first of five practices over three days.

All of the mandatory practices will be held inside the Don Hutson Center. Morning practices all three days will start at 10:15 a.m. and be open to the public for the first hour or so.

"I think it will be a very competitive three days of work, and we'll leave here on a positive note," coach Mike McCarthy said at the close of organized team activities on Thursday. "We've just got to keep everybody healthy."

Injuries were a plague throughout OTAs, especially along the defensive line, where starting end Cullen Jenkins has been forced to move to defensive tackle frequently to fill in for the injured Johnny Jolly and Justin Harrell, who missed all of the OTAs, and Daniel Muir, who missed the first three weeks before practicing last week.

McCarthy said the focus of the minicamp will be to review everything that was installed during OTAs. This will be team's final practices before training camp starts on July 28.

"We are going to use it more as a cleanup," McCarthy said. "Really, Joe (Philbin) being the offensive coordinator, we just basically have kept track of things that we need to go back and improve on that we have practiced the last four weeks.

"We have taken our practice schedule for next week and we're going to hit all of the different situations, all the different types of pressure packages that we anticipate seeing and so forth. We're going to put that in the practice plan and then the defense is also going to go back and clean the things up that they want to hit one more time before we release the players for the break before training camp."

Linebacker A.J. Hawk is interested to see how the young players react to the training camp-like schedule, which will tax the players physically as well as mentally. The Packers will practice twice on Tuesday and Wednesday before wrapping up camp on Thursday.

"It will be good to see how guys react to being a little bit fatigued, a little tired, a little game-type situation," he said.

While much of what will be accomplished will be old hat to a player like Hawk, who is entering his third NFL season, he said OTAs and minicamps are important even for veterans like himself. That's because he realizes the importance of hitting the ground running for training camp.

"That's the season, that's not the offseason," Hawk said of training camp. "You've got to get ready to for games. It's not like the old days, when you come to camp to get in shape. We come to camp to get ready to play."

One player who is not expected to participate is running back Ryan Grant, who remains unsigned. While he did not practice during OTAs, he has participated in the rest of the offseason program.

"I don't think that is going to change. I don't anticipate it is going to change," McCarthy said on Thursday. "I do not know what the timeframe is, but there has been nothing said to me that would indicate for his situation to change."

Grant's agent, Alan Herman, did not respond to an interview request.

Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to E-mail him at

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