Notebook: Rookie QBs must impress

Also from the morning practice: Veterans get day off; Favre saga ends; roster move; and much more.

Brett Favre is gone, but that doesn't mean the Packers' quarterback situation is resolved.

With Aaron Rodgers' backups being rookies, it's critical that second-round pick Brian Brohm or seventh-round selection Matt Flynn show they're able to run the offense should something happen to Rodgers.

While coach Mike McCarthy wouldn't say whether there's a timetable, it's a safe bet general manager Ted Thompson and his scouting staff will be keeping an eye on veteran quarterbacks who could be cut loose before the regular season begins.

"My plan all along with Brian and Matt has been we have a window to prepare them for the season," McCarthy said after Friday morning's practice. "I really don't get caught up in what ifs and who's out there. That's not my thought process. Those two quarterbacks will be ready to play when their time is called upon, and it's the responsibility of the coaching staff and the players to get that done."

Brohm is the more likely to be Rodgers' backup. He started 33 games at Louisville and ran a pro-style system. He threw for 4,024 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior and has had his moments during training camp, but he's thrown his share of ugly passes, as well.

Brohm's father, Oscar, and his brother, Jeff, played quarterback at Louisville, with Jeff playing seven seasons in the NFL. So, his learning curve has been fast.

"It does feel like it's slowing down in practice a little," Brohm said. "We'll go out on the game field for our first game, and hopefully things aren't going too fast and they'll slow down just like in practice. That's really the goal, to take what you're doing in practice and go execute in the game."

Morning off

When training camp opened on July 28, the starting offensive line was made up of left tackle Chad Clifton, left guard Daryn Colledge, center Scott Wells, right guard Jason Spitz and right tackle Mark Tauscher.

The starting line for Friday morning's practice? Totally different, with Colledge at left tackle, Allen Barbre at left guard, Spitz at center, rookie Josh Sitton at right guard and Tony Moll at right tackle. At one point, rookie Breno Giacomini got some reps at right tackle, as well.

Clifton and Tauscher were two of many veterans given the morning practice off. Others, either due to minor injuries or to keep them fresh, include Donald Driver, Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Aaron Kampman and Nick Barnett. Also out with nagging injuries were Wells (trunk), receiver Jake Allen (groin), Justin Harrell (back), Ryan Pickett (hamstring), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), Junius Coston (back), Aaron Rouse (hip flexor) and Orrin Thompson (ankle).

They were joined on the sideline by starting halfback Ryan Grant, who McCarthy said has a "slight strain" to a hamstring.

McCarthy wasn't concerned about any of the injuries, chalking them up to "fatigue."

The "starting" defense had Cullen Jenkins and Jason Hunter at ends, Mike Montgomery and Colin Cole at tackles, Desmond Bishop at middle linebacker, and Tramon Williams and Will Blackmon at cornerback.

Favre saga is over

With the Brett Favre trade complete, McCarthy finally can turn 100 percent of his attention to getting his team ready for the season.

"A sense of relief? You could say in a lot of ways," McCarthy said. "I'm about press conferenced out, number one. That's something, it's a responsibility, I understand, but it was something that the situation needed to be resolved and it was nice to get to a finality of that. But I'm relieved that we're talking about football, our football team, and that's what the focus needs to be on.

McCarthy said he did not see Favre's introductory news conference.

Historical roster move

In case Alex Trabek says the answer is Scorpio Babers, you can reply, "Who replaced Brett Favre on the Packers' roster?"

Babers, a 5-foot-11, 194-pound quarterback from Sam Houston State, was signed on Friday and practiced. Babers, who was signed in May by Miami as undrafted free agent, ran stride-for-stride down the sideline with Jordy Nelson on a go route to prevent a completion.

Extra points

— For the first time during camp, the skill-position players wore wristbands to help them with the plays in no-huddle and crowd-noise situations.

"It's just a different method of communication," McCarthy said. "There are different ways of doing two-minute. There are different ways of doing no-huddle. We just try to practice all of the different options as we go through training camp, and that's also the need for crowd noise and just try to get as many gamelike situations as possible."

McCarthy liked what he saw from what resembled the No. 1 offense. Aaron Rodgers went 6-for-8 in an 11-on-11, no-huddle period — one of the incompletons was a drop — capped by a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Jones.

"Very productive as far as the way they performed, but the thing I was looking for was the communication," McCarthy said. "I thought the communication was much better this time as opposed to prior segments, so I thought they did a nice job."

The No. 2 offense led by Brohm and Flynn struggled, but they weren't helped by their receivers. There were three drops and two more that could have been caught.

Mason Crosby has been almost automatic on field goals, but he missed his first of three tries, a 45-yarder, wide right. He converted from 45 and 40.

— With Grant out, Brandon Jackson worked with the first-team offense. He missed Wednesday night's practice with a sprained ankle.

— Onside-kick coverage was the focus of a special-teams period.

— The highlight of the "shells" practice was a brilliant one-handed catch in the end zone by Greg Jennings. Rodgers threw a high bullet, and Jennings reached up and the ball stuck in his hand.

Tory Humphrey had another dropped pass.

— With Favre traded, one lone heckler remained. His taunts were at times insulting, but mostly incomprehensible.

— The players return to practice at 6:30 p.m. They'll be in full pads, so the intensity will be ramped up.

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com


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