Notebook: Thompson says line is fine

Also from a busy Tuesday: Dropped passes remain problem; roster move; injury report and much more.

The offensive line remains in flux, but neither general manager Ted Thompson nor coach Mike McCarthy say they are concerned at this late stage of training camp.

On Tuesday, with center Scott Wells (trunk) and left tackle Chad Clifton (soreness) out of action, Daryn Colledge, Allen Barbre and Tony Moll took snaps with the first team at left tackle, and Colledge and Barbre shared snaps at left guard. Sometimes, the rotation was on a snap-by-snap basis. Spitz, the starter at left guard on Saturday at San Francisco, handled all the reps with the first unit at center.

McCarthy said there's no deadline to have a starting line in place, even though there are only two preseason games and four practices remaining in training camp.

Thompson, who has spent draft picks on Colledge (second round, 2006), Spitz (third, 2006), Barbre (fourth, 2007) and Junius Coston (fifth, 2005), said he's not concerned that none of those draft picks have developed as he might have wished.

"It never plays out exactly the way you envision," Thompson said at a news conference before Tuesday's practice. "I'm extraordinarily encouraged by our offensive line. I wish they were all out there at one time. Scott Wells kind of keeps having a little bugaboo, and I wish that wasn't happening, but I feel stronger about our ability to adjust and adapt. In terms of being able to trot your five guys out there, I think that's a perfect-world scenario. It has not been the scenario that we have encountered here since I have been back here in 2005."

Thus, the ability of Colledge, Spitz and Tony Moll to play multiple positions is a necessity.

"That's the way you have to play the game when you can only suit up 45," Thompson said. "I think we have more quality depth. I think we have more talent in the offensive line than ever since I got back here, and I'm encouraged by it."

Kampman's not just a sack man

A highlight from Monday night was defensive end Aaron Kampman dropping back into coverage and intercepting Brian Brohm.

Kampman had three interceptions during his standout career at Iowa.

"Oh, it's great. I'll tell you, if I can get a pick or two during the year, that's fun. That would be great," Kampman said after Tuesday's practice.

Spirited practice

There were a couple of scuffles during practice, including one in which running back Brandon Jackson got into it with safety Aaron Rouse. Jackson took a swing that knocked off the helmet of defensive end Cullen Jenkins.

"I think it's human nature when you're banging against the same guy day in and day out, the frustration level gets to be a little higher," McCarthy said. "A little fight isn't bad, as long as we carry it over to Friday night (at Denver)."

Butter fingers

Donald Driver, Brandon Jackson and Joey Haynos were among those with drops. Driver's came on a third-down play in a sharp two-minute drill. Aaron Rodgers rolled right, pump faked and fired to Driver standing at the goal line, but the ball whistled through his fingers.

"I don't like it," McCarthy said of the ongoing problem. "It falls under the category we talked about yesterday about fundamentals. We didn't have a very good (Saturday) in fundamentals, whether it was our pad level, footwork, dropping the ball, throwing the ball, so those are all things we work on every day. We need to do a better job of it. I think we have a perimeter group that catches the ball very well, illustrated by what we have done in the past, but that doesn't carry over obviously to the present. We work on it every day. I'm not concerned as we move forward, but we need to catch the ball better."

Roll call

The names were mostly the same on the injury report. Out were Wells, Clifton, cornerback Al Harris (back), linebacker A.J. Hawk (chest), running backs Ryan Grant (hamstring) and DeShawn Wynn (ankle), defensive linemen Ryan Pickett (hamstring), Justin Harrell (back) and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee).

"I don't have any updates other than he continues to improve, and our medical staff are encouraged," Thompson said. "I don't have a timetable or anything like that."

Back were defensive tackle Donald Muir and tight end Tory Humphrey.

"I would say it's normal for a training camp," McCarthy said of the injuries. Later, he added, "I've never concerned myself with injuries. It's part of the game. That's why they give you 80 players in camp. ... I've always coached the guys that are available. Did it as an assistant coach, did it as a coordinator, will continue to do it as a head coach."

Roster move

The Packers placed undrafted rookie tight end Evan Moore on injured reserve with a knee injury sustained on Saturday, and filled his roster spot with defensive tackle Rodney Allen.

Allen, a 6-foot-2, 315-pounder who played collegiately at Kansas, is in his first NFL training camp. He played this year for the Odessa (Texas) Roughriders in something called the Intense Football League. He posted a team-high 11 tackles for loss and had 7.5 sacks for the arena team. He is the cousin of Ravens running back Willis McGahee.

In one-on-one pass blocking, Allen beat guard Ryan Keenan all three times but lost to Tony Moll.

Extra points

— The shoe was on the other foot during the daily ball-security drills. Instead of a skill-position players from the offense running through a gauntlet of defenders, the linebackers and defensive backs ran through the offense.

Nobody from the defense fumbled, though linebacker Abdul Hodge was flattened by receiver Johnny Quinn and tight end Jermichael Finley.

Meanwhile, off to the side, defensive linemen were catching passes, with end Jason Hunter making a nifty one-handed grab.

— Hodge got his revenge at the end of practice by flattening fullback Ryan Powdrell, who was trying to block Hodge on a running play. His defensive teammates definitely approved.

— The quarterbacks took turns firing passes from about 50 yards into a hoop-and-rim setup. Rodgers was the only one to be successful, though Matt Flynn had a pass rattle in and out.

— In a third-down drill, the scout-team offense led by Flynn and Brian Brohm completed 6-of-6 passes, though the defense probably would have had two sacks.

— In a red-zone defensive drill, however, the No. 1 defense dominated. Nick Barnett broke up the first pass, Charles Woodson almost intercepted the second, Jarrett Bush broke up the third and Patrick Lee's shove dislodged a pass in the end zone to Finley.

Will Blackmon intercepted Brohm and was horse-collar tackled by Allen Barbre. The tackle drew a few testy words from the defense.

— Rookie defensive end Jeremy Thompson has been invisible for quite a while, but he smoked Barbre and Tony Moll with inside-out moves on pass plays in 11-on-11 drills.

— Most of the defense is making some sort of fashion statement by wearing shorts over their football pants. Defensive tackle Colin Cole said it was for comfort.

— Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin was gone because of a death in the family.

— Former general manager Ron Wolf was at practice again.

"He's always been my mentor," Thompson said. "I've always looked to him as someone that I can call and talk to, even if he's not here. But when he's here, I think it's certainly more comfortable and we can talk a little more football. He can point out this guy or this guy. He's very generous in that regard."

Up next

Practice on Wednesday is at 10:45 a.m. There is no practice on Thursday, and the Packers play at Denver at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Bill Huber is editor of Packer Report and E-mail him at

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