What you need to know: Wednesday

We have a quick-hitting look at the final day of minicamp, including tragedy for Aaron Kampman, a reminder of tonight's chat, injury updates and coach Mike McCarthy's reasoning for a short practice.

Some quick hits from Wednesday morning's brief practice:

Kampman dealing with tragedy

Aaron Kampman's high school football coach, Ed Thomas, was shot and killed on Wednesday morning.

Thomas compiled a 292-84 record in 37 seasons as a prep coach — the last 34 at Aplington-Parkersburg (Iowa) High School. Thomas and his staff sent Kampman, Jared DeVries, Brad Meester and Casey Wiegmann to the NFL. All four helped Thomas win the NFL's high school coach of the year award in 2005.

"Coach Thomas was very special to me and many other young men from the Aplington-Parkersburg communities," Kampman said in a release issued by the team. "His legacy for many will be associated with his tremendous success as a football coach. However, I believe his greatest legacy comes not in how many football games he won or lost but in the fact that he was a committed follower of Jesus Christ. He lived his life trying to exemplify this faith and convey those values to those under his influence. His faith in Christ pervaded everything he did and that is why in the midst of the heartache we all feel there is comfort in knowing he is with his Savior."

The 58-year-old coach allegedly was murdered by a former player in the school's makeshift weight room. The weight room is located inside a shed as the school is being rebuilt from last year's deadly tornado.

Sadly, Packer Report was scheduled for a one-on-one interview with Kampman after practice to update readers on the state of the community and rebuilding process following that F5 tornado. For obvious reasons, that interview was canceled, though Kampman did participate in practice.

"I had the opportunity to speak to Aaron. Actually I was the one that delivered the news to Aaron," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He was in meetings when we got the news. It's a tragedy. I think Aaron will at some point tell you what he meant to him and the impact that he has had on his life. I can recall when Aaron went down to the first game this past year. It's a tremendous loss and really our heart goes out to his family."

You can learn more about the story through the Des Moines Register.

More football tonight

Chat tonight (Wednesday) with publisher Bill Huber as we wrap up the offseason practices. It starts at 7 p.m. Central.

These chats are for subscribers only. If you're not a subscriber, give us a try by clicking here. And if you are a subscriber, join us by clicking here.

And for 2 hours of football talk, tune into Chris Steuber's Scout NFL Radio program tonight. Clemson running back C.J. Spiller will be a guest, and Chris will take your calls. For details, click here.

That's all, folks

At 11:05 a.m., quarterback Aaron Rodgers lined up the offense in the victory formation, took a knee and ended the Packers' offseason work.

Practice lasted 50 minutes — all a jog-through period in which the players weren't even wearing helmets — though not because of another day of sweltering heat.

"No, that was the plan all along," McCarthy said. "We really got a lot of work done in the OTAs. Our participation was outstanding, so really our minicamp the last three days was about corrections. Every team period that we had, whether it was blitz, third down, red zone, it was clearly just the corrections and the things that we felt like we needed to go back over from the OTAs.

"I was very happy with the amount of quality work that we were able to accomplish during OTAs, but that was really the plan all along. Today was about teaching. Today was about putting a final stamp on the teaching process of the offseason program, because now when we get back here it's not about what to do and who goes where. It's how fast we are doing it, the conformity that you need on all three phases. So, this week was clearly about teaching and getting things cleaned up."

Practice resumes with the first day of training camp on Saturday, Aug. 1.

Here and there

Not at practice were right tackle Breno Giacmoini (ankle) and receiver Jamarko Simmons (back). Center Scott Wells (shoulder), left tackle Chad Clifton (knees and shoulders), defensive end Cullen Jenkins (ankle), safety Anthony Smith (groin) and tight end Carson Butler (leg) were spectators.

The other injured players, because of the low intensity of practice, participated. Linebacker Nick Barnett and safety Atari Bigby lined up with the starting defense, and defensive Alfred Malone (wrist) worked with the backups.

Defensive end Justin Harrell, who has been ill and was not at Tuesday afternoon's practice, was back on the field.

Rookie left tackle Jamon Meredith, who was driven into the locker room on Tuesday afternoon because of heat issues, was out, with undrafted rookie Dane Randolph taking his spot at left tackle.

On the field

There's not much to report, because there were no competitive parts to practice and nothing was conducted at full speed. So, here's where they were lining up.

— No. 1 defense: B.J. Raji at left end, Ryan Pickett at nose tackle and Johnny Jolly at right end. Aaron Kampman at left outside linebacker, Jeremy Thompson at right outside linebacker and A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett on the inside. Al Harris and Charles Woodson were the cornerbacks, with Nick Collins and Bigby at safety.

— In the No. 1 nickel, Raji and Jolly are defensive tackles, with Kampman and Thompson as outside linebackers/standup defensive ends. Hawk and Barnett are the linebackers, with Tramon Williams the third corner in place of Pickett.

— The No. 2 defense had Justin Harrell at left end, Anthony Toribio at nose tackle and Michael Montgomery at right end. Brady Poppinga at left outside linebacker, Clay Matthews at right outside linebacker and Desmond Bishop and Brandon Chillar on the inside. Charlie Peprah and Jarrett Bush were the safeties, with Williams and Pat Lee as the corners. Will Blackmon had been working with Williams as the No. 2 corners.

— With Meredith out, he spent his time wisely by chatting with Clifton.

— Are you guys nuts? Blackmon, Williams, Pickett, Barnett, Hawk, Collins, Chillar, Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn were wearing stocking caps.

— The starting offensive line for every snap of OTAs and the minicamp: Tony Moll at left tackle in place of Clifton, Daryn Colledge at left guard, Jason Spitz at center, Josh Sitton at right guard and Allen Barbre at right tackle.

The No. 2 line had Randolph at left tackle in place of Meredith, Nevin McCaskill at left guard, Duke Preston at center, Evan Dietrich-Smith at right guard and T.J. Lang at right tackle.

Thanks for playing

McCaskill's reward for sweating through four weeks of OTAs and four minicamp practices? The Packers released him on Wednesday afternoon. McCaskill was signed on Dec. 11 after the Packers put Mark Tauscher on injured reserve. He was a gameday inactive for all three games in Green Bay.

Quoteworthy

"It's a big goal, with everything I've been through and all the surgeries and things like that. I did that to get back."

— Justin Harrell, on finally showing why he was a first-round pick.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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