Notebook: Camp For Clunkers

Minicamp ends a day early with Bryan Bulaga winning a new car. Plus, the latest injury updates, the possibility of roster moves and more from Tuesday.

Summer vacation is under way for the Green Bay Packers, and Bryan Bulaga has a sweet new ride.

Coach Mike McCarthy ended the three-day minicamp a day early, with Tuesday's workout punctuated by a home run derby on the Ray Nitschke practice field.

A player from each of the position groups got to take his cuts against a pitcher from that position group, with the winner getting — cue the "Price is Right" guy — a brand new car!

Bulaga — who flexed his muscles while taking batting practice before a Milwaukee Brewers home game shortly after the draft — hit the longest blast of the contest off of T.J. Lang. When Bulaga pulled off the tarp of the car, it revealed the broken-down Saturn pictured below.

"It was fun. To beat Jordy Nelson was enough for me," Bulaga said after his blast flew probably 10 yards further than runner-up Nelson's.

On the plus side, at least the stereo worked and the tires were inflated.


"Probably not," he said when asked if he'd keep — cue Mr. Parker on "A Christmas Story" — his major award. "I don't even know what I'd do with it. Sell it for scrap metal, I don't know."

All fun aside, the early ending of the minicamp speaks to what was accomplished during four weeks of organized team activities. With near-perfect attendance during OTAs and this week, McCarthy was comfortable that his players have the needed mental base to hit the ground running when training camp begins on July 31.

"We have canceled practice and meetings for tomorrow," McCarthy announced in a media session before practice. "I've felt really coming off of Wednesday's and Thursday's practice last week that it was appropriate. I think our players have earned that and deserve that."

The coaches also are free to get away, with all of the mental work for training camp taken care of.

"My training camp schedule is presented to the coaching staff probably in the first week of May," McCarthy said. "So, we've been working on training came the last four or five weeks as a coaching staff. Our schedule is done, obviously our structure is done. Our scripting of practices is completed. Our playbooks are completed. We had an in-depth personnel depth chart by position as a staff yesterday morning. We feel like after today's practice that we'll be ready to go and charged up for training camp."

Final roster?


We have tons of observations from Tuesday's practice in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club Forum, along with some quick-hit thoughts on all of the draft picks.

McCarthy wouldn't rule out adding a veteran, though it's doubtful anything will happen in the next month with most of the NFL stepping away from their offices until the start of training camp.

The obvious position would be outside linebacker, with no veteran depth beyond Brady Poppinga.

"There is no timetable or no restrictions as far as acquiring players, at any position, no different for outside linebacker," McCarthy said. "We'll look at some individuals over the summer. We'll continue to evaluate that and watch what goes on around the league."

The right way

Jacksonville, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland all had some OTAs taken away because of practices that were deemed too intense.

"I think there's rules, and we adhere to them," McCarthy said. "Ted Thompson is very conscientious of everything we do, so I have another set of eyes if we get a little rambunctious as a coaching staff. I don't think we've ever had an issue with any of our player reps. I've never been part of a conversation where there was a concern."

Roll call

Not much new since Monday, with defensive end Jarius Wynn and veteran tight end Donald Lee not practicing for undisclosed reasons. The only players who were absent were safety Atari Bigby (unsigned) and defensive end Johnny Jolly (excused because of legal troubles).

Otherwise, the list of injuries was unchanged: receiver Brett Swain (knee), safety Will Blackmon (knee), safety Derrick Martin (ankle), cornerback Al Harris (knee), tight end Spencer Havner (scapula), linebacker Nick Barnett (knee), guard/tackle T.J. Lang (wrist), guard/center Jason Spitz (back), defensive lineman Ryan Pickett (shoulder), receiver Donald Driver (knee) and defensive end Ronald Talley (knee).

Four-point stance

— McCarthy said Bulaga will "start training camp" at left tackle but wouldn't say yes or no as to whether Bulaga could get into the mix at, say, left guard. T.J. Lang will play right guard and right tackle. At right tackle, he'd be in the mix with veteran Mark Tauscher. Josh Sitton seems like a long-term standout at right guard, so Lang would only provide depth there.

— In a hurry-up field-goal drill, Mason Crosby hit both attempts from 40 yards. The drill started with the clock at 21 seconds, a running play in which the back was tackled, and the field-goal unit having to scramble onto the field to try the kick. Later, Crosby hit from 38, 43 and 48 yards but missed from 48 because of a poor hold.

— Play of the day came when Aaron Rodgers hit Greg Jennings streaking down the sideline. Williams poked the ball away from Jennings but Jennings grabbed the ball out of the air, only for Williams to catch Jennings and strip him from behind.

Daryn Colledge got some reps at right guard with the No. 1 offense, with Allen Barbre taking Colledge's usual spot at left guard.


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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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