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Friday, July 26, 2013 5:24:20 PM(UTC)
Jason Wilde said:
<strong>Thumbs up:</strong> With cornerbacks Casey Hayward (hamstring) and Davon House (illness) each sidelined, rookie fifth-round pick Micah Hyde got an opportunity -- and made the most of it. Running with the second unit along with James Nixon -- the top cornerbacks remained Tramon Williams and Sam Shields -- Hyde broke up multiple passes in 11-on-11 drills, including one tough play against tight end Andrew Quarless across the middle. While quarterback Aaron Rodgers hooked up with wide receiver James Jones for a touchdown on a fade route against Hyde on the final play of practice, coach Mike McCarthy was still pleased with Hyde's showing. "If you had asked me who was the one player that jumped out to me today I'd say it was Micah," McCarthy said.
<strong>Thumbs down:</strong>You could hear the groans across the universe when news broke Thursday evening that oft-injured defensive end/outside linebacker Mike Neal would start camp on the active/physically unable to perform list with a strained abdominal muscle. And sure enough, there he was on the sideline, watching practice instead of participating. Neal had 4.5 sacks last season despite missing the first four games for a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, and this is supposed to be a big year for him with the hybrid role on the defense and free agency on the horizon. While he said his abdominal issue would clear up in less than two weeks, it still was an ignominious start for a player who missed 26 of the first possible 28 games of his NFL career.
<strong>Play of the day:</strong>Because they aren't in pads yet and the best play on the field didn't turn out to actually be a great play -- rookie wide receiver nearly made a fully-extended diving grab of a deep ball but lost it after he hit the ground "at 100 miles an hour," in the words of Jordy Nelson -- the honor has to go to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who met questions about Ryan Braun head-on and didn't mince words on how it felt to be lied to by his best friend in sports.
<strong>Camp confidential:</strong>Protection. Connection. Reflection. That was the three-word theme to McCarthy's address to the players during Thursday night's camp-opening team meeting. "(We have) the opportunity of being 'Team 93,' the 93rd football team in the history of the Green Bay Packers, since 1921. (It was about) the opportunity we have, the uniqueness, the dynamics of our room and how important it is to protect that and what you're willing to do to protect that," McCarthy explained. "The connection part is really just another thing we need to do all the way through: man-to-man, on the field… so, the ability to reflect daily and weekly and continue to grow. And after that, the reflection we had of 2010. I showed them a picture of the ring night. It was a good meeting." Asked what he took from McCarthy's words, left tackle Bryan Bulaga replied: "I think it's just that we need to be in this together as a team. That's what this is. We all need to be on the same page. It's just not offense and defense and special teams. We all need to be as one here. That's what wins championships, teams playing as one. That's the theme I took away from it, that we need to have each others' backs and play as one team, just not offense, defense and special teams because that doesn't win games. It's a team game."
<strong>Injury report:</strong>Ten players missed the first practice of training camp: Neal, Hayward, House, defensive end Jerel Worthy (knee), running back DuJuan Harris (knee), safety Chaz Powell (foot), tackle Derek Sherrod (leg), offensive lineman JC Tretter (ankle), safety Sean Richardson (neck) and inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore (illness).
<strong>Practice schedule: </strong>The Packers practice in shells again on Saturday at 8:20 a.m.at Ray Nitschke Field, weather permitting.
Friday, July 26, 2013 11:45:59 PM(UTC)
Don Barclay Getting Work at Center
As of now, Don Barclay is taking snaps at right tackle with the second unit. He also took some snaps at center today. Barclay could provide depth at a thin position on the offensive line and be a swingman on game day who could sub in at right tackle, guard, or center.
James Starks and Alex Green Have Strong Starts to Camp
Alex Green was the Packers starting running back to open camp. This will most likely be the case until the rookie backs are up to speed with the playbook, but early reports show that Green looked impressive in passing drills. James Starks was also reported as coming out with a strong performance on the first day. Starks appeared to be in top shape and ran with some enthusiasm. If both Green and Starks have good camps the situation at running back could get real interesting.
Jennings Begins Camp Ahead of McMillian at Safety
M.D. Jennings started over Jerron McMillian with the first team defense to begin camp. He seems to be the more reliable choice at this point, but McMillian could push Jennings with a strong camp. We’ll continue monitoring this situation closely.
Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey, and Myles White were all credited with drops during practice.
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