The Packers finished the early rising week of training camp today. The last of the 8:20 AM start times was today on Ray Nitschke Field. They made it through the week without any serious incidents, we think. Wisconsin Badger fans may be a little skittish about Jared Abbrederis. He finished Thursday's practice but didn't work today. After practice, Mike McCarthy only said the 5th round wide receiver had a knee injury. When pressed on a follow-up, McCarthy got a bit standoffish and said that's all I know. We'll stay tuned. Another draft pick missed practice, center Corey Linsley suffered a shoulder injury. The status for both at tomorrow night's Family Night practice inside the stadium is up in the air at best.
The team continues the installation phase and today, the offense worked on the 4 minute drill. The last four minutes of a game, playing with the lead and starting an offensive series deep in their own end. Aaron Rodgers looked like he converted a key third down when Brandon Bostick made a catch but Jarrett Bush made a heads up play, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Charles Clay. The defense stopped the second team offense without giving up a first down.
Colt Lyerla finally showed up. The Oregon free agent tight end has been struggling, due in part to not having played since early last season when he quit the Ducks program. He found the end zone twice in red zone periods.
There was a competitive kicking period for only the second time in camp. Mason Crosby tried a pair of 33 yard extra points. (Remember, the NFL is going to experiment with having PAT's snapped from the 15 yard line through the first two weeks of the Pre-Season. The competition committee is worried the try is a bit too automatic). Crosby, who had a nice bounce back season a year ago, made the longer PAT's easily. He then alternated field goal tries from the left and right hashmarks, moving back each attempt. He was good from 36, missed wide right from 40 but finished strong hitting from 43, 45, 50 and 53 yards. Crosby, his holder, punter Tim Masthay and long snapper Brett Goode, all have their jobs locked up for the season. None have any direct competition on the roster. They all look pretty relaxed.
(The "Operation". L-R: Tim Masthay, Mason Crosby, Brett Goode.)
Next on the agenda is the Family Night affair. Used to be a scrimmage. Not anymore. It will look nearly identical to the first six practices of camp. Individual and group drills, a couple of team periods with special teams work mixed in. Fans don't care, the joint is sold out anyway. Come back for a review of the practice under the lights and I'll also size up the depth chart with the first pre-season game fast approaching.