To reflect the scheduling roller coaster that is the start of the regular season, coach Mike McCarthy has put together a roller coaster of a training camp schedule for the Green Bay Packers.
Training camp begins on Thursday, July 26, with a week of practices that begin at 8:15 a.m. That’s followed by a stretch of seven night practices, including the Family Night Scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 3. The final six practices of training camp will start at 11 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.
Why the tinkering of the players’ body clocks? Because the Packers’ first five games start at 3:15 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m., noon and 7:20 p.m. before a stretch of noon games.
“My initial plan for training camp was not quite what it ended up being,” McCarthy, who had considered eliminating night practices, said following Thursday’s final minicamp practice. “There was a reaction to the scheduling, to the format of training camp, based on the way our first four games of the regular season laid out.”
The Packers open at home against San Francisco on a Sunday and host Chicago on a Thursday night. Then it’s a long week before a Monday night game at Seattle before a Sunday afternoon against New Orleans.
“The fact that we come out of the gate and play Sunday afternoon on national TV at home, then play Thursday night at home and then go away 11 days later on a Monday night, and then on a short week here at home, I wanted to make sure our players were challenged from the fact of the regularity is going to be a little up and down to start the season,” McCarthy said.
“Then we end up playing every seven days after that. I wanted that reflected in the training camp, so that was part of the reason why we went with morning practice, night practice and afternoon practices. ... I feel like this schedule of training camp really gives us the chance to get ready for the beginning of the season and also get ready for the seven-day stretch that we’ll have after the fourth game.
2012 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Thur., July 26: 8:15 a.m. (shells)
Fri., July 27: 8:15 a.m. (shells)
Sat. July 28: 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Sun., July 29: No practice
Mon., July 30: 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tue., July 31: 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 1: 8:15 a.m. (full pads)
Thur., Aug. 2: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Fri., Aug. 3: Family Night Scrimmage (6:30 p.m.)
Sat., Aug. 4: No practice
Sun., Aug. 5: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 6: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Tue., Aug. 7: 3:30 p.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 8: No practice
Thur., Aug. 9: Preseason game at San Diego Chargers (7 p.m.)
Fri., Aug. 10: No practice
Sat. Aug. 11: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Sun., Aug. 12: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 13: 7 p.m. (full pads)
Tue., Aug. 14: 3:30 p.m. (full pads)
Wed., Aug. 15: No practice
Thur., Aug. 16: Preseason game vs. Cleveland Browns (7 p.m.)
Fri., Aug. 17: No practice
Sat., Aug. 18: No practice
Sun., Aug. 19: 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 20: 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tue., Aug. 21: 11 a.m. (helmets)
Wed., Aug. 22: No practice
Thur., Aug. 23: Preseason game at Cincinnati Bengals (6 p.m.)
Fri., Aug. 24: No practice
Sat., Aug. 25: No practice
Sun., Aug. 26: 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Mon., Aug. 27: 11:15 a.m. (full pads)
Tue., Aug. 28: 11 a.m. (helmets)
Wed., Aug. 29: No practice
Thur., Aug. 30: Preseason game vs. Kansas City Chiefs (6 p.m.)
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.