With the sounding of a horn about 1 hour and 5 minutes into Tuesday’s practice, Green Bay Packers training camp was over.
After Thursday’s exhibition finale against Kansas City and a couple of days off, the Packers will turn their attention to the Week 1 showdown against San Francisco.
“Preseason can be pretty (darned) annoying sometimes,” guard Josh Sitton said. “You’re going against the same guys, you’re doing a lot of the same things over and over. It’ll be nice to get into the regular season, get rolling with that and playing when it actually means something.”
“Over the years, camp has changed a lot,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. “There’s no more two-a-days, which helps our body out. There’s a lot more meetings, which as a player you give or take a meeting here or there. It’s good for us. You have to make sure you focus in on those meetings and pick up everything as fast as you can. I think things have been going well.”
That, of course, was the veteran perspectives.
“As far as the mental work, it’s a little bit more detailed than what I thought, but at the same time, you’re at the highest of levels,” rookie defensive lineman Jerel Worthy said. “You get paid a lot of money to perform at a high level so you’ve got to understand that the attention to detail is very important and practice is very important. I wanted to take every day with a sense of urgency.”
Coach Mike McCarthy called the competition “outstanding” and mostly was pleased with his practice schedule, with a mix of morning, night and midday practices he used in attempting to mirror the start of the regular season, which has 3:25 p.m., 7:20 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 3:25 p.m., noon and 7:20 p.m. kickoffs before a stretch of noon games.
“It was uncomfortable for the group at times,” McCarthy said. “It took them a while to get used to it. Obviously, the morning schedule, everybody likes to be on that type of schedule. So, I’m pleased with the scheduling of it. The thing that I’ll go back and look at, like I do every year, are the reps compared to the injury report. Something wasn’t right there. We had some unusual injuries early in camp (and) then we had some fatigue injuries. You always have to take a look at that and be critical of yourself there. I’m still working through it. But as far as the competition, outstanding. The 90-man roster that we brought into camp was extremely competitive. I’m confident we’ll have a good football team to start the season. With that being said, it's not really quite over. This contest against Kansas City will give us more information and be part of that evaluation.”
Returned to practice: DE Ryan Pickett (calf); TE Ryan Taylor (chest).
New injuries: None.
Old injuries: WR Curenski Gilleylen (unknown); CB Davon House (elbow); RB James Starks (turf toe); LB Robert Francois (hamstring); LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle); OT Andrew Datko (concussion); TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder); TE D.J. Williams (ankle).
Active PUP list: OT Derek Sherrod (leg)
— House, Starks, Francois, Datko and Crabtree have been ruled out for Thursday’s game. While Taylor returned, he might not play — or not play much. The big issue is Starks, who potentially is on the roster bubble with his alarming injury history and the addition of Cedric Benson. “James Starks, just talking to the medical staff, is coming along slow,” McCarthy said. “So, we’ll just continue to treat him. He hasn’t made a whole of progress here of late.”
— With Lattimore out, Brad Jones spent the day with the inside linebackers. Jones spent the offseason at inside linebacker before going back to outside linebacker for training camp.
— Aaron Rodgers’ media session ended after about a minute on Monday after John Kuhn shoved a shaving cream pie in Rodgers’ face. “You know what? I can appreciate a good practical joke,” Rodgers said on Tuesday. “I think in order to be someone who enjoys doing those things, you have to know at some point it’s going to come back to you. I didn’t expect my old partner Brett Goode to be a part of that. He was kind of distracting me in the back and taking my attention over there, while John snuck around and got by JB (PR man Jonathan Butnick) and got me in the fact. But I respect the prank. But they’ve got to understand when they do it to me, it’s going to come back probably twice as hard. But good pranks are always appreciated.”
— On the final play of camp, Rodgers fired a touchdown pass to Jermichael Finley, who made an outstanding catch while diving to his left.
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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 email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.