Sunday, the Green Bay Packers’ first day of full-pads training camp, started with a bang.
Early during the first team period, Jermichael Finley caught a short pass and immediately was drilled by Jerron McMillian and Jamari Lattimore. A moment later, Andrew Quarless caught a pass and was tagged. A couple plays later, a jarring hit by Lattimore caused Johnathan Franklin to drop a pass. Then, Sam Barrington delivered a hard tackle on Jeremy Ross, prompting coach Mike McCarthy to tell his players to tone things down a bit.
Welcome to training camp.
“I thought the effort and energy was excellent,” McCarthy said after practice. “And the message I had for the team after practice was I thought the adrenaline was very high and I thought the discipline level was very low. And I think you get into that usually when you put the pads on for the first time. So, it was great to get that competitive environment established. I thought they definitely practiced with an edge. We had too much extracurricular activities going on. That falls under your category of player safety. We have to practice better together, something that you don’t do every night. This is a normal progression you go through every year in training camp. But I thought our guys came out on the high side of playing with an edge and that’s exactly what we want.”
Lattimore returned with a vengeance after missing the first two practices due to illness. He had at least four impact tackles, including one on Eddie Lacy.
“Jamari was on a rep count, obviously coming off the illness,” McCarthy said. “He’s lost some weight and he probably did a little too much. He had cramps in the later part of the practice. But I felt Jamari had some flash plays in there.”
Lacy, on the other hand, had a tough day, though it was no fault of his own as he didn’t get much help from his blockers. On his first carry of an inside-run drill, Lacy was flattened by Robert Francois. A little later in the drill, Lattimore got his shot at him. In an 11-on-11 period later, Lattimore got twisted to the turf by Brad Jones.
New injuries: CB Tramon Williams (knee).
“I don’t know the details of it, but his knee was bothering him. We held him there halfway through practice,” McCarthy said.
With Williams sidelined, the top three corners in the nickel package were Sam Shields and rookie Micah Hyde on the outside, with Jarrett Bush inside.
Old injuries: WR Sederrik Cunningham (disclocated wrist), WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Davon House (illness), S Chaz Powell (foot), OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), DE Mike Neal (abdominal), DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).
McCarthy did not have any updates on his injured receivers, other than the injuries to Johnson and Dorsey weren’t of a “serious nature.” McCarthy wasn’t sure when Sherrod would return to action as he battles back from a broken leg sustained in December 2011, though he did say Sherrod has gotten back his normal stride back. The “final hurdle,” McCarthy said, would be going through some “football movements,” which are difficult to simulate for a 321-pound man in a rehab workout.
Returning from injuries: Lattimore (illness).
-- Datone Jones got off to a strong start. During his first rep in the one-on-one pass-blocking/rushing drill, the first-round pick shoved T.J. Lang straight back toward the “quarterback.” We’ll have more on Jones this evening.
-- The only kicking done was kickoffs, with Mason Crosby performing better than punter Tim Masthay (who got the second rep) and Giorgio Tavecchio (who got the third rep). Jeremy Ross got the first crack at kickoff returner, with Randall Cobb, Shields, James Nixon, Franklin and Loyce Means also in the rotation. Nixon, a productive kickoff returner at Temple, dropped his first opportunity, but earned some redemption by picking off Aaron Rodgers.
-- Ahman Green, the Packers’ all-time rushing leader, is serving a minority coaching internship. He is working with running backs coach Alex Van Pelt.
-- Monday will be a total day off for the team. There will be practices at 8:20 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 7 p.m. on Friday before Saturday’s Family Night Scrimmage.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
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.