Young Burning Midnight Oil

Young (Leon Bennett - Getty Images)

Vince Young is taking a crash course on the Packers' offense to get him ready for Friday night's preseason opener. Plus, injury updates and more from Thursday's practice.

Ready or not, Vince Young will get some time at quarterback when the Green Bay Packers open the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night.

Young, with just three practices worth of exposure to the playbook, has been staying until 9 or 9:30 p.m. to learn the playbook, reads and terminology, he said following Thursday's practice.

"I'm here all day," Young said. "It's like home for me right now. I'm in no hurry to get to the doors right now. I'm here pretty much all night, working with (quarterbacks) coach Ben (McAdoo) and having him continue to put more on me and find some plays that I'm real comfortable with that I can get the guys in and out of the huddle."

Young will be given a reduced menu of plays to give him, and those around him, a chance to succeed.

"He's definitely playing uphill right now, just from the mental transition that he's going through," coach Mike McCarthy said. "Frankly, it's the responsibility of the coaching staff – particularly myself calling the game – to get him comfortable so he just go play."

Young said the playbook is similar to what he ran in Philadelphia under another West Coast offense coach, Andy Reid, but the terminology and reads are different. It's been a crash course for Young, considering the final day of playbook installation was the Tuesday he signed his contract, but he said he's getting more comfortable. He said he'd continue cramming Thursday night and Friday leading up to kickoff.

"We'll see what happens. That's what preseason is about," Young said. "I've been preparing for it for three days, four days now. The biggest thing I have in my back pocket is that I have played a lot of games in the NFL. So, the biggest thing is go in and tell Coach what you're comfortable with and I really feel like, ‘Here, call the plays that we talked about.' That's the biggest thing. Just getting the guys out of the huddle, getting a good tempo, try not to get no delay of games and things like that."

Injury updates

New injuries: G Lane Taylor (new father); G T.J. Lang (back); T Andrew Datko (concussion).

Old injuries: WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), RB Eddie Lacy (hamstring), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), LT Bryan Bulaga (knee), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).

Lacy is "definitely" a concern for Friday night, McCarthy said. The coach had no updates on Johnson and Dorsey, who went down during Day 2 of camp.

Returning from injuries: None. Like on Wednesday, Randall Cobb (bicep) was extremely limited. Part of that was due to the injury, part of that was due to McCarthy giving most of the skill-position reps to the young players to get them ready for Friday night.

Extra points

-- With only nine of 15 offensive linemen working at practice, there were some unusual combinations. Starting right tackle Marshall Newhouse was at left tackle with the second team, and backup guard/center Greg Van Roten played some right tackle.

"It's definitely not where you want to be," McCarthy said. "Obviously, if we line up tomorrow with nine offensive linemen, we're going to have a player or two playing positions that they haven't had a lot of reps at. That goes back to why you rep the offensive line the way you do, because it's situations like this. Any time a player can show more value as far as his flexibility within his unit, it definitely helps him."

-- Playing time decisions won't be made until Thursday's 4 p.m. staff meeting, though McCarthy said the No. 1 offense, including Aaron Rodgers, will play at least a series. Kicking opportunities for Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio will be as "balanced" as possible based on reps and distances. McCarthy said his hope is to get everyone in the game.

"These men have been here in the spring," McCarthy said. "It's an evaluation process, yes, I understand that, but I'm also cognizant of the fact that every man has family, and I'm sure their family is here at Lambeau Field and my goal is to make sure everybody plays."

-- Clay Matthews was asked about Greg Jennings' comments about how the team "brainwashes" its players. "I think a lot has to do with the way in which your farewell, how that goes. With his case, obviously, it didn't end on agreeable terms. And we're very competitive, both the organization as far as winning and the players as far as winning, whether that's on a personal level or as a team level. So, it never sits right. Obviously, we saw that with a former quarterback here, so it's something you deal with."

-- The Packers host the Cardinals at 7 p.m. on Friday. There is no practice on Saturday and Sunday and no public practice on Monday. The next viewing opportunities are at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday (both full pads) and 11 a.m. on Thursday (helmets).


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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