Packers training camp report: July 27

Date:
Saturday, July 27, 2013

Practice Time:
8:20 a.m. (Total: 2 hours, 26 minutes)

Sidelined: 
* CB Casey Hayward (Hamstring — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* CB Davon House (Illness — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* DE Mike Neal (Abdomen — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* RB DuJuan Harris (Knee — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* OL Derek Sherrod (Leg — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2 )
* S Sean Richardson (Neck — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* LB Jamari Lattimore (Illness — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* S Chaz Powell (Foot — Consecutive Missed Practices: 2)
* WR Sederrick Cunningham (Wrist — First missed practice)
* WR Charles Johnson (Left Leg — Injured during Saturday’s practice – Did Not Return)
* WR Kevin Dorsey (Leg — Injured during Saturday’s practice – Did Not Return)
* OL J.C. Tretter (Ankle – likely out until midseason)
* DL Jerel Worthy (Knee – likely out until midseason)

Movin’ On Up: 
RBs Alex Green and James Starks

While it’s fair to expect one of the Packers’ two prized rookies to end up as Green Bay’s starting running back this season, the two veterans — Green and Starks — are both performing very well through two days of training camp.

Starks and Green are currently getting snaps before Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. The reps are being split evenly between the four of them, but the two veterans are going first and not disappointing in their opportunities. Green had two strong, quick cuts on Saturday that showed confidence and strength in his surgically repaired knee. Starks, whose health is always the primary concern, looks even better than he did a year ago before a preseason turf toe injury ended his bid to be the Packers’ 2012 starting running back.

On Starks: “James has done a lot better in the pass-protection (and) checkdown area,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s had a couple very natural plays, yesterday and today, where his timing was just right as far as his protection responsibility and his ability to get into his route and was able to connect for a couple big plays.”

On Green: “I think the biggest thing with Alex is just confidence in the knee, and I think you’re seeing it definitely more this year than you did last year,” McCarthy said. “I thought he had an excellent first day. He looks like he’s back running with the confidence he did as a rookie.”

So You Had A Bad Day: 
OL Don Barclay

Barclay, who made the team last season as an undrafted rookie, has the difficult task this year of competing at two vastly different positions. Barclay has a chance to become the starting right tackle if he outperforms Marshall Newhouse, but he’s also getting snaps at center in an effort to push Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Unfortunately for Barclay, he had back-to-back fumbled snaps while working with Aaron Rodgers during the 11-on-11 team drills. Barclay was then pulled from the field and replaced by Dietrich-Smith. Even Rodgers was removed after that, with Graham Harrell entering for him.

“In fairness to Barclay, it’s obviously new for Don working there,” McCarthy said. “That particular play, that particular scheme, that’s the hardest footwork that he has from an assignment standpoint. I’m a little more irritated with the play selection with the rotation. That’s something that I could have probably done a better job of not asking him to do that right now in live action. That particular scheme is something that takes reps.”

Noted: 
– The defense practiced against the read-option and pistol offense during an early jog-through period.

– At backup quarterback, Harrell and B.J. Coleman switched off every two plays. Harrell was the first up, but the two of them rotated consistently.

– For the second day in a row, Newhouse got the first set of snaps as the starting right tackle.

– The No. 2 offensive line unit included David Bakhtiari at left tackle, Andrew Datko at left guard, Barclay at center and Greg Van Roten at right guard.

– Charles Johnson suffered what initially seemed like a potentially serious left leg injury. Johnson was on the ground for a couple minutes but limped off the field under his own power into the Don Hutson Center. Johnson later rejoined his teammates on the sideline but did not play.

– In punt return drills, Randall Cobb was given the first opportunity. Jeremy Ross was the second player to get a chance in punt return. Jordy Nelson, Tramon Williams and Johnathan Franklin also returned punts.

– Jerron McMillian got the majority of the first-team defensive snaps at safety next to Morgan Burnett. M.D. Jennings was on the field first on Friday, but he and McMillian could be going back and forth every day until one of them becomes the clear-cut leader of that training camp battle.

– There was no live field-goal kicking in this practice. McCarthy stated that the team plans to do field goals with the entire special teams unit every other practice. 

– The three songs played during the team’s water breaks : Pearl Jam, “Even Flow” – Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire” – Bob Marley, “Jammin'”

What’s Next:
* Sunday, July 28 – 8:20 a.m. (Training Camp Practice No. 3)
* Monday – Off Day

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