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Keeping An Eye On Packers Training Camp

August 2, 2010

Even as I sit in the comforts of my backyard in Minnesota, I can still follow all the Packers training camp action. Between the reporters at practice constantly tweeting and Cheesehead TV’s live practice blogs, I feel like I am in the stands at Nitschke field watching the live action unfold. Practice began last Saturday afternoon and the subsequent sessions have been reviewed, dissected, and analyzed by reporters and bloggers hungry for some live football action to chew on. After combing through the outpouring of tweets, blogs, and news stories, a few storylines have begun to emerge.


Cornerback Al Harris (knee), safety Atari Bigby (ankle), and rookie running back James Starks (hamstring) remain sidelined and on the active PUP list. Bigby revealed that his ankle was fine during the offseason, but he hurt it while taking the team’s pre-camp conditioning test.

Outside linebacker Brad Jones took a helmet to the lower back in Saturday’s practice, and hasn’t practiced since. Jones characterized the injury as “minor” and McCarthy has listed him as day-to-day. It’s almost certain that the Packers won’t rush Jones back because their depth at outside linebacker is dangerously thin.

Greg Jennings gave everyone a scare after he was tackled by safety Anthony Levine. Jennings hauled in a long pass down the middle of the field and was undercut by Levine. Jennings was slow to get up, but returned to action and appeared to be fine.

Additionally, a few players have been missing time due to their muscles cramping up in the heat: Jarrett Bush, Charlie Peprah, and Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Position Battles…

The first-team offensive line seems to be intact from last season. From left-to-right it appears to be Chad Clifton, Daryn Colledge, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, and Mark Tauscher. The backup positions are yet to be determined. As expected, rookie Bryan Bulaga is backing up Clifton at left tackle, but surprisingly, Breno Giacomini is playing with the second-team at right tackle. The versatile Jason Spitz is playing center on the second-team but has also seen some time at left guard with the first-team. With much more depth than previous years, the Packers offensive line should be much improved.

Another area to watch in training camp is the battle for third wide receiver. Jordy Nelson seems to have the upper hand early, but James Jones has shown flashes of talent in the past. Both receivers should see playing time this year.


Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been posting video of training camp. However, per NFL guidelines, the video can only be 90-seconds long and cannot be posted for more than 24 hours. So hurry over to the Journal Sentinel’s blog to watch.

Cheesehead TV has been posting some practice videos of their own, and The Packers Lounge at Cheesehead TV has been splicing up some humorous videos from the Shareholders Meeting.

Shining Stars…

Aside from the regulars — Jermichael FinleyCharles Woodson, Clay Matthews — making great grabs, picks, and hits, one player has stood out during the first weekend of camp: rookie cornerback Sam Shields. Shields, a speedy rookie from the University of Miami, came into Packers training camp with a shot at making the roster as a return man. After struggling to cleanly field punts, Shields has been turning heads with his play at cornerback. Shields, a converted wide receiver, played only one season of cornerback while at Miami, but when he broke early to cut under the intended receiver of a Matt Flynn pass, he registered the first interception of Packers’ training camp. Shields is still a long shot to make the roster, but if he keeps practicing like he has, he will at least reserve a spot on the practice squad.

Not So Bright…

Kicker Mason Crosby’s struggles continued on his first field goal attempts of training camp. Crosby went 6-for-9 in Sunday’s practice.

Packers training camp continues for most of the week. Click here for a full training camp schedule or visit for a full breakdown of schedules, events, and preseason games.

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