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First-Year Players Taste First Packers Training Camp


Most of us can remember the mix of nervousness and excitement that always came along with the first day of summer camp. For several Packers rookies, that feeling came rushing back on this Friday in late July as they hit the practice field for the first session of the Club's 2004 training camp.

After reporting to camp and checking into their dorm rooms at St. Norbert College Thursday, the rookies and first-year players met the local Wisconsin media at a luncheon at Lambeau Field before heading down to the locker room to suit up for their first official practice as Green Bay Packers at Clarke Hinkle Field.

Making the trek across the parking lot and Oneida Street to the practice gave many of the players their first chance to make a kid's day and ride a young Packer fan's bicycle to the field. Rookie cornerback Joey Thomas was one of the fresh faces to hop on the sometimes seemingly undersized bikes and make a new friend.

"It was a good experience, and I'm getting ready to head back over to Lambeau with him now," Thomas said at the end of practice.

The first of three third-round picks in April, Thomas made his first day of camp even more memorable, as he squeezed signing his first contract into his busy morning schedule. "I'm happy that we got that accomplished and now I'm just trying to move forward and make things happen," he said.

Thomas and the rest of his teammates will continue to make things happen throughout this camp and beyond, but this first day of summer camp will be a memorable experience for all of them.

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