Mini-Camp Report - April 28, 2004

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Soggy field conditions forced the Green Bay Packers indoors Wednesday for their first mini-camp practice of 2004.

Quarterback Brett Favre took part in individual drills at the start of practice, but didn't do any passing after that, allowing Craig Nall and Doug Pederson to split the bulk of the practice reps.

Pederson took advantage of a sliding Donald Driver on two occasions, hitting the diving receiver on the right sideline for gains of 10 and 15 yards, respectively.

During team drills, Nall connected with Javon Walker, who got behind recently-signed cornerback Chris Watson for a touchdown. Watson later drew praise when he broke on a pass intended for wide receiver Frank Rice to break up the play.

New faces weren't just behind the facemasks Wednesday, as Johnny Roland (running backs), Kurt Schottenheimer (defensive backs) and James Campen (assistant offensive line coach) saw their first coaching action with the Packers.

"He was great," cornerback Al Harris said of Schottenheimer. "He's got a lot of insight. You can tell he knows what he's talking about. He did a good job today."

Defensive end Joe Johnson (excused) and cornerback Mike McKenzie were absent from Wednesday's workout, which GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said "was not a mandatory camp." Mandatory workouts will begin Friday when rookies are to report and the entire team will practice together for the first time.

In McKenzie's absence, Michael Hawthorne worked with the starting unit at cornerback opposite Harris. Hawthorne made his presence felt during 9-on-7 drills, stepping in front of Walker to break up a pass from Nall.

Marques Anderson worked as the starting safety opposite Darren Sharper, while offseason acquisition Mark Roman looked on.

"That's just the rotation, and (Roman) being new and picking it up a little bit, and Marques having been here," said Bob Slowik. "It'll be the same deal: he's got to earn a spot."

Wednesday marked the first practice for Slowik in his new position as the Packers' defensive coordinator, while Joe Philbin worked for the first time as tight ends coach.

Returning from a year on injured reserve were wide receiver Carl Ford and defensive tackle James Lee. During 9-on-7 drills, Ford looked as healthy as ever, putting a move on Roman for a touchdown.

Aaron Kampman (knee), Grady Jackson (knee) and Chukie Nwokorie (wrist) participated in individual drills but were held out of team drills.

The Packers will return to the practice field Thursday (veterans only) at 11 a.m. Weather and field conditions permitting, practice will be held outside at Clarke Hinkle Field (open to the public), but otherwise will be held inside the Don Hutson Center (closed to the public).

Today At A Glance ...

Where: Don Hutson Center (indoors)

Weather: 75 degrees, sunny

Did Not Practice: Na'il Diggs (shoulder), Chris Johnson (knee) Scottie Vines (knee), Bryant Westbrook (Achilles).

Did Not Attend: Joe Johnson (excused), Mike McKenzie.

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