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Mini-Camp Report - June 10, 2004


The Green Bay Packers wrapped up their final mini-camp of the offseason inside the Don Hutson Center, Thursday, before breaking for the rest of the spring.

The Packers won't get back together again as a team until training camp opens at the end of July.

On their way out of town, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman told his players that how they approach the interim period will play a significant part in the season to come.

"We have a tremendous opportunity," Sherman said. "This is the latest we'll start in comparison to previous years ... and it's a great opportunity to get yourself mentally and physically ready to play this upcoming season.

"I want to take full advantage of that and be prepared to play a full NFL schedule, plus four more games, if necessary, when they come back."

Before the Packers could leave, Sherman had his players open the day by running sprints. Sherman said that the early-practice conditioning was something he'll replicate at times during training camp in the hopes of making the Packers a strong fourth-quarter team.

In the practice afterward, the team worked through two-minute drills as well as goal-line situations.

In the red zone, newcomer Steve Bush caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Craig Nall, before Bubba Franks hauled in a pass in the back of the end zone.

Then, David Martin shed a diving Curtis Fuller to haul in Doug Pederson's pass for another touchdown.

On defense, Darren Sharper stepped in front of Ahman Green to intercept Nall's pass in the front corner of the end zone.

However, later on, in 7-on-7 drills, Brett Favre squeezed a pass in between Sharper and Marques Anderson to find Javon Walker for a 25-yard touchdown, while Kris Briggs made a sliding one-handed grab of Pederson's pass at the goal line.

A one-handed catch was also flashed by Donald Driver, who snagged a 15-yard pass from Favre.

In the ground game, Green -- who was back at practice after missing two days due to a prior commitment -- showed that he was still rust-free when he juked his way past rookie cornerback Joey Thomas.

But Thomas wasn't the only Packer victimized by sweet feet Thursday.

In one of camp's lighter moments, offensive line coach Larry Beightol had assistant O-line coach -- and former Packers center -- James Campen square off against defensive line coach Jethro Franklin in one-on-one pass rushing drills.

As the offensive and defensive linemen looked on, Franklin jab-stepped to Campen's outside shoulder, before reversing direction around the inside to get to the tackling dummy for a sack.

"That was the old fake-up-the-field, step-inside move," Franklin said. "Using the outside hand, chopping down the inside hand -- just like I tell those guys all the time."

The defensive linemen chanted Franklin's name and cheered his victory, but Campen said the competition isn't over yet.

Two times during training camp the two will square off and the winner of the series is supposed to buy dinner for the offensive and defensive line.

"He got his tackle rush, and now he gets to come in the box where the real guys play," Campen joked.

Training camp will begin July 30, with an afternoon practice for rookies and first-year players. Veterans will join the action in coordination with the opening of the regular two-a-day schedule, August 2.

In all, the Packers will hold 37 open-to-the-public practices that will take place on Clarke Hinkle Field (weather and field conditions permitting), just across Oneida Street from Lambeau Field.

Today At A Glance...

Where: Don Hutson Center (indoors)

Weather: 61 degrees

Did Not Participate: Kevin Barry (hamstring), Sam Breeden (hamstring), Mike Flanagan (knee), Carl Ford (hamstring), Grady Jackson (knee), Devin Lewis (knee), Torrance Marshall (knee), Hannibal Navies (wrist), Mitch White (arm).

Did Not Attend: Mike McKenzie, Donnell Washington.

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