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Packers Mini-Camp Report: May 6


It was a logical fit that on the second practice of the second day of mini-camp, Head Coach Mike McCarthy would implement the second installation of his new offensive system.

"Everything we do has a progression," McCarthy said. "You always want to stack so you're able to build ... and I think it makes the learning curve easier."

Not even 16-year veteran Brett Favre is immune to that learning curve, engaging McCarthy in conversation over the first two days of camp to clarify strategy and language changes.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Packers appear to be remolding a unit, which was ranked No. 1 against the pass a year ago, into an even stronger engine with different parts. In Friday's early practice, rookie free agent Tra Boger intercepted a pass thrown over the middle and ran toward the right corner of the endzone before reversing his direction and sprinting back across the left half of the field for a score.

Favre recovering from coming back

After a spirited lightweight workout on Friday, Brett Favre spent most of his time in the morning workout Saturday talking to coaches, players, GM Ted Thompson and EVP/COO John Jones.

"My shoulder's a little sore, my ankles hurt, but I can't complain," Favre said. "I mean, considering I haven't done anything up to this point, I can't expect to feel great."

Rodgers works with first team

Favre's recovery time paved the way for second-year quarterback Aaron Rodgers to work with the first team offense. And he didn't disappoint. Soon after full-team drills started, Rodgers threw a 35-yard score to Rod Gardner and then on the ensuing play dropped another 35-yeard toss over the shoulder of Marc Boerigter who was streaking down the right side of the field.

"I think Aaron's having an excellent mini-camp," McCarthy said. "I think he's put together three good practices so far."

The bigger the better

Mike McCarthy has yet to make it through a press conference in Green Bay this mini-camp without mentioning the hard work and personal commitment that a record number of players put into the offseason weight-lifting program. Between mid-March and early May nearly 80-percent of the roster had subscribed to the strength and conditioning program put forth by first-year hire Rock Gullickson. The result; a bigger, faster, stronger roster. Even at the wide receiver position.

"It's the biggest group of receivers that I've ever coached or worked with, and that's what we're looking for," McCarthy said. "We're looking for physical individuals. Ted and I talked about it a lot, when you run on the field you almost want the field to tilt and that's the kind of football we want to play here."

Working the O-line

While the Packers' key position players worked on drills with their individual units at the start of the morning practice, the most important pieces to the puzzle may have been sorting themselves out at the other end of the Don Hutson Center. There, the offensive line worked under the watchful eyes of assistant offensive line coach James Campen and injured veterans Chad Clifton and Adrian Klemm.

Following McCarthy's lead on helping the younger players most in getting up to speed, Campen, several times, took rookie guard Tony Moll aside to help explain the fundamentals of what they were trying to accomplish.

And it was another rookie who stood out for his role working with the No. 1 offense. For the second day in a row Daryn Colledge made an impact on the field and an impression on the coaching staff.

"He's explosive like we thought he was," McCarthy said. "Very quick hands ... able to get to the second level which is very important."

One day left

With one day left of mini-camp before the players can catch their breath, McCarthy remains excited about taking the Packers in a new direction and implementing a new offensive scheme ... even if it means a few growing pains along the way.

"We are steadily getting better," he said in regards to getting the team to look and practice the way he would like them to. "We still want the tempo faster and we're still trying to get that. That will always be the challenge in your first year."

Mini-camp practices in May will be held inside the Don Hutson Center due to the unavailability of Clarke Hinkle Field until June and the space limitations of Ray Nitschke Field with an 80-plus player roster. Unfortunately, for space reasons, the team cannot open the Hutson Center practices to the public. June OTA practices are expected to be held outdoors on Hinkle Field and open to the public.

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