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Training Camp Notebook: Jackson, Hunt Eye Return To Practice


Added Beef

Sherman expects defensive tackles Cletidus Hunt and Grady Jackson to practice with the team on Monday.

The tackles weigh a combined 655 pounds, and their presence should help shore up a defensive front that allowed 155 rushing yards to the Patriots.

"We'll ease them in as fast as we possibly can," head coach Mike Sherman said.

The key word is "ease." Jackson (knee) has missed all of training camp while Hunt (knees/shoulder) has not played in any of the preseason games. They likely will not go full bore because participating in all drills could risk aggravating their injuries.

"Throwing them out there after waiting so long would be foolhardy on our part," Sherman said.

The players have remained active during practice.

For the first 15 minutes of Sunday's session, defensive coordinator Jim Bates worked one-on-one with defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt.

He supervised as Hunt punched a blocking sled. The seven-year-veteran looked powerful but must keep a narrower base.

Bates then barked out a cadence before hiking the ball as they worked on Hunt's explosion off the snap.

Jackson spent most of the practice working inside the Don Hutson Center.


Lack Of Execution, Not Effort

The Packers' struggles in the running game served as one of the more disappointing results from Friday's 27-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

"There were a lot of yards we left on the field," fullback William Henderson said.

However, after the coaches looked at the film, they determined a lack of execution -- not effort -- led to the 3.3 rushing yards average on 29 carries.

"It wasn't everyone making mistakes," said Henderson, a Pro Bowler in 2004. "They were correctable situations. That's the good thing."

During Sunday's practice, the running game seemed to more closely resemble last year's unit that averaged 4.3 yards-a-pop. The offensive line opened up several holes, and the running backs gashed through them for long gains. Now it's just a matter of repeating that performance in games.

"We have a bright spot here and there," said running back Najeh Davenport, who rushed for fifteen yards on five carries versus the Patriots. "But we've got to be consistent with it."

The Patriots' defense also contributed to the running game's inconsistency. They allowed a mere 16.2 points per game during the 2004 season.

"You have to give them respect," Henderson said. "They're the reigning Super Bowl champs."


Bubba Goes Deep

Bubba Franks put on shoulder pads under his Green Bay Packers jersey for the first time since last season. Maybe he should have worn track shorts.

Franks, who signed a multi-year contract with the team on Wednesday, ran several routes beyond 20 yards during Sunday's practice.

"He picked up where he left off," Sherman said. "He's in great shape. He got off the ball, blocked, did all the things we asked him to do."

The coaching staff asked him to run deep on several occasions. Franks, became winded after a few long passes but caught his breath on the very next play.

"I wasn't too far behind," he said.

Franks also displayed a soft set of hands. He spent a lot of time catching footballs from a JUGS machine during his hiatus from the team. He tried to adjust the speed of the balls to simulate Brett Favre's passes.

"I didn't really get a chance to catch a Brett Favre pass," Franks said. "I had to kind of get used to that."

The coaching staff expects Franks to play against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday. But Monday will serve as a crucial day as well as a test for soreness.

"I'm going to get there in cold tub and see if I can shake it off," he said.


Quick Hits: Sherman praised the contributions from linebacker Hannibal Navies, who played three years with the Packers before his release on Sunday. "He's a good linebacker. He's suited for maybe an under defense more so than our over defense right now," he said. "You can't find a better kid than Hannibal Navies. He's done a lot for us."... Cornerback Ahmad Carroll made an athletic interception of a 40-yard-pass from Brett Favre intended for wide receiver Javon Walker. ... Linebacker Roy Manning made a rookie mistake on Friday night. During the 43-yard kickoff return by Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs, Manning left his gap, and a Patriots player pinned him inside. ... The coaching staff feared the worst when trainers rolled out a gurney for wide recevier Antonio Chatman on Friday night, but he only suffered a neck strain. "He's going to be fine," Sherman said. ... Wide receiver Terrence Murphy (knee) will probably not play against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 11. ... Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is day-to-day with a stinger in his neck and will not engage in any contact this week.

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