The Green Bay Packers held two practices at Clarke Hinkle Field Tuesday, a day that felt more like late October than the middle of August. Approximately 900 spectators lined the fences of the practice field for the two workouts, with temperatures hovering in the low 60s with a strong breeze making it seem cooler.
Cornerback Al Harris opened up the morning practice with a couple of pass defenses. The second of the pair came as he stretched to knock the ball out of the hands of Scottie Vines. Receiver Shockmain Davis turned into a defensive back for a play as he recovered to slap the ball out of the clutches of safety Darren Sharper on an underthrown pass.
Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins got his hands up and batted a throw high into the air in a later drill. The tip resulted in a jump ball situation, but neither Kevin Barry nor Torrance Marshall could corral the pigskin as it fell harmlessly to the ground.
Robert Ferguson was in on two of the highlight plays in the morning session. The fourth-year man from Texas A&M got behind the secondary as Brett Favre unleashed a bomb that Ferguson ran under deep down the middle of the field.
Towards the end of the session, Ferguson showed off another talent, hitting Donald Driver for a 20-yard gain on a reverse pass play.
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman called the team in after a little more than an hour so the team could prepare for the annual Welcome Back Packers luncheon, given by the Chamber of Commerce in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
The team took the field in shells for the second time on the day for the afternoon practice. Favre was given the afternoon session off to rest his arm, and Tim Couch and Doug Pederson split snaps with the first-team offense.
Defensive ends Aaron Kampman and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila each registered "sacks" early in the workout, getting into the backfield to harass Couch.
Couch later connected with Ferguson, with the receiver making a diving catch on a come-back route along the sideline for an 18-yard gain.
Michael Hawthorne made a smooth pass break-up, slapping away a ball zipped by Couch intended for Vines.
The special teams portion of the practice saw Najeh Davenport, Ahmad Carroll, Antonio Chatman and Carl Ford taking turns working on their kickoff return skills.
Defensive tackle Grady Jackson was explosive in the 1-on-1 lineman drills, getting the better of center Grey Ruegamer on multiple occasions. Gbaja-Biamila and tackle Chad Clifton had an even series, with each getting the upper hand on different occasions.
Ferguson's sure hands were put on display again as he caught a pass from Pederson in heavy traffic along the right sideline and raced up the field toward the end zone.
Rookie southpaw quarterback Scott McBrien showed he could throw moving to his right, as he flung the ball deep to recently-signed Reggie Love while on the move in a 7-on-7 drill.
Sherman continued to put the team in game-type situations at the end of practice. Today's scenario gave the offense the ball with a little more than 2:00 on the clock and needing to get first downs to run out the clock.
Pederson ran the first offense effectively, forcing the 'D' to burn their timeouts before connecting with Driver for a first down and then taking a knee to run out the clock.
McBrien showed a hearty effort diving for a first down on a scramble in his efforts to get the clock to 0:00.
In injury news, rookie cornerback Joey Thomas returned to the field after missing nearly a week with a knee sprain. Cornerback Al Harris (hip flexor) and receiver Sam Breeden (achilles) both sat out the afternoon session after practicing in the morning. Linebackers Tyreo Harrison (ankle) and Paris Lenon (foot), cornerback Chris Watson (hamstring), center Scott Wells (biceps tendinitis) and defensive lineman Corey Williams (sprained thumb) missed both sessions.
Sherman listed the injuries as day-to-day, but said Williams should return to practice Wednesday with a cast on his thumb.
The Packers will practice twice Wednesday with a full team morning session set for 8:45-11:15 a.m. (pads) and a special teams only practice in the afternoon from 2:15-3:00 p.m. at Clarke Hinkle Field (weather permitting).
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 63°, cloudy
Did Not Participate: Tyreo Harrison (ankle), Paris Lenon (foot), Ja'Dae McGuire (abdominal strain), Craig Nall (hamstring), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Javon Walker (quadriceps), Donnell Washington (arch), Chris Watson (hamstring), Scott Wells (biceps tendinitis), James Whitley (blow to head), and Corey Williams (thumb).
Physically Unable to Perform List: Mike Flanagan (knee tendinitis), Chris Johnson (stress fracture), Mike Wahle (knee contusion),
Non-Football Injury List: Brennan Curtin (boil)
Reserve/Did Not Report List: Mike McKenzie