With one preseason game under their belts, the Packers brought a renewed passion to practice Monday. However, thanks to the thunderstorms that passed through Green Bay Sunday night and soaked Clarke Hinkle Field, the team practiced inside the Don Hutson Center for the first time this training camp, much to the dismay of would-be Railbirds.
Even though the team missed having fans nearby to cheer them on, the Green and Gold maintained a high level of intensity that made for a productive practice. The linebackers and defensive linemen were seen bumping chests before taking on the offense in 9-on-7 drills, and the entire defensive unit ended the first huddle of each new drive with an energetic chanting and jumping ritual.
It was such intensity that propelled linebacker Nate Wayne all the way across the field from the weak side to put a hard hit on running back Rondell Mealey. Later, fellow linebacker Na'il Diggs dove to grab a tipped ball. Safeties Darren Sharper and Todd Franz also came up with interceptions.
Despite those defensive highlights, Monday's spotlight belonged to wide receivers Donald Driver and Charles Lee. Both receivers took advantage of extra reps due to the injuries being nursed by Terry Glenn and Robert Ferguson. Driver made several impressive receptions, including a 40-yarder from Brett Favre while being covered by two defenders, and a kneeling 15-yard bullet from Favre.
Lee had a busy morning as well, as he was a popular target for Favre with his numerous catches including a 30-yarder that required him to leave the ground to snatch the ball out of the air.
Rookie guard Kevin Barry had a strong practice, looking sharp in one-on-one pass rush simulations to follow up his solid debut in Philadelphia Saturday night.
"(He) held his own against pretty good people, actually displaced the line of scrimmage for us on a couple of occasions, so he did a nice job," said GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman of Barry's performance against the Eagles.
In addition to Favre's reps at his usual position, the All-Pro quarterback spent a few moments acting as a defensive back for the scout team as rookie quarterback Craig Nall worked on specific plays in the red zone.
"I was hoping we could get a better athlete out there than (Favre)," Sherman joked afterward. "That's Brett Favre. He jumps out there on the scout team. Here's a guy, if people are paying attention, he teaches lessons every day on what it takes to be a professional football player. A future Hall of Famer jumping in on scout team really tells you where his heart is on our football team."
The Packers' next practice will be Tuesday, August 13, from 8:45-11:25 a.m., and 2:45-4:10 p.m., at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather and field conditions permitting.
-- by Leslie Ricker