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Training Camp Report - August 12, 2003


Over 850 fans lined the fences at Clarke Hinkle Field as the Packers continued training camp practices, Tuesday.

Focused on stopping the run game, the defense stepped up with a high level of intensity during the first set of 'thud' contact team drills.

It began when Chukie Nwokorie stuffed Ahman Green at the line of scrimmage -- the first of two big stops by the 6-foot-3, 288-pound defensive end -- getting the attention of his coaches and teammates.

Nwokorie and Green would meet again on a later play, and with similar results, as Green was again unable to elude Nwokorie in the backfield.

A hyped-up Nick Barnett responded to his teammate's play by busting through the line to stop Keith Burnell in the backfield.

On the ensuing play, Paris Lenon collided with Herbert Goodman, dropping the running back for a loss. Goodman injured his shin on the play but later returned to action.

Brett Favre, who has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish at the quarterback position, wore a different hat Tuesday, literally.

Favre slipped on a red helmet cover, signifying a defensive player, for a few reps in the defensive backfield with the mock defense during non-contact drills.

"When I saw him playing safety, I just knew I had a touchdown," said Robert Ferguson, who was run down by Favre after making a reception along the right sideline. "He ended up catching me. He had the angle. But I just wanted to make him feel good. I didn't want to outrun him or anything like that."

After a couple of plays on defense, in which Favre jokingly bumped Donald Driver at the line of scrimmage and pushed Frank Winters in the back, the Packers quarterback moved back to his natural position.

And Favre went back to work, hitting tight end Bubba Franks in the middle of the field for a 15-yard gain, and later in the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.

On defense, cornerback Chris Johnson, one of the Packers' four seventh-round draft picks, showed off his blazing speed, outrunning everyone after picking off an Akili Smith pass along the right sideline for a would-be touchdown.

"He has excellent coverage skills and he's reading the top of his routes better in zone coverage," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "He's ahead of the learning curve in regard to a lot of things, but he still has a long way to go. I mean, there's a lot of football for him to learn to become a solid corner, but he certainly has the tools and he's a hard worker, so I think he'll get there."

As he does from time to time, Sherman offered the team a chance to win an extra hour of curfew, pitting the offense and defense against each other in a post-practice contest.

Fullback Tommy Collins and linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer were chosen to kick field goals to decide which squad would get the extra hour.

Both players made their first attempt from 25 yards away, but it was Hillenmeyer who split the uprights from 30 yards out to seal the victory, prompting some to wonder if Ryan Longwell had found his backup.

"I don't know about that," special teams coordinator John Bonamego said. "I don't know if he's the backup, I was surprised though. But I shouldn't have been. Hunter's a good athlete."

Some were left with other questions.

"I think he was a kicker in college or something," Ferguson said. "It was a conspiracy. I think Coach knew that and they picked Hillenmeyer, because he kicked it right down the middle. I think he was a kicker in high school or in college at some point."

Hillenmeyer later admitted that he had assumed kicking duties before, the last time being in seventh-grade.

"There wasn't any pressure," Hillenmeyer said. "It was just for an extra hour. I'll probably just sleep...or maybe go to a movie."

The Packers also worked on special teams in the morning, while the afternoon practice was reserved for special teams only.

In injury news, Herbert Goodman injured his shin in the morning practice, but returned ... Cletidus Hunt sat out after being hit in the head during yesterday's practice ... Torrance Marshall was unable to practice due to a stiff neck.

Marcus Wilkins (ankle/foot) returned to practice.

Where: Clarke Hinkle Field

Weather: 70 degrees, cloudy

Did Not Participate: Reggie Coleman (hip), Tyrone Davis (knee), Tony Fisher (hamstring), Jorg Heckenbach (kidney), Cletidus Hunt (head), Joe Johnson (ribs), James Lee (hip), Torrance Marshall (neck), Lamar Smith (knee), Marcus Spriggs (knee), Adam Tate (knee), Rod Walker (shoulders).

Out: Gilbert Brown (biceps), Bryant Westbrook (Achilles).

Click here for the training camp schedule.

Click here for information on Packers training camp, including a visitor's guide.

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