Training Camp Report - August 13, 2002


After a full day off Sunday followed by the removal of pads for both of yesterday's practices the Packers were back in pads engaged in 'thud' contact Tuesday.

With veteran wide receiver Terry Glenn out nursing a knee injury in hopes of being ready for the first home preseason game, the Packers decided to add size to the diminishing wide receiver corps. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced that the Packers have signed Andy McCullough, a 6-3, 211-pound free agent and former NFL Europe standout who will likely take some of the pressure of off veterans Donald Driver and Charles Lee as well as second-year pro Robert Ferguson and rookie Javon Walker, all whom have been seeing an increase in practice reps.

After routine warm-ups and position drills all receivers headed to the north end zone to work on one-on-one coverage in the red zone with quarterbacks Doug Pederson and Craig Nall.

A leaping snag gave Driver a would-be touchdown reception from veteran Pederson, despite what might have been holding by safety Mike McKenzie. Even attentive Railbirds made cheers in support of Driver's friendly accusation of McKenzie's 'close coverage.'

Meanwhile, Marcus Brady and Brett Favre worked up-field on the ground attack with 9-on-7 drills, featuring a high number of reps for rookie running back Tony Fisher. Fisher continued to see action in the special teams portions of the morning practice, trying to prove his skills could be an asset in many areas.

"I just have to go out there and stay mentally focused and just prepare for everything the team is going to offer me," Fisher said.

In the 11-on-11 team drills that followed, Walker looked like a veteran that has connected with quarterback Brett Favre for years, making a wide-right slant reception with skilled safety Darren Sharper closing in. Walker's efforts on and off the field have coaches confident they gambled well in the first round of the 2002 draft.

"Whatever (GM/Head Coach) Mike Sherman and (wide receivers coach) Ray Sherman ask of me, and whatever position they put me, in I just hope I make the play," Walker said. "I'm here just learning from veteran guys like Brett Favre, just trying to take in everything I can."

The defense continued to show the team unity that Sherman stresses with a jovial bouncing huddle before the start of every new series.

The special teams segment during the morning tried out many combinations on the return team, featuring special situations such as onsides kicks. In the afternoon, with players clad in shorts, jerseys and helmets, the special teams portion was devoted to training would-be 'gunners' in punt coverage, matching two-on-one coverage with the gunner trying to run down the return man.

The Packers' next practice will be Wednesday, August 14, from 8:45-11:25 a.m., and 2:15-3:15 p.m., at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather and field conditions permitting.

-- by Sarah Sherman

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