As training camp nears its end and the regular season looms just over the horizon, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman altered the practice schedule Sunday to resemble more closely the regular season's weekly activities.
Veterans were given a break from the heat as they took part in game-film study as well as weight and conditioning workouts with strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin.
But it was back to the field for the Packers' rookies and selected veterans, as nearly 900 fans lined the fences at Clarke Hinkle Field for a full-pads practice.
"They (rookies and selected veterans) aren't going to get a chance to get as much work as I'd like in the upcoming game with Carolina," Sherman said. "The veterans are going to play a little more, so this affords me the opportunity to look at some guys."
One of those guys is running back Herbert Goodman, who was signed by the Packers as a free agent July 29. Goodman, known by his teammates as "Whisper," is leading the Packers in both rushing and receiving through three preseason games following last week's performance in which he had 80 yards on 19 carries and 4 catches for 56 yards.
Today, Goodman was offered the opportunity to strengthen his resume by returning kicks during special teams drills.
"We practiced him today on kickoff return, we probably should have been doing that," Sherman said. "I just want to get him a chance to see what he can do. He's done it in the past. (It) gives him a little more of a chance to be involved in special teams and it's partly due to how well he did the other night."
Following special teams work, the Packers moved on to 7-on-7 drills.
Quarterback Craig Nall found an opening in the defense, hitting tight end Luther Broughton in the middle of the field for a 10-yard gain.
Looking deeper down the field, Nall found an open Carl Ford along the left sideline, but was unable to connect as linebacker Steve Josue picked off the pass and took it the other way.
Akili Smith did connect, however, hitting DeAndrew Rubin along the right sideline for a 25-yard pick-up.
In team drills, linebacker Marcus Wilkins stormed through the line to drop running back Keith Burnell for a 2-yard loss, and linebacker Issac Keys snuffed out fullback Tommy Collins after Smith hit him in the backfield.
Newly-signed defensive tackle Larry Smith did not participate in team drills, but instead took part in position drills with defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and defensive tackle Rod Walker.
"He was a high draft pick at one time and had some quickness off the ball," Sherman said of Smith. "He played a two-gap defense at Jacksonville and we play a one-gap, but he's a big man. And as evidenced by the way things are going this year in the league, and also here, those big men get a chance in games to get banged up a little bit, so I wanted to take an opportunity to see what he can do and if he can contribute to our football team."
In injury news, linebacker Paris Lenon and defensive tackle Kenny Peterson sat out with stiffness in their necks as a result of last week's game.
The Packers will hold two closed practices inside the Don Hutson Center, Monday.
The Packers' next public practice will be Tuesday (Aug. 19) at Clarke Hinkle Field (weather permitting): 1:30 p.m. (special teams - pads), 1:50 p.m. (full squad - pads).
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
Did Not Participate: Reggie Coleman (hip), Tony Fisher (hamstring), Jorg Heckenbach (kidneys), Rob Johnson (knee), James Lee (hip), Paris Lenon (neck), Kenny Peterson (neck), Jermaine Petty (knee), Adam Tate (knee).
Out: Gilbert Brown (biceps)
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