The Packers returned to the practice field in full pads on a rather windy Monday morning. Approximately 900 fans braved the weather to watch the full squad workout at Clarke Hinkle Field.
The play of Corey Williams has been a bright spot so far in training camp and with less than two weeks left of practices, the rookie defensive lineman continues to shine. Williams, a sixth-round pick in this spring's draft, had an impressive workout for a defense that continues to show its aggressiveness.
Williams was at it early and often, first making his mark in 11-on-11 drills. Najeh Davenport attempted to bust a run to the outside, but the 310-pound Williams hustled down the line and stopped Davenport before he could get beyond the line of scrimmage. Later on in the same drill, Williams penetrated through the line and stopped running back Tony Fisher in his tracks.
Perhaps the true test of individual pass rushing skills is the 1-on-1 blocking drill that takes place between the offensive and defensive line. It's not unusual for players like Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman to grab the spotlight during this time, but today, Williams offered a glimpse of the pass rusher he could be. Offensive tackle Joe Hayes had no answer for Williams or his power and got bowled over trying to pass-protect.
Of course, Gbaja-Biamila was very impressive in the pass rushing drill, too. On one play, he spun Hayes around and got to the "dummy" quarterback. The very next time, he got past tackle Jason Jimenez with a club move and once again had no problem getting the sack.
The Packers focused a little more on special teams in the morning practice than they have in the full squad workouts in the past. Ryan Longwell had plenty of chances to show off his leg and he didn't disappoint.
Longwell, the Packers all-time leading scorer, was good on a handful of attempts after the 11-on-11 drills. However, the team went through four-down situations from the 40-yard line and if they didn't put it in the end zone, they called on the trusty Longwell. He connected on two field goals from 27 yards out and another from 47.
Cletidus Hunt barreled through the backfield on one particular kick and although he got his right hand on the ball, Longwell hit it with enough power to push it through the uprights. The kick may not have been pretty, but it certainly was effective.
Although the defensive linemen made a few big plays in the morning session, the offense had its moments, too. Fisher and Davenport both broke off long runs in the 11-on-11 drills and with Brett Favre taking the day off to rest, Doug Pederson and Craig Nall looked rather impressive.
Pederson threw a 35-yard touchdown strike to first-year wide receiver Wilson Thomas and made a number of accurate throws to his receivers.
Nall, who has been held out the majority of camp to date with a hamstring injury, showed his fresh arm throughout the morning. He was putting plenty of zip on his passes, many of which connected for big plays. On one particular play, he rifled a touchdown pass to wide receiver Donald Driver, but his most impressive throw came on the last play of practice. From 15 yards away, Nall threw a perfect over the shoulder pass that Carl Ford caught for the score in the corner of the end zone.
The Packers held a special teams only workout in the afternoon that lasted for 45 minutes. Among the players who attended practice was newly signed punter Bryan Barker. Although he didn't take part in the workout, the 15-year veteran watched from the sidelines. Barker punted for the Washington Redskins last season and joins rookie punters B.J. Sander and Nathan Chapman on the Packers' roster.
Throughout camp, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman has elected to give Favre a day off each week. Monday, Favre got the day off as did safety Darren Sharper, whom Sherman said had some soreness in his hip from Saturday's game. Mark Roman also sat out with a knee sprain and ankle soreness.
Tests are still being conducted, but Sherman said that tackle Brennan Curtin may be lost for the season with a torn ACL. He did deliver a piece of good news, however. He said that guard Mike Wahle, who has been on the (PUP) physically unable to perform list since the beginning of training camp, may practice Tuesday.
"He worked out again and had a good workout," Sherman said. "Tomorrow if he comes up and is ready to go, we'll practice with him."
The Packers recently altered their training camp schedule. Tuesday will now feature two full-team practices, with the first slated to run from 8:45-11:00 a.m. (pads) The Packers will return to Clarke Hinkle Field for practice in the afternoon, scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m., weather permitting.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 60° windy morning, 69° in the afternoon
Did Not Participate: Antonio Chatman (ankle), Brennan Curtin (knee), Shockmain Davis (leg), Brett Favre (rest), Atlas Herrion (knee), Steve Josue (knee), James Lee (ill), Nick Luchey (quadriceps), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Mark Roman (knee sprain, ankle), Darren Sharper (hip), Scottie Vines (thumb), Donnell Washington (arch), Chris Watson (hamstring), and James Whitley (head).
Physically Unable to Perform List: Mike Flanagan (knee tendinitis), Chris Johnson (stress fracture), Mike Wahle (knee contusion).
Reserve/Did Not Report List: Mike McKenzie