The Green Bay Packers took to the practice field for a single session Wednesday, and about 1,400 fans were in attendance at Clarke Hinkle Field to see their heroes in action. The team was in helmets and shorts for the 2 1/2 hour-practice, which surely came as a relief to some players in the warm, muggy conditions.
The workout got underway at 1:00 with the first 30 minutes dedicated solely to special teams.
Punters B.J. Sander and Bryan Barker took turns kicking at the outset. Kicking from the 40-yard line, Barker hung a punt high enough for James Whitley to down the kick on the four. Punting from inside the end zone, Sander delivered two high, driving kicks that drew applause from the crowd.
With Najeh Davenport on the sideline with a tight hamstring, running back Dahrran Diedrick joined Antonio Chatman, Chris Day, Carl Ford and Kelvin Kight returning kickoffs off the foot of Ryan Longwell.
As the full-team practice got into gear, Nick Barnett was again speeding all over the field, this time getting into the backfield to stop Nick Luchey during a 9-on-7 drill.
Freshly-signed defensive end Kenny Holmes joined his new teammates just as the team drills were beginning. He took a spot at right defensive end working with the second-team defense against the starting offense for his first taste of the field in a green Packers practice jersey.
Carl Ford pulled down an impressive catch as he leaped high over cornerback Jason Horton on a fade route in the end zone.
In 11-on-11 action, linebacker Maurice Jones was lurking in the middle of the field and jumped into the air to knock down a Brett Favre pass.
Favre was unfazed by the rookie's effort, and on the next play fired a strike down the middle again, this time splitting Whitley and Ahmad Carroll for a 30-yard gain to Javon Walker.
Today's 1-on-1 lineman drills saw Corey Williams flash early, as he beat Joe Hayes and got a free shot at the tackling dummy standing in for the quarterback. Aaron Kampman used a speed rush to zip past Mark Tauscher later in the drill.
Cullen Jenkins employed a nice combination move to get past Kevin Barry, first faking to the outside and using a swim move to the inside of the offensive tackle.
Holmes stepped right into the drill after only about 30 minutes on the field, and had mixed results with a series of spin moves. Barry's good footwork was swift enough to keep the big man in front of the newcomer, but Holmes outmaneuvered Jason Hilliard to register a sack for a split on the day.
Ford made his second highlight play of the afternoon as full-team drills resumed. The second-year receiver got behind the coverage and ran under a 40-plus yard heave from Craig Nall for a big gain along the left hash mark.
Ahmad Carroll got his hand on a pass from Scott McBrien later in the drills, but Reggie Love used his strong grip to control the ball for a 13-yard touchdown.
As the second-team goal line defense took the field for a few series, Nall used a play-action fake before rolling to his right and firing a strike to Bubba Franks for a three-yard score.
The primary goal line defenders showed how it was done later on, though, as Barnett and fellow linebacker Paris Lenon broke through the line to stop Diedrick for a loss.
Opening up the final team segment of the afternoon, Favre took a snap and sprinted to his right toward the sideline. Donald Driver followed his quarterback's trek across the field, and Favre gunned the ball to his receiver. Driver caught the pass and turned upfield and jumped into the end zone for a 30-yard TD.
Safety Marques Anderson registered the first interception of the day as he cut in front of Wilson Thomas at the goal line to pick off a pass from Doug Pederson.
Carroll followed that up a few plays later to top off the day's activity with an interception of his own, snatching a McBrien offering out of the air before it could reach tight end Tony Donald, the intended receiver.
In injury news, linebacker Torrance Marshall rested for the second consecutive day with a strained hamstring. Offensive tackle Chad Clifton watched from the sideline with knee bursitis, but may play Friday night at Jacksonville. Quarterback Tim Couch, who has been plagued by a sore arm, threw some during individual drills, but not with the full team.
Wide receiver Robert Ferguson missed practice while traveling to Houston to attend to a personal matter. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said that Ferguson would return to Green Bay Wednesday night and will play Friday.
The Packers will hold a closed walkthrough practice inside of Lambeau Field Thursday before heading to the airport to travel to Jacksonville for Friday night's game against the Jaguars. Their next public practice will take place Sunday afternoon, scheduled to run from 2:15-4:30 p.m. at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather permitting.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 77°, muggy
Did Not Participate: Chad Clifton (knee), Brennan Curtin (knee), Najeh Davenport (hamstring), Shockmain Davis (leg), Robert Ferguson (personal), Atlas Herrion (knee), James Lee (boil), Torrance Marshall (hamstring), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Larry Smith (quad), Donnell Washington (arch) and Chris Watson (hamstring).
Physically Unable to Perform List: Mike Flanagan (knee tendinitis), Chris Johnson (stress fracture).
Reserve/Did Not Report List: Mike McKenzie