An afternoon practice for rookies and selected veterans marked the start of training camp, Saturday. Approximately 450 fans gathered along the fences at Clarke Hinkle Field to take in the action.
Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith made his Green Bay debut and shared the throwing duties with Eric Crouch and second-year veteran Craig Nall. Nall was on the Packers practice field for the first time since the end of the 2002 season, having missed both mini-camps while participating in NFL Europe, where he led the league in passing.
In 7-on-7 drills, seventh-round draft pick Carl Ford flashed some sideline speed after a 10-yard pass from Nall.
Recently-signed wide reciever Kamau Peterson also brought in a Nall pass, but later struggled to keep his footing in the middle of passing routes, which drew the attention of receivers coach Ray Sherman.
Seventh-round pick Chris Johnson broke up and almost intercepted a Nall pass intended for Brian McDonald.
Fifth-round pick Hunter Hillenmeyer broke up an Akili Smith pass intended for fullback Tommy Collins.
After throwing to receivers, all three quarterbacks worked with long snappers to practice their holding technique for field goals.
Antonio Chatman and several other receivers used the north end of the field to catch punts.
Three players failed their morning physicals and were unable to participate: Bobby Jackson (groin), Jermaine Petty (hamstring) and DeAndrew Rubin (hamstring).
Prior to practice, the rookies participated in the annual media luncheon, sitting down with members of the Wisconsin media.
Practicing in shorts Saturday and Sunday, the Packers are scheduled to have their first full-contact drills Tuesday, when the veterans will join them for the beginning of two-a-days.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
Did not participate: Jorg Heckenbach (exhaustion), Bobby Jackson (groin), Jermaine Petty (hamstring), DeAndrew Rubin (hamstring), Gari Scott (knee).
Remains unsigned: Nick Barnett