Training Camp Report - July 24, 2003


The 700-plus fans that came out to watch the Green Bay Packers' Tuesday morning practice were treated to the first live tackling of camp.

In 9-on-7 drills, rookie offensive tackle Brennan Curtin and veteran defensive end Chukie Nwokorie clashed with such force that their facemasks stuck together and had to be separated with help from quarterback Brett Favre -- much to the delight of the railbirds.

Second-year halfback Najeh Davenport showed off both his power and speed by breaking three tackles en route to a 20-yard gain that had the offense cheering.

But the defense had its moments as well, like when second-year linebacker Paris Lenon stopped running back Adam Tate in his tracks with the most thunderous hit of camp to date.

Lenon said afterward that he looks to make plays, not just deliver crushing blows, but "if you get a big hit during the process, that's just a bonus."

"I mean, I'm a football player and I play defense and I play linebacker," Lenon said. "That's just my ballgame. That's where I'm at home."

During one of the team periods, the offense worked on four-minute situations. As if trying to protect a lead late in the game, the Packers tried to keep the ball moving on the ground, while running backs were cautious to protect the football and stay inbounds.

Defensive end Aaron Kampman stopped running back Ahman Green after only a 2-yard gain, and safety Marques Anderson converged with defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila to stop second-year running back Reggie White for no gain.

In a later team period, safety Jacoby Shepherd sent the No. 1 offense back to the sideline after only one snap when he intercepted Favre's first-down pass to Robert Ferguson.

Shepherd broke up another pass later that could have been intercepted, and rookie defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins knocked down a pass along the line of scrimmage.

In the afternoon practice, Favre made the game seem easy as he picked apart the defense in 7-on-7 drills, spreading the wealth to five different receivers on consecutive plays, which didn't sit well with assistant head coach/defensive backs coach Bob Slowik.

Responding to their coach's criticism, the defense came up with two huge plays in team drills. The first came when cornerback Bryant Westbrook picked off Craig Nall's pass after it was tipped at the line of scrimmage. The interception was the second in as many days for Westbrook.

Soon after, Nick Barnett stepped in front of a pass from Akili Smith, garnering attention from the crowd and coaches.

But it was Favre again getting the best of his opponents. This time it was a diving Mike McKenzie missing the pass break-up attempt on the right sideline by mere inches as Karsten Bailey raced to the end zone.

On the way back to the huddle, Favre and McKenzie stared at each other, both smiling as if to acknowledge that the play could have easily gone the other way.

The Packers again wrapped up the day with special teams practice, working on field goal block techniques and kickoff return drills.

In injury news, first-year defensive tackle Terdell Sands twisted his ankle during the morning practice and was sidelined thereafter.

"It's unfortunate because he made a couple nice plays down there," GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said. "The minute I compliment the guy on making a nice play it seems I put the whammy on him and he's out. I don't think it will be significant, but when you have an ankle (injury) on a (337-pound) man, I guess it is significant."

Ferguson suffered a stinger, but returned to practice ... Bubba Franks became ill during morning practice and sat out the afternoon practice ... David Martin strained his hamstring and sat out the afternoon practice ... Sitting out the afternoon for precautionary reasons were Chad Clifton, Marco Rivera, Mark Tauscher and Frank Winters ... James Lee participated in some drills, but was held out of team situations. Originally thought to be a back problem, Lee's pain is now being attributed to an injured hip flexor ... Joe Johnson didn't practice due to a quadriceps strain suffered over the weekend ... Jerry Wisne hasn't practiced since straining his calf muscle Wednesday. He is day-to-day ... Cletidus Hunt remains out after a bout with acute gastritis, but the fifth-year defensive tackle made his first sideline appearance of camp Wednesday ... Devin Lewis hyperextended his knee after colliding with a defender in the afternoon practice and did not return.

The Packers return to the practice field Friday, with a team workout from 8:45-11:15 a.m. (pads) and a special teams practice from 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Where: Clarke Hinkle Field

Weather: 79 degrees, sunny

Did Not Participate: Tony Fisher (Achilles), Jorg Heckenbach (exhaustion/dehydration), Cletidus Hunt (acute gastritis), Joe Johnson (quad), Jermaine Petty (hamstring), Steve Warren (back), Jerry Wisne (calf).

Remains Unsigned: Gilbert Brown.

Click here for the training camp schedule.

Click here for information on Packers training camp, including a visitor's guide.

-- Jeff Harding contributed to this report.

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