A few raindrops and a chilly wind proved to be no match for eager Packers fans, as the 'Railbirds' were out in full force to take in the second day of training camp action Thursday morning at Clarke Hinkle Field.
Today marked the start of two-a-day practices, albeit for rookies, first-year players and select players recovering from injuries only. Players dressed in shorts and are set to don pads in Saturday's practice. Rookie safety Marques Anderson affirmed his third round draft selection position by breaking up the first pass thrown in his direction during the seven-on-seven drills. During the same drill, first-round draft pick Javon Walker caught a quick, Favre-esque pass from fellow rookie and fifth-round pick Craig Nall.
Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell was not surprised by Anderson's level of intensity. When asked about Anderson's chances at filling the big shoes of recently retired LeRoy Butler at safety, Donatell said, "I think everybody, every player, every coach, has to come to camp and earn their keep and we all do that. Certainly there's certain guys who we say are penciled in, but when there's a new player, there's always competition."
The defensive backs as a unit caught the attention of GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman and Vice President of Football Operations Mike Hatley. The two men watched as Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Bob Slowik and Defensive Backs Assistant Lionel Washington guided the newest Packers through practice.
Thursday's practice also saw the arrival of rookie fullback Najeh Davenport. Davenport received a trickling of applause from coaches as he caught a pass out of the backfield on a play action screen from Nall, and proceeded to race 20 yards down the sideline without being touched by the defense.
Packers fans were treated to two changes during the afternoon practice. First, the temperature rose as the sun forced its way through the clouds. Second, they had a new player to watch in the form of Javon Green, a first-year wide receiver out of Colorado University. Green was welcomed to his first practice in green and gold with more seven-on-seven drills.
Thursday represents a travel day for the veterans, who will join the rookies and first-year players in camp Saturday, July 27 from 8:45-11:25 a.m. and 2:45-4:40 p.m. at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather permitting.
-- By Leslie Ricker