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Training Camp Report - July 25, 2003


Practicing in front of the largest training camp crowd thus far, the Packers continued workouts Friday as more than 1,200 fans lined the fences at Clarke Hinkle Field.

Safety Darren Sharper started things off with an interception, stepping in front of a pass to the tight end by quarterback Akili Smith in 9-on-7 drills.

In 1-on-1 cover drills, linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer ran stride for stride with fullback William Henderson, but was unable to break up a 30-yard pass from Smith. Henderson bobbled the ball before pulling it in for the touchdown.

Linebacker Paris Lenon continued his hard-hitting ways from yesterday, this time teaming up with Marcus Wilkins to stop the 250-pound Najeh Davenport at the line of scrimmage.

Much to the dismay of GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman, the injuries continued for the Packers on Friday when running back Adam Tate went down with an injured knee.

Tate had found his way around the right side of the line for a 15-yard gain before being brought down from behind by Hillenmeyer. Tate had to be carted off the field by trainers. He's been diagnosed with posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament sprains.

Sherman admitted after practice that he always holds his breath during live contact drills, fearing that players will get injured, but said that periods of full contact were an essential part of camp.

Following a series of special teams drills, the Packers moved inside the 20-yard line for work in the red zone.

Cornerback Mike McKenzie was on the receiving end of a Brett Favre bullet in the end zone when wide out Donald Driver slipped at the goal line.

But quarterback Doug Pederson returned the favor, dropping a 20-yard pass just over the shoulder of Karsten Bailey to beat McKenzie for the touchdown.

Moving closer to the goal line, Favre found Driver in the end zone from 15 yards away after scrambling out of the pocket towards the right sideline.

On the ensuing play, Javon Walker pulled in a Favre missile in the back of the end zone for another score.

At the end of the morning practice, Sherman pitted the offense against the defense in a battle for an extra hour of free time before curfew.

The challenge was for a lineman from each squad to catch a punt while being 'defended' by a member of the opposition.

As its representative, the offense selected Mark Tauscher, who was so deft in a similar challenge last season that he made the game-winning catch one-handed. The defense selected rookie Kenny Peterson.

Through two attempts each, neither Tauscher nor Peterson was able to successfully receive one of the punts. Mike Flanagan then made an effort for the offense, but suffered a drop.

Finally, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila took Peterson's place and snatched the ball out of the sky on his first try, prompting a raucous celebration by the defense.

"I was trying to see if we can find a punt returner and obviously they weren't in that group," Sherman joked. "Some of those guys should be hoping for an extra hour of sleep, not an extra hour of staying out."

The afternoon practice was for special teams only.

In injury news, Robert Ferguson was added to the injury list with a tailbone the result of a fall during practice Thursday ... Chukie Nwokorie started the morning practice Friday, but aggravated the lateral collateral ligament injury in his left knee that sidelined him during June mini-camp.

The Packers return to Clark Hinkle Field Saturday, with practices from 8:45-11:15 a.m. (pads) and 2:45-4:10 p.m. (shells)

Where: Clarke Hinkle Field

Weather: 82 degrees, sunny

Did Not Participate: Tony Fisher (Achilles), Robert Ferguson (tailbone), Bubba Franks (illness/knee), Jorg Heckenbach (exhaustion/dehydration), Cletidus Hunt (acute gastritis), Joe Johnson (quadriceps), James Lee (hip), Devin Lewis (knee), David Martin (hamstring), Jermaine Petty (hamstring), Terdell Sands (ankle), Rod Walker (shoulders) 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.

-- Jason Bellamy contributed to this report.

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