Tuesday morning's practice began with a scene that Packers fans wouldn't mind a lot of once the season begins - the offense working in the red zone.
At the north end of Clarke Hinkle Field, quarterbacks Brett Favre and Doug Pederson threw to their receivers, who practiced hauling in over-the-shoulder passes and keeping their feet inbounds in the corner of the end zone.
Appraised GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman of the red zone drill, "I thought it favored the offense today. I thought they were more ready with their routes, and it usually does in the first time because we do so many things in the red zone that it's tough (for the defense) to get matched up on all the different formations and the routes.
"I thought Javon Walker and Donald Driver were two guys that made a difference today in the red zone, made some nice catches, and hopefully that will continue."
Later, the numerous running backs vying for a spot on the team had the opportunity to show their stuff, taking handoffs from Favre. Offensive tackle and former Wisconsin Badger Mark Tauscher continued his excellent training camp performance, coming up with a key block that enabled Rondell Mealey to cut to the sideline and race down the field.
Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said of the running backs situation, "There have been flashes from all of them. Mealey has had flashes. It's hard to tell until you have live tackling."
Other highlights from Tuesday morning included an interception by safety Darren Sharper on Favre's first pass of the day, a pass deflection by linebacker Torrance Marshall, his second in as many days, and a resounding hit by rookie linebacker Algie Atkinson.
The Packers devoted the afternoon practice to special teams. One drill killed two birds with one stone, as kickers Ryan Longwell and Rob Bironas booted balls through the uprights, while kickoff return men like Javon Walker and Ki-Jana Carter waited on the other side to practice fielding them.
Tuesday's practices were shortened to allow players additional time in the weight room. Practice will resume Wednesday, July 31, from 8:45-11:25 a.m., and from 2:45-4:10 p.m., at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather and field conditions permitting.
-- by Leslie Ricker