The Green Bay Packers officially kicked off their 2004 training camp Friday as rookies and first year players participated in a light practice at Clarke Hinkle Field. Approximately 400 fans watched the afternoon practice, which lasted a little over an hour.
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch made his debut in a Green Bay uniform and shared snaps with rookie free agent Scott McBrien and third-year pro Craig Nall. Couch was on the field for the first time since signing with the team in mid June. The fans showed appreciation for their newest quarterback by cheering him on as he headed to practice.
In a passing drill, Couch quickly became acquainted with second-year wide receiver Carl Ford when the pair hooked up on a handful of passes.
Although only 31 players took part in the practice, defensive line coach Jethro Franklin said the workout was still beneficial.
"We had a lot of individual teaching going on," Franklin said. "You kind of slow it down and teach them more of a controlled pace, but you want to challenge them as well."
Rookie cornerback Joey Thomas took part in his first training camp practice and liked what he saw.
"Today was more of an introduction and we were fortunate enough to have one like this," Thomas said. "We learned small things like technique, which was very productive and much needed."
Cornerback Chris Johnson, who is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered during the 2003 training camp, watched drills but did not participate. He is currently on the physically unable to perform list. Defensive end Eric Powell also sat out Friday's practice with an injured knee.
The team will practice in shorts again tomorrow before taking Sunday off for physical testing. On Monday, full squad workouts are set to begin with full contact drills.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy
Did not participate: Chris Johnson (knee) and Eric Powell (knee).
Remains unsigned: Ahmad Carroll and Corey Williams