The consistent improvement the Packers have demonstrated during their first week of training camp might be hard to evaluate from behind the wire fence of Clarke Hinkle Field, with several drills often coinciding to create an action-packed football scene, however the changes seen in GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman's daily demeanor demonstrate the progress the team is making day after day.
During Wednesday's practice Sherman directed the team through many routine drills with a quiet confidence representative of a self-assured coach settling into his third season.
Main events of both practices continued to be the 9-on-7 drill, featuring an emphasis on the inside run. The morning practice did not favor either side of the ball, with plays made by both the offense and the defense at different times. This drill has, and will continue to be, a staple to the Packers' practices as they work toward a stingy run defense, as well as an offense that can effectively run the ball week in and week out.
The offense did not turn the ball over the entire morning practice as the spotlight continued to shine on the enigmatic set of receivers attempting to secure their spots on the team.
Second-year wide receiver Robert Ferguson demonstrated the results of a productive offseason with impressive snags, while energetic fourth-year veteran Donald Driver persistently displayed the extra effort he has become known for on and off the field.
Wide receiver Terry Glenn exemplified the benefit of six years' experience with catches comparable to the playmaking rookie season the former Buckeye hopes to relive. When Glenn spoke of the budding relationship between himself and quarterback Brett Favre it was in terms of 'we,' a sign that he expects to be a dependable target worthy of a top roster spot.
"We'll never be 100 percent, but we'll strive to be close to that," Glenn said. "That's what football is about, we strive to get to that point."
Glenn also spoke highly of the loyal fans that continue to line the fence on Oneida Street, an appreciation that will extend through the season.
"It gives you a sense of what the atmosphere is like in Green Bay and it helps when you're out there catching balls and people are out here getting up early with you," Glenn said. "You're struggling a little bit but they're over there getting up, getting their seat, watching you. It helps, it helps motivate you."
Morning practice broke 20 minutes early for the Welcome Back Luncheon sponsored by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. The event featured defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila as the winner of the Packers Community Service Award, reflective of his contributions to the city.
The afternoon practice allowed the players a chance to play in shorts, and featured special teams situations.
Thursday's practices will be from 8:45-11:45 a.m., and 2:15-3:15 p.m., and will be held at Clarke Hinkle Field, weather and field conditions permitting.
-- by Sarah Sherman