Training Camp Report: Offense Looks To Rebound In Denver

The Packers have had a short week of preparation as they get ready to head to Denver, but in a game where they will see their most extensive playing time of the preseason, the offensive starters are anxious to get back out on the field after their struggles in San Francisco. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - Aug. 20

The Packers have had a short week of preparation as they get ready to head to Denver, but in a game where they will see their most extensive playing time of the preseason, the offensive starters are anxious to get back out on the field after their struggles in San Francisco.

There weren't really any positives that emerged for the No. 1 offense from the 49ers game, as the unit managed just 46 yards of total offense and four first downs in 25 snaps.

Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that the starters will play the entire first half against the Broncos, and possibly see action into the third quarter as well.

"There is only one way to go up after last week," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "It's converting third downs and making good decisions personally, and eliminating the mental mistakes. We're looking forward to doing that and hopefully putting some points on the board and just having a good taste in our mouth as we go into the regular season."

Rodgers completed 9-of-16 passes for 58 yards at San Francisco, but was sacked four times in the first half as the first-team offense managed only a field goal, after the defense got a turnover.

"We haven't played that poorly in a long time, so there is a sense of trying to get things righted and get our confidence back up," tackle Mark Tauscher said. "You can say you are a confident team and those things, but when your productivity is 45 yards in the first half and four sacks, that gets tested. We definitely have something to prove this weekend."

One area the offense will look to significanty improve on Friday night is third-down efficiency after converting 2-of-14 opportunities (14.3 percent) against the 49ers.

"Third down is the money down in the NFL," Rodgers said. "I think we were 0-5 on third-and-one to five, which you can't do. You've got to convert those third downs and keep the chains moving."

The opportunity for the starters to play into the third quarter on Friday night will be good preparation for the regular season as they will have the chance to implement halftime adjustments for the first time during the preseason.

"You want to get into the shape where you are feeling you are coming out of the halftime locker room and you know how the reaction comes after making some halftime adjustments," Tauscher said. "For the most part the most important thing is to be healthy and fresh going into that first week. I think that is why most teams handle it that way."

Rodgers and the receiving corps will be tested by a talented tandem of cornerbacks in Dré Bly and perennial Pro Bowler Champ Bailey, although Bailey has missed Denver's first two preseason games with a hamstring injury.

Running back Ryan Grant, who has not played this preseason with a hamstring injury, is likely out again, but the offense should get a boost from the return of wide receiver Greg Jennings, who missed the first two preseason games with soreness in his knee.

"I think one of the biggest guys to directly benefit is Donald (Driver)," Rodgers said. "With Greg not in there, a lot of times teams are going to double Donald. Donald is such a big part of our offense. With Greg back, it probably takes a little pressure off because you've kind of got to pick your poison. If you double Donald, we're going to go after Greg. If you double Greg, we'll go with Donald."

Barnett fined

Linebacker Nick Barnett said he was fined by the league under the NFL's personal-conduct policy for disorderly conduct charges stemming from an altercation in an Appleton, Wis., bar last June.

Barnett said he was originally informed of a one-game suspension by the league a few weeks before training camp, but appealed the ruling, and the penalty was reduced to the fine of one game check.

{sportsad300}"The league has to do what they have to in order to keep the NFL in the right direction," Barnett said. "It's the conduct (policy) and you've got to abide by it.

"I go with the rules they set, so now we just move on. I get to play on Monday night (season opener vs. Minnesota). My pockets are a little lighter, but I still get to play."

Time change for Sunday's practice

Green Bay's practice originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 24, at 11:30 a.m., has been changed to a start time of 3 p.m. on Clarke Hinkle Field.

Injury/participation update

Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and cornerbacks Al Harris and Joe Porter returned to the field on Wednesday.

This was the first practice of training camp for Gbaja-Biamila, but McCarthy said he wasn't sure at this point if 'KGB' would play in Friday's game at Denver. McCarthy added that if he did not play against the Broncos, he would likely see more playing time vs. Tennessee next Thursday.

Players not participating were linebacker A.J. Hawk (chest), center Scott Wells (trunk), defensive tackles Ryan Pickett (hamstring), Justin Harrell (back) and Daniel Muir (groin), running backs Ryan Grant (hamstring) and DeShawn Wynn (ankle), and safety Charlie Peprah (hamstring).

Even though Muir sat out on Wednesday, McCarthy said he anticipated Muir would be able to play on Friday.

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