Training Camp Set to Begin in Green Bay

The Packers kick off the 2018 campaign at Ray Nitschke Field Thursday

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A day circled on the calendar of every sports fan – the official beginning of the NFL season – will arrive this Thursday when the Green Bay Packers kick off the 2018 campaign at Ray Nitschke Field.

  • A tradition first started under Curly Lambeau in 1946, training camp in Green Bay remains one of the most intimate settings in all of professional sports. 2018 marks the 10th summer at Nitschke Field, just a short bike ride away from the team facility.
  • Nitschke Field has seating for 1,500 fans with unobstructed views.
  • Just as it does at Lambeau Field, new traditions blend with historic ones at Packers training camp, as players continue to ride children's bicycles to practice, a tradition first started under the legendary Vince Lombardi. Players continue to stay in the dorms at St. Norbert College, the NFL's longest training-camp relationship between a team and school.
  • As part of the 100 Seasons celebration, the beginning of this year's training camp includes the Packers Experience, a free, four-day festival with activities and entertainment for fans of all ages.
  • According to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau and a 2010 study by AECOM, training camp, along with Packers Family Night, will attract nearly 90,000 visitors from across the nation and as many as 20 foreign countries. With an economic impact estimated at $9 million, training camp is a financial boost to many area businesses.
  • Media and fans can visit www.packers.com for the most up-to-date information regarding the practice schedule, events, dining and accommodation options, activities and more throughout training camp.

This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here

SAVE THE DATE

Important dates to remember (all times CDT):

  • Thursday, July 26 – First practice, 11:30 a.m., Nitschke Field
  • Saturday, Aug. 4 – Packers Family Night, Presented by Bellin Health, 6:25 p.m., Lambeau Field
  • Thursday, Aug. 9 – Preseason game vs. Tennessee Titans, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field (Bishop's Charities Game)
  • Thursday, Aug. 16 – Preseason game vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field (Midwest Shrine Game)
  • Friday, Aug. 24 – Preseason game at Oakland Raiders, 9:30 p.m., Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
  • Monday, Aug. 27 – Final practice open to public, 11:45 a.m., Nitschke Field
  • Thursday, Aug. 30 – Preseason game Kansas City Chiefs, 7:30 p.m., Arrowhead Stadium
  • Saturday, Sept. 1 – Roster reduction to a maximum of 53 players by 3 p.m.

THE MONTH AHEAD

Green Bay's training camp schedule features 15 open practices, including Family Night, and four preseason games.

  • Training camp kicks off with an 11:30 a.m. practice on Thursday, July 26. Green Bay finishes the opening week with an 11:30 a.m. practice on Friday, July 27 and an 11:15 a.m. practice on Saturday, July 28.
  • The Packers will hold four practices (July 30-31 and August 2-3), all beginning at 11:15 a.m., before Family Night takes place at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Aug. 4.
  • The following week, the team will have two open practices at Nitschke Field, 12:15 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 7, prior to the preseason opener at home against the Tennessee Titans on Aug. 9.
  • Following the preseason contest against the Titans, Green Bay will hold two open practices (12:15 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 13), before hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 16.
  • The Packers will have two open practices, 12:15 p.m. on Aug. 20 and 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 21, leading into a preseason road game in Oakland versus the Raiders on Aug. 24.
  • The team's final open practice of training camp will take place at 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 27 prior to the preseason finale against the Chiefs in Kansas City on Aug. 30.

OFFSEASON CHANGES

The Green Bay Packers saw some changes to the front office, the coaching staff and to the roster this offseason.

  • After Ted Thompson made the transition to senior advisor to football operations, Brian Gutekunst was named general manager and Russ Ball was promoted to exective vice president/director of football operations.
  • Head Coach Mike McCarthy made numerous changes to his coaching staff, including bringing back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator and adding Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator. From 2007-11, Philbin was Green Bay's offensive coordinator, directing a unit that ranked No. 3 in the NFL over that span in points per game (28.3), touchdowns (267), passing touchdowns (170) and total net yards per game (372.8). In his five years as a defensive coordinator, (New York Jets, 2009-12; Buffalo Bills, 2013), Pettine led his units to a top-10 finish in total yards allowed and passing yards allowed in all five seasons.
  • Other additions to the coaching staff were Jim Hostler as offense – pass game coordinator, Patrick Graham as defense – run game coordinator/ inside linebackers, Frank Cignetti Jr. as quarterbacks coach, Ryan Downard as defensive quality control coach and Maurice Drayton as assistant special teams coach.
  • McCarthy also promoted some coaches who were already on the staff, naming James Campen offense – run game coordinator/ offensive line, Joe Whitt Jr. defense – pass game coordinator, Jerry Montgomery defensive line coach, David Raih wide receivers coach and Jason Simmons secondary coach.
  • Green Bay added players as well this offseason including former Pro Bowlers TE Jimmy Graham, TE Marcedes Lewis, DL Muhammad Wilkerson and CB Tramon Williams.
  • Graham has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his career (2011, 2013-14, 2016-17) and was named first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in 2013. He is the only tight end in NFL history to have two seasons with 1,200-plus receiving yards and 10-plus receiving TDs (2011, 2013).
  • Lewis, originally a first-round pick (No. 28 overall) by Jacksonville in 2006 out of UCLA, played in 170 games (No. 3 in franchise history) with 156 starts (No. 2 in franchise history) in 12 seasons with the Jaguars.
  • Wilkerson, originally selected by the New York Jets in the first round (No. 30 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Temple, played in 105 regular-season games with 101 starts in seven seasons with the Jets. He registered 10-plus sacks twice in his career, 10½ in 2013 and 12 in 2015.
  • Williams returns to the Packers after spending the last three seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2015-16) and Arizona Cardinals (2017). He is tied for No. 5 among active NFL players with 32 career interceptions.

This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here

ST. NORBERT AND THE PACKERS

Continuing a tradition started under Packers coach Scooter McLean in 1958, the Green Bay Packers will call St. Norbert College home for a 61st consecutive training camp this summer. The relationship between the private college in De Pere, Wis., and the Packers marks the longest continual use of any training-camp facility by an NFL team.

  • Players will take up residence in Victor McCormick Hall, a 60-room coed dormitory used to house 225 students during the academic year.
  • St. Norbert, founded in 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, borders the Fox River and enrolls around 2,000 students.
  • The Packers use their own practice and team-meeting facilities at Lambeau Field during training camp, with the college serving as housing headquarters.
  • Players return to St. Norbert via cars and vans every evening.
  • The 6.62-mile commute is estimated at 11 minutes each way.
  • A look at the longest active training-camp tenures in the NFL:
  • Team, Training Camp, Years
  • Green Bay, St. Norbert College, 61
  • Pittsburgh, St. Vincent College, 52

A LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE

The Green Bay Packers' 98th NFL regular-season schedule – highlighted by five prime-time contests (subject to flexible scheduling) – was released April 19 by the National Football League.

  • For the second consecutive season, the Packers open the season at home and will play three of their first four games at Lambeau Field.
  • In Week 1, Green Bay will host Chicago on Sunday night, marking the 13th consecutive regular season that the Packers and Bears have squared off in primetime.
  • It is the first time Green Bay has opened the season at home against the Bears since playing them on Sunday night in Week 1 of the 2009 season, a 21-15 win for the Packers.
  • For the first time since 2012, the Packers play two home games to open the season, hosting Minnesota in Week 2. It marks just the third time (2003, 2008) since the NFC North was formed in 2002 that Green Bay has played division opponents in both of the first two games.
  • The Packers' first road contest is at the Redskins, marking Green Bay's first September visit to Washington.
  • The Packers return home for two of three games before the bye, first taking on the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 and then traveling to Detroit to play the Lions.
  • In Week 6, Green Bay hosts the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, marking the fourth time the two teams have met on MNF and the first since 1999. It is the fifth time in the last six seasons the Packers have played at Lambeau Field on MNF.
  • After the second Week 7 bye for Green Bay in the last four seasons (2015), the Packers will play four of five games on the road.
  • Green Bay makes its first trip to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1978 to play the Rams.
  • In Week 9, the Packers travel to the other side of the country to play the Patriots on Sunday night.
  • It is the second consecutive time the Packers and Patriots will face off on a Sunday night in New England (2010).
  • Green Bay returns home to take on the Miami Dolphins before a quick turnaround to play the Seahawks, marking the Packers' second Thursday night game at Seattle (Week 1 in 2014). Including the postseason, it will be the seventh time Green Bay and Seattle have played since 2012.
  • November finishes with a trip to play the Vikings on Sunday night, marking the sixth straight season that the teams have met in a prime-time game.
  • Green Bay opens the final month of the regular season against Arizona, only the second time the Cardinals have played at Lambeau Field in December (Dec. 21, 1969).
  • The Packers will play back-to-back home games for only the second time in 2018 when they host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14. It will be the fourth matchup (including postseason) between Green Bay and Atlanta in the last three seasons.
  • The Packers end the season with two road games in the final three weeks for the seventh straight year.
  • In Week 15, Green Bay will face the Bears in Chicago, a place it has won in the regular season each of the last seven years. The Packers have scored 30-plus points at Chicago in four of the last five matchups (33, 38, 31, 30, 23).
  • The Packers' road slate will finish up with a game at the New York Jets, the third December game at the Jets in team history (1981, 2002). Three of the last four games at New York have been decided by single digits, including one game that went to overtime.
  • Green Bay will close out the regular season against the Lions for the third straight year and the fourth time in the last five seasons. Green Bay has an 18-6 overall mark (.750) and a 10-2 home record (.833) against Detroit under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

BREAKING DOWN THE ROSTER

The Packers enter training camp with a 89-man roster that is composed of 44 offensive players, 41 defensive players and four specialists.

  • Of the 90 players on Green Bay's roster, 44 of them (48.9 percent) were draft picks of the Packers. Green Bay has nine players that were drafted in the first round, including seven that were selected by the Packers.
  • Green Bay has 40 players on the roster that began their careers as undrafted free agents.
  • Over 50 percent of the players (50 of 89, 56.2 percent) on Green Bay's roster entered the league as a sixth-round or seventh-round pick or as an undrafted player.
  • Of the 89 players on the roster, 77 of them (86.5 percent) are 28 years old or younger (as of July 26) and 49 players (55.1 percent) are 24 years old or younger.

GREEN BAY'S ROSTER...

BY AGE (as of July 26)

  • 21-24 49 players
  • 25-28 28 players
  • 29-32 8 players
  • 33-plus 4 players

BY EXPERIENCE

  • R-1 35 players
  • 2-3 29 players
  • 4-5 9 players
  • 6-9 11 players
  • 10-plus 5 players

BY DRAFT ROUND

  • 1st 9 players
  • 2nd/3rd 14 players
  • 4th/5th 16 players
  • 6th/7th 10 players
  • Undrafted 40 players

This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here

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