Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Packers practice report: Tempers flare
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Thirteen days into training camp, the Green Bay Packers look like they’re sick of going against each other.
Wednesday’s session was marred by a series of fights, including one that could have been dangerous for one of their top players.
Starting tight end Jermichael Finley threw several punches at rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Reed's head. Reed was still wearing his helmet, so the blows had little or no effect on him but could have caused an injury to Finley’s hand. Defensive tackle Johnny Jolly then launched himself at Finley in an effort to get him away from Reed.
“It’s not very smart,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Just punch a man when he’s wearing a helmet, that’s not the smartest thing.”
The Finley-Reed skirmish was the roughest one so far during the 10 camp practices. It occurred after an altercation between guard Greg Van Roten and linebacker Robert Francois and another one between guard T.J. Lang and linebacker Sam Barrington, who lost his helmet during the fracas.
The fights all came during a drill focused on running between the tackles. It’s a spirited, physical exercise.
“It’s time to go play against somebody else,” McCarthy said. “They’re tired of getting after each other, and some plays linger on to the next, which is really an opportunity as a coach to correct that and the discipline that you have to have within the game to fight through that.”
The Packers are scheduled to practice in pads on Thursday, the day before the preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, but McCarthy said he might decide to go without pads.
Here are some other odds and ends from practice:
Medical report: Running back Eddie Lacy, who appears to have wrapped up the starting job, missed his first practice of camp. McCarthy said the rookie has a hamstring injury but does not expect it to be a long-term issue.
- In his second practice with the Packers, Vince Young went third in the quarterback rotation behind Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell. The number of reps went 1-2-2, respectively, during each team period. Young looked rusty. He threw an interception (by safety Chaz Powell) when he badly missed tight end D.J. Williams. McCarthy hasn’t said whether Young will play against the Cardinals. Meanwhile, B.J. Coleman’s only work in 11-on-11 drills came with the scout team.
- In the first field goal period since his disastrous 3-for-8 performance in the scrimmage, Mason Crosby made 3-of-4 attempts. He missed wide right from 51 yards but converted from 36, 46 and 53 yards. He is 15-of-23 so far in training camp. Challenger Giorgio Tavecchio also went 3-for-4. He missed wide left from 46 yards but converted from 36, 51 and 53 yards. Tavecchio improved to 19-of-23, but the team still has serious concerns about his leg strength.
- Former general manager Ron Wolf, whose son Eliot is the Packers’ director of pro personnel, attended practice as a visitor.
Others who missed practice were: WR Kevin Dorsey (leg), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OL J.C. Tretter (ankle), T Bryan Bulaga (knee), T Derek Sherrod (leg), TE Andrew Quarless (quad), TE Ryan Taylor (knee), WR Jordy Nelson (knee) and DE Jerel Worthy (knee).
Receiver Randall Cobb was back in uniform a day after dropping out with a biceps injury, but Cobb did not take part in any team drills. He appeared to do little more than some running drills.
Those who returned to practice were: RB Alex Green (knee), DE Datone Jones (illness), DE/OLB Mike Neal (abdominal) and Jolly (cramps).
What’s next: Practice on Thursday is at 8:20 a.m. CT.