Training camp postcard: Packers
Posted: Saturday August 4, 2007 2:21AM; Updated: Tuesday August 7, 2007 3:47PM
At the Green Bay Packers camp, headquartered at Lambeau Field, with practices on the pristine grass field across Oneida Street at Clark Hinkle Field. There's been a slight shift this year in the way the players ride bikes across the street to and from practice. Some of the offensive and defensive linemen, instead of taking the bikes, now simply hand their shoulder pads and helmets to the eagerly waiting kids, and the kids park their bikes and walk across the street with their heroes. Good idea. I mean, would you want Ryan Pickett, all 322 pounds of him, on your little Schwinn?
Five Things I Think
1. I think Brett Favre looks fairly nimble at 219 pounds at age 37 after an off-season of five workouts a week focused on core strength and movement training. He scrambled in the pocket out of trouble once this afternoon, avoiding defensive end Jason Hunter, and found Charles Lee in the end zone for a touchdown throw.
2. I think the big weakness on this team -- and I mean big -- is going to be finding a running back to carry the load with Ahman Green departed to Houston in free-agency. The man entering camp seemed to be Vernand Morency, but he could be out three weeks with a tweaked knee. This year's second-round pick, Brandon Jackson of Nebraska, will compete with Morency for the job when the latter returns from the injury, with Noah Herron the favorite for third-down duty.
3. I think, by the way, Green Bay's problems in the backfield would have been solved had Marshawn Lynch slipped down a few spots in the first round. You think this team wouldn't have jumped on the versatile Cal running back instead of defensive tackle Justin Harrell? Lynch would have been their guy in a heartbeat.
4. I think James Jones, the third-round wideout from San Jose State, is miles ahead of the other drafted receiver, David Clowney of Virginia Tech. Jones has terrific hands, and you can't overthrow him.
5. I think the Packers are one of the few teams in football who can say they have an embarrassment of riches at defensive tackle. The unknown one who looked best this afternoon at practice: knifingly strong 312-pounder Johnny Jolly, a sixth-round pick last year.
Did You Know?
The Packers have the longest current winning streak in the NFC -- four games. They went 4-0 down the stretch last year, and haven't lost since Dec. 3, a 38-10 home thrashing by the Jets.