Monday's training camp had an unusual feel without the Leader of Pack. Aaron Rodgers missed practice due to illness. I guess even NFL players have "sick days". Mike McCarthy told reporters he fully expects the team leader to practice tomorrow and had the following to say about Rodgers absence:"We're all aware that there's some stuff going around at this particular time and Aaron's one of the many thousands of people that has a head cold, so I think he's going to be fine."
With the on-going back-up quarterback battle, today was a great opportunity for Graham Harrell, Vince Young and B.J. Coleman to get extra reps. During the team run period, one of Harrell's passes was tipped up by rookie linebacker Sam Barrington and intercepted by Jarrett Bush, it was Bush of course who picked off a pass against St. Louis after Johnny Jolly got a hand on it. Later during the pass skelly period Vince Young executed a beautiful pass to rookie Tyrone Walker in between two defenders. Later in the period, in redzone work, Harrell connected with Jermicael Finley for a touchdown - quite the catch on Finley's part. #88 had another good practice. He put on what he calls "ten pounds" in the offseason and told us he feels the extra lbs when he run blocks. The extra weight has seemed to give Finley a new swagger, but McCarthy says he hasn't noticed a change in his approach. "This is the Jermichael Finley that I work with everyday and I know we've had a talk about Jermichael on different topics, but this man approaches the same way everyday. He's a joy to coach. He's like every other member on our team, he's been here now..... and he's a lot more mature. I think physically he's in the place where he wants to be and he's clearly having his finest training camp, it's clear-cut. I just think that's part of the maturity of him and the relationship with Aaron as far as being on the same page. We're asking him to do the dirty work again, that he wasn't asked to do as much the last two years and I think he's doing a good job of it," McCarthy explained.
Rookie cornerback Micah Hyde told us on Monday he needed to do a better job capitalizing on interception opportunities. He had a ball slip right through his hands in St. Louis and told us he's lost sleep over it. Today he missed out on another pick, almost intercepting a Young pass intended for Justin Wilson.
And the Packers organization does a great job adding a "personal touch". It was a hot day and the organization went around practice offering "official Packer sunscreen" to visiting guests and media members. McCarthy was asked if temperature-wise it felt more like training camp today.
"Definitely. I think it was 82 today. You look at your schedule and the only game that I'm concerned about weather-wise is probably Cincinnati. Now that I've said that it'll probably be hot as hell against San Francisco and Washington but you can't really plan for that. But its good to get in the heat," McCarthy said.
The Green and Gold return to practice at Ray Nitschke Field Wednesday at 11 a.m. Their final workout before they host Seattle on Friday in their third preseason game.