The Packers opened camp yesterday with renewed optimism, looking to rebound from a disappointing 6-10 season a year ago. The team is excited to experiment with Dom Capers‘ 3-4 defense and basically just turn it around from last year. So some Day 1 headlines:
- Linebacker Nick Barnett is opening camp on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list after he did not pass his physical. Barnett flunking his physical has nothing to do with him being out of shape, as he is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. There is no time table yet for his return to the practice field. Brandon Chillar has replaced him on the No. 1 unit.
- Approximately 2,100 people attended the first practice, filling the stands that have a capacity of 1,500 people.
- The battle for the center and right guard spots is interesting, with Scott Wells, Jason Spitz, and Josh Sitton all rotating around the positions as Mike McCarthy looks to find the best fit for the team.
- In the aforementioned 3-4 defense, Jeremy Thompson was working with the No. 1 unit on the right side, opposite Aaron Kampman.
- Top draft choice B.J. Raji was not in camp yesterday, as the stalemate for contracts for draft picks above him and below him affects the ability for the Packers to get a contract done with him.
- Rookie linebacker Brad Jones, a seventh-round pick, also failed his physical and was put on the PUP list.
- After suffering a torn pectoral muscle that ended his season in Week 4 last year, lineman Cullen Jenkins is back in top shape, according to McCarthy.
- Tackle Chad Clifton told reporters he also had work done on his shoulders as well as his knees during the offseason. Greg A. Bedard said he looked “nimble and strong” in practice.
With two-a-days starting today, the Packers look to get back into shape for the season as September 13 looms in the distance.