The Packers returned to work today in front of empty bleachers at Ray Nitschke Field. A closed practice that consisted of review and game plan specific work. Mike McCarthy said he misses the atmposphere the railbirds bring to camp, but he didn't want to expose the plays and formations being run today. A key runner also returned in the form of DuJuan Harris. He practiced for the first time since the spring Organized Team Activities. Both the head coach and the young running back talked about it after practice.
In his first game with the Pack, Harris scored against Detroit, his best game was against the Minnesota Vikings in the season finale, gaining 70 yards on 14 carries.
Harris scored TD's in both playoff games against Minnesota and San Francisco. With both Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin almost certainly making the squad, Harris will now join James Starks and Alex Green for one, maybe two roster spots.
There was another field goal period at practice today. Neither kicker got an oppportunity against Arizona at Lambeau so each took a pair of kicks from the 36, 42, 46 and 53 yard lines and from alternately the right and left hashmarks. Giorgio Tavecchio made all 8, Mason Crosby hit 7 of 8, missing wide left from 46. Tavecchio maintains a higher conversion percentage in camp.
Speaking of kickers, Ryan Longwell informed the team today he wants to retire as a member of the Green Bay Packers. The all-time franchise scoring leader played nine years in Green Bay, amassing 1054 points, surpassing Don Hutson's career mark. He holds franchise records for most field goals (226), highest percentage (81.6) and most 100 point seasons (8). The former California Golden Bear played the final six seasons of his career with the Vikings. General Manager Ted Thompson will sign Longwell to a deal so he can formally retire as a Packer. He'll be in Green Bay on Tuesday.