Ice towels are covering heads, Gatorade is flowing freely. The Packers are entering the critical third week of the Pre-Season and the hottest temperatures of training camp are arriving as well. Monday's shells practice took place under breezy, sunny conditions with the thermometer hitting the low 80's. It will be in the upper 80's tomorrow and near 90 on Wednesday. I guess that's why this time of year is like a pressure cooker. The first cuts of camp are looming after Friday's meeting with the Seattle Seahawks. Mike McCarthy may be sensing his team doesn't want to over cook so he wiped out the final no huddle portion of practice, cutting it back from 10 to 9 periods. He'll also eliminate the pads for Tuesday's practice, working again in shells, and padding up just once, on Wednesday, before the game. McCarthy also said the team was diligent in working through corrections from the St. Louis victory and getting the basic down and distance plays in the Seahawk game plan covered so he trimmed the 10 minutes or so from practice.
A couple of notes from the session, Don Barclay again opened with the ones at right tackle but McCarthy said no job has been won yet. He'll continue to alternate with Marshall Newhouse but it sure looks like Barclay has the inside track. With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb still out at receiver, Jarrett Boykin was teamed with James Jones with the starters and DuJuan Harris got first snaps at running back. On defense, rookie Micah Hyde was teamed with Sam Shields at corner and M.D. Jennings was the number one safety opposite Morgan Burnett. Speaking of cornerbacks, for the first time this summer, Casey Hayward was on the field. Last year's All Rookie Team member, who led the Pack with a half dozen interceptions, pulled a hamstring just before camp opened and was finally cleared to practice today. After the workout, the media gathered around Casey's locker to ask him about his return.
All of the defensive backs were put through an interesting ball drill today. Cornerback Coach Joe Whitt donned the padded arms and he had the guys round a circle and attack the dummy quarterback with the ball tucked high. They had to fight through Whitt, swipe the ball loose and recover it.
There was another kicking competition today. Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio each took nine kicks ranging from 34 to 55 yards and from the right hashmark, middle, and left hashmark. Crosby connected on 8 out of 9, missing wide right from 50 yards. Tavecchio made 7 out of 9, thrown off balance a bit by a high snap and missing wide left from 41 yards, and also missing from 50. Kicking downwind, both drilled 53 and 55 yarders to finish the drill. Crosby appears to have recovered from the rough Family Night scrimmage. He has more thump in his kick than Tavecchio and is getting slightly better distance on kickoffs. Giorgio will have to have a huge finish to dethrone the incumbent.
Aside from Hayward, Andrew Quarless returned today after working through a quad injury. New to the list is James Nixon, the defensive back suffered ankle and knee injuries in St. Louis and his status for Seattle is uncertain. Tight End Matt Mulligan's arm injury from Saturday has him unlikely to play against the Seahawks.