McCarthy shifting Packers' training camp into regular-season routine

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy watches during organized team activities May 23, 2017 at Clarke Hinkle Field.

GREEN BAY – Training camp from this point forward will have a regular-season feel for the Green Bay Packers.

After installing the offense, defense and special teams during the first eight practices — five at 8:15 a.m. and three in the evening — coach Mike McCarthy is moving to a schedule that will reflect what the players will go through once the real games start.

The Packers play their first exhibition game Thursday night against Philadelphia at Lambeau Field and McCarthy said Monday he will spend the next two days using the same format he would for a regular-season week.

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“We’ll start the (opponent play) cards today,” McCarthy said of the usual game preparation. “Really, this is starting the process of preparing for a football game. We’ve never really gone into it this early. We usually kind of dabble in it the second week. Then we get into the second preseason game and dedicate the whole third week to that.

“We’re setting a game plan so everybody that gets in is comfortable doing the things they need to do to play. You want every player to have an opportunity not to be out there thinking.”

The Packers practice Monday at 12:15 p.m. and Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. On Wednesday, they will hold meetings and possibly conduct a walk-through as final preparation for the game Thursday night.

After the game, the Packers go four straight days without a public practice. One of those days will be dedicated to working on the game plan for the season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 10.

“We have a Thursday night game, Friday will be an in-season Monday where we’ll come in and evaluate the tape and get that schedule taught for the first time,” McCarthy said. “Saturday will be a Tuesday and will be their day off.

“Sunday, we’ll take that day and work exclusively on Seattle. And then we’ll roll into a normal week going into the next preseason game (Aug. 19 at Washington).”

McCarthy did not give any injury updates coming off the Saturday night practice at Lambeau Field other than that linebacker Vince Biegel still has not been cleared to practice following May foot surgery.

He said the work in the stadium was good for the team. He offered no explanation for kicker Mason Crosby’s 5-for-11 performance on field goals, but said it gave the coaches plenty of things to show the special-teams unit.

“I mean field-goal operation you have a number of components involved in it,” he said. “It wasn’t quite what it needed to be. I think that was reflected in the results of, you know, the quality. This is why we’re in training camp. It’s a great environment to work in.

“I can’t say enough about Family Night as far as what the crowd gives us in the reality of preparing for our first preseason game. I think it really helps our specialists to get out there and go through their operation when the fans are doing the wave and all that. It’s great work that we can learn from.”

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