Bay Packers’ Jordy Nelson rides a bike to NFL football
training camp Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
GREEN BAY — The
Green Bay Packers got off to a running start at training camp.
Coach Mike McCarthy
wouldn't have it any other way for the NFL's highest-scoring team last
"The tempo of
practice was what I was looking for," McCarthy said Thursday.
There were typical
first-day penalties and mistakes, "but getting back to playing
football at that type of speed I thought was very important."
In the six-month long
marathon to the Super Bowl, the Packers feel they have a head start.
All 11 starters, plus most of the top reserves, are back, led by MVP
quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
There is no need for
guys to worry about the depth chart. The main contributors can get
right down to focusing on the task of making an offense that scored a
league-high 30.4 points per game perform even better.
"When we're not
having to spend time with what you classify as the (first teamers)
right now going over the base plays, we're able to move forward, we're
able to make adjustments on the base plays. You know, get out there
and get going," receiver Jordy Nelson said about the roster
The familiarity can
be comforting. Rodgers said that meetings are tailored more to older
players this year, so younger guys are expected to keep up.
But the Packers
remain hungry even with all the roster stability. The last time they
played a meaningful game, after all, was the crushing loss to the
Seattle Seahawks in the NFC championship game.
Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers smiles during NFL football training
camp Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis.
"You can always
improve. We didn't score on every possession. That's our No. 1 goal.
It's being consistent and eliminating mistakes," Nelson said.
"It's the little things, and that's where you've got to pick
yourself apart individually."
There is a new
wrinkle on offense this season with McCarthy giving up play-calling
duties to devote more time to overseeing defense and special teams.
Associate head coach Tom Clements will call plays, while Edgar Bennett
is now the offensive coordinator.
It's all still
McCarthy's offense. But new voices are leading meetings in what might
be the biggest change on an otherwise stable unit.
"It doesn't feel
like there needs to be a lot of change. We've got the team that we
want," Rodgers said. "But it's all about putting yourself in
position, and winning the important games early sometimes, that can
set you (up) for those games to be played at home because I think we
all know ... how difficult (it) is becoming to play at Lambeau.
Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy watches a drill during NFL
football training camp Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Green Bay,
"So we'd love to
have the championship game at Lambeau next year," Rodgers added.
It could happen if
Rodgers and Nelson continue to be one of the top quarterback-receiver
combinations in the NFL. They got right back to work on Thursday with
Nelson participating fully in practice after being limited during the
offseason following hip surgery.
The procedure, Nelson
said, was to clean up what doctors called an "impingement"
that had built up from years of playing sports. It was never a bother
on game days, Nelson said.
Nelson had said
during minicamp that he was just being cautious, with the ultimate
goal being ready to go from the first day of training camp.
"Was he out
there?" Rodgers joked. "Yeah, Jordy's a stud."
Quarless missed practice, and McCarthy said the tight end is dealing
with a difficult family situation. ... LB Mike Neal was placed on the
physically unable to perform list for a reported abdominal injury.
McCarthy said he didn't think Neal, a key member of the pass-rush
rotation, would be out long. ... CB Quinten Rollins, the team's
second-round draft pick, is on the non-football injury list after
hurting his right hamstring while doing conditioning work two weeks
ago. Neal and Rollins can return once medically cleared. ... WR Jared
Abbrederis, who missed his rookie season in 2014 with a knee injury,
left practice after falling hard to the turf during an interception.
McCarthy said that he didn't think it was a knee injury, and that
trainers might have been looking at Abbrederis' back.
GREEN BAY —
Receiver Jordy Nelson is taking part in the first practice of Green
Bay Packers training camp after being limited during the offseason
following minor hip surgery.
Hayward also practiced Thursday after missing time in the offseason
with a foot injury. He could take over as a starter opposite of Sam
Shields following the departure of free agent Tramon Williams.
Trainers were looking
at Jared Abbrederis after the receiver fell hard to the ground
following an interception.
Starting tight end
Andrew Quarless missed practice. Coach Mike McCarthy says Quarless is
dealing with difficult family situation.
Linebacker Mike Neal
was placed on the physically unable to perform list, while rookie
defensive back Quinten Rollins was put on the non-football injury
list. Both players can return once medically cleared.