Many Packers fans had been anxiously awaiting the start of training camp to reassure themselves that last year’s 4-0 finish was in fact a signal of great things to come in the very near future. Unfortunately, the Packers first day of training camp may have caused many to doubt the Packers’ chances for the 2007 season.
First round draft pick Justin Harrell seemed rusty, often being overpowered and out of place. That is to be expected, however, from a player who hasn’t played a single down of full contact football since September of 2006, when the latest of his many injuries sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Far more worrisome then a slightly rusty defensive tackle is the problems the Packers had with their running backs on the first day of training camp.
Vernand Morency, the #2 running back behind Ahman Green in ’06 and the expected starter in ’07, left late in the practice after a minor injury to his knee, leaving the first team carrying duties to rookie Brandon Jackson. Jackson, who had impressed with his work ethic when he holed up in his hotel room to study the Packers’ playbook at a mandatory photoshoot while other rookies were taking advantage of a free weekend, failed to impress on the field, dropping two passes and missing blocks. 7th rounder Deshawn Wynn sat out the entire practice due to a stomach virus.
In addition to the woes at running back, Pro Bowl WR Donald Driver sat out the first day due to a nagging shoulder injury that head coach Mike McCarthy described as “day-to-day.”
Hopefully, the Packers are able to overcome this underwhelming performance and get on the right track ASAP.