Training Camp Update
GREEN BAY — The top seven teams in turnover ratio last season in the NFL won at least nine regular season games, meaning if you take care of the football you should be in position to make the postseason.
Among those seven teams, the Bears and Giants missed the playoffs, but ask any coach and he always wants to be on the plus side of turnover ratio.
The Packers ranked seventh last season in turnover ratio at +7, but Thursday in practice the Packers were likely in the minus category.
"Didn't like the balls on the ground," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's totally disrupts practice. We stayed on the field afterwards and had the whole team handle the football."
B.J. Coleman, who's battling Graham Harrell for the No. 2 QB spot behind starter Aaron Rodgers, had a turnover that bothered McCarthy.
"The pitch between B.J. and James Starks, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that, I thought it was careless and sloppy," McCarthy said. "And ultimately it overshadows all the positive work we did out there today."
McCarthy said the offensive line even got in work with preventing turnovers as it worked on shotgun snaps.
"You got to handle the football," McCarthy said. "It's the most important part of the game. Today's not what you want."
Looking forward to Family Night
The annual Family Night scrimmage is Saturday and McCarthy is looking forward to watching his players perform in front of a full house in Lambeau Field. He expects the situation to be telling.
"It's a tremendous night, Family Night, and getting a chance to work under the lights," McCarthy said. "(Friday) night and Family Night is the high-stress part of training camp."
The Packers have practiced at 8:20 a.m. so far in camp but Friday they will practice at 7 p.m. in preparation for Saturday.
Jolly returns to practice
DT Johnny Jolly knows he needs to be at practice every day if he wants to rekindle his football career, so a day after suffering an ankle injury, Jolly returned to the practice field Thursday.
"Johnny's always been a tough guy and practices hurt," McCarthy said. "That was no surprise to anybody."
Crosby, Tavecchio battling for kicking job
Mason Crosby and Sergio Tavecchio are battling for the kicking job and at least for Thursday it seemed the incumbent Crosby had a leg up on his counterpart.
"I thought they both kicked a lot better today," McCarthy said. "Mason kicked with excellent accuracy, but the height of the football is where it's made to be. Sergio made his kicks, but he didn't have quite the loft that Mason had. It's going to be a good battle."
Crosby said he doesn't mind the competition.
"I feel good with that it's a positive and we can just focus on what I need to take care of, and the things that make me hit the ball the best I can," he said. "If anything it just adds another element of focus and to make sure that I block everything else that is going on, and really focus on what I need to do to make kicks."
Referees at practice
Every year NFL referees spend time at each team's training camp and this week the refs have stopped by the Packers' training camp. As usual, McCarthy likes the time they spend with his team.
"I think it's great when the NFL referees are in," McCarthy said. "It's important for the players to get to know them. (They'll) work three practices. It's very beneficial for the clubs when the officials come in."
- McCarthy on safeties Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings: "I really like the growth of M.D. Jennings and McMillian. They have made a huge, huge step."
- Back at practice: S David Fulton returned to practice Thursday.
- Sitting out practice Thursday (13): Sederrik Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson, DuJuan Harris, Sean Richardson, Casey Hayward, Tramon Williams, Nate Palmer, Dezman Moses, JC Tretter, Derek Sherrod, Mike Neal, Jerel Worthy.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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