Players, Head Coach Enjoy New One-A-Day Schedule

Though training camp is only two days old, the players and head coach Mike McCarthy like the new one-a-day practice schedule so far.

Through two days of training camp, the new practice schedule appears to be hit with the players and the head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers have implemented a one-a-day practice schedule with most of the sessions coming in the evening, at least early on in camp.

"I think it's to benefit the players, with the new CBA and everything," said linebacker Clay Matthews. "But obviously we're going to like it. There's a lot more meetings, but it makes it fun, especially playing underneath the lights and letting the fans come and watch us each and every night."

The NFL's collective bargaining agreement, approved just last month, included new outlines on team practice schedules that lightened time spent on the field both during the offseason, training camp and regular season.

As part of the new regulations, teams can have only one padded practice per day in the preseason part of the year, and including walkthroughs, players can be on the field for no more than four hours a day. The Packers generally conduct one on-field practice from lasting roughly two hours and 15 minutes at Ray Nitschke Field while their walkthrough portion falls between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. inside the Lambeau Field gymnasium.

Even though the Packers have conducted two-a-day practices in the past under head coach Mike McCarthy, he said they were heading in the direction of a one-a-day schedule anyway, and that he likes the change for a couple reasons.

"The teaching progression, I prefer this schedule, that's one advantage," said McCarthy. "A big part of it is the physical stress and demand the players go through and really the way it affects you, the quality of practice."

In addition to the training camp schedule, teams are only allowed to have 14 padded practices the entire regular season, 11 of them required to fall within the first 11 weeks and no more than two per week.

The new measures have been done in the name of safety and to reduce the wear and tear on players' bodies. Without as much on-field instruction as in the past, McCarthy said he's trying to find that happy medium between having his players rested and ready while still being adequately prepared.

"It's been going on for decades," said McCarthy. "I don't act like I discovered something here, because everybody's been fighting fatigue injuries in this league for a long time.

"When you sit down and you calculate 1100, 1200 reps of training camp practice, and really the quality that you get out of that, it's a juggling match to get through it."

While some coaches throughout the NFL like McCarthy are keen on the new practice schedule, there have been some rumblings from other coaches that players need the padded practices to both be prepared and get in shape from a strength and conditioning perspective.

The players association fought for a less strenuous practice schedule in their most recent labor negotiations, and so far the players are liking it.

"I love the schedule," said linebacker Erik Walden. "It allows you, like I said, to prepare in the classroom, hydrate and even get a little nap in the day, so you can be juiced for the night practice, and you can lay it all out on the line everyday."

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Comments (2)

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Ruppert's picture

August 01, 2011 at 04:04 pm

I just hope Clay Matthews' balky hamstring likes the new schedule.

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FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

August 01, 2011 at 05:14 pm

If this schedule helps us with injuries I'm all for it.


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