For the past several years, the Green Bay Packers excused their longest-tenured veterans from mandatory minicamp at the end of the offseason workout program. This year, under Matt LaFleur, that changed.
For the past several years, the Green Bay Packers opened up their minicamp practices to the fans. This year, LaFleur closed of practices.
However, LaFleur has elected to stick with one notable minicamp tradition that began under former head coach Mike McCarthy: team-building day. On Wednesday, the Packers announced that they would skip practice on Thursday, the final day of minicamp, holding team-building activities instead. Technically, the Packers did their team-building day during OTAs a year ago, but that was in part due to the veterans being excused from minicamp.
What the Packers will do on Thursday is unknown at this point. Past events have included a dodgeball tournament, skeet-shooting outings, and bowling, but all of these activities have been welcomed warmly by those participating.
With LaFleur trying to install a new offense, there was little chance that veterans would get the opportunity to skip minicamp. Each and every week of practice is important for the starters and reserves alike as both groups try to absorb and put into practice the finer points of the new scheme. This may also be why LaFleur elected to close off practices to the public — with the team installing numerous new concepts, it’s reasonable to expect that he wanted to keep those install periods away from prying eyes.
But for now, the Packers will have a little fun on their final day before they take a six-week break for the summer. The Packers will report to training camp on July 24th, with the first practice taking place on the 25th.