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GREEN BAY, Wis. . - The brief scuffle at Packers practice turned heads in the crowd. The dropped ball by a receiver during an offence vs. defence security drill drew roars from defenders. The team has grinded through off-season workouts with a work ethic that coach Mike McCarthy says is one of the best hes seen during his nine years as head coach in Green Bay. The energy is up. "Im not saying the other groups werent mature," McCarthy said. "It just seems like this group is further ahead than weve been, and you can sense the energy." Caveat: Its June, still more than six weeks from the start of training camp and three months from the start of the 2014 season. Almost every team feels good this time of year. The Packers, of course, have a championship pedigree. Confidence that comes with winning three straight NFC North titles, and just a few seasons removed from winning the Super Bowl. "The work ethic is very high. This group is really extremely competitive, in tune. Our new training environment has been unbelievable. It has put us so far ahead of where weve ever been, so I think with that brings more confidence so theres just a sense of maturity," McCarthy said. Changes on the coaching staff brought some new perspective. Quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo left to become the offensive co-ordinator of the New York Giants, while outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene left to spend more time with family. Sam Gash is the new running backs coach after Alex Van Pelt slid over to replace McAdoo. Winston Moss is the assistant in charge of all linebackers now, not just inside linebackers. Former Illinois and Florida head coach Ron Zook is now an assistant special teams coach. Green Bay hopes the defence will be improved this year with the addition of Julius Peppers and the anticipated healthy return of linebacker Clay Matthews from an injured thumb. Eddie Lacy has a full year of seasoning now as the lead rusher in a talented backfield that complements Rodgers. The 2011 NFL MVP, for one, likes the spunk hes seen on the practice field. "I love it. I love the energy, I love the passion. There will be those altercations in training camp. When guys remember this is a professional environment, not a personal environment, then you wont have any issues in the locker room," Rodgers said. "But every now and then you have to stir it up a little bit, you have to make some changes." Rodgers said he also likes the changes he has seen with new personnel and new coaches. "Its a natural progression. And when you have some new players theres always going to be stuff like that, guys getting used to this tempo," Rodgers said. "Sometimes guys dont like getting tossed down a little bit, and you need to work it out." Fringe players anxiously looking for a roster spot shouldnt get too overly worked up. Jobs arent won in June, McCarthy said, when practices are tailored to highlight agility and playing in space. But McCarthy likes some of the intangibles that he has seen so far. "I think youre seeing more player interaction as far as what goes on on the field. Guys self-correcting, and a lot more pro-active as far as sharing information," he said. "Those are good things. I see more of it this year." Note: The Packers signed rookie free agent Shaun Lewis on Tuesday. Lewis, a 5-foot-11 linebacker from Oklahoma State, tried out at Packers rookie minicamp in May. He had 73 tackles and three interceptions last season for the Cowboys. __ Online: AP NFL website: and ___ Follow Genaro Armas at . Nylander scored in his NHL pre-season debut as the Leafs beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre and showed flashes of offensive brilliance. . -- Charlie Graham stopped 67 shots as the Belleville Bulls edged the visiting Guelph Storm 6-5 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action.Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at! Kerry, We always get a feel of what teams do between periods, but what do refs do between periods?  Do you watch tape - see if anyone dove? Drink tea?  Thanks! Sean,Denver, CO --- Hi Sean: Intermission is a time to relax, rehydrate, collect your thoughts individually or as a team and review any situations that might have occurred in the previous period. This all takes place in the relative quiet of The Officials Man Cave! Initial discussions will centre on specific game situations such as player tendencies (including diving!), player hostilities and provides an opportunity to formulate a game plan as how the team might handle future hot spots. Conversation of this nature occurs a few minutes at most. Intermission provides a time for a mental and emotional break. Every NHL Officials dressing room is equipped with basic comfort food (fresh fruit, bagels, sandwiches but no donuts!). The ACC in Toronto has the very best catered food in the league that borders on fine dining. Vancouver also does a fantastic job in the food department.  Beverages consist of your normal sports drinks designed to replace electrolytes, juice and in most locations a beer or two for after the game. Guys dont eat much during intermissions other than fruit. A digital clock/timing device linked to the official score clock provides the officials with accurate time remaining prior to their return to the ice in advance of the teams. The same device can be found in the team dressing rooms as well so there is no excuse for being late. If a team is not visible in the tunnel approaching the ice when the score clock hits 00:00 a bench minor penalty for delay of game is assessed. A telephone is provided in every officials dressing room. The phone is utilized on occasion when Hockey Ops calls to discuss an issue with the referees or even make suggestions how they would like something handled in the next period. The officials can place a call to the Situation Room (Mission Control) as well if they would like to discuss something that might have occurred. Following a game the phone might ring if there was an incident that would require a report to be filed by the officials or on a potential suspension.  Most often the phone remains quiet. A television monitor, complete with in-house feed of thee game and cable/satellite, is standard equipment. One thing that is missing is the ability to have a replay fed to the television from the in-house video review booth. If the guys want to catch a second look at something they have to rely on the intermission feed that shows highlights. Chances are if they want to look at something it will be part of the intermission highlight package. (They could also phone upstairs to the video review official and ask him to describe a play and give his take on a play in question.)  Some officials prefer the TV volume turned down while the majority desires to hear what the commentators have to say; which includes "Coaches Corner." I usually found Don and Ron entertaining (even when outrageous, as was often the case) but it didnt matter much to me what was on the television.  Most often the officials will surf the channels between periods and catch other games that are being played around the league. Once any business is completed conversation generally is kept light. Unlike players that pretty much live together during the season the officials move around North America as independent businessmen and will catch up on small talk, family life and current events during the break.  On occasion officials are assigned to work together in pairs or as a team for a couple of consecutive games so future assignments or travel plans might be discussed. As the clock ticks down and the five-minute warning is issued, the conversation changes to a more focused, game-centred thought process. Each official will reflect on what he has to do when he walks through the dressing room door and steps onto the ice. Controlled energy and emotion returns to each official as does his focus on the task at hand. With 2:30 left on the clock a verbal pump is generated by someone and the officials are led from the dressing room by the senior referee and onto the ice. Its all business from this point until the next intermission and a safe return to the Officials Man Cave or at the end of the game handshakes signal an end and job well done. At that point someone (usually the junior man) will say, "Anyone want a cold beer and a sandwich?" For a personally autographed copy of Final Call from TSN hockey analyst and former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, visit The Book Keeper website. For a regular copy of Final Call from TSN hockey analyst and former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, visit here. Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys ' ' ' 

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By wxy1123
Added Jul 24 '16


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