The backup linebacker and his partner, coaching administrator Omar Young, were the last pair to survive with their egg unbroken in the game coach Mike McCarthy held at the end of Thursday’s final minicamp practice.
“Hey, you’ve got to have soft hands,” said the fourth-year pro, who joined the Packers last year in midseason and played mostly on special teams. “I had a good guy throwing it, so we’re good. At the end, we threw it up and let it splat on the ground, just to prove to everybody that we just had soft hands.”
With special-teams coach Ron Zook on the loudspeaker, the players were instructed to pick a partner from the other side of the ball. The offensive players were on one yard line and the defensive players on the other. Some coaches joined in as well. They started 5 yards apart. Those who broke the egg were eliminated. Those who kept it intact moved back 5 yards with each successful toss.
It was McCarthy’s way of sending the players home for the summer on a good note after what he called a long but productive offseason of workouts. He said before practice that he planned to cut the final session short, but the egg toss game was a surprise.
“It was a good cherry on top,” Tripp said. “Coach is really in tune with what’s going on. It was nice to catch a bone like that. You can only do those things when we all come together and take care of business every day. Ultimately, that’s what it is. We’ve got to come back ready to roll.”
Last week, McCarthy excused all players with at least five years of NFL experience in order to focus the minicamp on the younger portion of his roster. The rest of the team, including the entire coaching staff, was cut loose on Thursday afternoon. McCarthy said the coaches will return to work on July 24. The players report for training camp on July 26, the day before the first practice.
“Actually, the workload is significantly higher than last year, just going through all our data and meeting with the medical staff and our strength and conditioning staff,” McCarthy said.
“I feel really good about the amount of work we were able to get done. Just going back through the training camp schedule with the coaching staff this morning. ... Things are really laid out for a great training camp.”