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Green Bay Packers 2012 Training Camp Preview

REPORT DATE: July 25th

SITE: St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI

CAMP OBJECTIVES: Defense will be the central theme when the Packers return to St. Norbert for the 55th consecutive summer, with improving a unit that permitted an NFL-worst 411.6 yards per game the unquestioned No. 1 purpose. A host of rookies on that side of the ball will have the chance to shine in the preseason, with first-round choice Nick Perry expected to be installed as a regular outside linebacker opposite All-Pro Clay Matthews and second-rounder Jerel Worthy one of several candidates to start at right defensive end, a list that also includes holdovers C.J. Wilson and Jarius Wynn and Dolphins castoff Phillip Merling. With nickel back Sam Shields coming off a poor season, the door could be open for Casey Hayward -- another second-round selection in April's draft -- and 2011 fourth-round pick Davon House to earn roles in specialty packages, while small-school project Jerron McMillian (4th Round, Maine) could give veteran Charlie Peprah a run at strong safety. Green Bay is fairly well set at offense, but the team does want to see if injury-prone leading rusher James Starks can handle a more substantial workload with former backfield mate Ryan Grant now out of the picture and if young reserves Alex Green and Brandon Saine can emerge as reliable secondary options. A pair of second-year tight ends, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor, could be in line for increased duties with main backup Andrew Quarless' season in doubt due to an ACL tear.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern):

Aug. 9 - at San Diego, 8 p.m. Aug. 16 - vs. Cleveland, 8 p.m. Aug. 23 - at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. Aug. 30 - vs. Kansas City, 7 p.m.