Tuesday’s first OTA practice, held at Ray Nitschke Field, lasted roughly 1 hour, 50 minutes. As with all OTA practices, players were in helmets and shorts, no pads.
–Depth chart: With CB Charles Woodson and S Charlie Peprah not practicing, CB Jarrett Bush and S M.D. Jennings were working with the No. 1 defense, with CB Sam Shields the nickel corner. Jennings and Shields had particularly strong practices. Jennings made a sliding interception of an Aaron Rodgers pass over the middle, while Shields ran stride for stride with Jordy Nelson on a deep ball and came up with the INT after just missing a couple of other picks earlier in practice.
–More depth chart: First-round draft pick Nick Perry was with the No. 1 defense at left OLB, with starter Clay Matthews moving over to the right side. On the defensive line, the three-man base alignment featured B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson with the first unit, while the two-man nickel package had Raji and second-round pick Jerel Worthy as the inside rushers.
–Position change: LBs Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore, who had been outside LBs in the past, were getting their reps in position drills and full team (11-on-11) at inside LB.
–Handling the past: Rodgers was asked about the January playoff loss to the Giants and whether it still burns. “Nah,” he said. “That’s long since forgotten. I left Green Bay that week and kind of moved on. It’s frustrating and you’re still frustrated by it, but it’s not something I carry with me.”
Not all his teammates could say the same, however.
“It’s still with me,” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “I’m real sour about it still, but you just use it as motivation to work hard and get ready. We came up short, so we have to work to get this taste out of our mouth.”
Added TE Jermichael Finley: “If you lose to the team that won the Super Bowl, it eats at you.”
–New team: C Jeff Saturday (No. 63, pictured), signed as a free agent from Indianapolis in the offseason, was with the No. 1 offense as expected in his first full-squad workout with the Packers. Saturday, of course, was the center for all four of QB Peyton Manning’s MVP seasons with the Colts, and now he’ll be snapping to the reigning league MVP in Rodgers.
“I tell people all the time, I’ve already had a blessed career and now you’re just capping it off,” Saturday said. “I feel a little bit like a rookie. I’m in the (play)book a lot more than I’ve ever been, or at least since the ’90s. That’s quite a while. But it’s fun, too. It refreshes you.”
Saturday said there’s not much from Indy’s offensive system that carries over, but Rodgers noted that Saturday’s experience with no-huddle work is definitely a plus.
“As much up-tempo stuff that Indianapolis ran in his time there, it’s going to transition very well to some of the stuff we’re going to do,” Rodgers said. “Jeff’s really smart, knows the game really well, knows his strengths and limitations, and we’re excited to have him.”
–Nice grab: WR Diondre Borel, who spent last season on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, made one of the nicer plays for the offense with a sliding grab over the middle, followed by a quick spin/pop-up move to keep running.
–In addition to Woodson and Peprah, those not practicing included DE Mike Daniels and LB Frank Zombo on defense, and RB Alex Green, FBs Jon Hoese and John Kuhn, TE Andrew Quarless, T Derek Sherrod, G Jaymes Brooks and WR Donald Driver on offense.
–The Packers have two more weeks of OTA workouts before the mandatory three-day mini-camp to conclude the offseason. The next two practices open to the media and public are on Wednesday, May 30, and Tuesday, June 5.
For a recap of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-practice press conference, click here.
Tags: organized team activities, OTAs, practice notes
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