For a look at how the banged-up secondary is holding its own in practice, you can check out today’s feature story. Some other news and notes from Tuesday’s practice:
–Daniels making strides: Thus far in camp, DL Mike Daniels might be exhibit A when it comes to players making a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2 in the NFL.
A short, stout lineman (6-0, 294), Daniels has added some muscle and looks visibly bigger this season. He appears to have kept his quick first step off the ball, and it’s helping that he’s no longer wearing the shoulder harness he wore his entire rookie season following surgery at the conclusion of his college career at Iowa.
“I tell you what, it was tough,” Daniels said of playing with the harness, though he did manage two sacks and two fumble recoveries (one for a TD) in a part-time role last year. “Losing full motion with my shoulder, and that thing, it really presses on your stomach, so it’s hard to breathe. It feels good not having to wear it, and I will continue with my rehab so I do not have to wear it again.
“I feel good, I feel loose, I feel much more athletic, and I really feel as though I can get every bit of strength and range of motion out of my arm that I can, that I couldn’t last year.”
Daniels best fits Dom Capers’ defense as an inside rusher in the nickel package, and he may be making a bid for more work as a base end with his added size and strength. Either way, he could be on his way to earning a fair amount of playing time in 2013.
“I think Mike Daniels definitely has a lot more pop,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s even playing some of the tougher techniques for his body type better.”
–Lacy responds: As for the Twitter-storm over his conditioning, rookie RB Eddie Lacy said he’s pretty much ignoring it. He also said his conditioning and weight are exactly where he wants them to be.
“I’ve always been big,” Lacy said. “I’m a power back. I pretty much get the tough yards, and I’m fast enough to get around the outside and make big plays. I don’t have a problem with any aspect of the game.”
Lacy got a lot of work on Tuesday in the red-zone and goal-line periods with a number of inside runs. He pushed the pile at times, looked nimble on his feet at others, and called it his best day of camp thus far.
“I was comfortable with everything,” he said. “I felt like I ran smooth, I made good reads, and I just hit the hole the way I was supposed to.”
Lacy also looked solid in the first one-on-one blitz pick-up drill on Tuesday between the RBs and OLBs. McCarthy admitted the linebackers have the upper hand because there’s no one else around and the running backs are “on an island,” which isn’t necessarily realistic, but Lacy said the disadvantage will only help the running backs in pass protection in the long run.
“It gives us as the running backs that edge to get better, so when we have to do it in a game, we have (extra) bodies (around), and it will make it that much easier,” Lacy said.
–Injury update: T Kevin Hughes sat out practice, and McCarthy said he was dealing with some headaches. McCarthy also said it could still be 2-3 weeks before RB DuJuan Harris (knee) is back on the field. WR Charles Johnson underwent an MRI on his injured knee on Monday, but McCarthy said he has been given no timetable for his return.
–Hoop games: The famous QB hoop made its first appearance at camp on Tuesday. It’s an elevated hoop with a net attached that serves as a target for the QBs on lobs and fade passes from various distances.
In the first go-round, from roughly 15-20 yards away, all three QBs — Aaron Rodgers, Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman — managed to drop one through the hoop and into the net. When they moved back to 40-45 yards or so, Rodgers and Harrell both had rim shots that bounced away, and Coleman had one that went just underneath, but no one got one through the hoop.
Tags: eddie lacy, mike daniels
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