For the rundown on Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s press conference after the final practice of the week prior to the preseason game in St. Louis, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news & notes from Thursday:
–Bakhtiari new to domes: It’s just the preseason, but rookie LT David Bakhtiari will get his first taste of playing football in a dome on Saturday night in St. Louis, and that could be important.
“I’ve been in a lot of loud stadiums, but I don’t think I’ve played in a dome before,” Bakhtiari said. “It will be my first time for that.”
As usual, the Packers piped in crowd noise during the week of practice for many of the team (11-on-11) periods to work on their silent count. The experience, even if it’s only loud for the first series or so and won’t be as loud as it would be in a regular-season game, could be valuable for Bakhtiari because the Packers have three regular-season dome games this season — at Minnesota, Detroit and Dallas.
–Youth in secondary still shining: Rookie CB Micah Hyde made yet another big play in practice on Thursday, leaping at the goal line to intercept a pass that was intended for a receiver running a crossing route in the back of the end zone.
It wasn’t as spectacular as the interception Hyde made on Wednesday (click here and scroll down to the “Plays of the Day”), but it was a pretty nifty play nonetheless. With CBs Tramon Williams (knee) and Casey Hayward (hamstring) still sidelined, Hyde likely will start on Saturday night.
Mike McCarthy noted how strong an impression Hyde made when he first arrived in Green Bay for rookie orientation. The coaches were firing punts and kickoffs out of a Jugs machine to numerous players and various places on the field, testing the rookies’ abilities to track down the ball and catch it in difficult spots. Hyde, a fifth-round draft pick, stood out during the drill.
“To see his ability to catch the ball on the run and do different things, I was tempted to put him on offense,” McCarthy said. “I think he has that type of ball-skill ability. He’s doing some really good things as a young player.”
Another young defensive back who made a big play on Thursday was rookie S Chris Banjo, who intercepted a pass in the end zone intended for TE Brandon Bostick. Banjo wasn’t signed until three days into training camp but is making a bid to stick around in some capacity.
“I love the way he’s played,” McCarthy said of the SMU product. “He’s one of the guys we recognized in our team meeting. The safeties are a lot like our whole defense. We have very good depth over there.”
–WR response: In response to retired WR Donald Driver’s comments about QB Aaron Rodgers’ leadership, which lined up in some ways with the criticisms put forth earlier by former Packers WR Greg Jennings, current WR James Jones had this to say about players taking responsibility for their mistakes:
“It’s everybody’s responsibility,” Jones said. “Everybody in here is a man. You’re not in college no mre, you’re not in high school no more. When you make a mistake, you have to own up to your own mistake.
“Just because we have a good quarterback, it ain’t his responsibility to take everybody else’s wrongdoing. If we make a mistake, we own up to our mistakes. When he makes a mistake, he owns up to his. He lets us know when (we’re) wrong, and we let him know when he’s wrong.”
–Injury update: In addition to the injury updates provided in today’s main story, OL Andrew Datko returned to practice from a concussion. He had been out since late last week.
Tags: chris banjo, david bakhtiari, donald driver, james jones, micah hyde, mike mccarthy
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp