For a recap of Tuesday’s practice, which featured the backup QBs as Aaron Rodgers sat out with an illness, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news & notes:
–Constant reminder: S M.D. Jennings isn’t thrilled with his current fate, which is being forever connected to last year’s “Fail Mary” on the final play in Seattle. He can’t escape reminders of it wherever he goes, though he’s always a good sport about it and has signed autographs of the famous end zone picture when asked. Of course, the reminders are back again this week with the Seahawks coming to Lambeau Field for a preseason game.
“All the time,” Jennings said of how often he’s reminded of last year’s Week 3 contest. “It’s something that’s stuck with me unfortunately. It’s something I’m trying to get over. I don’t want to be remembered by that play. I just try to go out there and play football.
“It’s not about Golden Tate or the Seahawks. It’s just about getting better as a team and getting ready for the regular season.”
More important to Jennings, he’s trying to lock down the starting safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett. He’s been competing with Jerron McMillian throughout the preseason, and based on the way the reps with the first unit are being distributed in practice, Jennings is in the lead for the starting job.
He’s taking nothing for granted, though. Any talk of what he’s working to improve on always comes back to the basic fundamentals.
“I’ve been trying to focus on playing with better pad leverage and pursuit angles to the ball, just things of that nature,” he said. “I really know which way the coaches are going to go with it. All I can do is go out there and do my job.”
No matter who wins the starting job, both Jennings and McMillian are expected to play from scrimmage in the various defensive packages. Neither has made any standout plays in the preseason yet, but two games still remain.
“It’s always a learning curve,” McMillian said. “You need to be accountable, make plays and play as fast as you can. Not have any mental errors. That’s your quickest way on the field is to make sure you know what’s going on.”
–True contender: Mike McCarthy said earlier this week that rookie CB Micah Hyde would get an opportunity to return punts, and he was the returner taking the first rep on Tuesday. Hyde had a 13-yard punt return last week in St. Louis and could make a strong bid for the job with a good showing against Seattle.
–Injury update: The only changes to the injury list were that CB James Nixon (ankle, knee) returned to practice, while CB Loyce Means (ankle) was sidelined.
–Finley fans: TE Jermichael Finley makes a big play or two in practice every day, and Tuesday was no exception. Finley continues to beat defenders down the middle of the field and on crossing routes, providing a steady target for whichever Packers QB is throwing the ball.
“This is the Jermichael Finley I work with every day,” McCarthy said. “This man approaches football the same way every day. He’s a joy to coach. Physically he’s in a place he wants to be and he’s clearly having his finest training camp. It’s clear-cut.”
QB Vince Young, a teammate of Finley’s for one season at the University of Texas, said more than once that he’s proud of the former Longhorn, who came into the NFL two years after Young did.
“He’s got a lot of swag,” Young said. “You can tell he’s feeling it right now.”
Tags: fail mary, Jermichael Finley, Jerron McMillian, m.d. jennings, micah hyde, mike mccarthy, seattle, vince young
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