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News & notes: Johnny Jolly took nothing for granted

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 2, 2013 – 4:30 pm

For the latest on new backup QB Seneca Wallace and some thoughts from the undrafted rookies who made the 53-man roster, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news & notes.

–Jolly took nothing for granted: From the outside looking in, it appeared Johnny Jolly was a sure bet to make the team after such a strong preseason, but Jolly confessed he wasn’t sure of anything on cutdown Saturday.

DE Johnny Jolly

DE Johnny Jolly

“I had my phone in my hand all day,” he said. “I was checking it. I was on my toes all day.

“I didn’t know. I was scared all the way up until the last minute. It’s a blessing that I’m here. I don’t have to worry about that now.”

Making the team after a three-year absence is impressive in itself, and now Jolly wants to contribute to the defense and add to this remarkable story. He hasn’t played in a real NFL game since 2009, when he was a key cog in the Packers’ top-rated run defense, and while he said the long wait was the hardest part, he doesn’t spend any energy looking back anymore at the opportunity he wasted.

“I might drive myself crazy thinking about how good I could have been, coming from 2009, which was a good season, up until this point,” he said. “If I worry about that, I won’t be able to focus on what I have going right now.

“It’s amazing that I’m even back in this situation. I have to take advantage of every chance I get.”

–Barclay starts at RT: It took a while for him to find a home in training camp, as the coaches were trying Don Barclay at backup center and guard, as well as the right tackle spot he played last year.

RT Don Barclay

RT Don Barclay

But once Barclay got to right tackle for good, he did his thing. By all appearances, he has won the starting job and will open the season at RT in San Francisco on Sunday, with rookie David Bakhtiari starting at LT and veteran Marshall Newhouse backing up both spots.

“As far as our tackles, I like all three tackles,” Mike McCarthy said. “Don started today at the right tackle. I wouldn’t be surprised if Marshall plays in the game. Don is very consistent. He’s physical, and he’s a young ascending player. We’re going to need all those guys.”

Barclay said he continues to get more and more comfortable working alongside RG T.J. Lang, after having played next to Josh Sitton last year as a rookie. He said it made a difference to be in his second year because he knew more about what to expect and how to watch film.

“It was a battle all camp, and it’s still being a battle,” Barclay said. “Every day you have to go out there and prove yourself, and solidify your spot every day.”

–Up in the air: McCarthy was non-committal about whom the Packers would use as their primary return man for Week 1, mentioning WR Jeremy Ross, CB Micah Hyde and RB Johnathan Franklin all as candidates. Ross has returned both punts and kicks, while Hyde has worked as a punt returner and Franklin as a kickoff returner.

“We’ve got some work to do in the return game,” McCarthy said. “We have some decisions to make.”

–Injury update: The first official injury report of the regular season will be released Wednesday, but it’s worth noting that two defensive starters who missed the final preseason game with hamstring injuries — LB Brad Jones and S Morgan Burnett — were back on the practice field on Monday.

CB Casey Hayward, who also has been out with a hamstring injury, did not practice, however.

–Fond memory: New practice-squad QB Scott Tolzien recalled a moment from his pro day workout in Madison, Wis., prior to the 2011 draft when McCarthy, unsolicited, came up to chat with him. Tolzien had just led the University of Wisconsin to its first Rose Bowl appearance in a little over a decade.

“Him coming over saying he appreciated what I did in my career there, basically what our team did, what our program did — for a guy like that to come over, he didn’t have to say that,” Tolzien said. “He went out of his way to. You’ll always remember that and appreciate those comments.”

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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “News & notes: Johnny Jolly took nothing for granted”

  1. By Mark on Sep 2, 2013 | Reply

    Congratulations Johnny! Keep the pressure on opposing teams!

  2. By Mike from Chicago on Sep 2, 2013 | Reply

    Glad to see JJ make it! he definitely has a fire and I am looking forward to his 2009 form!!

  3. By iluvmyteam on Sep 2, 2013 | Reply

    Way to go Jolly! Can’t wait to see you play at San Francisco! Proud of you.

  4. By PK on Sep 2, 2013 | Reply

    Go Johnny go go

  5. By Dave in Cali on Sep 2, 2013 | Reply

    Glad to see Jolly back on the field, more important, glad to see him turn things around in your life! That was the hardest battle, the rest is cake from here, now go pile drive Kapernick!

  6. By jT on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    truly amazing how people have forgiven jolly as if his past mistakes were nothing. He is fortunate to have a chance at redemption and hopefully he won’t let everyone down who supports him. I’m not surprised he made the team considering the lack of depth at his position but he has to work his butt off to get back the player he once was if that’s possible at this point

  7. By dhf on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    jT – lack of depth on the defensive line? The Packers kept 8 d-linemen, and that’s not counting Worthy who will likely go on IR. Jolly didn’t make the team because of a lack of depth, he made it biggest he adds to what is the deepest group on the team after DB.

  8. By mossog427 on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    I’m not sure which is the biggest accomplishment. beating addiction, beating his employer’s EXTREME privacy overreach, or beating the federal gov’s policy of ruining the life of anyone found with drugs. the man was knocked out of the prime of his career by bullies. He could be the next ali.

  9. By mossog427 on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    “truly amazing how people have forgiven jolly as if his past mistakes were nothing.”
    your forgiveness couldn’t matter less. he did noting to those who ‘forgave’ him. neither jolly or phelps owed any of you jack. they were nice enough to apologize anyways.

  10. By northerner on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    Jolly will add some toughness and help stop the run. He has shown some great stuff after being out of football for a few years. Also he is the type of guy that will play and hang in there even when knicked up. The Pack needs more guys like this both on offense and defense. Way to go Jolly.

  11. By James on Sep 3, 2013 | Reply

    I noticed a lot of Packer fans really like Bostick. McCarthy Favors Tight Ends? Finely? He can be dynamic. But has not live up to his full potential as of yet. The rest of the group are snoozers. Forgettable names. Stoneburner? Yeah, he is ecstatic to make the practice squad. Is that a good thing?
    Now this is only my opinion, but I can’t help but think of worthy players to fill the roll of TE. Big guys that are both good blocking Linemen, as well as receivers. Is there such a player? Admittedly, not a lot. I also admit that this is very nitpicky criticism of an organization that can compile a pretty good team (through the draft) worthy of challenge for a Super bowl year after year.

    Back in March and April, before the 2013 draft, I went through my list of players I liked to see end up with the Pack. I came across a player in my research from a little college that looked like he could be a great Tight End. Packers could easily pick him up in the bottom of the draft. Remember the Packers would be picking close to the bottom, nearly last on the list. The Packers could have picked Zach Sudfeld in the 7th round. Now he wasn’t drafted but was immediately picked up as an UFA by another good team. The Patriots got him.

    I will be watching how well Sudfeld does with the Pats this year.

  12. By Kevin Pearce on Sep 4, 2013 | Reply

    Johnny! Man i Love you glad u Back and we need ur inside CLOG cuz we havent been the same, since u and Jenkins have been gone…. Raji can only do so much

  13. By Kris on Sep 4, 2013 | Reply

    Ok Johnny. This is chance #2. Don’t mess this up. You were a beast on that line in 09 and missed out on an opportunity to get a ring in 10. Here’s your chance at glory. Leave the thug sh*t behind and go do what you have been doing your entire life: punishing QB’s. Good to have ya back big boy!

  14. By Matt on Sep 4, 2013 | Reply

    Johnny, man great job, way to go, was rooting for you the whole way and watching all day sat, to make sure you made the team! Show the young guys how it is done on the field and what not to do off! You the man, and know you can help this team reach its goal!!! Good to see you on sunday again!!

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