Other news & notes …
–Highly questionable call: McCarthy isn’t going to tell LB Terrell Manning to do anything different next time.
In the fourth quarter of last Friday’s preseason game vs. Seattle, Manning blitzed Seahawks QB Brady Quinn and drilled him, shoulder to chest, as he released the pass and the two crashed to the turf. Manning was then flagged for roughing the passer, with the official explaining that Manning brought his weight down on Quinn at the completion of the play.
McCarthy doesn’t agree, at all.
“I thought Manning’s hit on the quarterback was textbook,” McCarthy said on Monday. “Frankly, when the quarterback jumps in the air and the linebacker is blitzing, and he hits him with the shoulder and so forth, I don’t know how you don’t have a weight-bearing issue. I think (the problem is) the way the rule is defined and written as opposed to the intent of it.
“I think there needs to be a second action by the defender in a pinning, weight-bearing mode, and that clearly wasn’t the case with Terrell. He hit Brady Quinn, who was in the air, both his feet were off the ground, and when they did hit the ground, he continued in one fluid motion and rolled off. So I didn’t agree with the call at all.”
Manning was visibly upset with the call at the time, but to his credit, he kept his composure for the most part. The penalty came on third-and-8 and gave Seattle a first down, but three plays later the Seahawks punted anyway.
“At the end of the day, I had to move on quickly because when I’m out there, I’m the signal caller, so I have to get my defense lined up and ready for the next play,” said Manning, who said he hasn’t heard from the league about any possible fine. “Of course I was a little shocked and displeased, but I have to have short-term memory out there to make sure the team is ready to go.
“The coaching staff definitely had my back. They said it was a good, clean hit, keep going. Anytime you have the head coach and everybody else telling you that, you feel pretty confident in what you did.”
McCarthy often has expressed confidence in the league’s efforts toward player safety, but the application in this instance didn’t take all the circumstances into consideration.
“We can’t control the fact the quarterback’s feet are off (the ground),” he said. “In fairness to the referees, those plays happen fast, and I get all that, but I don’t think that’s what we’re looking for.”
–Williams back to work: CB Tramon Williams practiced on Monday for the first time since the first padded practice of camp, which was back on July 28.
He’s been nursing a painful bone bruise on his knee since then, but he tested it out in a limited number of snaps in Monday’s no-pads practice, and the early reports were good.
“It felt OK. Coaches limited my reps, obviously, but it felt good for the most part, moving around against different guys,” said Williams, who played some bump-and-run against receivers and didn’t hold back when he was on the field. “I wondered how that would feel, but it held up. It was encouraging.”
Encouraging enough for Williams to feel better about his chances of making it all the way back for the season opener at San Francisco, but as has been his approach, no guarantees.
“I think so,” he said when asked if Week 1 is realistic. “I still don’t want to go out and say that I will be there Week 1, but for me to be out here now, I think it’s definitely a possibility.”
–More on injuries: McCarthy ruled out LB Brad Jones (hamstring) from Thursday’s game in Kansas City, having already done so with S Morgan Burnett and CB Casey Hayward, who also have hamstring injuries.
Rookie WR Kevin Dorsey (toe) and LB Dezman Moses (toe) did not practice on Monday.
RB DuJuan Harris (knee) is getting a second opinion on his injury, so there’s no definitive update on his situation.
–Smooth it out: The backup center position has been a rough spot through much of training camp. Early on, Don Barclay was having QB-C exchange issues before moving back to tackle full time, and lately Greg Van Roten and Patrick Lewis have struggled with some shotgun snaps.
Van Roten is the leader for the backup job but rolled another shotgun snap back to the QB in practice on Monday.
“Greg has been given the majority of (the second-team work),” McCarthy said. “He needs to clean some things up. He had one or two things go on today that he needs to clean up, … and from Seattle.”
Tags: dujuan harris, greg van roten, mike mccarthy, roughing the passer, terrell manning, tramon williams
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp
For the rundown on RB DuJuan Harris’ return to the practice field and some increased reps for rookie WR Tyrone Walker and rookie CB Micah Hyde, check out today’s feature story. Here are some additional news & notes from Monday:
–One snap but good: Rookie DE Datone Jones lasted only one snap in Friday’s preseason opener before leaving with an ankle injury, but when his teammates viewed that snap on film, they were impressed.
Jones came in for the nickel package on the first third down of the game and was matched against Arizona G Jonathan Cooper, who like Jones was a first-round draft draft pick. In the words of fellow defensive lineman B.J. Raji, “He completely whipped the guy and had a chance to get a sack.”
“We all talked about how great of a move he had on the guy,” Raji said. “It was rookie on rookie, first-round pick on first-round pick, and Datone, he won that rep and his leg just got caught. The other guy kind of tripped him and got his ankle. But judging Datone off that one play, his future definitely looks bright.”
Mike McCarthy said Jones would be out of practice for at least a couple of days, and he wasn’t sure if he’d be available to play in St. Louis on Saturday night.
–More on injuries: WR Randall Cobb (bicep) was back at practice on Monday with a wrap on his upper right arm. G T.J. Lang (back) did not practice and was replaced at right guard with the No. 1 offensive line by Don Barclay. McCarthy called the holding out of Lang “precautionary” and suggested it could continue on Tuesday.
RB Eddie Lacy (hamstring) missed practice again and did some testing of his injury, but McCarthy said he didn’t know how the test went.
–New outlook: Two of the Packers’ backup offensive linemen who have received praise lately from the coaches and whose reps are increasing are second-year pro Greg Van Roten and undrafted rookie Lane Taylor.
Van Roten appears to be the top backup at center behind Evan Dietrich-Smith, and he also takes a fair share of snaps at guard. Taylor has worked both guard spots in camp and managed to play well in Friday’s game despite a lack of rest.
The day before the game, Taylor’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter. He missed practice on Thursday but slept at the hospital that night with his wife and newborn, who arrived just after 5 p.m. He returned to Lambeau Field on Friday to prepare for the game and performed rather well.
“I feel like I’m starting to really clean up my technique and get fundamentally sound. It’s starting to pay off,” Taylor said. “You’ll get beat, it’s the NFL, but I keep plugging away and I’m starting to see some results.”
Undrafted out of Oklahoma State, Taylor had a handful of free-agent offers after the draft and chose Green Bay, seeing it as a “good fit.” He has a legitimate shot at a roster spot, but he admitted there’s even more motivation now with a daughter on his hands.
“Most definitely,” he said. “Having a newborn makes you more motivated because you want to go out there and provide and bring the best life for her.”
Getting his kicks: K Giorgio Tavecchio won Monday’s head-to-head kicking competition by going 8-for-8 on field goals to Mason Crosby’s 7-for-8. Crosby’s lone miss was wide left from 46 yards. With neither kicker getting a chance in Friday’s game, they can expect more work in practice as the preseason continues.
“If they ask us for 30 kicks, we’ll give them as many as we can,” said Tavecchio, who continues to preach his one-day-at-a-time approach in his effort to take Crosby’s job.
“It was a warm day today, so the balls were flying,” he said. “I felt like myself, Tim (Masthay) and Brett (Goode) were in a good rhythm with the snap, hold and kick.
“I have to watch the film to really see and dissect everything, because right now I feel good. But I always take a good look at the film and be unbiased about it. Take the lessons, the good, bad and if there’s any ugly, take that too and keep moving forward.”
Tags: datone jones, don barclay, eddie lacy, giorgio tavecchio, greg van roten, lane taylor, mason crosby, randall cobb, t.j. lang
Posted in Packers.com Blog, Training Camp