A few notes from Wednesday’s minicamp practice, which for the second straight day was held inside the Don Hutson Center due to wet weather.
–LB Brad Jones did not practice, which moved LB Jamari Lattimore up to the No. 1 defense, paired alongside A.J. Hawk.
–WR Charles Johnson did not practice after practicing on Tuesday.
–Players sitting out both days of practices this week included WR Jarrett Boykin, WR Kevin Dorsey, RB DuJuan Harris, S Sean Richardson, CB Davon House, LB Dezman Moses, LB Desmond Bishop, T JC Tretter, T Derek Sherrod, DT Ryan Pickett, DE Josh Boyd and DE Jerel Worthy.
–QB Aaron Rodgers was really on his game during an extended red-zone period. In one series of plays, he hit TE Jermichael Finley over the middle near the goal line as Finley slightly collided with S David Fulton, connected on a lob pass to TE D.J. Williams near the end-zone sideline, and then scrambled a little to his left before firing a 25-yard strike off his back foot to WR Randall Cobb at the front pylon.
–The defense nearly stopped Rodgers’ hot streak moments later when Hawk deflected a pass into the end zone intended for WR Jeremy Ross on a crossing route. CB Sam Shields dove to try for the interception off the deflection, but the ball barely grazed the ground as Shields’ corraled it and the pass was ruled incomplete, much to the chagrin of the defensive players.
Tags: cobb, finley, minicamp, rodgers
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For the first time in a practice open to the media on Tuesday, kickers Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio competed head-to-head with dueling field goals.
Both kickers went 3-for-3, hitting from 38, 43 and 50 yards, all with plenty to spare. Leg strength has never been an issue with Crosby, and it doesn’t appear to be with Tavecchio either.
Later in practice, the offense went against the defense in a 7-on-7, two-minute drill. With the first units on the field, QB Aaron Rodgers hit WR James Jones down the seam inside the 5-yard line and then capped it off with a TD pass to WR Randall Cobb on a quick in route.
Then with the twos, QB Graham Harrell twice hit undrafted rookie WR Myles White to convert fourth downs and keep the drive alive. The second came moments after CB Loyce Means nearly got an interception to win the drill for the defense. Harrell then finished the drive with a TD pass to TE Brandon Bostick, who made a nice diving catch at the pylon.
Tags: aaron rodgers, graham harrell, james jones, minicamp, randall cobb
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The open practices will be three organized team activities (OTAs) and two mandatory minicamp workouts. The open OTA practices are slated for three Tuesdays — May 21, May 28 and June 11 — and will begin at 11:30 a.m. CT. The two mandatory minicamp practices are scheduled for June 4 and 5 with a start time TBA.
Due to ongoing preparations on Ray Nitschke Field for training camp, the OTA and minicamp workouts will be held on Clarke Hinkle Field this year. Viewing of the open practices will be standing-room only along the Oneida Street side of Hinkle Field.
UPDATE: OTA practice on May 28 has been moved indoors due to rain and will no longer be open to the public.
Tags: minicamp, practices
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The Packers wrapped up their offseason program on Thursday with their final minicamp practice at Ray Nitschke Field. Here are some notes as to what transpired.
–Specialists Mason Crosby and Tim Masthay were once again impressive, as they have been for quite some time now. With a stiff wind at his back, Crosby hit two field goals from 70 yards out during warmups, and he had another attempt from that distance hit the crossbar. Then he made one from 56 yards with plenty to spare during an actual practice period. Later, Masthay executed another perfect end-over-end pooch punt that the coverage unit downed inside the 5-yard line.
–QB Aaron Rodgers had a few pinpoint throws to some of his favorite targets. On one fourth-down play, he zipped a pass to TE Jermichael Finley through a tight window with defenders Nick Perry and Tramon Williams closing from both sides. Later, in the first snap of a red-zone period, Rodgers lofted a perfect 20-yard TD pass to WR Greg Jennings. Practice wrapped up with the two-minute drill, and Rodgers fired a bullet on a slant route to Jennings that just slipped past LB Desmond Bishop and sent Jennings into the clear for a long TD.
–LBs Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore, who had been working at inside linebacker throughout spring workouts, were back to taking some snaps at outside linebacker. It appears they’re being cross-trained at both positions and it will be worth watching how they’re used during training camp.
–Not practicing Thursday: WR Randall Cobb, RB Alex Green, S Charlie Peprah, S Anthony Levine, S Morgan Burnett, LB Frank Zombo, DL Johnny Jones, G Jaymes Brooks, G T.J. Lang, DT Mike Daniels, T Derek Sherrod, and TE Andrew Quarless.
–With Lang out, C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith took the snaps with the No. 1 offensive line at left guard. With Burnett and Peprah out, the safeties with the first unit were M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. Clay Matthews did not take team (11-on-11) snaps, so undrafted rookie Dezman Moses was paired with Perry at OLB with the No. 1 group.
“That kid is good,” Bishop said of Moses, who played in college at Tulane. “Run-stopping, rushing the passer, getting his calls in, everything. He’s smart. He’s a good player.
“He definitely impressed a lot of people, obviously. It’s going to be fun to see him out there (in training camp).”
–The players are now off for nearly six full weeks. They will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 25, with their first practice the next day at 8:15 a.m.
“You definitely need a little mental break because the season is a long haul,” Bishop said. “Once we’re in it from training camp, it’s full bore from then on. I think it’s very important to take this time to let it go a little bit.”
- Inside Minicamp: Another one in the books
- Packers close minicamp with eye on youth
- McCarthy press conference video
- Locker room interviews
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The Packers have canceled Wednesday’s minicamp practice.
Thursday’s final minicamp practice will go on as scheduled at 10:45 a.m., and will be open to the public. It was not originally scheduled as an open practice. The practice will take place at Ray Nitschke Field, weather permitting. Thursday will be the Packers’ last practice until the first workout of training camp on Thursday, July 26.
Tags: minicamp, nitschke field, practice
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The Packers will wrap up their offseason program with a three-day minicamp, Tuesday through Thursday (June 12-14). All three practices will be held at 10:45 a.m. at Ray Nitschke Field (weather permitting), but only the Tuesday practice will be open to the public.
The Wednesday and Thursday workouts will be open only to the media, so we’ll have full coverage all three days on packers.com. After Tuesday’s practice, the next one for public viewing will be the opening practice of training camp, slated for Thursday, July 26.
Tags: minicamp, offseason, training camp
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The Packers began their third and final week of OTAs on Tuesday with a two-hour workout at Ray Nitschke Field that was open to the media and public.
Here are some news & notes:
–Not practicing: RB Alex Green, CB Charles Woodson, S Charlie Peprah, FB John Kuhn, LB Frank Zombo, DL Johnny Jones, G Jaymes Brooks, DT Mike Daniels, DT Daniel Muir, T Derek Sherrod, TE Andrew Quarless, WR Greg Jennings, TE Jermichael Finley, and DE Lawrence Guy.
–With Finley out, second-year TE D.J. Williams made the play of the day. Split wide to get matched up against a safety, Williams ran a go route and then looked a bit like Finley in acrobatically outjumping S M.D. Jennings to haul in the long throw from QB Aaron Rodgers. Toward the end of practice, however, Williams dropped a pass over the middle in 7-on-7 that hit him right in the hands.
–The defensive play of the day was turned in by CB Tramon Williams. As a deep ball to Cobb hung up against the wind a little bit, Williams had inside position on Cobb and then broke off at the right time to make a diving interception.
–Without Greg Jennings on offense, WRs James Jones and Randall Cobb both got their share of throws. Jones and Rodgers appeared to be on the same page, particularly in an early no-huddle period.
–Rodgers managed to draw the defense offside with one of his patented hard counts. The ensuing “free play” didn’t amount to much, but Rodgers certainly hasn’t lost the touch with his cadence.
–Almost without fail, when K Mason Crosby attempts an onside kick he gets that nice, high bounce kickers are looking for. Crosby does it by chopping down on the ball and having it bounce up right away (rather than hope for a large bounce on the second or third hop, as some kickers do), and he was executing that flawlessly again.
–Rookie DE Jerel Worthy continued to work alongside B.J. Raji as the two inside rushers with the No. 1 nickel package, and Worthy rotated in with the first unit in base for some snaps as well.
–Newly acquired DE Phillip Merling was on the field for his third practice with the team. Merling was at practice for the final two days last week and now has this week plus next week’s minicamp to get the playbook down as best he can to prepare for training camp. Merling said in the locker room after practice that he’s learning a whole new system, but he believes he’ll pick it up fast.
“I’m just trying to get the plays down, so in training camp I can show my ability,” he said. He added that Green Bay felt like home to him when he made a free-agent visit, so he signed a contract right away.
–Fellow DE Anthony Hargrove is still in the midst of the appeal process surrounding the eight-game suspension for his alleged role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the team is in wait-and-see mode, just like everybody else, but he’s been impressed with how quickly Hargrove is picking up the defensive system.
“We’re preparing him to play football and compete for our football team until the NFL and his team of lawyers make everything clear to us,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to wait and see what happens in the future, but we’re coaching him just like everybody else.”
–McCarthy said next week’s three-day minicamp will be an “extension” of the OTAs that are wrapping up this week. The OTAs have been focused on installing the schemes, with the players still focused on strength and conditioning, but the minicamp will have a different emphasis.
“Practices will be very situation-conscious, trying to hit almost every situation in one practice,” McCarthy said, referring to red-zone and two-minute drills, and the like. “Minicamp will reflect more of what a real Wednesday or Thursday in-season practice would look like. That’s a change for us.”
Only the first of the three minicamp practices will be open to the public, at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12. The other two minicamp practices will be closed to the public.
Tags: anthony hargrove, d.j. wiliams, Jermichael Finley, mike mccarthy, minicamp, OTAs, phillip merling
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