As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week. Today’s captains will be RB Eddie Lacy (offense), DE Mike Daniels (defense) and P Tim Masthay (special teams).
Tags: #MINvsGB, captains, eddie lacy, mike daniels, minnesota vikings, tim masthay
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For the latest injury news and a recap of Wednesday’s practice skirmishes, check out today’s feature story. Here are some other news and notes:
–Young more involved: New QB Vince Young took far more snaps in the team (11-on-11) drills than he did his first day, and the uneven results were to be expected. It appeared on one play that Young’s cadence caused someone to false start, and later he overthrew TE D.J. Williams, leading to an interception by S Chaz Powell.
He came back from that to make a good throw to WR Jeremy Ross, only to have it knocked away at the last moment by CB Loyce Means.
“Vince Young is on Day 2 in a new offense,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “One of the reasons why we signed Vince Young is he knows how to play quarterback. He knows how to win. He’s played in games. He has experience. The hard part is what he’s going through right now. It’s a whole different verbiage.”
–Kickers even: In a brief kicking session, both Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio went 3-for-4 on field goals. Crosby was good from 36, 46 and 48 but missed wide right from 50. Tavecchio was good from 36, 48 and 51 but missed wide left from 46.
Not to get lost in the competition is the burden placed on holder Tim Masthay, who has to switch back and forth holding for both a right-footed (Crosby) and left-footed (Tavecchio) kicker from snap to snap.
“I feel like it’s come along pretty well,” Masthay said. “Ever since we signed Giorgio, I’ve taken a ton of snaps here. I’ve got a Jugs machine at my house and I’ve been catching left-handed field goal snaps for quite a while now and I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable with it. I feel good going into the game.”
Masthay also has been taking regular reps kicking off, and he did well in last Saturday’s scrimmage, but he was audibly upset at himself when he flubbed a low line-drive kickoff in practice on Wednesday. Masthay kicked off in college at Kentucky and enjoys getting his swings in.
“I was so mad at myself. It’s been quite a while since I mis-hit a kickoff like I did on that one today,” he said. “I don’t know if I just got a little too juiced up trying to crush it or something.”
–Different perspectives: Whether or not the post-whistle skirmishes witnessed Wednesday are good for the team depends on the point of view. DL Mike Daniels, who has been one of the more outspoken and feisty players throughout camp, loves it.
“The monotony of training camp, you see the same people every day, you eat the same grilled chicken every day, you should lose your mind,” Daniels said. “You should be angry when you hit the field. You should want to beat the crap out of each other. We’ve been doing that, and like I said, I can only imagine what we do when we see somebody we don’t like.”
QB Aaron Rodgers chalked up the extracurricular activity to fatigue and didn’t particularly care for it, but he agreed that it’s simply time to play against an opponent.
“Guys are grumpy and just don’t really take any of that extra stuff,” he said. “That’s part of camp. Some people like it more than others. I’d rather not have our guys punching each other in the helmet, hurting their hands, so hopefully that nonsense is done with. We’re excited about moving on to face somebody else.”
–Next man up: Rodgers called his new left tackle, rookie David Bakhtiari, “raw” and said he’ll be learning “in the fire” if he’s indeed the Week 1 starter.
Bakhtiari will be charged with handling the opponent’s best pass rusher on a regular basis, and Rodgers will need to have confidence that his blind side isn’t constantly under siege.
“There’s usually a tough guy at that position rushing at my back side against every team, and against their best pass rusher you need a lineman who can hold up,” Rodgers said. “Obviously we believe in David.”
Another injury on the offensive line could be problematic, though, Rodgers suggested.
“I’ve said before in this camp it’s impressive the kind of depth that we have, and now our depth is going to get tested,” he said. “We need those guys to step up and play well and be healthy. There’s fluke injuries in this thing and they’re frustrating, but from this point forward it’s going to be important that we keep all those guys healthy.”
Tags: aaron rodgers, david bakhtiari, giorgio tavecchio, mason crosby, mike mccarthy, tim masthay, vince young
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When the Packers surprisingly cut Jon Ryan following training camp in 2008, the search for a punter was on. For the next two seasons, Derrick Frost and Jeremy Kapinos held the job, but barely. In 2010, Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan competed for the position in training camp, with Masthay emerging as the winner.
There likely won’t be another punting competition in training camp anytime soon, now that Masthay has signed a multi-year contract extension. He has been the Packers’ punter for the past two seasons and has done nothing but improve, which has obviously been noticed by GM Ted Thompson.
“What was impressive to me was his continued growth,” Thompson said in a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, discussing the decision to give Masthay a long-term deal. “He didn’t stop with just winning the job. He wants to be really good, and he works at his craft. He’s extraordinary in the strength and conditioning portion of our organization, and we’re glad to have him.
“It’s like a lot of things, if you have one, then you don’t necessarily think it’s so important, until you don’t have one, and we’re glad that we’ve got him.”
Thompson also likes what he has seen so far in the transition to veteran center Jeff Saturday, who was the most notable free-agent signing in the offseason. The Packers needed a center after Scott Wells signed with St. Louis, and Saturday was brought in after more than a decade as Peyton Manning’s QB in Indianapolis.
“He kind of fits in like a gently worn baseball glove,” Thompson said of Saturday. “He has a lot of respect from the locker room because of his tenure and because of the way he plays the game. He applies himself, the smarts and the toughs and the nuances of playing the position, he does all that.”
Tags: free agent, jeff saturday, ted thompson, tim masthay
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Despite a steady drizzle through the first half of practice, the Packers remained outside on Ray Nitschke Field for the entirety of Wednesday’s workout. Here are a few news & notes about what went on:
–Not practicing on Wednesday were RB Alex Green, CB Charles Woodson, S Charlie Peprah, FB John Kuhn, LB Frank Zombo, C Sampson Genus, DL Johnny Jones, G Jaymes Brooks, DE Phillip Merling, T Marshall Newhouse, DT Mike Daniels, T Derek Sherrod and TE Andrew Quarless.
–With Newhouse and Sherrod both out, Herb Taylor and rookie Andrew Datko shared snaps at left tackle with the No. 1 offensive line. On the No. 2 line, Datko played LT and Taylor was at RT, so both players got quite the workout.
–On defense, LB Clay Matthews did not take snaps in the team (11-on-11) drills, and he was replaced by LB Erik Walden on the right side. Rookie Nick Perry remained at LOLB with the first unit.
–P Tim Masthay was at his best in the pooch-punting portion of practice. Masthay dropped multiple punts perfectly inside the 5-yard line with his Aussie-style end-over-end boots.
–Like last week, the young DBs continued to make plays, as CB Davon House broke up a quick out to WR Diondre Borel and then moments later deflected a deep ball intended for WR Shaky Smithson. Later, House was outjumped by WR Curenski Gilleylen for a nice catch. Also, S Anthony Levine nearly had an INT on a sideline route for WR Tori Gurley, and CB Jarrett Bush almost had a pick-six on a quick out for WR James Jones. Bush also deflected a pass in the blitz period that was nearly picked off by CB Sam Shields.
–QB Graham Harrell did beat the blitz with a tightly threaded throw to TE Ryan Taylor down the seam, an impressive play that left S Jerron McMillian and Levine looking at one another in the defensive backfield.
–In the locker room after practice, LB A.J. Hawk spoke to reporters about his new haircut. Earlier this spring, Hawk had his long hair cut for charity, and he and his wife are partnering with Wigs for Kids in an effort called Hawk’s Locks for Kids, which will take donated hair to help make wigs for children who are cancer patients or burn victims. An event in Hawk’s home state of Ohio is planned for June.
“I think they said it takes six or eight people’s hair to make one wig for these kids, and with my ratty, terrible hair, they probably needed a bunch of extras in there,” Hawk said. “So I didn’t give them much, but I gave them what I had.”
Tags: a.j. hawk, anthony levine, clay matthews, davon house, erik walden, graham harrell, hawk's locks for kids, herb taylor, jarrett bush, marshall newhouse, nick perry, OTA, practice, ryan taylor, tim masthay
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