News & notes: Jermichael Finley ‘in a good place’; David Bakhtiari getting noticed

Posted by Mike Spofford on July 31, 2013 – 2:45 pm

There was a lot of discussion on Wednesday of the goings on at backup QB and in the return game. For an update on both, check out today’s feature story.

Here are some other news & notes from the day:

–The ’88’ of old: TE Jermichael Finley didn’t have a whole lot to say to reporters in his first media session of training camp. Asked about playing in a contract year and maximizing on his potential, Finley simply kept repeating that “everything will take care of itself” if he works hard and does his job.

TE Jermichael Finley

TE Jermichael Finley

Head Coach Mike McCarthy has been impressed with Finley’s start to camp, which Finley agreed is a carryover of sorts from his strong finish to last season. He’s the only tight end regularly making plays in the team periods, which shows how valuable he can be in this offense.

“He’s back to the Finley of 2009 or ’10,” McCarthy said. “He’s where he needs to be. He’s in a very good place.”

Finley’s offensive teammates like what they see thus far as well.

“I feel we’re getting that ’88’ of old back, which is good, because he’s going to help us win games,” receiver James Jones said. “He’s just having fun out there, and we should expect big things out of him.”

–Making a move up front?: McCarthy didn’t get into specifics, but he suggested that rookie offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (featured on packers.com earlier this week right here) is going to be given a legitimate opportunity to win a starting job. He’s been working as the No. 2 left tackle behind Bryan Bulaga and the No. 3 right tackle behind Marshall Newhouse and Don Barclay, but the fourth-round draft pick has been impossible not to notice.

“I think he’s someone that is worthy of more reps and furthering the competition along the offensive line,” McCarthy said. “He’s clearly one of the guys that has made a step in the padded work. I’m pleased with what he’s done so far.”

Assuming Bulaga is entrenched at left tackle, look for Bakhtiari to perhaps start getting some snaps with the first unit at right tackle. Newhouse and Barclay have been rotating to this point, with Barclay getting all the snaps in the final no-huddle period on Wednesday.

“Right now, I thought I was taking a lot of reps. The more, the merrier, I guess,” Bakhtiari said. “I want to keep a level head. It’s been, what, three days in pads? Yeah, I’ve had some bright, shining moments, but I wouldn’t say I’m perfect. I’ve definitely had some, in my opinion, God-awful plays that I wish I could take back. It’s a good foundation to build upon. I’ve been doing good, but I still have a ways to go.”

–Injury update: OLBs Dezman Moses (foot) and Nate Palmer (shoulder), along with S David Fulton (knee), were added to the injury list and sat out practice on Wednesday, while DL Johnny Jolly (ankle) dropped out during the workout.

OL Kevin Hughes (headaches) returned after missing Tuesday’s practice. CB James Nixon (knee) also returned after dropping out on Tuesday, but then he dropped out again and had ice on his knee.

–More kicking coming: Kickers Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio haven’t had a head-to-head field goal showdown since the first practice last Friday, but McCarthy said one would be coming on Thursday. They are scheduled to kick every other day, but they only did kickoffs on Tuesday.

Continuing with the every-other-day schedule and the opportunity afforded in Lambeau Field, It’s likely they’ll have a field-goal duel during the Family Night Scrimmage on Saturday as well.


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