Three OTAs plus minicamp open to public; first training camp practice on July 26

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 12, 2014 – 2:57 pm

The Packers announced on Monday that three of their organized team activities (OTAs) will be open to the public, weather permitting, as well as the mandatory minicamp that concludes the offseason program.

OTAs on May 29, June 3 and June 10, slated for 11:30 a.m. each day, will be held at Ray Nitschke Field and be open to the public, weather permitting. The three-day mandatory minicamp, slated for June 17-19, also will be at Nitschke Field and open to the public, though the exact schedule for the minicamp has not been announced.

The Packers also have scheduled their first training camp practice for Saturday, July 26. Players will report to training camp on Friday, July 25.


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Packers offseason dates for workouts, OTAs, minicamp set

Posted by Mike Spofford on April 3, 2014 – 3:10 pm

140403-lacy-camp-300The NFL on Thursday released the calendar of offseason workout dates for all the teams in the league, including the dates for the Packers’ offseason program, OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

Offseason workouts for the Packers will begin on April 22, with OTAs slated for May 28-30, June 3-5 and June 10-13. Teams are allowed to conduct a total of 10 OTAs.

The mandatory minicamp, which will conclude the offseason program and lead into the final break before training camp, will be from June 17-19.

The training camp start date and schedule will be released later in the spring.

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May 28 practice closed to public

Posted by Duke Bobber on May 28, 2013 – 9:43 am

Rain in Lambeau Field

Tuesday’s Packers organized team activities (OTAs), originally scheduled to be open to the public, have been moved indoors due to the rain.

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June 5 OTA practice notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on June 5, 2012 – 3:48 pm

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.

Related links
Harrell increases arm strength, ready to compete
McCarthy press conference video
Locker room interviews

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May 22 practice notes

Posted by Mike Spofford on May 22, 2012 – 4:29 pm

63 Jeff Saturday

Tuesday’s first OTA practice, held at Ray Nitschke Field, lasted roughly 1 hour, 50 minutes. As with all OTA practices, players were in helmets and shorts, no pads.

–Depth chart: With CB Charles Woodson and S Charlie Peprah not practicing, CB Jarrett Bush and S M.D. Jennings were working with the No. 1 defense, with CB Sam Shields the nickel corner. Jennings and Shields had particularly strong practices. Jennings made a sliding interception of an Aaron Rodgers pass over the middle, while Shields ran stride for stride with Jordy Nelson on a deep ball and came up with the INT after just missing a couple of other picks earlier in practice.

Watch OTA Practice Review with Vic and Mike–More depth chart: First-round draft pick Nick Perry was with the No. 1 defense at left OLB, with starter Clay Matthews moving over to the right side. On the defensive line, the three-man base alignment featured B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson with the first unit, while the two-man nickel package had Raji and second-round pick Jerel Worthy as the inside rushers.

–Position change: LBs Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore, who had been outside LBs in the past, were getting their reps in position drills and full team (11-on-11) at inside LB.

–Handling the past: Rodgers was asked about the January playoff loss to the Giants and whether it still burns. “Nah,” he said. “That’s long since forgotten. I left Green Bay that week and kind of moved on. It’s frustrating and you’re still frustrated by it, but it’s not something I carry with me.”

Not all his teammates could say the same, however.

“It’s still with me,” defensive lineman Ryan Pickett said. “I’m real sour about it still, but you just use it as motivation to work hard and get ready. We came up short, so we have to work to get this taste out of our mouth.”

Added TE Jermichael Finley: “If you lose to the team that won the Super Bowl, it eats at you.”

–New team: C Jeff Saturday (No. 63, pictured), signed as a free agent from Indianapolis in the offseason, was with the No. 1 offense as expected in his first full-squad workout with the Packers. Saturday, of course, was the center for all four of QB Peyton Manning’s MVP seasons with the Colts, and now he’ll be snapping to the reigning league MVP in Rodgers.

“I tell people all the time, I’ve already had a blessed career and now you’re just capping it off,” Saturday said. “I feel a little bit like a rookie. I’m in the (play)book a lot more than I’ve ever been, or at least since the ’90s. That’s quite a while. But it’s fun, too. It refreshes you.”

Saturday said there’s not much from Indy’s offensive system that carries over, but Rodgers noted that Saturday’s experience with no-huddle work is definitely a plus.

“As much up-tempo stuff that Indianapolis ran in his time there, it’s going to transition very well to some of the stuff we’re going to do,” Rodgers said. “Jeff’s really smart, knows the game really well, knows his strengths and limitations, and we’re excited to have him.”

–Nice grab: WR Diondre Borel, who spent last season on the practice squad as an undrafted rookie, made one of the nicer plays for the offense with a sliding grab over the middle, followed by a quick spin/pop-up move to keep running.

–In addition to Woodson and Peprah, those not practicing included DE Mike Daniels and LB Frank Zombo on defense, and RB Alex Green, FBs Jon Hoese and John Kuhn, TE Andrew Quarless, T Derek Sherrod, G Jaymes Brooks and WR Donald Driver on offense.

–The Packers have two more weeks of OTA workouts before the mandatory three-day mini-camp to conclude the offseason. The next two practices open to the media and public are on Wednesday, May 30, and Tuesday, June 5.

For a recap of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-practice press conference, click here.

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Rehabilitation instead of vacation for Kuhn

Posted by on January 25, 2012 – 3:32 pm

The Packers locker room is dark and empty now. The carpet in the hallway is being steam-cleaned, the music system is switched off and the incessant whirr of the driers in the nearby laundry room hasn’t been heard in a week.

John Kuhn still reports to Lambeau Field each morning, however, on crutches, changes at his locker and goes into the training room. There the medical staff works on his right knee, which he injured in the third quarter against the Giants in the Divisional playoff on Jan. 15.

“It’s kind of eerie,” Kuhn said. “There’s nobody here. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that for a serious knee injury it’s about as good as you could hope for.”

Kuhn suffered a sprained knee, but not a torn ACL, which demands surgery and the longest rehabilitation time. The joint is still swollen and purple, and he has at least two months of work ahead. Unlike his teammates, the fullback won’t be leaving Green Bay anytime soon. He’s not even driving yet – Kuhn stays at the facility until after lunch, then his wife Lindsey picks him up.

“I knew it was something serious when it happened,” he said. “I didn’t know exactly how bad, and we had to wait until the next day to get final word.

“Now we’ll work on the range of motion over the next eight weeks, get the swelling down and get back to full strength. By the time everyone else gets here for the offseason conditioning program in April I’ll be finishing up.”

The injury and early exit from the postseason have hit him hardest. There was also a missed opportunity to play in his first Pro Bowl, a milestone achievement for the former undrafted player from Shippensburg that the Packers plucked off the waiver wire in 2007. Kuhn and Lindsey would have left for Hawaii earlier this week.

“It’s a bit of a downer, I’d like to have gone,” he said. “Rather than going and taking a risk with it, I want to get my knee right. I will be 100 percent by June. That’s when OTAs start. That’s what I’m working toward.”

Kuhn describing what it’s like to have 70,000 fans call his name at once at Lambeau Field:

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