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play2win  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2014 2:42:24 PM(UTC)
Packers OTAs 6-10-14

Todays OTAs started with the same format as previous, defense on one side of the field, offense on the other. This time I thought I would concentrate a bit more on the defense, even though this unit cannot really relay much solid information being these are non-contact, no pads practices.

All three units look to have been upgraded well in terms of personnel. Secondary, LBs and DL have noticeable improvements in raw talent and size since the 2013 season. Some of the players who really stood out today were Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Adrian Hubbard, Carl Bradford, Micah Hyde, Casey Hayward, Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Mike Pennel and Sean Richardson.

BJ Raji returned to practice, as did Colt Lyerla on the O side. BJ and Daniels are clearly pretty tight, and they look good. I haven’t been able to get a really good read on Khyri Thornton, nor Josh Boyd for that matter, as there really are not a whole lot of opportunities for them or any of the DL for that matter to shine.

Practice started much the same as last week with PR and coverage units. This was far improved over last week, but then again, anything would have been an improvement with how sloppy their drills looked last week. Same players in to return, Abbrederis, Cobb, Hyde and Tramon Williams. They all looked good. Abbrederis looks very, very solid back there as a returner. Coverage was improved, yet he still is able to find openings to break free.

FG units followed, and again, Mason Crosby was on target. He is looking pretty strong and confident. Julius Peppers again lined up over LS to block.

Next were individual drills, DBs, LBs and DL in their respective areas. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is looking pretty solid. Nice hands, had one drop in a drill where they are running at the QB and the throw comes in pretty hot, from less than 10 yds. Dimitri Goodson also looked pretty good today overall, as did Hyde, Sean Richardson and Chris Banjo. Hyde has a real aire to him, plays and practices like he’s been there before. I’ve got to say that I’m pretty impressed with this group. Not so much for Davon House, who I was looking to have a good showing but had a few drops. He really needs to step it up if he is going to make this final 53.

Antonio Dennard had a club wrap on his left hand, and I cannot help but think he injured it last week during his viscous hit on Ryan Taylor. Not very smart hitting him so hard while he was up in the air, defenseless. Not sure if that was the cause of his injury however. Dennard did participate fully today.

LBs were doing a lot of agility drills, broken into ILBs and OLBs. Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington look to be much improved players overall from what I was able to see today. I like them both a lot, and I think we are pretty well set at ILB. Jake Doughty seems like he could be something here as well. Again, way too early to tell without contact. These defenders in many drills kind of have their hands tied, and realizing this while concentrating on this unit was a little disheartening, but you can see improved athleticism, and you can tell those who might be taking a step up over the course of these next few months, and those who may struggle.

Adrian Hubbard and Carl Bradford took a lot of reps in pass rush and in coverage, Hubbard right and Bradford left. Both of these guys look good, and like they are more than ready to get after it. Bradford is not tall, not at all, but he has size and power, and should be pretty fun to watch when TC starts. Hubbard is very, very tall, and he looks like he has some raw talent for the position. Good speed and agility, and I could easily see him crashing in as a pass rusher, both standing up and with a hand down. He really could benefit from a full year in the program at the pro level to fill out, but he looks pretty good.

Andy Mulumba looks the part, obviously worked diligently this offseason to add some weight. I can’t say that I saw him do a whole lot today, as I was a bit more focused on Hubbard and Bradford, and when I wasn’t able to watch those two, I kept sneaking peeks to the other side of the field to watch Colt Lyerla, Richard Rodgers, Justin Perillo and the WRs. Wish I had like 8 sets of eyes… man, units working individually all over the field. Was not able to see a whole lot of the DL drills, as they were on the far side of Ray Nitschke Field, across the way.

Didn’t matter too much though, as I got a good look in their 11 on 11 segments, and holy crap do we have a pass rush. Datone Jones really looks outstanding, through light to medium contact, as did Mike Daniels, who looks to have picked up right where he left off. There were some very good looks from this unit, and Raji, Boyd, Letroy Guion and Mike Pennel really stood out. Wow, do we have some size with this group. And, that is not including Peppers, who was working exclusively at OLB this practice. Mike Neal looks a bit bigger this year too, but I didn’t see him do anything remarkable.

Sean Richardson had a nice INT on Rodgers (I believe) in this segment. Richardson was very impressive all day, and it makes me think just how much better our secondary has become. Good to have a Safety back there with his kind of size and speed. We know he can hit, but he really displayed some nice ball skills today. Great to see.

First training camp fight broke out briefly involving Mike Pennel. Gotta love this kid’s fire. He was after it today, and it showed. I couldn’t see who he was bustin’ with, but it didn’t matter, as that was extinguished pretty quickly.

On the O side, I did watch Colt Lyerla quite a bit, through a good portion of the positional drilling, STs unit drills and the 11 on 11 segments. They had him in at H-Back a number of times, and he looked to struggle a bit at creating a hole - most of the time. Again, this could simply be due to the non-contact nature of the OTAs, as well as just being a rookie with players this size and speed on the other side of the ball. As a receiver, forget about it. This kid rocks. I think many Packer fans are going to love watching him play. He makes catches and turns upfield so damn fast, wow. Very good to see, especially with that size and speed. And, this kid has some size. He is easily as big as Andrew Quarless, or bigger, as well as Richard Rodgers, who is no small player.

Speaking of Richard Rodgers, he was equally impressive. The guy can really catch, displayed remarkable ability on a one-handed catch, and he gets upfield quickly as well. Both of these guys have significantly upgraded the TE position, and I would imagine Brandon Bostick may have a real challenge on his hands to make this roster.

Add to it, Justin Perillo had what looked like another good day. He just seems to have the “it” factor when considering the “complete” TE. For a rookie, he shows a great confidence and ability. Also, Ryan Taylor had yet another circus catch today. Taylor clearly came in here to compete in a big way. He looks very sharp.

Something tells me Jermichael Finley won’t be getting any calls from GB for a roster spot. Add to it, these new players all turn upfield with such great, noticeable ease compared to Finley, who often lost his balance or looked to kind of flail after the reception. Nice to see this so naturally from Richard Rodgers and Lyerla. They get the ball, and they look to be gone. You can see it. Both of these players will be very tough to defend and especially to bring down.

Eddie Lacy looked pretty solid. Didn’t get to see Starks at all, so it is hard for me to comment. DuJuan Harris, however, holy shit. This guy is looking like the solid #3 RB, and could challenge Starks for the #2. Man, do our RBs look great. Jonathan Franklin again was held out, which is unfortunate. Makes me wonder if he gets IR’d again. Saw a bit from LaDarius Perkins again, and he does bring talent to this group, even if it is in a small package.

Jeff Janis made a pretty great grab from what I saw, as did Abbrederis. Unfortunately, I do not have a whole lot to say about the WR group other than they are super deep, and I would bet the house we keep 6 to start the season if all are healthy: Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Boykin, Abbrederis and Janis. I just was not focused too much over there this week, and was really trying to glean what I could on our defense.

Carl Bradford made a great strip on the TO drill with players running through the gauntlet. I can’t recall who it was, but the crowd roared. Hubbard wound up with one immediately after Bradford’s. Fun to see Peppers working on Lacy to make the strip, but Lacy held on. Peppers really gave it too.

Bradford stayed on field a little later than all the rest to work on some stuff with his coach. On another note, Derrick Sherrod looks so good. Really happy to see him practicing well, moving well, with some really incredible size. He has worked very hard, and that is readily apparent just watching him.

Pretty good practice, and I didn’t see anyone get hurt which was good. These OTAs are fun to see.
Dulak  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2014 3:04:48 PM(UTC)
thanks for this play2win ... Id like us to have finley back but you make it sound like we might not grab him since we have decent talent ... curious how it will all work out there. And the WR - IMO I dont think we will keep 6 - seems like a lot.

Seems like almost every position it would be nice to keep extra laying around, WR 6, QB 3, RB 4, etc etc ... cant to give it up somewhere

yooperfan  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 3:59:20 AM(UTC)
It's great to get a first hand account like this from a fan.
Thank you for that.
Nice work!
play2win  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:40:35 AM(UTC)
Dulak said: Go to Quoted Post
thanks for this play2win ... Id like us to have finley back but you make it sound like we might not grab him since we have decent talent ... curious how it will all work out there. And the WR - IMO I dont think we will keep 6 - seems like a lot.

Seems like almost every position it would be nice to keep extra laying around, WR 6, QB 3, RB 4, etc etc ... cant to give it up somewhere



Hey Dulak,

I haven't been real high on Jermichael Finley for a couple of reasons. First, there is the prima dona component that he brings which I find a bit divisive and detrimental to true team concepts. The other is that he has never really been that good. His hands have been suspect at key moments in games, and his RAC often leaves something to be desired. Watching him over the years, he always seems to lose his balance after the catch. At least, he doesn't look sure and confident heading upfield. He did improve over the last couple of seasons, but not enough to consider him a truly elite TE in my opinion. Add to it his blocking has often been suspect and he requires special handling from his QB. And, he wants HOW MUCH to play?

From the shear economics of the situation, it makes sense to let him walk. Looking at the added talent on our roster at TE? Wow. I have to say we will be just fine there, and there really is no need to consider bringing Finley back to this Packers team. Rodgers and Lyerla look to be very, very good talents at TE, and could indeed prove to be significant upgrades this season as the year progresses.

Has anyone seen Richard Rodgers interviewed? Could you ask for a more professional, confident approach or attitude? This guy is the real deal. Just watch, he will turn out to be a giant fluffy security blanket for Aaron Rodgers working out of the flat. The guy has an uncanny natural ability for catching and turning the ball upfield on a dime. Aaron is going to love playing with Richard Rodgers. I'll guarantee it.

As for Colt, this was my first time seeing him, but, wow. I came away totally impressed with his ability to catch and run. Powerful, powerful runner after the catch. Both of these players do this so naturally too. It really is readily apparent when watching them, the difference between their game and Finley's. The two rookies look to be clearly better players. Rodgers and Lyerla will prove to be very difficult for DBs to take down, as they possess such raw power. Lyerla up top, and Rodgers down below. You'll know when you see them.

I bet both of these new players will take a while to groom in the in-line blocking, but most rookies do. Over time, I can see them both turning out to be complete steals from this 2014 draft and UDFA period.

Both guys, coupled with a great UDFA acquisition in Justin Perillo, an already solid Andrew Quarless, an improving Ryan Taylor and Brandon Bostick returning from injury should leave all questions of Jermichael Finley's return to GB in the dust.

Then again.... they love Finley.
nerdmann  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 7:36:30 AM(UTC)
I looked at Richard Rodgers as a bit of a reach. But I think he's a solid pick now. He gained/lost weight at the request of his team, so he didn't have continuity between seasons. But it shows versatility. Dude has proven he can play.

These guys will all be rookies, Rodgers, Lyerla and Perrillo, but it definitely seems like they can play. Still it's early, and they have to prove it. But I'd be shocked if at least one of them doesn't step up and become a player.

Finley was never the same after that initial knee injury in '10. He lost athleticism imo. Was never that "freak" athletically after it. He could get it done, and was becoming a solid "try hard" guy, but he's done now. Time to move on.
musccy  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 9:30:02 AM(UTC)
First, thanks for the report, p2w.

With that said, I disagree about giving up on Finley just yet. Everything I've read has been positive about Lyerla/Rodgers, Finley has his drawbacks, I agree with all of that. However, it is only OTAs thus far, and even M.M. said in his press conference yesterday, nobody is earning a spot in June. There is only so much you can learn from this, so I don't think anyone really knows what we have in Lyerla/Rodgers yet, even though initial signs certainly have been encouraging.
play2win  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:31:19 PM(UTC)
musccy said: Go to Quoted Post
First, thanks for the report, p2w.

With that said, I disagree about giving up on Finley just yet. Everything I've read has been positive about Lyerla/Rodgers, Finley has his drawbacks, I agree with all of that. However, it is only OTAs thus far, and even M.M. said in his press conference yesterday, nobody is earning a spot in June. There is only so much you can learn from this, so I don't think anyone really knows what we have in Lyerla/Rodgers yet, even though initial signs certainly have been encouraging.


Oh yeah, no doubt. Super early, and we will know way more once the pads go on and the hitting starts. The Finley thing is simply my own opinion. A lot of people feel very differently about him, including the Packers staff from what I've been able to tell. I'm not the least bit concerned about fielding a talented TE group with what we now have though. Ted's efforts to re-stock the position have really made the thought of Finley's return a non-issue, to me. Some people still want him.

Personally, I think a guy like that might struggle to find himself down on the depth chart, which I believe he would be should he return. Like, #3 or 4? And at what cost? I just don't see value in bringing him back with this much talent already on the roster.
uffda udfa  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:25:43 PM(UTC)
play2win said: Go to Quoted Post

It really is readily apparent when watching them, the difference between their game and Finley's. The two rookies look to be clearly better players.


I just cringed when I read the quoted material above. [grin1]

If you're right about your view on the Packers pass catchers, WR's included, this offense should set the all time points record this season.

Man, I hope you are.
OlHoss1884  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:34:40 PM(UTC)
My take on the TE situation is that the team is less likely to go with a receiver-only type of TE, unless the guy is just over the top good. Finley doesn't seem to be that any more so I don't think they want to give him the money it would take to sign him.

Hopefully those of you watching the OTA's can confirm this for me, but I really think they want a guy who can block a little to go with the new foiund running game as well as catch passes.
uffda udfa  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 2:53:28 PM(UTC)
OlHoss1884 said: Go to Quoted Post
My take on the TE situation is that the team is less likely to go with a receiver-only type of TE, unless the guy is just over the top good. Finley doesn't seem to be that any more so I don't think they want to give him the money it would take to sign him.

Hopefully those of you watching the OTA's can confirm this for me, but I really think they want a guy who can block a little to go with the new foiund running game as well as catch passes.


Richard Rodgers is not known, nor expected, to be much as a blocker at least right away. I remember Mayock being very strong on the fact that this guy was NOT an inline TE. We'll see if ol' Mayock is correct. Perhaps, RR is not a good blocker, right now, but will be in the future. You never know.

It should be interesting to see what group gets an extra guy, if either...the TE's or the WR's. Hearing they put Lyerla as a blocking H back makes me wonder if Kuhn will end up being toast.

Quarless, Taylor, Bostick, Rodgers, Lyerla, Perillo ... 6 guys... may only keep 3. Quarless and Rodgers are locks. That leaves one more spot if we only keep 3. Taylor, Bostick, Lyerla or Perillo? I'm going to guess the best Perillo can hope for is PS. Lyerla, Bostick or Taylor? If Lyerla is good at ST's, I think he'll win a spot.

Will we keep a 4th TE over maybe a 6th WR? Janis vs. Taylor or Bostick.


steveishere  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 3:51:15 PM(UTC)
uffda udfa said: Go to Quoted Post
Richard Rodgers is not known, nor expected, to be much as a blocker at least right away. I remember Mayock being very strong on the fact that this guy was NOT an inline TE. We'll see if ol' Mayock is correct. Perhaps, RR is not a good blocker, right now, but will be in the future. You never know.

It should be interesting to see what group gets an extra guy, if either...the TE's or the WR's. Hearing they put Lyerla as a blocking H back makes me wonder if Kuhn will end up being toast.

Quarless, Taylor, Bostick, Rodgers, Lyerla, Perillo ... 6 guys... may only keep 3. Quarless and Rodgers are locks. That leaves one more spot if we only keep 3. Taylor, Bostick, Lyerla or Perillo? I'm going to guess the best Perillo can hope for is PS. Lyerla, Bostick or Taylor? If Lyerla is good at ST's, I think he'll win a spot.

Will we keep a 4th TE over maybe a 6th WR? Janis vs. Taylor or Bostick.




Well we can't really say that he's not a good blocker right now because he played WR last year so none of us has seen him block. We certainly can't say that he is a good blocker either but really Mayock has 0 clue if he can play inline TE or not. Our TEs I think do usually block a bit whether it's inline or as an H back so we'll see what they do with him but I believe they'll expect him to do a bit of blocking.
steveishere  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 3:56:39 PM(UTC)
I'm curious what Franklins actual injury was and if he had any surgery for it. I think even if he's recovered they are going to keep him from practicing and put him on PUP to save a roster spot and ensure he comes back 100%.
nerdmann  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 4:22:12 PM(UTC)
steveishere said: Go to Quoted Post
Well we can't really say that he's not a good blocker right now because he played WR last year so none of us has seen him block. We certainly can't say that he is a good blocker either but really Mayock has 0 clue if he can play inline TE or not. Our TEs I think do usually block a bit whether it's inline or as an H back so we'll see what they do with him but I believe they'll expect him to do a bit of blocking.


Yeah, dude slimmed down by 30 pounds to play WR. Of course he wasn't an inline blocker.
uffda udfa  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 4:42:19 PM(UTC)
steveishere said: Go to Quoted Post
Well we can't really say that he's not a good blocker right now because he played WR last year so none of us has seen him block. We certainly can't say that he is a good blocker either but really Mayock has 0 clue if he can play inline TE or not. Our TEs I think do usually block a bit whether it's inline or as an H back so we'll see what they do with him but I believe they'll expect him to do a bit of blocking.


He played TE prior to be a WR. I didn't say he could or couldn't block...I've never seen the guy play. If you believe Mike Mayock, you believe he isn't going to be a guy who can play inline.



OlHoss1884  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 5:54:20 PM(UTC)
uffda udfa said: Go to Quoted Post

Will we keep a 4th TE over maybe a 6th WR? Janis vs. Taylor or Bostick.



Honestly I wouldn't be surprised at a 4th or even fifth TE...I know they keep extra on hand (as the do LB) for special teams.

I think you may be right about Kuhn, though.

nerdmann  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:31:19 PM(UTC)
This staff isn't afraid to keep the best 53, regardless of position.

As long as they have enough players for each position. lol
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