The View from the Sideline - Practice #17
Packers practice at Ray Nitschke Field on the first day of Training Camp.Photo: Image by Pavel Kofman
With a game coming up on Thursday, today qualified as a "Thursday" in a typical (game on Sunday) NFL week, and that's when much of the heavy lifting preparation-wise is done. This morning the heavy lifting consisted of a workout that lasted almost 2 hours and 40 minutes. Here's what we saw:
-The rotation at safety opposite Morgan Burnett continues. M.D. Jennings, Jerron McMillian and today Anthony Levine got some reps as the next man up when Charles Woodson moves to the slot in Nickel and Dime. McMillian is clearly the most physical of the bunch but at safety you're also the last line of defense. That's a delicate balancing act. There's been many play-action passes completed for touchdowns thanks to safeties with nose trouble. (The guys who are overly anxious to stick their noses into the running game. Not a bad thing really, as long as there is some discretion involved.)
-#7 Curenski Gilleylen is a height, speed, weight prospect and he showed the speed part while serving as the fullback on the scout punting team. He can fly, and he was waiting for the punt to arrive down field.
-Speaking of speed, there's some guys who look fast even when they're surrounded by a bunch of fast guys. Randall Cobb is one of those guys when he's returning punts/kicks.
-Best drill of the day. Offensive tackles vs. outside linebackers, running game 1 on 1. Big-time collisions and the best might have been Bryan Bulaga's block on Erik Walden, who can set a mean edge. Bulaga also has had a super recovery vs. Nick Perry in pass pro 1 on 1 's. Perry is almost always power but he changed up with a finesse move to the inside, almost had Bulaga but the RT really moved his feet and got back in position. Said it before, but we'll say it again, Bulaga's a pro bowler in the making.
-Jarrett Bush is running #1 at right corner this week but it was Casey Hayward making the play of the day. Tori Gurley was running deep down the sideline, Hayward was defending and it was a jump ball situation. Perfect for the 6'4" Gurley but some how, some way, the 5'11" Hayward knocked it away. It wasn't his only PD of the day either.
-Tramon Williams is having a good camp. Looks healthy and consequently much improved over last season.
-Robert Francois had an interception during teamwork today and he was a special teams zealot vs. Cleveland. His roster spot is safe.
-B.J. Coleman makes an occasional play that makes one think he's a QB prospect worth the time and effort to develop. Threw one of those back shoulder fades to Andrew Brewer today. At 6'3" 230, and blessed with a strong arm, Coleman also has intriguing physical tools.
-Gotta like it. Packer assistant coaches aren't bashful about congratulating a player they don't coach on a good play. Even if it's against one of their own guys. Saw Joe Whitt do it today.
-Next: Practice at 11 tomorrow morning, no pads.