Camp diary: Lacy and Daniels stand out, Clinton-Dix gets chance for Packers
Eddie Lacy watches on during Packers practice on July 30, 2014. Image by Aron Yohannes
A warm, but not too humid morning greeted the Packers as they took part in the third padded practice of the week.
ROUGH AND TUMBLE
This is what the players feel is one of the dog days of camp; lots of “rough stuff” with the “combo drill.” This is an exercise that pits the offensive front against defensive front with a running back hammering through the big guys up front. This is all about working on running the football and stopping the run.
When they get lathered up, two players come to the forefront in Packers camp: running back Eddie Lacy on offense and defensive end Mike Daniels. Lacy made several good slashing runs. Daniels after practice expressed his love for this drill.
The Packers were 7th in the NFL in rushing the football but only 25th in stopping the run. An improvement of the latter number is a must if this team is going to get where it hopes to go.
Starting safety Morgan Burnett sat out today due to the ankle he tweaked yesterday, and that gave first-round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix an opportunity to get starters reps with Micah Hyde. This should accelerate the development of the rookie from Alabama getting him ready for preseason play next week.
Speaking of safeties, Sean Richardson continues to shine with an interception off a tipped Matt Flynn pass by Davone House (also having a great camp). I know the scouting report says Richardson is stiff in coverage, but he looks much more fluid to me in this camp moving well and confidently. Perhaps the long layoff after neck fusion surgery resulted in Richardson looking a little stiff, as he shook off the rust late last year. In this camp, to this untrained eye, he has been impressive!
Catch of the day belonged to Alex Gillett who made a circus reception over rookie cornerback Demitri Goodson from Matt Flynn. Gillett is in his second camp out of Eastern Michigan. He was a college quarterback and is just now beginning to get his bearings at wide receiver. He caught everyone’s eye today including the head coach.
How long a shot is Gillett? Well, they gave him number one. In college that is a revered number for a wide receiver at some schools like Michigan. But in the pros I can’t remember a guy wearing that number... OK, I admit, my memory is going....
Speaking of receivers, despite the loss of Greg Jennings, James Jones and Jermichael Finley in recent seasons, there is a lot of receiver talent in this Packers camp.
Ed Hochuli and his crew are in town to preside over practice and the family night scrimmage. Some, like me, believe Ed is the best referee in the business. That is debatable, but what isn’t debatable: Ed is the best at telling the audience what the call was and why it was made! In that regard there is no debate! An attorney by trade I’ll bet he’s convinced a lot of juries over the years of the calls he’s made.
By the way we, media, get a briefing from Ed and his crew this afternoon here at camp.
Always look forward to the opportunity to go over the new rules and points of emphasis with the officiating crews that come into camp each year.