Observations from Packers mini-camp opener

June 12th, 2012 at 6:51 pm by under Sports

Absolutely gorgeous day as the Packers opened mini-camp.  Two more days out on the field, then the team is off for about six weeks before reporting for training camp.

Once again, happy to share some observations from the practice field and locker room.  If you have anything to add, leave a comment or send me a tweet, @Justin_Felder

From the field …

  • Practice didn’t look different than the OTAs; it sounded different.  There were referees during the scrimmages, both sides didn’t waste their voices yelling for penalties.  The offense and defense were both vocal, joking around and getting loud after big plays.  During scrimmages, we stand behind defensive sideline, easy to hear them giving the offense a hard time.
  • Fun to see Jordy Nelson and Tramon Williams going head-to-head on a few consecutive plays.  First, Aaron Rodgers threw a ball up into the end zone … maybe it was a blown play or some miscommunication, but Williams came down with an interception.  You could hear him yell, ‘pick’ before grabbing the ball.  Don’t know if that rankled Rodgers, but a few plays later, he found Jordy Nelson on a familiar front pylon-fade route for a pretty touchdown.  Watching the video, Rodgers had his eyes towards Nelson the whole way.
  • Charles Woodson, back after not being on the field during the OTAs that were open to the media, did a lot of work.  During training camp, and even during practice weeks, the coaches sometimes take it easy on Woodson, heading into his 15th season.  Woodson was out there a lot, saying afterward he thinks that will be the plan for the week.  Day one, he played largely at the nickel and dime spots.

From the locker room …

  •  First time I got to talk to rookie QB BJ Coleman.  He talked a lot about how good of a teacher and mentor Aaron Rodgers is, how he tells Coleman and Graham Harrell what to look for on plays, in the film room.  He also mentioned that, before coming up for individual work and OTAs, people told him it would feel like a long time in Green Bay … now he says it feels like it’s flown by.
  • Everyone’s happy to have Charles Woodson on the field.  While Woodson proclaimed himself ‘a little rusty,’ teammates and Coach McCarthy disagreed.  Casey Hayward, a rookie who was in elementary school when Woodson broke into the NFL, says he thinks Woodson is still a top-5 defensive back in the league, and is excited to pick his brain.  Woodson said he’s happy with what he’s seen of the defensive rookies so far.
  • Woodson also emphasized the Packers need to get to the QB this season.  You can cover all you want in the secondary, “but if you need to cover a guy for 5, 6 seconds,” it’s tougher.  Woodson also talked about the team releasing safety Nick Collins.  It’s tough from a football standpoint, Woodson said, but “from a friend-standpoint it hurts even more.”
  • Talked to Josh Sitton a about new center Jeff Saturday, getting used to the communication … and as importantly, his recent round at Pebble Beach.  Sitton said he only lost one ball in the ocean on the waterside course.  Not a bad way to spend some downtime during offseason work.

Gorgeous day.  Hope this sunburn doesn’t hurt too bad.  If you were in the stands and have comments of you’re own, add them below, and always feel free to send me a tweet @Justin_Felder

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