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McCarthy: Raji 'pretty confident' about arm injury

Aug 23, 2014 -- 12:02am
 
Photo/Getty Images 
B.J. Raji exited Friday night’s preseason game with an arm injury and will go through a battery of tests on it Saturday.
 

GREEN BAY – For a guy who wasn’t even sure if the Green Bay Packers wanted him back in the spring, nose tackle B.J. Raji has become an awfully important part of their defense.

Between a strong camp and a lack of depth at the space-eating position he plays, if the injury Raji suffered to his right arm during Friday night’s 31-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders turns out to be serious, the Packers could be in trouble.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy had no update on Raji’s injury after the game other than saying that the injury was to his arm. Raji left the locker room with ice on his right biceps area but did not speak with reporters.

“You have an initial exam,” McCarthy said when asked about the injury. “B.J., he’s pretty confident about it. That’s why you do the tests.”

Raji left the game after two series Friday night, his last play being a 1-yard Darren McFadden run. He does not appear to be in pain at the end of that play, and the Packers went to their dime defense on the ensuing third-down play. When the defense returned to the field for the next series, Josh Boyd was at nose tackle in Raji’s place.

Raji stayed on the sidelines and appeared to have a black neoprene sleeve on his arm while watching the game. He was not wearing the sleeve during the time he was in the game.

The Packers’ options behind Raji, as of now, are Boyd and undrafted rookie free agent Mike Pennel, who has been one of the pleasant surprises of camp. Veteran Letroy Guion, signed as a free agent this spring after being cut by Minnesota, has yet to see action because of a hamstring injury sustained before training camp. He remains on the non-football injury list.

Former Packers nose tackle Ryan Pickett, who was not re-signed as a free agent, would be available if Raji’s injury turned out to be worst-case scenario.

Raji, meanwhile, has had an impressive camp after returning on a one-year, $4 million prove-it contract.

The Packers’ only other injury Friday night was to rookie cornerback Demetri Goodson, who suffered a concussion. Cornerback Casey Hayward sat out the game because of the hamstring that cost him all but three games last season.

“I don’t think he’ll be out a while. That’s not the indication I was given by the medical staff,” McCarthy replied when asked about Hayward. “Hopefully Casey can work Sunday.”

The Packers return to practice Sunday for a session that is closed to the public.

Training camp report #16: Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 -- 2:08pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com  
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin took in practice with Packers team president//CEO Mark Murphy Thursday.
 

GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 16th practice of training camp from Thursday:

Thumbs up:  For the first time, coach Mike McCarthy had his new day-before-the-game practice open to the public and reporters. After spending his first eight seasons having the players get roughly 48 hours off from their last practice (generally on Friday) to the game time (normally on Sunday), McCarthy has gone to this new program where the players won’t practice on a typical Friday, doing walk-throughs and other meeting work, then a practice like this one on Saturdays. It lasted 58 minutes, was conducted in shorts and helmets and got the blood flowing in advance of Friday night’s game against Oakland at Lambeau Field.

“Every level of football – high school, college – I’ve always done something to get my blood flowing the day before a game. When I got to Green Bay, that was the first time I really wasn’t doing much 36, 48 hours before a game,” defensive lineman B.J. Raji said earlier this week in the context of McCarthy’s commitment to using science and technology to improve performance. ”Obviously, we’ve had a lot of success around here, so that really hasn’t been a problem. [But] I was excited just to be able to get your blood flowing before a game and the next day you’re pretty fresh and ready to go.”

Thumbs down:   They are just having fun, of course, but given the painstaking lengths McCarthy has gone to try reduce injuries, it seemed a bit knuckleheaded for the defensive backs to turn Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s interception into a “The Band is on the Field!” Cal-Stanford reenactment. But that’s just what happened after the rookie safety’s INT, as he lateraled to Davon House, who threw it across the field to Jarrett Bush, who eventually lateraled it back to house – while all four quarterbacks decided to pretend they were looking to make the tackle. Again, boys will be boys, but seemed like an unnecessary risk from the sideline.

Play of the day:  In the conversation about the team’s tight-end rotation, Ryan Taylor tends to get short-schrifted. But the veteran special teams ace hauled in arguably the catch of the day, going up high on a pass from Matt Flynn over the middle seam and pulling it down against tight coverage by Tramon Williams while working on the scout-team offense. Taylor has made other plays during camp, but he remains toward the bottom of the group when it’s time to play offense.

Camp confidential:  Now, let’s not all overreact here. But it was a bit surprising to see kicker Mason Crosby, who has been Steady Eddie throughout training camp, miss two of the four field goals he attempted in practice Thursday. Working in a game-situations period, Crosby came on with the Packers trailing, 26-24, and with the ball on the 35-yard line after an Aaron Rodgers incompletion. Crosby then missed the 53-yard attempt badly wide left. He came back to hit a 33-yarder, then missed a 38-yarder wide left before finishing with a make from 43 yards out. According to ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky, who has embraced the nickname “The Punting Professor” but also tracks field goals, Crosby made 28 of his first 30 kicks (93.3 percent) in camp but has made only 17 of his past 22 (77.3 percent), for an overall practice percentage of 45-for-52 (86.5 percent). He is 3-for-3 in the Packers’ two preseason games and coming off a career year, so there’s no need to reacquire Giorgio Tavecchio. It was more significant that he’s been so good that a day that became all too commonplace in recent years stuck out like a hooked kick.

Packers Playlist:  "That's My Kind Of Night" by Luke Bryan was the only regeneration period song because, well, the short practice only had one. "Kill Your Heroes" by AWOL Nation and "Joker & the Thief" by Wolfmother were played during 11-on-11.

Injury report:  CB Casey Hayward (hamstring) did not participate in practice, one day after McCarthy said he was “just being smart with Casey” after he’d missed all but three games last season because of a hamstring injury. Still sidelined were TE Brandon Bostick (leg), G Jordan McCray (shoulder), RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list

They said it:  “Our teaching environment has improved so much, just with our new facilities. We’re getting so much more done here in the building. Based on what we need to get done on Saturday as opposed to Friday, I think the normal Friday practice [used to be] an hour [and] 10, 15 minutes. Probably when we get to the regular season, [the new Saturday practices will] come in about 55 minutes.” – McCarthy, speaking on Wednesday about his practice plans.

Practice schedule:  The Packers face the Oakland Raiders Friday night at Lambeau Field. Their next open-to-the-public practice is Monday at 11:45 a.m.

Training camp report #15: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aug 20, 2014 -- 12:13am
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Linebackers coach Winston Moss works with Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and the rest of the outside linebackers Tuesday.
 

GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 15th practice of training camp from Tuesday:

Thumbs up:  Mike Neal is coming on. Whether rushing from the outside linebacker spot or from an interior position in the sub package, the lighter-than-before Neal is still explosive and growing as a pass-rushing threat almost daily. It will be interesting to see how he fares when he, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are all on the field together and playing at maximum speed. On Tuesday, Neal had back-to-back plays with the No. 1 defense while getting after quarterback Matt Flynn. First, he beats tackle Aaron Adams for sack as an outside linebacker. Then, on the next play, he destroyed center Garth Gerhart on inside rush from a down lineman position.

Thumbs down:   Datone Jones is trying to prove himself as the team’s 2013 first-round pick, and his effort has been good in camp. But he has to be smarter than what he did Tuesday. On a pass rush against quarterback Scott Tolzien, he chased the quarterback and closed on him just as Tolzien was starting to cock his arm to throw. Foolishly, Jones hit Tolzien’s arm and dislodged the ball. Tolzien clearly wasn’t expecting it, and his arm got caught in an awkward position. Jones, who was scolded by defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, admitted after practice that he wasn’t supposed to do what he did – the quarterbacks are off-limits for all contact, even hitting their arms – and Jones acknowledged his mistake.

Play of the day:  Julius Peppers continues to lend more credence to the theory that he’s pacing himself and less to the idea that he’s washed up every day. After recording a quarterback pressure and a tackle for loss during the team’s preseason victory at St. Louis last Saturday, Peppers was very active during the extra-physical half-line drill in practice Tuesday, tossing fullback Ina Liaina aside to stuff running back Michael Hill for a loss.

Camp confidential:  With the Sept. 4 regular-season opener fast approaching and the coaching staff looking for every edge it can find, coach Mike McCarthy has altered one aspect of his team’s preparation – the hand signals for the no-huddle offense. For the first time, the Packers are intentionally using different hand gestures during the preseason versus what they’ll use when the games count.

The thought process is two-pronged: They don’t want players who are released as the roster is trimmed from 90 to 53 to know the signals, and they don’t want the defending Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks seeing their signals on film and figuring them out before the big game.

“No huddle is a big part of what we do. To have a set of signals for preseason and a whole different set for the regular season, this is really the first year we’ve done that,” McCarthy said. “So, we just have a lot more going on.

“We’re definitely conscientious of what the first group is doing, how much their doing it and really what we need to get ready for in Seattle because there is such a quick [turnaround for the] game.”

Added quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt: “When you operate in the no-huddle and you have crowd noise, obviously you cannot verbally communicate. So you have to come up with systems to communicate. … There’s a lot of different ways to get that done. The signals, we do a good job of going back on tape, watching game tape, the TV copies, to see what’s out there, as well as studying what we put on tape as far as the coaches’ copies. It’s well-documented, and there’s a plan in place. We’re not worried about it.”

Packers Playlist:  "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder, "Doin' It Right" by Daft Punk Feat. Panda Bear and "Airplanes" by B.o.B Feat. Hayley Williams were played during the regeneration periods Wednesday.  Songs played during 11-on-11 sessions included "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam, "Master Of Puppets" by Metallica, "Vasoline" by Stone Temple Pilots, "Wagon Wheel" by Darius Rucker, "Battle Scars" by Guy Sebastian, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" by Van Halen, "We Own It (Fast & Furious)" by 2 Chainz Feat. Wiz Khalifa, "Back In The Saddle" by Aerosmith, "Fine Again" by Seether and "5-1-5-0" by Dierks Bentley

Injury report:  CB Casey Hayward (preventative) was very limited in practice because of last year’s hamstring injury. “Just being smart with Casey, just because of his history,” McCarthy said. Also, right guard T.J. Lang dropped out of practice after banging his chronically troublesome left shoulder. “[Lang] didn’t seem very concerned about it,” McCarthy said.

Still sidelined were TE Brandon Bostick (leg), RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list

They said it:  “We’ve got an important few weeks right in front of us. Certainly, the finishing up of the preseason games, also getting ready for the start of the regular season. It won’t be more than a couple of weeks before we’re playing a real game.” – General manager Ted Thompson, on training camp rapidly coming to a close.

Practice schedule:  The Packers do not practice Wednesday but will have an open practice Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in advance of their Friday game against the Oakland Raiders.

Lyerla to be waived/injured, headed to IR

Aug 19, 2014 -- 3:38pm
 
Photo/Getty Images 
Colt Lyerla, who only played in two games at Oregon last year, is headed to season-ending injured reserve.
 

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers have told Colt Lyerla that he remains in their future plans, even though the undrafted rookie free-agent tight end was informed Tuesday that he was being waived/injured.

Assuming Lyerla clears waivers – and teams rarely claim injured players, much less one that the Packers were the only team to bring him in post-draft on even a tryout basis – he would revert to the Packers and land on season-ending injured reserve, allowing the team to keep his rights.

“As far as I know, that’s how the IR process goes. You have to be released injured for one day and then you can come back on IR,” Lyerla said as he passed through the locker room after practice. “They told me they’re putting me on IR.”

He said that as far as he’s been told, the plan is not to give him an injury settlement and part ways with him.

Lyerla tore the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments while hurdling cornerback Jumal Rolle during the team’s Aug. 2 Family Night practice at Lambeau Field. While the injuries did not require surgery, coach Mike McCarthy has said that they’d sideline Lyerla for multiple “weeks,” and Lyerla said last week that he was told by doctors that he wouldn’t be cleared in time to return before the end of training camp.

While being placed on injured reserve would prevent him from being able to practice all season, he would be able to attend all meetings, work out at the Packers facility, do his rehabilitation work with the Packers’ athletic training and medical staffs and keep him in the structured environment that he has said he wants to be a part of after his checkered past at the University of Oregon.

Although it would likely have been more beneficial to him to be released and land on the practice squad so he could take part in practices and perhaps work his way onto the 53-man roster during the course of the season, the time in the system should help him, too. Lyerla left the Ducks early last fall and only played in two games before leaving the team.

“It will be another year off football, but it’s pretty different where I’ll be at and what I’ll be doing,” Lyerla said. “I’ll be part of the Green Bay Packers organization. I feel like there’s a lot of positives to that.”

Training camp report #14: Monday, August 18, 2014

Aug 19, 2014 -- 12:26am
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Practice was moved inside Monday to the Don Hutson Center, where quarterback Aaron Rodgers (right) fixed his hair.
 

GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 14th practice of training camp from Monday:

Thumbs up:  The backup quarterback race is at full boil, and right now, it would certainly appear that both Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien are very much worthy of a roster spot. Each was on the mark throughout practice. Tolzien’s best play was probably his marvelous pinpoint throw on a 30-yard gain on a catch by an outstretched Justin Perillo, although that was just one of many terrific completions he had. Flynn, who was first in the rotation behind Aaron Rodgers, went throw-for-throw with Tolzien, with his best pass likely his best pass being a touchdown to a leaping Jarrett Boykin down the left sideline just inside the end zone pylon.
Thumbs down:   For the first time in camp, practice was moved inside the Don Hutson Center because of rain. While the Green Bay area ended up getting soaked by rain during the late afternoon, it appeared sunny during the noon practice when reporters looked outside. That was one disappointment. The other was on the offensive side of the ball, where both the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses saw their 2-minute drives end in interceptions, which contributed to the 89-minute practice being the shortest of camp.

Play of the day:  What makes Rodgers great is that his unique talent is on display even on the simplest of passing plays. On a rudimentary crossing pattern to Jordy Nelson, Rodgers got the ball out so ridiculously quick to Nelson, who’d found an open are behind rookie cornerback Ryan White, that White was genuinely helpless to stop the play. At the same time, the defense had a handful of plays, including two interceptions by rookie first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Camp confidential:  Jayrone Elliott’s three sacks in a four-snap span Saturday against St. Louis got him a promotion.

"I heard he's starting this weekend in front of me," four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews joked.

OK, not really. But the undrafted rookie free agent from Toledo did impress his coaches with his eight-snap performance – he now leads the NFL in preseason sacks with three – and as a result will get more opportunities on Friday against Oakland.

He’s also earned another honor: His teammates – like Matthews and fellow outside linebacker Julius Peppers – now know his name.

"Usually you walk around, and they'd be like, "What's up 91?' or something like that," said Elliott, who wears No. 91. “Then they started calling me by name and calling me 'Sackmaster.' So it's just fun to joke around with Clay and Pep, because you know Peppers never really talks to anybody, so it's fun to hear him talk."

Elliott was on the Packers’ radar before the draft, coming to Green Bay on his only preseason visit. He ended up signing with them despite interest from the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints and received a $5,000 signing bonus.

“He's just a young man that's really taken advantage of pretty much every opportunity he’s been given," McCarthy said. “I was excited to see him have success.”

Packers Playlist:  "Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash, "Small Town Throwdown" by Brantley Gilbert with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, and "Funny The Way It Is" by Dave Matthews Band were the three songs played during regeneration periods. Among the songs played during 11-on-11 periods as in-game noise were "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC, "King Nothing" by Metallica, "Machinehead" by Bush, "Cochise" by Audioslave, "On Top Of The World" by Imagine Dragons, "Down" by 311 and "Fever” by The Black Keys.

Injury report:   TE Brandon Bostick, who suffered a lower leg injury in Saturday’s game at St. Louis, did not practice and will be out for “a couple weeks,” according to McCarthy. The first tight end snap with the Packers' No. 1 offense went to rookie third-round pick Richard Rodgers, and Jake Stoneburner lined up with him for the first snap with two tight ends.

Still sidelined were RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list although he had what seemed to be an intense workout at the Edward Jones Dome on Saturday.

They said it:  “The sky’s not falling. We have two more weeks to get ready for the season. Derek Sherrod did a lot of good things. He had a couple plays that he obviously wished he could have back but I think we’re progressing fine there.” – McCarthy on the backup tackle position, where Sherrod, the former first-round pick, gave up a sack and two quarterback hits Saturday.

Practice schedule:  The Packers practice at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in pads. Practice is open to the public, weather permitting.

Out for remainder of camp, Lyerla's future uncertain

Aug 15, 2014 -- 7:15am
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Colt Lyerla’s future with the Packers is uncertain after a significant knee injury that will most likely sideline him for the rest of camp.
 

GREEN BAY – Colt Lyerla wants to stay. Whether he lands on injured reserve, the practice squad, whatever – the rookie tight end wants a chance to prove that he was worth the chance the Green Bay Packers took on him.

It appears his knee isn’t going to cooperate.

When asked earlier this week whether Lyerla, who suffered a knee injury during the team’s Family Night event on Aug. 2 and hasn’t participated since, might miss the remainder of training camp – including the final three preseason games – Packers coach Mike McCarthy would only say that he’s been told Lyerla will be out “weeks” – plural.

With the Sept. 4 regular-season opener at Seattle less than three weeks away, Lyerla isn’t going to have time to make a push for a spot on the 53-man roster, especially after being out of football for most of last year after leaving the University of Oregon early in the season.

“Depending on they feel about it, I’d hope that they keep me somehow,” Lyerla said earlier this week. “I don’t imagine coming back for training camp.”

Lyerla wouldn’t say what he injured in his knee – he was so uncomfortable about the subject and worried about speaking out of school that he actually said, “I need to talk with him more to see what I’m supposed to say,” when asked – but multiple media outlets reported that he tore the medial collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament when he hurdled cornerback Jumal Rolle during Family Night. Lyerla did say that he did no damage to the anterior cruciate ligament and that surgery on the MCL and PCL has been ruled out.

That leaves the Packers with a few options: They can place him on season-ending injured reserve and keep him around for what will amount to a medical redshirt year, as they did with wide receiver Kevin Dorsey last season and have done with others in the past; they could reach an injury settlement with him and go their separate ways; or, they can hold out hope that he’ll be healthy enough by the final cutdown on Aug. 30.

That way, they could release him, wait for him to clear waivers – since it’s unlikely another team would claim him after no one was willing to sign him after the draft – and then place him on the eight-man practice squad the next day.

If Lyerla lands on IR, he can attend meetings and use the team facility like a normal player but he could not participate in practice. If he’s on the practice squad, he could do all those things.

“I think I could develop just fine even if I was on IR,” Lyerla said. “I think there’s a lot of things I could do just from a football IQ point that would help me a lot. Obviously I’d be able to be around and go to meetings and stuff, learning the offense and just getting better at my role.”

McCarthy won't name Tretter starter ... yet

Aug 14, 2014 -- 3:28pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
JC Tretter (left) is well ahead in the battle for the Packers’ starting center job.
 

GREEN BAY – While coach Mike McCarthy stopped short of officially naming JC Tretter as the Green Bay Packers’ opening day center, he might as well have on Thursday.

After a strong training camp – following a bumpy first two days in pads – and a very good debut in rainy Tennessee last week, the second-year man from Cornell is ahead of challengers Corey Linsley and Garth Gerhart.

“I think JC’s off to a great start,” McCarthy said Thursday. “I think the Tennessee game was definitely impressive. I want to see him stack success anytime you play well. We’re getting ready to play against an extremely talented, very good defensive front, so this will be great work for us.”

The Packers’ second preseason game, at St. Louis on Saturday, will give Tretter another test – indoors, in a quasi-loud (for a preseason game, anyway) domed envinroment against a speedy defensive line. After the way he played against the Titans in the pouring rain – “I was completely drenched in warmups, and I’m out there 12, 14 minutes,” offensive line coach James Campen said – it would require a stunning collapse for him to lose the job based on performance.

“That was a heavy rain now,” Campen said. “[And to have] no center-quarterback exchange problems, getting [weather] like that and then playing the way he did was a big stepping stone for him,” Campen said. “Now, he’ll have a new one – being indoors, loud, crowd noise, turf, all those things.

“But the thing for him is, every day he’s gotten better at something and he continues to grow that way. And a lot of that is because he knows what to do. He doesn’t have to sit there and think and have that hold him back. He knows his assignments so well and knows what everyone else is doing, so that just accelerates his growth.”

Tretter, who’ll be the team’s fourth opening-day center in four years, missed all of last season with a broken ankle suffered during the first practice of organized team activities. He was activated from the physically unable to perform list late in the year so he could practice, but he never saw any game action as a rookie.

He instead spent that time learning the playbook, and it’s been evident to Campen that his Ivy League brains were put to good use.

Still, it’s up to Tretter to keep building on his debut.

“I’m not sure it was the perfect building block, but it was a very good building block to start from,” said Tretter, who hadn’t played in a game since Cornell-Penn in November 2012. “There’s still some things to clean up and a lot of things I need to get better at, but that’ll all come. It was a good start. I think it’s still a ways off from where I think the finish line is, but for a start, it was a solid beginning.”

Training camp report #13: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 -- 12:48am
 
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson’s hamstring may not be 100 percent, but he did take part in practice on Wednesday.
 

GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 13th practice of training camp from Wednesday:

Thumbs up:  Every day, Jeff Janis makes one breathtaking catch. While wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett wants to see more consistency from him, it’s undeniable that the rookie seventh-round pick from Division II Saginaw Valley State is making an impression. Although he hasn’t done enough to lock up a roster spot – because of a bout with shingles at the start of camp, Saturday’s game at St. Louis is expected to be his preseason debut – Janis is doing something the other young wide receivers aren’t doing: Making big plays.
Thumbs down:   Packers coach Mike McCarthy can say that the spirited, let’s-get-physical practice was exactly what his team needed, and who are we to argue? Nevertheless, the risk of having so many fisticuffs – when will football players realize that punching a guy who is wearing  a football helmet is more likely to do more damage to your hand than that player’s face? – outweighs the reward. The Packers defensive players have made no bones about wanting to be tougher this season. That’s great. But according to linebackers coach Winston Moss, who was in the thick of the most intense period of practice, McCarthy’s mantra is “smart and tough.” The fighting only shows the latter.

Play of the day:  The coaches are going to have to do something with Sean Richardson. The third-year safety simply is making too many plays in practice to merely sit the bench. On Wednesday, he had his third 11-on-11 interception of camp, picking off a Tolzien pass. It was the third interception of the practice thrown by backup quarterbacks, two of them coming from Tolzien.

Camp confidential:  McCarthy wanted a physical practice because only seven practices remain and shortened weeks will make it harder to have such intense sessions. That’s why he was happy to see a half-line run-blocking drill get a little nasty between the offensive line and the defensive linemen/linebackers.

“It was the practice we needed. There were some challenges that needed to be met,” McCarthy said. “It’s about growing a football team, it’s about challenging them in different ways. These guys don’t just show up here at the beginning of training camp ready to play and you do these drills for a reason.

“We’re getting into the meat of training camp where we’re probably not going to be able to practice like that again. … I felt like walking off the field today, we hit the target.”

Fortunately, offensive line coach James Campen and linebackers coach Winston Moss didn’t hit each other. The two got in each other’s face during the drill, and while they made light of it afterward, guard T.J. Lang insisted that the coach-on-coach jawing wasn’t for show. Lang believes the defense “took it personally” when on Monday, during the team’s last in-pads practice, the offensive line had its way in the blocking drill. He believes the defense had its toughness questions, which led to Fight Club.

McCarthy downplayed the Moss-Campen meeting of the minds, saying, “Let’s not make any more of what it was. It was a lot energy in the drill. There’s nothing wrong with what Winston Moss and James Campen did today. It wasn’t personal. It’s about getting our team better. Coaches compete no different than the players.”
Campen, meanwhile, retold the story of the confrontation and tried to make light of it while also sharing the spirit of their argument.

“[Moss] has a heck of a beard, and I wanted to see it up close, because I can’t grow one,” Campen joked afterward. “And then he gave me some weight-loss instructions on how to trim up. Things happen. No big deal. It was just a real intense practice.”

Packers Playlist:  "Anywhere With You" by Jake Owen, "Punching In A Dream" by The Naked And Famous and "Celebrity Skin" by Hole were played during the regeneration periods Wednesday.  Songs played during 11-on-11 sessions included "Work It Out" by Knox Hamilton, "I Don’t Want This Night To End" by DJ Crazy J Rodriguez, "Around The World" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons, "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin, "Welcome To Paradise" by Green Day, "Fire Your Guns" by AC/DC and "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers.

Injury report:   WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) practiced again and did more than he had the previous day. WR Davante Adams (right wrist) returned to practice as well. ILB Brad Jones had to only watch practice after having what McCarthy called a “dental procedure.” Still sidelined were RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list

They said it:  “Throwing punches is not smart, no. That’s pretty stupid. I might have been stupid today.” – Guard Josh Sitton, on the fighting.

Practice schedule:  The Packers do not practice Thursday and have a closed practice on Friday before their Saturday game at St. Louis.

Training camp report #12: Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aug 13, 2014 -- 12:24am
 
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com 
Packers general manager Ted Thompson takes in Tuesday’s chilly practice.
 

GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 12th practice of training camp from Tuesday. (Note: Monday’s practice was closed to the public, so there was no report on Practice No. 11.)

Thumbs up:  Jumal Rolle is fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot with the incredible talent level the Packers have a cornerback, but the former practice-squadder continues to make an impression. During Monday’s closed practice, he delivered perfect coverage on a deep ball down the sideline to Myles White. On Tuesday, he was in terrific position again, this time on a deep ball to Jeff Janis that he knocked loose on a go route. After registering a pair of tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in the preseason opener against Tennessee, he’s one of the youngsters worth keeping an eye on in St. Louis on Saturday.

Thumbs down:   A day after there were drops galore by the young wide receivers – prompting coach Mike McCarthy to implore them to start raising their games and separate themselves – there seemed to be improved concentration at the position. But for the second straight day, Myles White had a key drop, this time on a back-shoulder down the sideline from Scott Tolzien. It would have been a big gain against cornerback Sam Shields, and that’s the maddening thing about White: He would seem to have a leg up in the race for the fifth or sixth receiver spot, given his experience in the system and the contributions he made last year (nine receptions, 66 yards), but he hasn’t reached out and grabbed a spot. Perhaps that’ll happen in the next three preseason games.

Play of the day:  Speaking of wide receivers, Janis continues to make plays. Although he also had a drop Tuesday, his terrific full-extension layout catch from Aaron Rodgers on a deep ball was a beaut. “I think Jeff Janis has made a play every day he’s been out there. He made another big play today,” McCarthy said of Janis, who was sidelined at the start of camp by shingles. “He looks good. Hopefully, we can get him fully cleared by the medical staff for Saturday night. I really like what he’s done so far.”

Camp confidential:  With the Packers dealing defensive end Jerel Worthy to the New England Patriots for a conditional future seventh-round pick Tuesday night, only three players from the team’s eight-man 2012 draft class remain: First-round pick Nick Perry, second-round pick Casey Hayward and fourth-round pick Mike Daniels. Worthy, a second-round pick miscast in the 3-4 scheme joins an ignominious list of goners: Fourth-round safety Jerron McMillian, who was cut at midseason last year; sixth-round inside linebacker Terrell Manning, who played one season as a backup before being cut at the end of camp last year; and seventh-round offensive lineman Andrew Datko and seventh-round quarterback B.J. Coleman, both of whom spent their first NFL seasons on the practice squad before being cut at the end of camp last summer.

Considering they have only four players to show for their 10-pick 2011 draft (Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Davon House and Ryan Taylor), GM Ted Thompson figures to get some draft-related questions when he holds his weekly media session Wednesday morning.

Packers playlist:  "Umbrella" by Rihanna, "Shake Me Down" by Cage The Elephant and "What Would You Say" by Dave Matthews Band were played during the regeneration periods, while “Days Of Gold" by Jake Owen, "Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys, "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line and "I'll Stick Around" by Foo Fighters were some of the selections during 11-on-11 work.

Injury report: WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) returned on a limited basis, seeing only a handful of snaps after missing Friday’s closed practice and Monday’s private practice. DT Josh Boyd (ribs) returned after missing Monday’s practice after getting hurt in the game Saturday. And S Tanner Miller (ankle) returned after a two-week absence and had a nice pass breakup.

Still sidelined were WR Davante Adams (right wrist), RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). Worthy (lower back) and DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list – at least until Worthy was dealt later in the day.

They said it:  “I'd like to stay healthy. That's kind of the goal there. Last year we didn't score a touchdown, so my No. 2 goal is to score a touchdown.” – Rodgers, on his goals for his preseason debut Saturday at St. Louis.

Practice schedule:  The Packers practice at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, their final open-to-the-public practice of the week.

Nelson on hamstring: 'I'm not talking about it ... We're good'

Aug 12, 2014 -- 7:46pm
 
Photo/ESPNWisconsin.com
Jordy Nelson took part in Tuesday’s practice on a limited basis and dodged questions about his hamstring.
 

GREEN BAY – If Jordy Nelson doesn’t want folks to worry about the minor hamstring injury that kept him out of practice Monday and limited him on Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers veteran wide receiver’s interaction with the media after Tuesday’s practice wasn’t all that helpful.

Nelson did in fact dress for and take part in practice Tuesday, although he essentially took the first rep at wide receiver in a couple of 11-on-11 offensive periods, then sat the rest of the period out.

“I took it light with him today,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who had said that Nelson was “day-to-day” on Monday. “Being smart.”

When approached by reporters after practice, Nelson was elusive – before leaving the locker room altogether.

“What’s up? I’m doing great. You get two questions. I’ve got to eat. We’ve got meetings at 3,” Nelson told a handful of reporters.

Asked how he was feeling, Nelson replied. “You wasted your one question on that. All right. Next one. … I’m not talking about it. We’re good.”

When asked what his prognosis is, Nelson replied, “I have no idea. We’ll continue to work at it. All right. I’m going to go eat. That’s all you guys got.”

Someone then asked if this is like 2012, when Nelson suffered a hamstring injury that forced him to miss four games and parts of two others, he said, “I’m good. Appreciate it.”

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