Packers OTA Quick Hits

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Peppers and Matthews
Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews practice as teammates for the first time. Big things are expected of both this season in Green Bay (Rob Demovsky/ESPN)

The Green Bay Packers started their organized team activities (OTA’s) on Thursday.  This was the first time that all players on the current roster got together to practice.  Two week ago, the Packers held a rookie orientation and mini camp to acclimate the newcomers to the team’s culture, facilities and schemes.

I, for one, am glad that we finally have some live action to talk about.  After all of the draft build up and free agency, it’s good to get back to seeing guys doing actual football things.

Here are a few quick hits from the practice opener:

– Not OTA-related but the Packers did agree to terms with first round pick and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix today.  The deal is reportedly worth four years and $8.25 million.

– Speaking of rookies, not one of them worked with the first teams on Thursday.  No entitlement going on in Green Bay this season.

– Rookies Davante Adams and Khyri Thornton not at practice.  At NFLPA Rookie Premiere

– Micah Hyde lined up at the safety position next to Morgan Burnett in first team drills.  Clinton-Dix will have to earn his way to a starting gig.

– J.C. Tretter lined up at center with the first team.  Rookie Corey Linsley is also in for a battle.

– Among those returning punts:  Tramon Williams, Randall Cobb, Micah Hyde, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis

– Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga, running back DuJuan Harris and cornerback Casey Hayward were active in Thursday’s practice.  Bulaga lined up at right tackle and wore a knee brace.

– Julius Peppers worked with the outside linebackers

– Offensive lineman Josh Sitton is apparently taking a page out of the Boston Red Sox’s playbook from last year and not shaving his face. . at all.  Frankly, I’m glad.  The Packers could use a bit more “nasty”.

– Tight end Colt Lyerla caught some, dropped some.  Did appear to receive the biggest ovation from the crowd, even bigger than Abbrederis’s

– Tight ends Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick, linebackers Clay Matthews and Nick Perry and running back Johnathan Franklin watched, but did not participate in Thursday’s practice.

 

We will have more updates as the week progresses!

 

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • Archie

    Yes, very good to have the players back on the field. Let’s hope injuries are not such a factor this year. Let’s also hope that GB finally has a good pass rushing front 7 (Peppers needs to be a big factor) and a greatly improved secondary at S (Dix and Hyde will change things around). We know the offense will be good as long as #12 is pitching. And we know we have a running game (can’t wait to see Harris again). And maybe Colt Lyerla or Brandon Bostick will be the answer at TE. All is good on the first day of OTAs!

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      I think we can expect a good pass rush going into a season for the first time since 2010. GB has some serious DEPTH at OLB/Nickel DL.

      CM3

      Peppers

      Daniels

      Neal

      Perry (He’s shown flashes and IF he can stay healthy he’ll contribute)

      D. Jones (2nd year bump)

      Worthy (2nd redshirt year bump)

      Now even if only HALF those guys do well this year, we’re going to have a MONSTER pass rush!

      • Oppy

        Ready to be surprised? Look up the team rankings for Sacks, Hits, and Hurries over the last three years.

        The Packers haven’t had any glaring problems with rushing the QB… Always in the top 1/3 of the league.

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          I’m not surprised Oppy. I’m just saying – it could be MUCH better. It seems we rack up the pressures/sacks when it’s not crunch time.

          It’d be nice to be able to depend on pressure…

          • Oppy

            That’s fair

  • Savage57

    And so it begins…

    I can’t recall the approach of a season in the last 20 years where there have been so many questions answered, so many positions stocked with talent, so much upside.

    While the next three months will be rife with speculation as to who should be playing ahead of who, who stays, who goes, and other sure to be contentious issues, Ted’s given Mike all the components a coach could ask for to field a team worthy of competing for a deep playoff run.

    Now, please, injury-bitch, go visit another team and let PackerNation witness what might be without your baleful presence.

    • I bleed Green More

      I have to pinch myself, seems were pretty well stocked this year.

    • Cow42

      …”so many questions answered…”

      Yeah, except for not knowing if the team has starting – caliber players at C, RT, TE, LDE, RDE, OLB, ILB, and S, they’re all set.

  • Big T

    Does anyone know if they have changed anything with the strength and conditioning coaches? I firmly beleive you have to go the source of the problem to get it fixed. After 3 years of leading the league in injuries it is time for a change. Not saying you have to fire anyone, maybe change up your program, the current one doesn’t work.
    I just have that feeling, barring any major injuries this could be our year…

  • Since ’61

    Glad to hear that Dix is signed. Always good to have the 1st rounder for all of camp. Would love to see Pack make it through to opening day injury free. Go Pack! Thanks, Since ’61

  • Calabasa

    Big T- I’m glad to hear GB has hired the GPS monitoring company to keep tabs on player’s exertion level. Should help soft tissue injuries.

    As for Harris, I can’t remember him blowing my doors off. I’m more excited to have Lacy and Starks get enough touches to get into rhythm. Maybe Harris can catch swing passes?

  • Gbjohnny

    Let me get this straight….. NO ONE got hurt???? Championship!!!

  • GBPDAN

    Just looking at that picture of Mathews and Peppers next to each other has me excited. I think Peppers, with the right amount of reps, will contribute big this year. He’s motivated. I also hope that the injury bug leaves GB and goes somewhere else this year.

    • Big T

      The two of them are great together… Matthews can teach Peppers to play more intense and Peppers can teach Matthews how to actually play every game in a season…

  • Mojo

    Just a random thought: I’ve read over the last few days from both writers and bloggers about what a long-shot Lyerla is to make the team. This surprised me inasmuch as none of the holdovers at TE from last year would be considered above average going into this season. Stoneburner and Taylor aren’t much as receiving threats, Quarless was so-so last year coming off a major injury and Bostick is still an unknown. Nothing special from this group.

    I imagine if Lyerla was retained, he would fill in the void on ST’s if one of the other TE’s was cut.

    If Finley doesn’t re-sign with GB and Lyerla keeps clean, I would actually be surprised if he doesn’t make the roster.

  • jOE

    I thought Quarless did a great job last year. He started 10 games at TE had 32 catches for 312 yds, a respectable 9.8 yd average and had 2 tds. Not bad for your backup TE. I’m not saying he is going to be a star, but a solid job done and remember he didn’t play many games with #12.

    • Mojo

      Not according to PFF: “ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-6.9 (ranked No. 19 out of 23 Packers offensive players; ranked No. 3 out of 4 Packers qualified NFL tight ends)”

      And from Imig:
      “Upon further review: Perhaps it was related to his knee injury, or maybe not, but Quarless was a good run-blocker a couple years ago. In 2013, not so much. He went from being the best among the tight end group then to arguably the worst now (and no better than the inexperienced Brandon Bostick, which is saying something). Aside from Week 1, when he only played eight snaps, Quarless was involved in the Packers’ offense early in the season, even before Jermichael Finley’s season-ending neck injury. Quarless wasn’t as involved in the passing game as he would be later, but he was still seeing around 50 percent of the snaps through Week 7. Then, through unfortunate circumstances, Quarless got his chance to be a starter after Finley was lost for the year. That increase in role seemed to help Quarless, who was more consistent as his playing time went up. Working with Matt Flynn at quarterback in Weeks 14 and 15, Quarless posted the two best receiving games of his career. In back-to-back games, he recorded six catches for 66 yards and one touchdown. He wasn’t running through would-be tacklers like Finley was, but Quarless proved to be a reliable target when one was very much needed. Of course, the most important thing for Quarless in 2013 was that he played in all 17 games (playoffs included) without any setbacks. That was very positive progress for him.”

      Maybe with another year of healing he’ll be back to the way he was a few years ago. But last year he wasn’t that good.

  • TheMarathonMan

    When was the last time Josh Sitton DIDN’T have facial hair? Dude has always been a Grizzly Adams doppelganger. Is there something I’m missing here???