Packers Defense Stars In Return to Practice

Ha Ha Clinton Dix

The Green Bay Packers returned to practice on Monday and were moved inside the Don Hutson center.  It was not open to the public but media still attended and judging by the reports from the sidelines, the Packers picked up where they left off after Saturday’s 21-7 win over the St. Louis Rams.

Among some of the more noteworthy items was that the first team offense was the same that started Saturday’s game, with Richard Rodgers taking the first rep at tight end.  Andrew Quarless got in on the action shortly thereafter and the two of them appear to be splitting time with Brandon Botsick out with a reported ankle bruise.

Bostick, running back Rajion Neal, linebacker Joe Thomas and defensive tackle Letroy Guion did not practice today.  Bostick was not with the team during practice and according to head coach Mike McCarthy, will be out a couple of weeks but the injury should not require surgery.

Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin lined up at wide receiver.  Cobb, Tramon Williams and Micah Hyde took the reps at punt return.

Quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien both had good days.  Receiver Myles White completely baffled cornerback Casey Hayward for a nice gain, at one point.  Rookie receivers Davante Adams and Jeff Janis both had some nice grabs today and appear to be settling into the offense more every day.

The defense jumped out with some big plays early as rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix logged his first interception of the preseason on an overthrown ball by quarterback Chase Rettig.  A few plays later, a ball bounced off the hands of running back James Starks and Clinton-Dix was there, once again, for another pick.  If they come in bunches for the rookie during the regular season, the Packers won’t mind.

Also scoring an interception from the safety spot was Chris Banjo, on a tipped ball intended for tight end Justin Perillo.  Morgan Burnett nearly had a highlight-reel pick but couldn’t hold onto the ball.  There’s a reason they’re not receivers but still good to see the safeties around the ball all day.

Defensive lineman Datone Jones has drawn much discussion about how much improvement he can make over his rookie campaign.  He was able to swat a pass down with a two-handed bat.  I noticed that the Packers defensive linemen didn’t get their hands up much in the St. Louis game and wondered if that would become a point of emphasis.

McCarthy spoke after practice.

Was asked about the fumble by running back DuJuan Harris.  McCarthy said it was a correction that was made and that regardless of who you are, you can’t put the ball on the ground.  Right now, Harris has a firm hold on the team’s third running back spot with Neal still nursing a knee injury.

Talking about the second-team offensive line, McCarthy specifically addressed tackle Derek Sherrod.  Said there were a few plays he probably wanted back on Saturday but overall, feels that Sherrod is progressing fine.  Sherrod was heavily analyzed after getting beaten badly, on a few occasions, by the Rams second and third teams.

McCarthy praised Clinton-Dix for his continued understanding of the defensive scheme and his work ethic.  Said he’s the same man every day at practice.

In addressing undrafted free agent linebacker Jayrone Elliott, McCarthy simply said that Elliott has taken advantage of every opportunity given to him.  At this point, it seems that Elliott stands a good chance of joining the roster when final cut downs are made in a few weeks.


We’ll have more updates as the week goes on and the Packers prepare for their preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders.  Week three typically brings more of a regular season game atmosphere and approach, with the starters sometimes playing the entire first half.  Returning to Lambeau Field for the first time since departing in free agency are former Packers Charles Woodson, James Jones, C.J. Wilson and Brandian Ross.





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

Follow Jason Perone:



6 thoughts on “Packers Defense Stars In Return to Practice

  1. Sherrod was beaten badly by the Rams second and third teams… But MM feels he is progressing fine. Why is it that TT and MM always seem to reward bad performance. I think one should call a spade a spade. MM should’ve said something like, ” boy Sherrod really effin sucked against the Rams, but I still like his progression.” MM needs the ghost of Vince to toughen him up a bit.

    1. well that’s the difference between a blabbermouth and a professional. A professional personnel motivator and manager just doesn’t spout off opinions cuz and when they’re disappointed. A professional manager understands a bit more about developing passion, loyalty and still can make clear what is not acceptable…and coach it up, until its clear that it is dead-end. How can you say Sherrod doesn’t have hope yet. Ya know its still preseason, right? And officially he hasn’t failed yet, because its ALL been practice so far including the last ‘game’. Furthermore, a professional manager understands not to tell the public that a player sucked, just because he had a bad game. Sherrod is a packer for now, and I would hope a packer fan would be a bit more classy than to spout the stuff you do. Imagine the player that you so insult were to read your post, and how might that engender player love/loyalty to the fan base? Some fan. I’ll give you benefit of doubt that you realize your anonymity took you a bit too far.

      1. It’s not spouting off an opinion, it is a fact. If he played like crap, he played like crap, why lie about it. I would have to assume you would be the parent that would blame the teacher if your child misbehaves. I just feel you should be honest and not sugarcoat the facts. Sherrod has made a lot of money for being injured and will never become the player you think he will. There’s nothing wrong with being optimstic but at some point reality has to strike you. Have you let go of the fact that Marshall Newhouse is no longer a Packer yet?

        1. Let’s remember this is still practice, Packett is right. Yes, Sherrod did play bad during his early snaps but improved a bit as he stayed on the field. Something else to consider is that Sherrod no doubt realized that the officials were calling a ridiculous number of illegal use of the hands penalties. He knows enough to realize that penalties kill drives and if he was called a few times his chances of keeping a spot on the team would be hurt. Then he settled in, relaxed and played a little better. I have nothing to base this thought on, but it is a possibility. In any case these first 2 preseason games have been Sherrod’s first real NFL action for basically his career. Let’s give the guy the rest of the pre-season at least to work on his technique and build up his confidence. Fortunately for the Packers MM and the coaching staff realize that this takes time for a player returning after 2 seasons injured. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  2. Looks like HHCD’s becoming the playmaker we need at safety. Seems to always be around the ball, whether in pass defense or run support.

    Doubt he’s a starter week one, but as the season goes on, I think he has a good chance to replace “Butter Fingers” Burnett.

Comments are closed.