Packers Open OTA’s – Middle Linebackers Are. . .

Green Bay Packers OTA's

The Green Bay Packers took to Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday for the first of three OTA sessions.  It gave fans and media their first look at some of the rookie class of 2015 as well as saw the return of a few faces that were missing last year in that of receiver Jared Abbrederis and defensive lineman B.J. Raji.  Rookie quarterback Brett Hundley and receiver Ty Montgomery were not at practice due to rules prohibiting them from participating with the team until their respective school’s graduation calendar permit.  Both will appear at the NFL Player’s Association Rookie Premier.

Much of the focus and attention today was on the defense.  One of the biggest areas of interest was middle linebacker.  As the first team took the field, it was Sam Barrington and Clay Matthews on the inside.  Many wondered if Matthews would spend some time in the middle again this year and if today was an indication, Matthews may see more time there than some anticipated.  After practice, head coach Mike McCarthy joked with media that they should wait until Matthews lines up at nose tackle, referring to the linebacker’s versatility.  Rookie fourth-round pick Jake Ryan spent time with the second team.

It’s too early to say what the depth chart or rotation will look like at the position as OTA’s move along and training camp approaches.  It is clear that the Packers want more out of that area and especially after letting go of both of last year’s starters in Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk.

At cornerback, Casey Hayward began at outside corner along with Sam Shields.  Hayward will get pushed by rookies Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins and that competition may last into the regular season.  More clarity will come once training camp starts.  On the inside, Micah Hyde had a nifty interception on a Scott Tolzien pass to make his push for the nickel cornerback spot.

The Packers have two more OTA practices in June and a mandatory mini camp in June as well.  Training camp opens July 29th.



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

Follow Jason Perone:



13 thoughts on “Packers Open OTA’s – Middle Linebackers Are. . .

  1. I thought Hayward had a foot injury and won’t be able to do much until the start of TC? I gather he was in attendance but did not participate. Goodson actually took 1st team reps at Tramon’s spot, with Hyde in the slot. I also noted that the 2nd string ILBs were Bradford and Ryan. It is very early though so these are things that one can note but not read too much into.

    1. You are right regarding Casey, but I think I read that Sam Shields took over Tramon’s position, while Goodson was on Sam Shields side… But I might be wrong…

      1. I don’t know which side Goodson/Shjields played. I’d be surprised if they moved Shields since during the season GB did not flip their CBs due to mismatches. Maybe Jay Hodgson can tell us if one side has different responsibilities or is easier to play, because frankly IDK.

        .I was really noting that Goodson at least started out playing with the #1s at outside CB. Doesn’t mean too much this early, probably just in line with GB’s philosophy that rookies have to earn it, even players drafted in rounds 1 and 2.

    2. Did you also note that Guion was on the field at DE along w/ Raji at NT? Something I know you were wondering about quite a bit.

      1. Thanks. I did note it. I asked the same question on APC and was inundated with links to articles from a year ago which noted that GB thinks Guion can play all over the Def. line. My bad, I was just too lazy to google it! If Guion can play DE well, it might make a big difference at to which 6 (or 7) they keep. We’ve got a lot of possibilities, but still it is Daniels, Raji?, and a bunch of JAGs unless someone steps up.

        Welcome to ALLGBP! I thought your comments have been astute and added to the discussion, so don’t be shy.

        1. Thanks for the welcome! And the compliment. Hope I can add more to the discussion.

  2. Matthews at nose tackle? Not a bad idea. Rotate him in at every defensive position on the field. Clone him 10 times and we have a defense. Problem solved…

    1. It’s like the old Looney Toons Bugs Bunny baseball short…
      NT–Clay Matthews
      DE–Clay Matthews
      ILB–Clay Matthews…

  3. Come on, Jason. A “tease” for a headline? How unprofessional. Suggest: “CM3 at ILB in OTA.” Catchy, engages the reader and conveys information.

      1. Of course I was kidding with my suggestion. It’s almost as “Bush League” as using a “tease.” for a headline.

  4. Isn’t there another kind-of, packer OTA going over there in Minnesota? Let’s see; Charles, Brad and Dujuan and who else? Wonder what the mood is like there with the role model vet AP? We take some things for granted, we do.

  5. Of course Matthews lined up at ILB. He is going to continue to get snaps at ILB like I said a few days ago. Not only was the Packer D extremely effective w/ Matthews at ILB, so was Matthews whose stats went thru the roof. You just can’t ignore the production he had at the position.

Comments are closed.