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News About All Positions Through Mini Camp Thus Far!

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackerLegend, May 8, 2006.

  1. PackerLegend

    PackerLegend Cheesehead

    Mar 26, 2006
    Two of Aaron Rodgers' new coaches were impressed by how he performed in the Green Bay Packers' three-day, four-practice minicamp that concluded Sunday morning.

    "I was really pleased with Aaron," offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski said. "Absolutely. His arm strength. The way he got that thing out. And his deep ball was good.

    "He's got it. He just needs a chance to do it."

    Brett Favre took minimal repetitions over the weekend, giving Rodgers primary exposure with the No. 1 offense. Coach Mike McCarthy has excused Favre from even attending the second minicamp, which is scheduled from May 19-21. McCarthy said there was potential for Favre to take part in 10 of 14 practice days after that.

    Favre's absence will enable Rodgers to direct the team, just as he has done since the start of the off-season workout program March 20.

    "I think Aaron Rodgers is having an excellent minicamp," McCarthy said late Saturday. "Statistically, big-play opportunities, controlling the huddle, managing the offense."

    Last spring, McCarthy studied all 22 of Rodgers' starts at the University of California because he was the offensive coordinator in San Francisco and the 49ers were evaluating him and Alex Smith.

    "His movement qualities are something I don't recall seeing a lot of in college," McCarthy said. "I think Aaron moves a lot better and is a lot better athlete than what people realize. He does a really nice job in space. He also has an excellent arm."

    Ingle Martin, a fifth-round draft choice, made too many high throws but flashed some athletic ability.

    "He was just kind of feeling his way around," Jagodzinski said. "He's got some good tools."

    The Packers intentionally limited Favre's number of passes because he hadn't thrown since the final game, according to McCarthy.

    Here's a position-by-position rundown:

    Wide receivers: Second-round pick Greg Jennings didn't look out of place as he stepped up from Western Michigan to the National Football League. He ran smooth patterns, caught the ball well and could challenge for one of the top three jobs.

    "I think it will be a big task for him to be that guy but I can see him competing for that," Jagodzinski said. "He got in and out of a cut pretty darn well."

    The other draft choice, Cory Rodgers (fourth round), dropped too many passes in the first couple of practices but finished with a flourish Sunday. Some of the cornerbacks said he played faster than he timed.

    "He's a pretty exciting football player," general manager Ted Thompson said. "I would think he'll be a better player in pads than shorts. I think he's going to be OK."

    All four free agents had their moments, including crafty Chris Francies and vertical threats Calvin Russell and Ruvell Martin.

    Perhaps the most interesting of the four was Leo Bookman (6 feet 2 inches, 213 pounds), a three-time NCAA 200-meter champion (20.32-second personal best) who hasn't played football since 2002 at Kansas.

    In March, Bookman broke the unofficial 40-yard dash record inside the Hutson Center. His first 40 was timed in 4.22, 4.24 and 4.25, and his second was timed in 4.19, 4.21 and 4.22. A few days later, Bookman said he ran 4.26 on grass for Kansas City.

    "He's still learning the game but he's a nice-size kid, looks like he catches the ball pretty good and can run like the wind," Thompson said.

    Marc Boerigter, an unrestricted free agent from Kansas City, reminded Jagodzinski of Brian Finneran, another towering receiver with whom he worked in Atlanta. Boerigter and Rod Gardner ran second team behind Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson.

    "I told 'Fergy' that I want to get him through a season where he can step up and perform like I think he can do," Jagodzinski said. "We've got to keep 'Fergy' healthy."

    Tight ends: David Martin was married March 18 and missed the first two weeks of workouts, but said he was only slightly above his prescribed weight.

    "Dave Martin always looks good," Jagodzinski said. "I told him if he could stay healthy once, we might have something."

    Both Bubba Franks and Martin said they were excited about plans to use the tight end more than in recent seasons.

    "We've got to get Bubba involved in the passing game," Jagodzinski said. "The tight end should get at least five, six catches a game. Bubba is what he is. He's going to be a short-to-medium guy and I know he will do a great job on the edge for us blocking."

    Donald Lee will be hard to dislodge from one of the backup jobs but rookie free agent Zac Alcorn of obscure Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D., showed potential.

    Offensive line: McCarthy's commitment to a zone running game was evident. All the Packers drilled were four base zone plays. No guard pulled all weekend.

    "Here's the deal," Jagodzinski said. "If there's a guy on him, he's blocking him. If no one's on him, he's going to the linebacker. It's not that hard. It's hard to screw that up."

    The inside starters were left guard Daryn Colledge, center Scott Wells and right guard Junius Coston. Can the Packers win with them?

    "Yeah, I think we can, because of what we're going to do and how we're going to do it," Jagodzinski said. "They're young but that's OK. They'll only get better."

    Colledge, a second-round pick, lacks some weight and upper-body strength but his speed and balance fit the offense to a T. The 316-pound Coston played center at North Carolina A&T and left guard all spring before moving to right guard after the selection of Colledge.

    "Well, somebody's got to do it sometime," Thompson replied when asked if Coston could jump from playing three snaps as a rookie to starting. "I think everybody is pleased with what 'Juice' did this weekend and throughout the spring."

    Jason Spitz, a third-round pick, backed up Colledge and Tony Moll, a fifth-round pick, played extensively at left tackle.

    "The whole staff talked today," Jagodzinski said. "With all the draft choices, what we saw on film is what we got. I told Moll to give himself to (strength coach) Rock Gullickson and he will reshape you. He was a tight end and he gained 50 pounds in a year. That's not all good weight. But he is very athletic."

    Seemingly miscast in the new system, massive Will Whitticker got a chance to start as the emergency left tackle when Chad Clifton (knee) sat out and Adrian Klemm suffered a knee injury Friday afternoon in the opening 45 minutes.

    Another wide body, Kevin Barry, spent all camp running No. 2 behind Coston at right guard after spending his first four years at right tackle. Barry is about 25 pounds overweight.

    "I told him the 'U-71' package is done," Jagodzinski said. "He can't catch. It was a novelty and it was great. Now if he's happy being a four- or five-play a game guy, I told him we've got the wrong guy. I don't know if it's so much the weight. I want those guys to be able to move."

    At 290, backup center Chris White was considered borderline too small by the previous staff but is a better fit for this system.

    Running backs: The zone scheme means a different focus for the blockers and a different style of running for the backs.

    "They learned what I'm looking for as far as making a cut," Jagodzinski said. "You only get one. No more than that until they get in the open field. I want 4 (yards), 4, 4, 4, 4, 42. That's what's going to happen."

    With Ahman Green (thigh) and Najeh Davenport (knee) sidelined, most of the carries went to Samkon Gado, Noah Herron and Arliss Beach, a talented free agent from Kentucky.

    At fullback, William Henderson seems to be a better fit than Vonta Leach. Free agent A.J. Cooper, a tight end at North Dakota State, moved to fullback and showed good smarts and hands.

    Defensive line: Ryan Pickett, Cullen Jenkins, Corey Williams and Colin Cole rotated at tackle with the No. 1 unit.

    "Different guys will probably start at different times depending on the opponent," Thompson said. "We think we've got a pretty good little group of guys that can play."

    The Packers align their tackles left and right rather than designating one as nose tackle and the other as the three-technique. Pickett was enthusiastic about the chance of playing both spots after having been used exclusively on the nose for the last three seasons in St. Louis.

    Pickett checked in at 335, about 10 to 15 pounds above his playing weight, but defensive coordinator Bob Sanders said he wasn't concerned. Another newcomer with something of a weight problem is former Giant Kenderick Allen.

    "He's a big man that can move," Sanders said, referring to Allen. "He's working on his conditioning. He came in with a great attitude."

    Third-year tackle Donnell Washington was so out of shape and so overweight that his career in Green Bay might be finished. He has never played a snap.

    Rookie end Dave Tollefson, a seventh-round pick, needs bulk and strength but was a little reminiscent of a young Aaron Kampman.

    Linebackers: The coaches couldn't say enough good things about the debut of A.J. Hawk on the weak side.

    "He did a very, very good job," Sanders said. "I was very pleased how he grasped what we do. He's very instinctive and has been well-coached. He was very much at home in a lot of areas."

    Another rookie, Abdul Hodge, worked behind Nick Barnett in the middle.

    On the strong side, Roy Manning started Friday before former Brown Ben Taylor was elevated as the starter Saturday and Sunday. Manning spent the last two days as a backup on the weak side.

    "We're just trying to see who can do what," Sanders said.

    Secondary: The Packers got their first look at former Raider Charles Woodson, the new starter at left cornerback over Ahmad Carroll.

    "He's done most of the things we do," Sanders said. "He has been experienced at a lot of different techniques. He's a true professional."

    Cornerback Mike Hawkins put on 10 pounds but continued to make young mistakes.

    Rookie Tyrone Culver, a sixth-round pick, ran No. 2 behind free safety Nick Collins and second-year man Marviel Underwood backed up strong safety Mark Roman. The fifth safety, rookie free agent Tra Boger of Tulane, might be a keeper.

    "Very fluid and good in space," Thompson said. "Understands angles. Has a feel for the passing game. Pretty good athlete."

    Special teams: With place-kicking put off until the next minicamp, the focus was on the battle for the punting job between incumbent B.J. Sander and Jon Ryan, a two-year veteran out of the Canadian Football League.

    "I wouldn't say I did great and I wouldn't say I did poorly," Ryan said. "I'd grade myself as a B, B-minus. It's still early. I've still got time."

    Of his 30 punts in team drills, Ryan said he hit 22 great, five so-so and three poorly. Sander didn't demonstrate as much explosiveness as Ryan and was no more consistent.

    "I think he kicked fairly well this weekend and I think I kicked fairly well, too," Ryan said.

    An executive in personnel for another NFL team that worked out Ryan said he possessed a tremendous leg but would have to speed up plus improve his hands. Ryan has never been a holder.

    "He's got shaky hands so he could start dropping snaps and not getting it off," the scout said. "He's also a little slow on the delivery. He's real raw."

    According to Ryan, his time from touch to toe averaged from 1.5 to 1.55 seconds upon his arrival in Green Bay and is about 1.4 now. The Packers want him at less than 1.3.

    Ryan, who didn't hold in the CFL or at the University of Regina, knows his ability to become a competent holder might make the difference. Sander held in 2005.

    "I'm a little behind right now compared to the other guys but I'm working hard to catch up," Ryan said.

    Woodson returned just 12 punts in eight seasons but wants to do it in Green Bay. He fielded punts with Jennings, Rodgers and rookie cornerback Will Blackmon.

    "Any time you put the ball in Charles' hands, good things are going to happen," McCarthy said. "I'm excited about him as a punt returner. He's very natural back there."
  2. ~TheJoker~

    ~TheJoker~ Cheesehead

    May 3, 2006
    :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
  3. Popcynical

    Popcynical Cheesehead

    Oct 28, 2005
    Good read. Thanks :)
  4. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

    Dec 11, 2004
    This was forgotten to be added in this article by the editor.

    When asked about Robert Ferguson, Mike McCarthy had this to say. "MY daughter can play WR with more guts, next question."
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005
    wow that was a great little summary.

    Jennings,Blackmon, and Boger are underdogs who I am rooting for bigtime.
  6. HatestheEagles084

    HatestheEagles084 Cheesehead

    Apr 22, 2005
    if anyone has the pic of mccarthy's daughter from before, there is no better thread to include it in

    any time to put a pic of her up is alright

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