Packers News and Notes: All about the Rookies

Travis Duncan

Sep 2, 2011
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May 11, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers rookie quarterback Nick Hill (17) runs the ball during the Green Bay Packers mini-camp at the Don Hutson Center. Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

In a nutshell, Mike McCarthy's shared organizational philosophy in this free-agent era of the NFL is to keep young talented football players coming through the system.

Common sense right?

But not every NFL franchise designs its system around that philosophy as the Packers do. It seems to be a frame of mind, rather than the function of scouting, drafting and teaching as all NFL teams do. Some franchises, choose not to, or are not able to focus their attention on development, while also focusing on contending at the same time.

Usually poor-win loss records and subsequent high-draft picks forces the focus of an organization on rebuilding, while success and the playoffs with low-draft picks lends itself towards maintaining what you have.

But much like a baseball franchise, the Packers believe in keeping the farm system active.

The Packers have now signed each of their eight draft picks and hosted a slew of other undrafted rookie FAs this weekend.

McCarthy and Co. don't take this weekend lightly. This is not just a meet and greet.

“The way our program is designed tells you how we feel about young players,” McCarthy said after practice Sunday, via the team's official website.

“We’ve been a draft-and-develop program going on year seven now. It’s a young man’s league, in my opinion. I think that’s a trend that potentially is only going to pick up, so it would not surprise me if you continue to see those numbers.”

Rookie training camp concluded yesterday and the first of three organized team activity two-day sessions will begin next Monday....then the Packers will hold their veteran minicamp June 12-14. We are about two months away from training camp 2012.

OTAs will be as follows: May 21-23, May 30-June 1, June 5-8

-The Packers signed first-round draft pick Nick Perry to a contact Saturday. According to published reports Perry's contract is for four-years at $7.5 million and receives a $4 million signing bonus, the Packers will also have an option for a fifth year.

Each of the teams eight draft picks have now signed contracts with the team.

-Perry played left outside linebacker during rookie minicamp this season. This could mean that Clay Matthews will move to the right side with Perry starting Week 1.

“It’s a starting point,” McCarthy said via the Green Bay Press Gazette. "That’s — we played Nick Perry exclusively on the left side (today), so that will be the starting point for him."

-After this weekend's practices, rookie QB B.J. Coleman was lauded for his excellent arm strength while Nick Hill who first took a crack at the NFL in 2008, but has never played a down was said to look more comfortable under center.

-Undrafted rookie free agents include: Guard Don Barclay of West Virginia; running back Duane Bennett of Minnesota; Brooks; fullback Nic Cooper of Winston-Salem State; center Tommie Draheim of San Diego State; tight end Cameron Ford of Wake Forest; tight end Eric Lair of Minnesota; tackle Mike McCabe of Holy Cross; linebacker Dezman Moses of Tulane; receiver Dale Moss of South Dakota State; safety Sean Richardson of Vanderbilt; receiver Marcus Rivers of Buffalo; cornerback Dion Turner of Southern Utah; and running back Marc Tyler of USC.

-Injury update: Mike McCarthy said Sunday, via the team's official website “Andrew (Quarless) will be challenged for training camp. Alex (Green) looks great. Derek Sherrod is really progressing. I’m hoping Derek and Alex will be ready for training camp, and Andrew, from a time table standpoint, is a question mark for training camp."

Quarless had offseason knee injury, and Sherrod is recovering from a broken leg he suffered in a game against Kansas City last December.

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