Sunday, May 31, 2009

Green Bay Packers OTAs Begin—And So Do The Surprises

by Al Bracco


To start with, Justin Harrell made it onto the field. While we don’t know to what extent he participated, his presence indicates he has at least passed his physical. Harrell said he has been “pain- free for about four weeks.” My first reaction was “what the hell took so long”, but now I’m going with “well, that’s a start.”

Cullen Jenkins, Chad Clifton, Atari Bigby, Scott Wells and Nick Barnett were all kept out of activities as they continue to rehab injuries.

2009 draft picks Clay Matthews III (hamstring) and Brad Jones (groin) both missed the second day. Neither injury was serious and both are listed as day-to-day.

The first team defense had several early surprises. BJ Raji was at left end, Ryan Pickett at NT and Harrell at right end. Jeremy Thompson was the first team right outside linebacker, ahead of Brady Poppinga and the injured Clay matthews III. Kevin Greene seemed very enthusiastic with Thompson’s play during the practice. Could Poppinga be in trouble?

The Packers announced that they had signed exclusive rights free agent Tramon Williams to a one-year contract. This came not long after Packer Coach Mike McCarthy lauded Williams for his work ethic, “how he goes about his business”, and participating in OTAs without a contract. McCarthy thinks Williams has a “big future in front of him”. Al Harris, get your seat cushion ready…

It appears Matt Flynn has held onto his #2 QB spot on the depth chart, practicing with the second string offense while Brian Brohm saw a bit of action with the third stringers. That certainly doesn’t help the possibilty of getting any value for Brohm in a trade. I still feel the Packers need a more experienced backup.

Ryan Pickett said the coaches have not talked to him at all about possibly playing some defensive end. Sounds like Pickett is the primary NT and BJ Raji will be used at several positions on the defensive line.

Aaron Kampman isn’t talking. Since Dom Capers was hired, he has turned down several opportunities to talk to the media, specifically about the 3-4 defense and how his conversion to OLB is going. Speculation is running rampant that he’s not happy and trade rumors are even beginning to surface.

On a sad note, Willie James Collins Sr., the father of Packers safety Nick Collins, passed away on May 16 at age 56 after a long battle with cancer. This was the serious family issue Collins has been dealing with.


You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: NFL Touchdown, Packers Lounge, Packer Chatters , Jersey Al’s Blog and, of course, Bleacher Report.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your comments here: