Guest Post: On The Ground in Titletown at the Packers OTA
Ed. Note: The ‘Mayor of Green Bay’, Kyle Cousineau was in attendance for the first Packers OTA of 2012. I asked Kyle to give us his on the ground perspective of what he saw & he was kind enough to provide this recap of what he saw yesterday.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is stop by Ray Nitschke Field on my way home from work to check in on Packers training camp. Well it’s not even summer, hell it’s not even Memorial Day, but today I got to spend about 45 minutes watching the Packers practice during their first OTA (Organized Team Activity) practice that was open to the public.
I got to Nitschke Field shortly after practice had begun, and was able to see some individual position drills as well as some 11 on 11 team activities. At first I watched the linebackers work on catching drills, the defensive back work on ball control drills, and the centers & quarterbacks work on their exchanges. As always, these position drills were pretty monotonous stuff.
Missing from today’s action were RB Alex Green, T Derrick Sherrod, and TE Andrew Quarless. No big surprise with either of those three as they are all coming off of season-ending injuries in 2011. Also missing were two starters from last year’s defensive backfield, S Charlie Peprah & CB Charles Woodson, as well as FB John Kuhn and LB Frank Zombo.
One big story coming out of the 1st OTA is rookie LB Nick Perry was working at the ROLB position, with Clay Matthews III moving to the LOLB spot. This wasn’t a huge shocker, as the local Green Bay media reported Perry was working at the position during the rookie initiation mini-camp following the draft.
During 11 on 11 team drills 2nd year Safety M.D. Jennings took Charlie Peprah’s spot at and was working with the 1st team defense. He definitely helped his cause for more playing time by picking off QB Aaron Rodgers team a team blitz drill. Rodgers was intercepted again when CB Sam Shields made an extremely athletic play on a deep pass to WR Jordy Nelson over the middle of the field.
I also spent some time watching the Quarterbacks work on their footwork for their 3 and 5-step drops. They worked on this on the far end of the practice field away from the rest of the team, and the crowd sitting in the stands for that matter. Another fan was sitting by me and he yelled out to Aaron Rodgers, “How are you feeling today, Aaron?” Rodgers responded with an emphatic “OLD!” I’m not sure if that is really how he was feeling, or if he was just tipping his cap to the three younger quarterbacks working in his group.
The next OTA practice that is open to the public comes next week, on May 30th. This will be the 2nd of 3 open practices before training camp beings in July.
Featured Image Credit: Green Bay Press-Gazette/Bilde