Larry McCarren's Training Camp Report: Bring on The Browns
Image by Rick Wood
The Packers wrapped up their pre-Browns practice week this morning. Breaking from his recent trend of shorter sessions, Mike McCarthy had the troops on Ray Nitschke Field for over 2 hours. Just a good old-fashioned work day.
-T.J. Lang was the happiest camper. The former 4th round pick signed a 4 year contract extension worth about $20 Million which includes a signing bonus of 5+. As the numbers suggest, he's an ascending player. Cleaned up his act off the field, but on it, he's the same nasty SOB he always was. I've always liked his game.
-With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry on the first team, and Erik Walden and Dezman Moses on the second, Brad Jones has been somewhat lost in the wash at outside linebacker. Every once in a while though, he'll make an eye-opening play. Did so today with an interception.
-The loss of Desmond Bishop is going to hurt, but it'll hurt less thanks to D.J. Smith. Serving on the punt "scout" team, he was the first man down in coverage. That says a lot about his attitude. Later, he intercepted a pass. That says a lot about his ability.
-Growing Pains. During Jermichael Finley's injury sabbatical, D.J. Williams continues to impress. Smooth route runner and not bashful about sticking his nose in the rough stuff. Just when you think he's becoming the total package at tight end, he drops a pass. Did so today but he still looks like a player.
-Up to the Challenge. When the Packers prepare for a game, the offense and defense serve as the scout teams for each other. Cards are held up in the huddle, and the offense will mimic a Browns play or the defense will line up as Cleveland lines up. The Packers offense can field a fairly star-studded scout team and today Randall Cobb beat the defense for a TD catch. Same drill, Casey Hayward prevented a TD by knocking the ball away from Jordy Nelson. When the Packer defense is playing the Packer defense, it's supposed to win, but it's not a given against that kind of competition.
Coming Attractions: No practice tomorrow but we'll be back with some players to keep an eye on in the Cleveland game.