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Packers OTAs: Jaire motivated for year seven, Stokes 'As good as I've ever seen him'

Packers OTAs: Jaire motivated for year seven, Stokes  'As good as I've ever seen him'
Posted at 2:35 PM, May 30, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — There's been a lot of talk this offseason about the additions the Packers have made.

One position group they didn’t invest much in was the cornerback room outside of a lone 7th-round draft pick, Kalen King out of Penn State. It has the self-proclaimed number one cornerback, who appears to be finally invested in offseason work, and a now healthy 2021 first-round pick.

“Ja has been outstanding,” head coach Matt LaFleur said of his No. 1 CB. “(He) shows up, great attitude, eager to learn, is out there competing with the guys, talking trash. Which, I love, because I just love amping up that level of competition."

Last year Alexander didn’t show up to OTAs, missing out on $700k in bonus money. So why did he show up this year: he says he wants to help the team.

“I'm super motivated,” Alexander said. “I feel like every offseason is always a fresh start to do better and get better. That's why I'm here.”

Last year with the suspension by the team and missing time due to a shoulder injury, the seventh-year player is ready to put the past behind him.

“I feel like I still have so much more to put out there and display consistently and I'm just ready to attack that,” Alexander said.

Then there’s Eric Stokes, the 2021 first-round pick who flashed as a rookie but has played in just 12 games the last two years because of various injuries to his knee, foot, and hamstring.

“You can have your adversities, you can have every little thing, but it’s how you go deal with it the next day and all that stuff,” Stokes said. “I know for a fact I'm blessed. At the end of the day I know so many people that want to be in this locker room, that wish to be here.”

It took him time to have that mindset, he leaned on teammate Keisean Nixon and former Packer Rasul Douglas, who was traded to the Bills last season.

“I was mad, I was frustrated, everything just going wrong, all that stuff,” Stokes said. “At the end of the day, it’s the bigger picture with everything. I know it was a lesson I had to go through with every little thing that I went through. Now it’s time to show.”

It appears Stokes has shown off, working hard this offseason to offset his injuries. On Wednesday, he earned high praise from his head coach.

“I think he’s as good as I've ever seen him, both mentally and on the field,” LaFleur. “I want to temper the expectations with that, but I really mean that. He's out there competing each and every day. He looks fully healthy.”

Both guys are excited to play under new defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.

“He just wants you to go out there and have fun and just play 110 miles per hour, that’s why I love Hafley,” Stokes said.

“He’s been great since day 1. (He) preaches aggression, getting after everything. He's a cool guy,” Alexander said.