Despite graduating from a drug rehabilitation program in Houston last week, formerly suspended Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly has still not returned to practice with the Green Bay Packers. "Jolly, 30, tweeted after his graduation from the program that he would be back in Green Bay on Tuesday," writes Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "But Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Jolly continues to work through the process of returning to the team." Jolly was absent from Tuesday's OTA practice in Green Bay, and there's been no timetable made public for his return. I could speculate that Jolly still has hurdles to clear from a probation standpoint, but that's merely guesswork on my part.
Tight end Andrew Quarless received some attention after an impressive practice Tuesday at Packers OTAs. "More than 17 months removed from (knee) surgery, Quarless resembled a player who could help the Packers offense this season," writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Coach Mike McCarthy says this is the best shape Quarless has been in since Green Bay drafted the tight end in 2010, saying he is 'fully past his injury.' The Packers lost their No.1 target, their all-time leading receiver and didn't select a wide receiver or tight end earlier than the seventh round in the NFL draft." Quarless perhaps represents the player most capable of being a well-rounded blocking and receiving tight end on the Packers roster, but he still has a long way to go to prove himself coming off of surgery.
Defensive lineman B.J. Raji addressed his contract situation on Tuesday for the first time since the extensions given to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews during the offseason. Although he wouldn't go into great detail, Raji did say (as quoted at JSOnline), "Green Bay gave me my first opportunity, my first shot at this thing. Obviously I've had a great run here. I love the people here. It's a great organization, it's a great city for football. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else." Raji will be a free agent following the 2013 season, but where he is on the team's priority list is unknown. Other players in line for contract extensions of their own are cornerback Sam Shields, safety Morgan Burnett and wide receiver James Jones.
There's reportedly been an increased emphasis on forcing fumbles during practice during OTAs in Green Bay. "Every running play ended with a convergence of defensive players ripping at the ball tucked under the running back’s arm," writes Vic Ketchman of the Packers official website. "On one occasion, the effort was successful at ripping the ball from Alex Green's grasp." During his post-practice press conference, head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the Packers' deficiencies in forcing fumbles the past few seasons, in which the Packers have been among the worst in the NFL.
An in-depth read on cornerback Casey Hayward appears at PreSnapReads.com.
The safety position gets some attention over at Packerpedia.
The Atlanta Falcons are called the Packers' most important opponent of 2013 over at AllGreenBayPackers.com.
Video: The crew at the Press-Gazette takes a look at Tuesday's Packers practice...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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