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Takeaways from the Third and Final Round of Packers OTAs

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Takeaways from the Third and Final Round of Packers OTAs

The Green Bay Packers held their third and final open session of organized team activities (OTAs) in 2014 Tuesday afternoon. 

Now, only a mandatory minicamp held next week separates the Packers from summer vacation. After next Tuesday, we won't see the players again until training camp. 

Here's what we took away from Tuesday's final round of open OTAs:

 

Rich Rod's Strong Start

Out for the Packers tight end group may be Jermichael Finley, an athletic marvel who was sometimes frustratingly inconsistent catching the football. In is rookie Richard Rodgers, who might not be as dominant an athlete as Finley but who has gotten off to a quick start catching the football at OTAs. Rodgers made a number of difficult catches Tuesday, and later drew praise from both Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers. A strong start is great for the rookie tight end, but just a word of caution. Remember, D.J. Williams was once a June All-Pro. OTAs feature no pads and no contact, and the introduction of both crucial aspects to the game can sometimes erase players come fall. I'm not saying that'll happen to Rodgers, but we really can't say anything definitively about him right now. As McCarthy said, no job will be won in June. Hopefully Rodgers can continue his impressive month in August during camp.  

Hyde's Chance

Again, it's only June, but McCarthy has made it crystal clear that he considers Micah Hyde a "three-down" player for the Packers defense. He's used the phrase many times about Hyde this offseason, and there's really no reason to think he's bluffing. McCarthy wants the second-year defensive back on the field. The guess here is that defensive coordinator Dom Capers does too. Expect the Packers to use him at safety and slot cornerback, based on situation. McCarthy said Tuesday his transition to the back end is off to a good start. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix might be a first-round pick at a need position, but he likely won't be a immediate full-time player with the need for having Hyde on the field. 

Don't Sleep on Rich

Clinton-Dix will get the press, and Hyde's emergence in the secondary is a big story. But don't forget about Sean Richardson in the safety mix. His size is a big asset, especially against the run. McCarthy commented about how he shows up more with the pads on, mostly because he's uniquely sized and he plays a physical brand of football. Now, if he can figure things out against the pass—Richardson intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the 11-on-11 session Tuesday—it'll be hard to keep him off the field. Wouldn't it be something if the Packers suddenly have a logjam at the safety position? If Richardson takes a step forward, Hyde emerges as a legtiimate safety option and Clinton-Dix pans out as a first rounder, the Packers will be mostly set at the position. Those are all big ifs, and playing the "what-if" game burned Green Bay at safety last season. But this group feels like it should be much more well-rounded than the one employed by the Packers in 2013. 

Tretter on Center Stage

McCarthy sounds very confident in JC Tretter's ability to play the center position. It might be nothing more than coach talk, or his way to deflect any potential criticism from the fact that the Packers are going on their fourth starting center in as many years. But he sounds geniune, and it also sounds like his players have developed a respect for the second-year offensive lineman. The Packers always talk about the second-year jump for players, and while Tretter missed almost all of his rookie season, McCarthy still considers him one of his sophomore players. Tretter has a real opportunity to be Green Bay's starting center for many years, which is something the club hasn't had since Scott Wells. His summer is off to a strong start. 

 

Zach Kruse contributes to Cheesehead TV and is the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Icebowler's picture

I definitely feel better about the Safety and Center positions. Time will tell at TE. Now about that ILB position...?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

According to an article at APC, the author (Aron Yohannes) watched practice in person. Seems he agreed with Zach's comments, and added that Dujuan Harris looked very good, noting he was shifty, quick and explosive with the ball in his hand. Yohannes also mentioned that Lyerla was again the last player off the field, running routes by himself and worked the ball machine. Sounds promising even if it is only June!

DrealynWilliams's picture

"...added that Dujuan Harris looked very good, noting he was shifty, quick and explosive with the ball in his hand"

Which he has always been. I still remember when he gave us life in the running game a few seasons back. He isn't a 3-down back,but we don't need him to be. He can easily have the same season (or better) as Starks if given the chance. I really hope the 15-10-5 rule comes to fruition this season.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I don't get to excited about who looks great in OTA's. What matters most is when pads come on.
That being said there are things you can take away from OTA's to determine if a guy has ability or if he doesn't.

For example, seeing how Davante Adams, Richard Rodgers, Jared Abbrederis, and Jeff Janis hands and route running are. It sounds like to me Rodgers hands are really good, as are Adams.

Other things to take away is seeing where players are playing. Hyde playing safety means a quite a bit. Also from the way it sounds, it sounds like they have Abbrederis returning punts a lot. My guess with that is they are hoping he wins the PR job.

I can't wait till training camp starts.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I wonder how Janis would look on KR.

RC Packer Fan's picture

To be honest. i haven't heard who they have been trying out as KR.

I have heard Abbrederis, Hyde, Cobb mostly have been fielding punts. But i haven't heard who has been returning kicks.

I am not sure if Janis would be a good KR. He is a taller thinner type of WR.
I thought Harper might be a good one. He is thicker and has good speed. Another i have heard might be a good option is Demetri Goodson.
I know Perkins has return experience, but he has an uphill climb to make the roster.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Janis might appear to be thin 'cause of his height. He weights a bit less than Harper,but is faster and more athletic (combine #'s).

I just hope the coaches gives everyone a shot who's not named Cobb.

Stroh's picture

Janis is like Jordy, how did he look returning? He looked terrible... I would count Janis out of any returns.

Personally I don't see anyone who is good enough at either and Cobb should be returning punts. Maybe see if DuJuan Harris can do KR. Hyde is proficient enough at PR, but would still rather have Cobb doing it. He WAS drafted in large part due to his return ability. Let him use it for Gods sake. The injury risk isn't that great and the injury he did have was playing WR not returning.

I hate playing it not to get injured, I think its a terrible way to play (not to lose) and is self-defeating! Cobbs easily the best PR we have, there is ABSOLUTELY no doubt about that. Let him do what he was drafted for... He's F'in GOOD at it!

COW's picture

If Rodgers was their best return man would you want him doing it?

4thand1's picture

you suck

Stroh's picture

Rodgers wasn't drafted to be a return man tho was he? Cobb WAS drafted not only to be a good WR but also to be the return man. Cobb is a VERY GOOD return man, he's never gotten injured doing it. He did get injured playing WR. I guess by your rational, we should take Cobb off WR duty since he got hurt doing it.

COW's picture

Or don't answer the question... that's cool too.

aManOfTheNorth's picture

there will be a drastic reduction in kickoff return opportunities for Green Bay in 2014.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree with your comments. Dujuan Harris should shine with just helmets on. I mentioned it because it sounds like Harris is completely recovered from his injury. Still waiting for indications about Franklin's health since GB doesn't comment on injuries yet.

DrealynWilliams's picture

My concern on keeping Cobb on special team duty is more about (his WR) performance than injury.

I've never paid attention to Cobb's snap count,but I've always *felt* he hasn't been utilized enough. Since the subtraction of Jennings,Jones and now (potentially) Finley I would think/hope he's going to stay on the field.

With the expectation this offense now has - would Cobb still be the best option at KR??? I know there's a diamond in the rough somewhere. Find 'em.

Stroh's picture

Patrick Peterson played CB full time, had some offensive packages as a WR AND was the PR. I don't see why Cobb can't be a WR and PR. Dieon Sanders was always a FT CB and always returned punts too.

KR takes more punishment that PR does anyway. I just want to see him on PR, not KR so much. With the new rules KR might become extinct soon anyway.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I'm talking about KR. I'm not worried about PR. I wouldn't mind seeing Cobb back there **securing** punts that fly pass the 20. Something like what the Pats used to do when they had Wes. Sure handed. But as far as full-time PR,Cobb has to give that up and become a dominant WR.

Sanders & Peterson are rare. Size and speed. They're elite. I don't think Cobb is there.

lucky953's picture

Most importantly--no major injuries!! this could be the year the plaque passes us by.

Evan's picture

Shut your mouth.

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