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Evening Quick Count: Packers Sign Linebacker

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Evening Quick Count: Packers Sign Linebacker

GREEN BAY – Some quick information from Tuesday's evening training camp practice:

  • The Packers signed linebacker Maurice Simpkins who last played with the Green Bay Blizzard of the indoor football league. Simpkins practiced on Tuesday, wore No. 53 and has long dreadlocks.
  • To make room for Simpkins, the Packers placed cornerback Josh Bell on injured reserve after suffering a sprained foot during Saturday's Family Night scrimmage.
  • Left tackle Chad Clifton dropped out of practice in the early going. He apparently fell ill in the afternoon.
  • Allen Barbre took first-string reps at left tackle in Clifton's place. Bryan Bulaga continued to work primarily at left guard.
  • Outside linebacker Cyril Obiozor left practice early with a calf issue. The Packers were already thin at outside linebacker with both Clay Matthews and Frank Zombo sitting out practice. If Obiozor is out any amount of time, the Packers may have to add another outside linebacker.
  • Jarius Wynn must have been motivated following head coach Mike McCarthy's remarks earlier in the day that "He’s kind of just been OK." In 1-on-1s against the offensive line, Wynn beat Bryan Bulaga with ease on one rep. Later he put a spin move on Chris Campbell from the left tackle position that drew the praise of his teammates. Moments later he took on Campbell at right tackle and put the offensive player right on his backside.
  • While practicing two-point conversions, quarterback Aaron Rodgers went 2-for-3 hitting Donald Lee and Spencer Havner on conversions. He also completed a pass to Jordy Nelson put remained short of the end zone. Matt Flynn failed to convert any of his chances. Graham Harrell hit 1-of-2.
  • Rodgers hit a nice over-the-shoulder pass to Jermichael Finley down the left sideline in 7-on-7s.
  • Charlie Peprah had an interception of Flynn in 7-on-7s.
  • Morgan Burnett tallied an interception of his own in the 11-on-11 team deception period, but it more or less fell into his hands. Wide receiver Greg Jennings took the ball on a reverse and launched the ball downfield. It was an easy "INT."
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

bogmon's picture

Jennings' pass was one of the ugliest things I have seen all camp.
Let's pray we never see his number called on that play in a game situation EVER!

PackersRS's picture

Am I the only one excited to see more deception plays? Last year it seemed like we did a flea flicker once, a reverse once, and the rest were Grant over the middle on first downs, or pass/run option with slants...

FITZCORE1252's picture

"Am I the only one excited to see more deception plays?"


NoNonsense's picture

I totally agree with you RS. Even if they never acually hand the ball off to the receiver, at least they could do is threaten it from time to time.

Against teams that play a lot of zone coverage, you can use the reverse action to freeze the defense. Even the slightest hesitation from the LBers can create nice holes for a RB to run through.

Now I know the Maurice Simpkins signing was just an afterthought here but I gotta say I have a good feeling about this guy.

Hes probally a PS canidate but I predict this guy is gonna open some eyes with his play when he gets the opportunity in the preseason, if not before.

Don't write this guy off as just another camp body. For anyone that is interested here is his Arena League highlight video.

Shootz's picture

That must have been some sprain.

afrenchpackersfan's picture

Maurice Simpkins is very likely to play (or more precisely to back up) at the ILB position with regard to his size.

So, that probably means that Brandon Chillar at OLB may be a permanent solution (and Bishop will finally take the job Chillar previously had at ILB).

Which could means that TT definitely prefers to adapt his roster rather than signing a free agent as to the depth issue at OLB.

These are just supposition but I do not find any other reasons of signing Simpkins rather than searching an OLB in the NFL free agency...

FITZCORE1252's picture

This whole OLB situation is far from cool. Granted, it's better now than a month from now, but still worrisome.


afrenchpackersfan's picture

I agree. It's the "Achille's Heel" of the tea
m upon which opponents will try to capitalize. I like the idea to make CM3 more versatile by switching him from ROLB to LOLB though.

FITZCORE1252's picture

Agree about CM3.

LT's are the 'studs' on the O-line. One would think that if you could get your best passrusher against an inferior passblocker (A.K.A. RT) the chances for QB pressures would increase. Ideally this thing could morph into a totally interchangeable LB corps. One play 54 is inside, the next he's outside. 52's on the right, next play on the left. That would be beneficial in two ways. 1 - multiple LB's are getting familiar with multiple positions so if an injury arises theoretically we should have a better chance of someone sliding in and not having much of a drop off. 2 - It's always nice to keep opposing offenses guessing as to who's going to line up where.


DAWG's picture

I hear ya Fritz, only problem is 54 is a situational player, not full time, special packages, tween er type, and from what I'm hearing what Caper's actually wants, not full time!
You hear anything about this Simpson kid?
I know the base is only run about 20% of the time, but we need to cover all areas. 54 is not our base.

DAWG's picture

Full time-meaning base!

DAWG's picture

Caper's only runs the base-starters, about 20% of the time, thats why 54 is valuable-BUT, what Im sayin, one play makes the game, and if 54 is out of position-game over, I hope not, but thats why 54 is not a preferred base player-tweener-rebuttal?

DAWG's picture

Sorry-take the tweener out of the last sentence, I need to prof read. But I hope you got my drift.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I know a Fritz!

I don't see 54 being able to anchor the edge per-say, but I'm not going to count him out of anything until it's proven that he cannot do it. He's an absolute athlete who can also play football, I love the guy.

I know nothing of Simpson. He appears to just be a 'camp body', but we shall see.

Tarynfor12's picture

For some reason I think this guy was in a Packer camp once before? Maurice Simpkins has a familiar ring to it.

afrenchpackersfan's picture
dilligaff's picture

IMO I think they are playing Chillar at OLB for depth and to keep competition and a fire under Brad Jones.

Is Chillar better than Jones? If Hawk steps up his game and Jones shows that he is a special player, Chillar may be the odd man out as far as starting.

Odds are that one of those 4 positions (ILB/OLB) that someone will go down with an injury.

TT signing Chillar to that big contract extension is starting to look really wise now.

CSS's picture

Granted, all three are in their infancy in terms of technique and repetition for the professional game, but you've got to start feeling good about the young nucleus of Neal, Wilson and Wynn. Even though Wynn has one year of NFL experience under his belt he is, in reality, less experienced than Neal and Wilson. Wynn only spent two years at Georgia and started only his last few games.

Those three, if they continue to be pushed and develop, really get me excited looking at this line in the future. (Sprinkle in some mature Raji, could be nice...).

Granted, they will have minimal impact this year, but the future is starting to look bright at the position.

pitts's picture

neal the man for a 4 man front. needs more upper body power. crash the weights and some wt. gain.

CSS's picture

Mike Neal can bench press over 500 lbs and he may be the strongest Packer on the squad. He adds anymore mass to his upper body he won't be able to button a shirt.

DAWG's picture

NOT liking this OLB situation

pitts's picture

im glad he can bench 500,sure.hey css that was not squat 500,what was his reps at 225lbs. hulk neal.

CSS's picture

He benched 510 lbs., squated 615lbs. and did 31 repetitions at 225lbs. It's functional strength, too, not just a workout warrior.

I only responded to your 'needs to add upper body strength' comment. There are few with more all-round strength on the roster (if any).

pitts's picture

thanks for the tip css

pitts's picture

what are neals weaknesses

CSS's picture

Like any other rookie his technique is very raw. Defensive rookies almost always struggle with their hand positioning their first year. When an offensive lineman gets both hands on your torso it's over.

Neal will occasionally flash a good pass rush, but likely rely on his bull-rush (and he has a good one) to be disruptive.

Rookie defensive lineman rarely have a big impact their rookie year in the NFL.

packeraaron's picture

The big knock on him coming out of school was that he was great for a play or two but when asked to string together a 10+ play drive he would tire far too easily. My hope is that the Packers will rotate him in for two or three plays at a time to take advantage of his power and mass when they need it against the run and to tie up blockers for blitzing linebackers on passing downs.

CSS's picture

But what they left out of that analysis/narrative was his phenominal stamina for a man of that mass. He played >85% of all defensive snaps. That's unheard of and speaks to his stamina and the lack of depth/talent at DT in Purdue.

He isn't likely to play half that many snaps professionally.

Just sayin'....

packeraaron's picture

I hear you - and obviously I think the hope was the line would be a bit deeper (ie Jolly) and that he would be part of a deep rotation.

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