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Tuesday notebook: Neal Starts On Defense With Jenkins Out

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Tuesday notebook: Neal Starts On Defense With Jenkins Out

GREEN BAY - Mike Neal was practicing with the first-team defense on Tuesday's Green Bay Packers training camp practice with Cullen Jenkins sitting out with a calf strain.

Head coach Mike McCarthy indicated after practice that Jenkins would be a long shot for Thursday's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field.

That likely means Neal will be getting a lot of work with the starters in the third exhibition game in which the starters will play the entire first half.

"Jenkins strained his calf about three-quarters of the way through practice," McCarthy said following practice on Monday.

Neal figures to take Jenkins' spot in both the base and the nickel defense.

Bounce back: First-round draft choice Bryan Bulaga showed some resiliency on Tuesday coming back to practice one day after dropping out early with a hip flexor issue.

While Bulaga was out, Daryn Colledge took all of the snaps at left guard with the first-team offense, a position at which the two had been rotating the last two weeks.

With Allen Barbre not practicing today, Bulaga spent most of his time at left tackle today, however.

Getting a chance: Undrafted rookie Sam Shields lined up with the first-team punt unit on Tuesday in what appears to be an opportunity to prove his worth to the team.

Shields also was with the first-team punt return unit as a jammer and on kickoff coverage yesterday as well.

His opportunities seem to be coming at the expense of Jarrett Bush who was not on any of the first-team squads the past two days. Bush has been a core special teams player his entire career in Green Bay.

But after a Seattle game in which he had a poor showing on special team as well as two penalties on defense, his job may be in jeopardy.

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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.

PackersRS's picture

"Core special teams player" on the worst ST unit in football is more of an insult than a praise, to me.

But what do I know, right? I should just wait for Larry McCarren to give me my opinion on this...

Tommyboy's picture


lebowski's picture

Man, I am hoping that Neal doesn't look overwhelmed Thursday. How awesome would it be for him to be the first guy off the bench, along with Bulaga and Burnett that's a hell of a draft class.

Max (ukpackersfan)'s picture

I think Mike Neal's the real deal. Looked very good so far and with time will be a good replacement for Pickett/Jenkins.

Tony Wilson's picture

I'm excited to see how Bulaga and Neal perform. This is the first game I'm going to get to see... Stupid Lions...

Wiscokid's picture

Off topic but what is everyone's take on Javon Walker signing with the Queens?

FITZCORE1252's picture

Good. They deserve each other.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I live in Vegas and Javon's time there was hanging out on Koval Street. For anyone that knows Vegas, it's well known what happens there. It does not surprise me that his career has recently nosedived.

maxginsberg's picture

It's a pretty low risk signing for the Vikes, but I'm not sure he'll even make the team.

MarkinMadison's picture

I called for someone on ST to get fired, and it looks like it may be Bush. No way to wake people up to the importance of special teams like firing someone over it. And really, when it comes to his defensive play, it just gets old seeing a veteran make the same mistakes over and over. Might as well let Underwood make them and see if he can improve.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I was sitting next to Packer fans from Wyoming and Montana at the game. It's official, Packer fans everywhere detest Jarrett Friggin Bush. I mean it's to the point where you see him on the field and you just get that sinking feeling in your gut. And I sure hope the Shields 'return man' experiment is over, F'ing disaster.


ZeroTolerance's picture

Need Woodson returning punts. Even if he just FCs them. Punts can't be turned back over. To get to the show we need the best playing everywhere. Can't be overly worried about chance injuries.

Shootz's picture

If you consider how lost some of the younger players in the secondary have looked without Woodson and Harris back there, I don't think it's out of line to suggest that the Packers should ensure that the guy who is arguably the most talented player on the team isn't put in a position where he's exposed to further possibility for injury.

ZeroTolerance's picture

I truly appreciate your point, but still stand by my comment. Just catch without a return is better than several muff turnovers.

Shootz's picture

Hey, that's a fair point too. But if you want guys that can reliably fair catch balls, then there's lots of tape on Blackmon and Nelson who have reliable hands for that sort of thing but aren't consistently electric as returners.

It's also difficult to tell in the preseason what the coaches are thinking. What's 'we're putting this guy out there because we're trying to make him our no. 1 punt returner' and what's 'damn that guy was fast in camp the other day, let's give him a shot at returning punts and see what happens'?

Realistically, the muffed punt that handed Cleveland the game in Week 1, I think if Shields makes that play in the regular season then he never returns punts for Green Bay again. But it's the preseason, you want to see how guys develop, etc. so he gets another shot against Seattle and happens to make the same mistake. Well, at least now you know it wasn't a fluke.

So, I don't think you should be any more concerned about the return game than you were at this time last year. Although that's still a lot of concern.

Nononsense's picture

Better late than never.

Its a shame hes only now getting a chance to unseat Bush as the 5th CB and I can't for the life of me get why its taken so long to try him with the starters on STs.

Bush is Ne'er Do Well and always will be. Cutting him alone will cut the Packers penalties in half from last seasons league high.

LACheez's picture

i'm all nervous with excitement about the possibility of bush getting cut. oh man, i can't wait until 8/31 and 9/4!!!

ZeroTolerance's picture

I predict he stays until Harris returns. Then he's gone, unless other injuries.

madman's picture

There is a lot of sense to your comment, but I think that his demontion off the 1st team STs is a very bad sign for him. Unless Shields messes up the ST assignments, I'll predict that he doesn't make it through the second cut down regardless of Harris' status. They may even let him go on the first cut down to give him a better chance of being picked up by another team.

SpiderPack's picture

Like we all said, Neil can be an upgrade/starter on the Dline for any of those guys, Bulaga will BE THERE, and Shields will make the squad. And . . . Shields will have an impact!

nypacker's picture

What happened to CJ Wilson. Despite being a 7th round draft choice, I expected big things out of him. I'm all for the success of Mike Neal but I thought Wilson would've had the bigger impact by now.

PackersThad's picture

I'm pushing for C.J. Wilson and Marshall Newhouse to do well and make the 53 man squad!

michaelcainlaw's picture

Haven't heard a word this camp about Marshall Newhouse. Kind of a dark horse for me. Fill me in!

WoodyG's picture

“There are no awards given out in training camp, but if there was one for most improved, it might go to rookie offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse.

The fifth-round pick from TCU looked lost early in camp. His struggles were evident in the one-on-one pass blocking drills.

Three and a half weeks later, Newhouse looks like an old pro, especially when he’s playing his more natural left tackle spot. Newhouse won both reps today in the one-on-one drill against defensive end Ronald Talley and has put himself very much into the mix for a roster spot perhaps ahead of veterans like Breno Giacomini and Allen Barbre. Early in camp, Newhouse looked like practice squad material, at best.

“I think he’s more comfortable outside,” Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. “Inside was a good idea maybe, but I’m not sure that’s a great fit naturally for him. I think he’s making progress. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”

SpiderPack's picture

BTW, Bush SUCKS! But I hope he has a really nice life. Bye Bye Bush Baby.

DAWG's picture

Hey-Im sick and tired of hearing the Bush haters-maybe he sucks-but! PACKER PEOPLE don't operate in this manner-THIS IS PRO FOOTBALL-He's here for a reason, STOP THE HATE! If he's done- he's done-let it go!!!!!!!!damn! gezzz

SpiderPack's picture

Cmon CJ Wilson. Show that East Carolina Rush.

Ron LC's picture

Peyton Manning and the huddless offense will be a test of the DB coverage skills. Back up spots could be earned Thursday night. We'll see who wants to play this year.

DAWG's picture

YEP-wouldn't it be nice to see Shields take one to the house on Payton-whoooooohoo! just sayin.

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