On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., May. 31, 2015 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CDT Packers Coaching School

    The Green Bay Packers are set to host the team’s second annual “Green Bay Packers Coaching School” at Lambeau Field on Sunday, May 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The complimentary coaching school has a curriculum exclusively designed for youth football coaches, and can accommodate a maximum of 300 coaches. The event will feature innovative classroom sessions in the Lambeau Field Atrium, as well as on-field football instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches in the Don Hutson Center.

  • Tue., Jun. 02, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

  • Tue., Jun. 02, 2015 1:35 PM - 2:05 PM CDT Live Mike McCarthy press conf.

    Head Coach Mike McCarthy available in Media Auditorium

  • Wed., Jun. 03, 2015 3:00 PM CDT Mentor-Protégé Program Fourth Session Celebration The Green Bay Packers Mentor-Protégé Program is set to recognize the successes of the program’s fourth session participants on Wednesday, June 3, at a reception at 3 p.m. in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
  • Sat., Jun. 06, 2015 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM CDT Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic The 18th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 6, inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers’ indoor practice facility.
  • Wed., Jun. 10, 2015 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Three of the Packers’ upcoming OTA practices will be open to the public at Clarke Hinkle Field.

    The three open practices, weather permitting, will take place on May 28, June 2 and June 10. All practices are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.



Secondary competing for primary roles

Posted Jul 28, 2012

Less than a week into camp, the competition is definitely on at defensive back.

Just seeing the way the coaches are rolling all the cornerbacks and safeties through the different defensive packages, and seeing some of the plays on the ball being made in the first three days, it appears the Packers’ deep stable of young defensive backs will not settle things early.

“It’s definitely competitive, and in a good way,” said cornerback Tramon Williams, whose starting spot is secure but who knows a little something about battling up from the bottom of the depth chart as an undrafted player. “It brings out the best in guys, when you have that type of depth to compete.”

There’s also plenty to compete for. With Charles Woodson moving to safety in the base defense, there’s a cornerback spot open in base and a safety spot open in the nickel. Throw in the dime, where the sixth defensive back could be either a corner or safety, and there are multiple ways to earn roles and playing time.

Veteran corner Jarrett Bush and second-year safety M.D. Jennings have begun camp with the first units for those base and nickel spots, but on Friday, cornerback Sam Shields rotated in for a few of Bush’s snaps in base and safety Anthony Levine did the same for some of Jennings’ reps.

Then on Saturday, with the defense employing a fair amount of dime, the rotations and substitutions continued rather liberally. Cornerbacks Davon House and Casey Hayward, plus safety Jerron McMillian, among others, were all getting reps either with the first-team defense or against the first-team offense, or both.

“That’s the nature of our business,” said Bush, who sees the opportunity he has but knows that beginning camp as a starter doesn’t mean he’ll finish it there. “I’m always up for a challenge, and being in my seventh year, it’s nothing new to me.

“There’s always competition. You can never be comfortable.”

Especially when so many different guys are making plays in the team (11-on-11) drills and getting noticed this early in camp. Consider:

  • In Thursday’s opening practice, Bush was the standout with two pass break-ups, one against tight end Jermichael Finley and another in seven-on-seven.

  • Levine broke up a pass and nearly had a pick-six on Friday when he jumped a short route to tight end Eric Lair.

  • Also on Friday, Jennings hauled in an interception on a pass deflected by Greg Jennings and Williams.

  • Each of the last two days, Hayward has intercepted quarterback Graham Harrell in team work, and on Saturday he added pass break-ups against receivers Diondre Borel and Jordy Nelson during a one-on-one WR/DB drill.

  • House, who shined during spring workouts, had been waiting for his “splash” play and got it on Saturday when he stripped James Jones and recovered the fumble after a reception. Earlier, House picked off a Harrell pass intended for Randall Cobb in the one-on-ones when Cobb slipped on an out cut. After practice, House said he’s out to show “just that I ain’t no pushover” after his rookie training camp was cut short by a hamstring injury last year.

  • McMillian had also been a little under the radar until Saturday, when he broke up a pass for Lair on a QB rollout. McMillian plays near the line of scrimmage a lot and is often around the ball on running plays.

“When it comes to competition, really if you think about it, you’re not competing against the other guy,” Williams said. “When you get your reps, if you make them count, then it’s fine. But if you get your reps and you don’t make them count, that’s on you, so you’re really competing against yourself.”

Shields has probably been the quietest so far, and he gave up more completions than he would have liked on Saturday, but he’s not going to fret. Aside from Bush, Shields has more game experience than any of the competing defensive backs. He said earlier in the week that he’s focusing on being assignment-sure, and he sounded confident his big plays were on their way.

“It’s not making many mistakes,” Shields said of his biggest emphasis. “Everything is not going to be right, you’re going to mess up. But my biggest part is just working on being more aggressive. Like everybody says, I have to work on tackling, but it’s going to come.

“We’ve got along ways to go. There’s plenty of time.”

That’s the truth. This competition is just getting started.

“I feel practice is all good, but when the preseason games come around, that’s when it’s really going to count,” House said. “Be physical, make tackles, make plays.”

Related links
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Packers Wrap Up First Week of OTAs

    (2:49) Posted 4 minutes ago

    Packers Analyst Larry McCarren breaks down more key storylines from the Packers offseason. McCarren looks at the return of both B.J. Raji and Jared Abbrederis from injury, the work ethic of backup QB Scott Tolzien, and how cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. is handling the new faces in the secondary.

  • On the Clock: Packers select UCLA QB Brett Hundley

    (8:23) Posted 3 hours ago

    Check out QB Brett Hundley's NFL Draft journey (appears at 1:08 and 6:36).

  • Top 10 Green Bay Packers of all time

    (7:38) Posted 3 hours ago

    NFL Media's Elliot Harrison gives you his top 10 list of the greatest Green Bay Packers players in NFL history.