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Dendy, Young Secondary Shine During OTA


A quick and aggressive secondary stole the show during Tuesday's organized team activity at Ray Nitschke Field.

"We may have gotten the upper hand," cornerback Al Harris said. "Today was a pretty good day."

Jim Bates' new defensive scheme calls for the cornerbacks to be physical, especially at the point of attack, by getting their hands on receivers to slow them down.

"That's the main thing the coaches are stressing for us now," cornerback Patrick Dendy said.

Tuesday's most exciting play occurred when Harris intercepted a Craig Nall pass intended for wide receiver Antonio Chatman and took it to the house.

"Oh, that would have been a touchdown," he proclaimed.

Harris also forced an incomplete pass from Nall, but he was not the only defensive back to impress the coaches.

Indeed undrafted rookie free agent Dendy has greatly enhanced his chances of making the roster. In a competitive two-minute drill, Dendy broke up two J.T. O'Sullivan passes intended for Chatman and Vince Butler, respectively. The latter was a physical play, considering the lack of hitting during OTAs.

Dendy, 6-0, 190, has received a lot of passes his way, and the coaches have noticed.

"We keep track of wins and losses," secondary/safeties coach Joe Baker said. "His winning percentage is very high."

He kept his performance in perspective, though.

"I just want to make the team," said the 23-year-old from Rice University. "I don't care where I play."

With three cornerbacks with starting experience from last year -- Harris, Joey Thomas and Ahmad Carroll -- earning a starting position will be difficult for Dendy, but it does remain a possibility.

"We've told all of them that it's open competition," Baker said. "It's not out of the question."

During the intersquad session, Carroll broke up an Aaron Rodgers pass for wide receiver Sam Breeden while Thomas nicely closed on a jump ball intended for wide receiver Donald Driver.

"Ahmad's gotten better, and Joey is continuing to get better each day," cornerbacks coach Lionel Washington said. "Those guys are competing hard."

During the early part of practice, however, the offense focused on inside runs. Running backs Tony Fisher, Walt Williams, Chris Robertson and Ahman Green each made chunks of yardage.

Later in the practice, the offense recorded two highlight plays with Chatman making a fingertip catch over the middle on a pass from Nall. Later, an alert Butler made a heads up play, snatching a ball juggled by Fisher out of the air.

But Tuesday was a day for the young defensive secondary, who continue to make strides learning the system.

"We're definitely making individual plays," Baker said cautiously. "But we still have a long way to go until we're playing solid defense."

The Packers will continue the voluntary organized team activities Wednesday (veterans and rookies) at 11 a.m. Weather and field conditions permitting, practice will be held outside at Ray Nitschke Field (open to the public), but otherwise will be held inside the Don Hutson Center (closed to the public).

For more player/coach insight on Monday's workout, check out the Audio section.

Today At A Glance ...

Where: Ray Nitschke Field (outdoors)

Weather: sunny, 83 degrees

Did Not Practice: Craig Bragg, Garrett Cross, Brennan Curtin, Robert Ferguson, Mike Hawkins, Jason Horton, Grady Jackson, Chris Johnson, James Lee, A.J. Lindsay, David Martin, Mark Roman, Corey Williams

Did Not Attend: Brett Favre, Bubba Franks, Cletidus Hunt, Javon Walker

Here's a look at the remaining June practice schedule:

Wednesday, June 8

11 a.m.

Thursday, June 9

8:45 a.m.

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