Josh Myers learning all he can in quest to be Packers' starting center

Rookie second-round pick from Ohio State took a lot of reps this spring with the first-team offensive line

C/G Josh Myers

GREEN BAY – As a center, Packers rookie Josh Myers has always taken it upon himself to learn all the ins and outs of an offense – his task as well as the tasks of those around him.

So it's understandable for him to say "there's so much going on between my ears" as the Packers wrap up OTAs this week.

But the second-round pick's diligence with the playbook should only help him as he works to nail down the starting center position in training camp, a job it appears he'll be given every opportunity to win given how frequently he was snapping for the first-team offensive line this spring.

"It means a lot to me to get those reps and to get to play with some of those older guys … see how the process goes and learn my way through this thing," Myers said after Tuesday's thinned-out practice, which featured mostly the roster's youngest players.

"I'm trying not to look ahead too far right now and just take it day by day."

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman certainly is not shying away from responsibility. Having made all the line calls at Ohio State in the running and passing games (he said the QB could overrule him), he's fine with that duty coming his way again, even with so much to learn in these early stages of his pro career.

The onslaught of information has shifted between overwhelming and enlightening. With a rookie minicamp, two weeks of OTAs plus a full-squad minicamp behind him, and just a few days remaining in the offseason program, Myers has felt the game slowing down for him.

He's beginning to understand not just the what but the why behind different offensive concepts. That full picture he demands to know is coming into focus.

"At center, that's what I love about it," he said. "You're just forced to know everything, so it can be harder on the front end because there's so many things going through your head when you get a play call. But on the back end, I think it's an advantage because I know everything that's going on around me."

His health is in a good place, too. As he finished his college career, Myers played through an extremely painful toe injury that eventually required surgery, and he was still mixing rehab into his workouts as recently as rookie minicamp.

He said last week's minicamp, with three consecutive, longer practices, was an important test he passed physically, so he anticipates no limitations when training camp hits full speed.

As he looks to replace fellow Ohio State alum Corey Linsley as the offense's next starting center, Myers would help the Packers answer a lot of questions up front as the team waits for All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari to return.

If Myers proves he's up for the top job, guards Elgton Jenkins and Lucas Patrick would get a little taken off their respective plates. A possible fill-in for Bakhtiari on the blind side already, Jenkins wouldn't have to concern himself with potentially returning to his college position in the middle. Meanwhile Patrick could focus the bulk of his energies at guard, if Jenkins indeed moves to tackle temporarily.

It's a puzzle with as many pieces as solutions right now, but Myers could help simplify the process as he studies and restudies the offense over the next month and a half.

"Every day we're getting new plays thrown at us, and then once we finish an install then we're going back through all those plays over and over again," he said. "So now I'm just getting repetition. Nothing is new, and I just feel good."

The Packers were on the practice field Tuesday, June 15 during the offseason program.

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