Lee Learning Every Chance He Gets


CB Pat Lee gets some tips from his position coach, Lionel Washington, during a training camp practice.

Every step he takes on the practice field, Pat Lee is trying to learn.

That's why during almost any down moment of training camp, the second-round draft pick and highly touted cornerback out of Auburn can be seen talking to somebody - to one of the team's top receivers about how they run certain routes, to a veteran corner about how to play certain coverages, and to his position coach, Lionel Washington, for a little bit of everything.

He's trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible, and all that, combined with learning the defensive playbook, can admittedly be a little overwhelming at times.

"There's probably some plays where I forgot completely some stuff going through my head and where I'm supposed to go, but it happens," Lee said.

"Jennings and Driver, they help me out, where I'm supposed to be on the receiver when they run a certain route and stuff like that. Al Harris and Charles Woodson help me out. I ask them questions, I try to learn from them as much as I can."

Like any rookie, Lee certainly has enjoyed his bright moments and battled through some struggles in the first week of camp. The first couple of days, there were times he wasn't sure where he was lining up.

He started to settle in a bit more on Friday, when Harris and Woodson were given the morning practice off. With nickelback Tramon Williams also out with an injury, the cornerback position was a little thin and Lee took a ton of snaps, matching up against almost everyone in the receiving corps at some point.

The extensive work might have helped Lee get more comfortable, because on Saturday, toward the end of a long afternoon workout, he was in position to make perhaps his best play of camp, swooping around fellow rookie and seventh-round pick Brett Swain on a hook route. But the pass to Swain was batted down at the line of scrimmage, so Lee didn't have a chance for an interception or deflection of his own.

Still, it's clear the physical tools are there for Lee, who's a solid 6-foot, 194-pounder with potentially explosive speed.

"I really like what I've seen from Patrick," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "I think he's been consistent, and (I like) his ability to burst on a football. He's someone that when you talk about football players, when they put their pads on, that's what it's supposed to look like. I've been pleased with him."

The Packers thought highly of Lee coming out of college because he played a physical, bump-and-run style of coverage at Auburn, which is how the cornerbacks play in Green Bay's scheme.

Now, Lee is just waiting for the mental side of the game to catch up to his physical skills. Lee is trying his best to be patient, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

"It is very tough," he said. "I'm trying to be perfect out there for the coaches and stuff. I'm trying to get everybody's attention on me, making plays, and knowing everything fast. It is kind of tough."

What role Lee will have in the secondary this season is unknown. Assuming Williams returns to health (he's currently out with a hip flexor), he has the inside track on the nickel job, with third-year pros Jarrett Bush and Will Blackmon also pushing for playing time.

But there's still plenty of time to sort all that out. For now, Lee is going to focus on continuing to adjust to the pro game as best he can.

"They know more than me in this league," he said. "That's the hardest, basically."

Which is why Lee just keeps on learning, from whoever's around to teach him.

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