Skip to main content

Notebook: Havner Adds A Position

Any player hoping to earn a spot on the final roster looks for a way to set himself apart from others at a position. Spencer Havner is hoping versatility proves to be his biggest asset as he began working at tight end this week in addition to his normal linebacker spot. - More Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - June 17


Any player hoping to earn a spot on the final roster looks for a way to set himself apart from others at a position. Spencer Havner is hoping versatility proves to be his biggest asset as he began working at tight end this week in addition to his normal linebacker spot.

Havner, who played in four games for the Packers in 2008 on special teams, was first approached by the team last Thursday about adding another position to his duties. Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Havner's strong play at tight end on the scout team the past few seasons factored into the decision.

"He has shown the ability to play tight end in our opinion in this league, so to increase his value on our football team, we're going to give him the opportunity to train both at tight end and at linebacker," McCarthy said. "He had the opportunity to play special teams last year. I thought he did a very good job.

"It will give him a chance to once again, increase his value. So we'll train him tomorrow and next week at tight end, and when we get to training camp, he's going to be rolling back and forth between linebackers and tight ends."

The last time Havner played tight end in a game came at Nevada Union High in Grass Valley, Calif. He also worked at the position in practice at UCLA, but he never took any snaps on offense during a game.

Like the rest of the defensive players, Havner has spent the offseason learning the new scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Adding the offensive system to his plate should provide a unique test, which Havner said he will spend plenty of time studying for in the weeks off leading up to training camp.

"The challenge is just all the information," Havner said. "The defense is putting in a crazy amount of stuff and the offense, I'm not really familiar with all of the terminology so I am trying to catch up on all of that.

"I'm just going to have to make flashcards and go back to grade school and learn it all."

Havner has spent time on the Packers' practice squad each of the past three seasons, which makes him ineligible to land there again this year. In a linebacker group that is not short on depth, Havner now will focus on adding depth at a couple of positions.

"I just wanted to make sure that it was for the right reasons, and I think it was," Havner said. "It's just about hopefully giving me an opportunity to be a core special teams player and be a backup linebacker and a backup tight end.

"I was excited about it. I want to have a role. If that's my role, I'm excited to do as best I can at it."

Collins returns

Safety Nick Collins, who has not attended the first three weeks of voluntary OTAs, was back on the field Wednesday for the first time this offseason.

Collins was on the field for the jog-through portion of practice, spending most of his time next to safeties coach Darren Perry. Following the jog-through, Collins went inside the Don Hutson Center with the injured players that are doing rehab work since he had not been at practice until Wednesday.

McCarthy said Collins would benefit the most from watching the jog-through segment as he looks to familiarize himself more with Capers' 3-4 system.

"The jog-through is really the most important reps for what we are trying to accomplish on a daily basis," McCarthy said. "Our jog-through directly reflects the install of the day. This was an install day."

Injury/participation update

Players who were either limited in their participation in practice or sat out entirely due to injury included safety Atari Bigby (ankle), cornerback Trevor Ford (unspecified), tackle Breno Giacomini (ankle), defensive ends Cullen Jenkins (ankle) and Alfred Malone (wrist), tight end Carson Butler (leg), wide receiver Jamarko Simmons (unspecified), center Scott Wells (shoulder) and tackle Chad Clifton (knees/shoulder).

McCarthy said the injured players coming off of surgeries are not expected to participate in mini-camp next week.

"Dr. (Patrick) McKenzie would like to hold all those guys until training camp," McCarthy said. "I think the majority of those guys could practice next week, and if you talked to each one of them, they'd probably tell you they feel confident that they could go.

"The medical staff just feels we're at a point of where they are healthy, and the risk of next week is not worth them being hurt at the start of training camp."

{sportsad300}Linebacker Nick Barnett and cornerback Al Harris were both absent. Cornerback Tramon Williams worked with the first unit in Harris' place and Will Blackmon was the nickel back.

Rookie cornerback Brandon Underwood practiced after missing the first three weeks of OTAs due to school obligations.

Two-minute drill

The Packers worked on various "game situations" during Wednesday's workout, with one of the more entertaining periods featuring the two-minute drill.

The offense was given the ball on its own 40-yard line, trailing 14-10 with 1:05 left and one timeout. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers began by completing four straight passes for nearly 50 yards, two each to Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson.

The fourth completion came after Rodgers faked a spike and fired to Nelson, who was wide open along the left side and got the ball down to the 11. A clock-killing spike, for real this time, left the offense 18 seconds.

After one incompletion, a third-down slant to Brett Swain made it fourth-and-1 on the 2, and the offense used its lone timeout with 9 seconds to go. But on the final play, Rodgers attempted a quick slant to James Jones, and Williams jumped the route and picked the ball off at the goal line, eliciting a loud roar from all the defensive players.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content