Packers’ OTAs Get Physical

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Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

This week the Green Bay Packers began what Mike McCarthy calls Phase II of the offseason program. This phase represents a shift away from the weight room and position drills to full on 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 practices that closely mirror those that will occur in training camp.

In fact, some reporters present at Tuesday’s camp, which was open to the public, suggested that the OTA had a training camp feel to it with the physicality perhaps crossing the line of what is allowed by the new CBA.

Whether the physicality this early in the program represents a designed philosophical change or merely was the result of heightened competition by a roster that will once again be one of the youngest in the league, now purged of veterans Charles Woodson, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, is an interesting question.

McCarthy has publicly stated that his offseason programs needed a new approach, and he has consistently sworn to explore every available theory to reduce the seasonal march to IR that has plagued his teams.

The Packers offseasons during McCarthy’s tenure have been known for being Easy Street, basically. The lack of contact was prophetic of the very changes the newest CBA would force all teams to embrace. It is conceivable that McCarthy has decided that the absence of hitting during the OTAs has actually made the Packers more vulnerable to injury once the real hitting starts.

It is also possible that McCarthy does accept the notion that the Packers are too “soft” and that the more physical OTA sets the tone for what is going to be a tougher training camp.

Regardless, the intensity and physicality on display on Tuesday was a surprise to many who have grown accustomed to past OTAs.

The Tuesday practice even saw the first fight of the offseason, with Brad Jones and Jermichael Finley coming to disagreement.

If we consider this OTA to indeed be a tone or table-setter for training camp, then there are other things we saw that might interest Packers Nation.

Sam Shields is a no show. Not a huge surprise since he has not accepted the tender offered to him. Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams started on the outside, and Shields better show up sooner rather than later or that duo is likely to be the starters in Week 1.

Marshall Newhouse started at right tackle with Don Barclay working on the second team. Andrew Datko worked as a back up at right guard while Greg Van Roten worked specifically as the second-team center.

The Killa, Datone Jones, made a quick impression with repeated showings in the Packers backfield. That is great for the defense, but not such great news for the player allegedly responsible for blocking Jones, Bryan Bulaga. It was anticipated that facing Clay Matthews in practice would help initiate Bulaga at left tackle, but apparently, Bulaga had his difficulties handling the rookie let alone the All-Pro.

Much as they did at the end of the season, M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian took turns opposite Morgan Burnett at safety. We can only hope this gets sorted out and doesn’t result in a safety-by-committee situation.

Besides Shields, the only other player on the roster to not attend this “voluntary” OTA was Johnny Jolly, who says he will be around next week. Thanks for the warning.

There, but not participating for a variety of reasons, were Desmond Bishop, Davon House, Derek Sherrod and Dezman Moses. The first three are apparently still getting over their injuries, while Moses was sidelined with a condition that he refused to discuss. Maybe its personally embarrassing or a matter of national security.

Even though the injury to J.C. Tretter is the biggest news so far from these OTAs, that injury happened during a basic fumble drill, showing that indeed an injury can happen while simply “walking your doggie.”

It apparently hasn’t discouraged the coaching staff from a more physical approach to Phase II. We will see if any other injuries change that, or if the shift in intensity changes the physicality of the team when it really counts.

About The Author

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

36 Comments on "Packers’ OTAs Get Physical"

  1. Shawn Iltarion

    Relax. Dealing with a new position and facing the Killa all at once would be enough to disconcert anyone.

  2. GB#1

    I hope these knuckleheads don’t manage to hurt themselves anymore. People are already dropping like flies in OTAs all around the league. WTF?

  3. FITZCORE1252

    Here’s hoping McMillian makes a big jump this year and “takes” the open Safety spot. I’ve seen enough of the Dr. to know… He ain’t the guy.

    • Vijay

      Neither is McMillian…we don’t need another hard hitter who can tackle, we’re missing a Ball-Hawk.

      When Woodson was great, he intercepted a lot of passes, same goes for Nick the Pick.

      I would’ve signed Ed Reed and picked up another ball hawk type like Rambo late to watch him and develop…but that’s just me.

      • Phatgzus

        Rambo was known for his hard hits and missing tackles, he had 1 good year in terms of INTS.

        You do realize theres this invention known as the salary cap correct? Ed Reed would have cost $5M/year, and he’s OLD. The team that signed him had one of the worst secondaries in the league, there’s a reason they wanted him more than other teams.

        McMillian is in his second year and MD his 2nd year as a starter (about 4th overall), give them a chance-it’s called draft and develop for a reason. Heyzeus. Fucking. Christ.

      • Abe Frohman

        Can you puh-lease stop telling us what the fuck you would have done? We’ve all heard it and I, for one, am totally tired of it. Great that you have a hobby. But despite how well yo do in your fantasy leagues, you’re not the GM of a pro football team.

  4. FITZCORE1252

    I’m going to give BB some time to settle in at LT before I get concerned. Right now, I’m just stoked DialTone sounds like he’s getting after it.

  5. Vijay

    Again, I’m not the GM (as many of you like to point out). But my line would’ve been Branden Albert at LT via trade with KC (giving up a 2nd Rounder), Bulaga or Lang at LG, EDS at Center with another mid round pick backing up C/G spots, then Sitton at RG and Newhouse or Barclay at RT.

    This Bulaga thing is a HUGE mistake…mark it down.

    • SuperDouche

      And how the fuck would you propose we pay for Branden Albert? Not to mention we probably don’t get lacy if we do that trade since the Chiefs were looking for THIS year’s 2nd during the draft. Thank god you aren’t our GM.

  6. Shawn Shawn

    The word on the street is that not only did DialTone beat Bulaga a couple times, but he got after him too. Told him to step his frickin game up! Hahahaha!!!!

    DialTone also let Franklin have it after he dropped a swing pass.

    The rookie not afraid to yell at some people. Love this guy!

    • TyKo Steamboat

      Nice, Shawn!

      I read in Da-Tone-Setter’s Bio (before the draft) that he was a “Serious Vocal Leader”

      I love that, when it is on the field & not Twitter.

      So far, i feel much more amped about Jones than i did when we drafted Perry…but i am excited to see them accross from each-other.

      • TyKo Steamboat

        Also, something noone on this site has mentioned yet … I think it’s a big deal when 2 Rookies from the same college get drafted to the same Pro team. Jones & Franklin.Ii think it will really help the 2 along in their careers with the Packers.

  7. Savage57

    Alla y’all need to ease up on the Dial Tone nickname for the new bad ass DL dude from USC. I mean c’mon man, could you come up with something that’s a little less gay than that? Fucking Dial Tone? Really? If I was him I’d be looking for the genius that came up with that one.

    Hows ’bout ‘Dat One’, which is his name jes broke up differnt, as in “Dat One goan kick yo ass?” Not that I really give a fuck either way, though.

    Pack already has an “Like Dat” in AR so why not add a “Dat One” in Mr. Jones?

    PS – This is the redacted version of my post. I just wanted to get after the fuckhead who decided to hang this shitty nickname on him.

    • Shawn Iltarion

      Maybe it is obvious in my posts, but I think DialTone is a rockin nickname.

      That’s what you hear in your head after he hits you, which is why he got the nickname.

      ‘Dat One’ – seriously??

    • Phatgzus

      Dat One? Meh, not really original and some people might view that as bit racially insensitive. What about the Compton Killa, or D-Train; see anyone can create a nickname, doesn’t mean it’s good.

      • Savage57

        You make my point for me. But I will agree with you that your suggestions aren’t very good.

        “Dat One” is just a play on his given name and therein lies the kicker. No extra shit added or stupid methaphors and similies, just tweak what’s already there. And as an added bonus it’s a great preposition for anything you want to add after it, as in going to: kick your ass, beat you like a drum, own you, make you cry for your momma – you get the idea. And as for the racial thing? He’s probably said “dat one” a time or two in his life.

        If Deion can make it work for AR, I thought why not take a cut at it for Datone? Kind of a bookend deal, offense and defense, brings it all together.

        But as I said in my original post, I really don’t give a rat’s ass either way – I just think the whole “Dial Tone” thing is extremely weak and sounds like something a fantasy football nerd would come up with.

        But hey, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong (apologies to Dennis Miller).

        • Phatgzus

          Nah I don’t get your saying. Dat One is no more a play on his nickname than DialTone, in fact it’s not really even a pun, you just put a space between the two syllables of his first, there is no originality whatsoever; originality is what makes a nickname. As for “my” nicknames, not what I call him, just 2 names I thought up while orchestrating my reply-I call him DialTone like half the people in Packer Nation probably do. If you don’t like the nickname, that’s cool, don’t call him that; however, don’t denigrate others because they enjoy it. Outty 5000 (with apologies to Wassalu Muhammad Jaco).

          • Savage57

            Aside from the fact that’s its just his fucking name, you’re right, it’s no more of a play than Dial Tone.

            And thanks for explaining to me the derivation of it. I wondered where the fuck that came from or how it even came to be.

            Y’all enjoy. As I said I really don’t give a fuck.

          • Phatgzus

            If it’s just his name, it’s can’t be a play on his name, that is a logical impossibility; no it’s merely the next closest thing to being a play on his name-the specter of a pun.

  8. Nick Vick

    Can’t be too worried about Bulaga getting beat in unpadded practices. Its a whole lot different when the O Lineman can actually hit the guy across from him.

    I’m just glad that Bulaga came back from Bo Jackson’ing his hip last season!

  9. FITZCORE1252

    FTR… Datone is down with DialTone:

    Fitz @FITZCORE1252 09 May @IAM_Dat_One Packer nation is elated to have you DialTone. #KeepTheirHeadsRingin #GBP4LIFE

    Datone Jones @IAM_Dat_One @FITZCORE1252 I guess the fans has chosen 09:18 PM – 09 May 13

    • Savage57

      As I said in an earlier post, y’all enjoy – I don’t give a rats ass either way.

      But it’s still lame as fuck.

  10. Pingback: Packers OTAs Wrap Up: Of Whom You May Be Concerned « Total Packers Total Packers

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