Training Camp Observations 7-31, Shells
The most wonderful time of the year is finally back, Green Bay Packers football. It’s my pleasure to work with Total Packers again to bring you any training camp info that I can… but enough talk, let’s get down to it.
A reason to watch special teams
The answer? Packers second-round draft pick [intlink id="1616" type="category"]Randall Cobb[/intlink]. This guy just looks like he gets it. I heard that he had some trouble fielding punts yesterday, but none of that was apparent today. He caught the ball with ease, is lightning quick and fearless. I enjoy seeing a returner that makes a cut and gets north-south in a hurry as well as a guy who isn’t afraid to take it right up the middle. Cobb does both of these things and early indications are that he at least looks the part. He also looks like he can produce big gains on offense with limited touches, as was evident when he made a move and blew past Clay Matthews on an end around. How many guys can the Packers load up with that have great hands and excel in running after the catch? Knowing that Cobb is the Packers fifth receiver shows how stacked the Packers are at the skill positions.
Another threat at tight end
The talk coming into the league’s training camps was how difficult it would be for the rookies to get caught up since the lockout cancelled all of the team’s normal offseason activities. Thankfully for the Packers, [intlink id="1624" type="category"]D.J. Williams[/intlink] didn’t get the memo. Last year’s Mackey Award winner has come into training camp firing on all cylinders. I heard how great he showed in the first practice and I was blown away by the number of catches he made as well as his ability to get open. He also had one of the plays of the night with a one-armed snag of an overthrown ball on an out route to the sideline. Best yet, he didn’t just catch the ball, but instantly turned upfield transitioning seamlessly to a runner. We’ve thought in the past that keeping four tight ends was borderline crazy, but this year I can guarantee that it’s expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of [intlink id="525" type="category"]Charlie Peprah[/intlink] and the things he brings to the table, but Morgan Burnett has Pro Bowl safety written all over him. During safety drills he made a catch on a ball thrown high and to the sideline, extending his arms and coming down in time to drag his toes before landing out of bounds. I’ve been on the [intlink id="1034" type="category"]Morgan Burnett[/intlink] bandwagon since he was drafted, but it’s evident that this guy has the range and ball skills to become a great player, potentially elite. The Packers may lose some physicality with Burnett over Peprah but the ability to create turnovers is what this defense really thrives on and Burnett could become a force in making game changing plays.
Odds and ends
Derek Sherrod was with the No. 1 unit at left guard. There were some great throws by the quarterbacks and some really awful ones with [intlink id="84" type="category"]Matt Flynn[/intlink] being the biggest offender. [intlink id="1042" type="category"]C.J. Wilson[/intlink] looked like he was injured by a kick to the calf, but he returned for team drills at the end. Newly re-signed fullback [intlink id="251" type="category"]John Kuhn[/intlink] could be seen on the sidelines, as well as recent signees [intlink id="152" type="category"]Mason Crosby[/intlink], [intlink id="700" type="category"]Spencer Havner[/intlink], and [intlink id="596" type="category"]Brett Swain[/intlink]. [intlink id="1036" type="category"]Andrew Quarless[/intlink] was in shells, but did not take part in any team drills.