Monday, April 27, 2009

Pack adds undrafted players

According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers have signed and/or invited to camp for tryouts the following players:

  • Utah QB Brian Johnson

  • Central Michigan OT Andy Hartline

  • Colorado WR Patrick Williams

  • Idaho State OT Evan Dietrich-Smith

  • Delaware DE Ronald Talley

  • Northwestern RB Tyrell Sutton

  • North Dakota State WR Kole Heckendorf

  • Michigan TE Carson Butler

  • Western Michigan WR Jamarko Simmons

  • South Dakota State WR JaRon Harris

  • Iowa WR Andy Brodell

  • New Mexico State DE Rhyan Anderson

  • Western Michigan TE Branden Ledbetter

  • UW-River Falls C Scott Witte

  • Tulsa QB David Johnson

  • Maryland DE ean Muhtadi

So there are a whole lot of receivers in this bunch, obviously. Only one running back, and a couple tight ends. Needed somebody to throw to them so they invited a couple Johnsons to camp (I'm sure there's a joke there somewhere, but let it go, will ya?). There's Tulsa QB David Johnson and Utah QB Brian Johnson. I know, it sounds like that part of the Blazing Saddles movie where there's nobody but Johnsons at the Rock Ridge town meeting.

But, no. It's tryouts during this weekend's rookie orientation. Brian Johnson's not just "an arm," however. According to the Journal-Sentinel, "Johnson (6-feet, 205 pounds, 4.88) led the Utes to a 13-0 record and a victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, where he was named most valuable player after completing 27-of-41 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns." Johnson was also Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year. Not too shabby. Whether he'll get an offer after the tryout and have a shot at unseating either Matt Flynn or Brian Brohm as a backup to Aaron Rodgers is admittedly a long shot. But the Packers must have seen something.

Ditto for David Johnson. According to a seemingly well documented entry in Wikipedia, "In his final season, Johnson recorded 4,059 passing yards, 46 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions (five of which were in the C-USA title game), and finished as the second-most efficient quarterback in the nation, behind Heisman Trophy winner, Sam Bradford. He was voted an All-Conference USA honorable mention player, and the Sporting News named him the Conference USA Offensive MVP. Johnson was also named a semi-finalist for the Draddy Award and the Davey O'Brien Award. The New York Times, The News & Observer, and CBS Sports named Johnson as a Heisman Trophy contender." So, he really only has one year to go on. But it was a good year. Let's see, who else only started about a year or so? Oh, that Mark Sanchez guy. Wouldn't it be funny if...oh...never mind...

You can read more about all these players here.

Still no punter on the horizon, though.

The Day After
One day after the conclusion of the 2009 NFL Draft and it still feels good. Not only was there a seeming consensus among Packers faithful that this was a great draft for the Packers, but that guru of draft gurus, Mel Kiper Jr., when asked on this morning's Mike and Mike in the Morning Show on ESPN which team he though had the best draft, the first team he mentioned was the Packers. Kiper said he really felt the Packers did a great job of addressing its needs, which were primarily on the defensive side of the ball. Nice to get that kind of confirmation.

Packer OTAs, Mini-camp and Shareholders Meeting Scheduled
According to an announcement on the Packers website: "Four of the Green Bay Packers' spring organized team activities (OTAs) will be open to the public as well as the media on Clarke Hinkle Field.

The four open OTAs are scheduled for Thursday, May 28, and the first three Wednesdays in June - June 3, 10 and 17. The workouts are tentatively scheduled for 11:15 a.m. each day.

The Packers also announced that the team's three-day mandatory mini-camp following OTAs would start one day earlier than originally scheduled, meaning it will begin on Monday, June 22. That mini-camp runs through Wednesday, June 24.

In addition, the annual shareholders' meeting will take place on Thursday, July 30, at Lambeau Field, one day before players report for training camp. The first training camp practice is slated for Saturday, Aug. 1."