Monday, May 14, 2012

Packers rookie orientation camp wrap up

I'd like to offer a complete rundown of all the happenings at this past weekend's Green Bay Packers rookie orientation camp. But, alas (when was the last time you saw that word in a blog that wasn't dated from the Middle Ages?! Wait, did they have blogs then...?), I find that the best summary around is that offered by -- not surprisingly -- the Green Bay Press Gazette.

So, without further ado, check out all the latest news and camp wrap up here. We'll get around to talking about bits and pieces of it throughout the week. But for now, get yourself up to speed and check back here often to see if any new pithy (another great word!) insights are waiting for you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

So what's been going on in Green Bay lately?

Hello, again, Packer fans! We're back in the saddle after being away for a while. It wasn't for lack of interest or things to discuss -- you know, there was the draft, Nick Collins, Donald Driver, Anthony Hargrove, rookie signings and orientation class, etc. were all in play over the last few weeks -- but rather because I was otherwise occupied on matters a whole bunch of time zones away. Since returning, have been playing catch up. You know how it is. Anyway, enough of the logistics. Let's do a quick overview just to get back in the swing of things, shall we? We'll start with the draft and leave further topics for later.

Packers 2012 Draft
As every true Green 'n' Gold Packer fans knows by now, the Packers took the following players in this year's NFL draft: LB Nick Perry (1st round), DE Jerel Worthy (2nd round), CB Casey Hayward (2nd round), DT Mike Daniels (4th round), S Jerron McMillian (4th round), LB Terrell Manning (5th round), T Andrew Datko (7th round) and QB B.J. Coleman (7th round). As of yesterday, which was the start of a three-day rookie orientation camp, all of the draft picks have been signed. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's great Packers reporter, Bob McGinn, broke down the draft this way. (And if you want to read what head coach Mike McCarthy had to say about yesterday's first day of rookie orientation camp, check out this report by the Green Bay Press Gazette's Mike Vandermause.)

The Pack also signed 14 undrafted free agents: West Virginia G Don Barclay, Minnesota RB Duane Bennett, Virginia Tech G Jaymes Brooks, Winston-Salem State FB Nic Cooper, San Diego State C Tommie Draheim, Wake Forest TE Cameron Ford, Minnesota TE Eric Lair, Holy Cross T Mike McCabe, Tulane LB Dezman Moses, South Dakota State WR Dale Moss, Vanderbilt S Sean Richardson, Buffalo WR Marcus Rivers, Southern Utah CB Dion Turner and USC RB Marc Tyler. If you want to see McGinn's great review of each of these players, go here.

GM Ted Thompson went into the draft with 12 picks and wound up with eight. Going against form, he traded up a few times, although he stayed firm at #28 in the first round to take Perry. As readers here know, it was this blogger's opinion that if Wisconsin center Peter Konz was available at the time -- despite the needs on defense -- the Pack would take him. After losing C Scott Wells to the Rams and LT Chad Clifton to age, it was thought that having a chance to get a player like Konz who could anchor the middle of a line for the next decade would be too big a plum to pass up. I, and others, were wrong.

Apparently, the consensus among Packers' staff was that the deficiencies on defense last season were so large that that's where the emphasis of the draft needed to be. Judging by the picks, that's exactly what took place. It was apparent that the status of Nick Collins was also in question as the team went into the draft. As it turned out, the Packers wound up releasing the Pro Bowl safety after the draft because of concerns over last season's neck injury. While Collins may still play with another team, the Packers did not want to be the team where his career ended because of a catastrophic injury. Thank you, Nick, for all your great play for the Packers. You will truly be last season clearly showed.

That's it for the moment, Packer fans. Lots to catch up on. We'll get there before the season kicks off...I promise you. Thanks for reading.

Go Pack Go!!!