And your nightly serving of our takes on the most interesting bits of information to come out of that day’s training camp practice has returned for a second year.
That’s right: Training camp stew: The sequel.
The Green Bay Packers practiced twice Thursday, so there was quite a bit of information to sift through. We’ve done just that and are happy to present our thoughts now.
- The biggest news to come out of the day, of course, was the fact that Atari Bigby will be undergoing surgery on his troublesome ankle. He’ll need roughly a month to recover and it’s unknown if he’ll be available for the season opener. My take: Bigby’s ankle was never right. It probably hasn’t been for months. There’s simply no way the ankle got that much worse during a simple conditioning test. That’s why he sat out all the offseason stuff. Remember, he’s represented by superagent Drew Rosenhaus (a man who knows a thing or two about getting his clients to fake health). If he’d made the ankle worse in, say, March, there’s no way he’d ever have a shot at a new deal. Rosenhaus and Bigby figured that, by having Bigby sit out, the team would see his true value. That went out the window when the team drafted Morgan Burnett, though. So Bigby is now a player fighting a seemingly chronic ankle problem while his younger, healthier replacement continues to gain experience with the starting unit. Bad moves all around, Atari.
- Will Blackmon, moving to the safety position this season, appeared to leave the night practice early with a knee injury. He said on his Twitter page that it’s nothing serious. I hope he’s right – otherwise, Derrick Martin becomes the No. 3 safety on this team (double gulp).
- More injury news, although this is good news: Daryn Colledge (elbow) and Brad Jones (back) both returned to practice, as did Justin Harrell (heat issues).
- Perhaps I was wrong on the Brandon Chillar/Clay Matthews tandem at OLB. Both players were all over the place Thursday, in multiple facets. In fact, Chillar’s been so good, the team kept him in with the No. 1s, despite Jones’ return. I’ve said this before: Chillar is an outstanding athlete, but he needs to show that more often in terms of making plays. Well, he’s done a lot of that lately. Maybe he’s finally found a home for himself. As for Matthews, I didn’t like the idea of moving him over to the left side. But it sounds like he’s so good, he’ll make plays at either spot.
- Despite the early struggles, the offense is doing a couple of things I really like. They’ve cut down on the deep throws dramatically and there seems to be more of a focus on quick passes. Remember, the focus on a short, precise passing game – along with the return of Mark Tauscher – was a key factor in the offense’s second-half turnaround last season. I had concerns that Mike McCarthy would revert back to the home run chasing ways of the first half. It sounds like I might have been wrong – and I’m more than okay with that.
- The defense won the day. That’s good – that group needs to continue to build confidence. The offense is going to come around, either way.
- The worst thing to come out of Thursday: The complete lack of consistency from the punting candidates, Chris Bryan and Tim Masthay. It sounds like both were great at times and wretched at others. And this isn’t the first time this has happened during camp. It’s getting sort of frustrating. One of these guys has to step up and grab the job. This team can not afford another year of Frost-and-Kapinos-esque punting. Field position is huge. A good punter – as much as we laugh at the profession - helps that greatly.
That’s all for today. We’ll be back Friday with another round.