training camp just a few days old, storylines are already emerging. Aaron Rodgers
is in "midseason form". Charles Woodson
is moving to safety. There's a dog fight for the last 1-2 wide receiver spots. Will James Jones
be traded? Among these stories is the struggles of cornerback Sam Shields
. Shields was reportedly lit up at Saturday's practice session, getting beat by everyone from Donald Driver
to undrafted rookie Dale Moss
(who won't likely be on the team's final roster). Add in that Jarrett Bush
was taking 1st team reps in the nickel and you officially have speculation that Shields is moving down the depth chart and that his roster spot is in jeopardy. Fast forward to today when it was reported that Shields had a much better day and looked more like the Shields of old. The lesson? Patience. We have to remember that we are less than a week into camp and there is a lot of time for things to unfold. We also have to remember where Shields has been with this Packer team. Just 2 seasons ago it was he who was the undrafted rookie free agent trying to break into a secondary that already featured Woodson, Tramon Williams
and Nick Collins
. His blazing speed and playmaking ability earned him a spot and he developed into a key player in the team's championship run. It was Shields who sealed the win at Chicago in the NFC Championship game with a late interception. He has the capability to make a play anytime he is on the field. It was this realization that his coaches at the University of Miami came to when they asked then wide receiver Shields to defend one of his fellow teammates. He was quickly converted to a cornerback and the rest is history. With his 2 years of experience in the defense and his ability to bounce back after one bad day at the office, we will be seeing Shields hang onto the 3rd CB spot as we enter the 2012 season. A lot can change but with an added emphasis on tackling amongst the entire defense, Shields should continue to climb towards his immense potential. Any improvement in his game will vastly help the Packers, who gave up more yardage than any other defense last season. So next time you hear about Shields' struggles, take a look at this compilation of his highlights and remember: Patience!
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