Every NFL team has started training camp, meaning that every NFL team blog has at least one diamond in the rough's spectacular performances to discuss. Every NFL team blog also has an underperforming player with high expectations to discuss. Therefore, almost every NFL team blog on earth that's updated regularly during training camp probably has some kind of post up telling their readers not to overreact to either the poor performance of their star or the spectacular performance of their surprise player, if not both.
I'm going to join the party, and not just for the sake of joining the party. In this case, I really mean it: Please, please do not overreact to the daily ebbs and flows of the Green Bay Packers' cornerback battle. You will go absolutely crazy and require multiple prescription sedatives.
Why? Because the battle is changing every day, and will continue to change every day until we have actual game performances to look at. For instance, here's what we had in our practice notes after Saturday's practice.
Follow me below the jump.
Disappointment of the day - Sam Shields. One of the reoccuring lines of camp thus far has been that Shields needs to step up after losing his starting spot to Jarrett Bush. Well, today that didn't happen. Shields was burnt by Gurley, Cobb, James Jones, Donald Driver, and Dale Moss today by my informal count. The Driver one was bad too, Shields was juked out of his jock by DD. Furthering the bad news for Shields is that it looks like Davon House has now passed him up for the Packers dimeback spot. Long story short, not a good day for Shields.
Defensive performance of the day - Casey Hayward gets a pick. Hayward is starting to show those ball skills that had some draft gurus so high on him. Today Hayward jumped a slant from Graham Harrell to Diondre Borel. He got it pretty well interrupted and was able to keep the ball alive and pull it in for the interception. It was a good play. Nice to see him and House showing some positive signs early in camp.
Casey Hayward: Excellent. Davon House: Solid. Jarrett Bush: Average. Sam Shields: Abysmal. That was Saturday. How about Monday? Here's TexWestern's practice notes.
Sam Shields took the first snaps as the #4 cornerback in the dime formation. He had a "much better" day today, almost recording an interception and making good plays on the ball.
Casey Hayward, on the other hand, got beaten badly by Donald Driver in a one-on-one drill and Tori Gurley made a big catch on a fade route over him as well.
Davon House was the more impressive of the young corners today, making a perfect break on a ball from Graham Harrell to intercept it and blanketing James Jones in the end zone. He later knocked away a fade pass to Gurley on a similar route to the one that made Hayward look bad earlier in the day, followed immediately by another interception, this time off B.J. Coleman.
House looked great, Shields looked much better, Hayward was a bit iffy and there was minimal mention of Bush. PA backed this up with his column recapping his observations at practice.
Defensive performance of the day - Davon House starts showing something good. House has had a pretty good camp so far. Typically he's in good coverage, but nothing too special, break up here fumble recovery there...that sort of thing. Today though he easily had the best day defensively ... Hayward has turned some heads the last few days with some good performances, but today should get House's name back in the mix for either the #2 or #3 CB spot.
We're just two padded practices into camp, and they've been very different for the four guys fighting for the No. 2 and No. 3 cornerback jobs. The truth is, we're not going to have any idea where these guys really stand and how good each of them are until we get through a couple of preseason games. I'm closing out this recap of the cornerback play so far with a reminder of yesterday's notes from Mike McCarthy's press conference, with some emphasis added.
- All of the cornerbacks are in the picture for playing time at the moment. They're all performing well, but all of them need game time. Casey Hayward was asked about specifically and McCarthy said that he's impressed, but that all of the cornerbacks have a chance to play.
No one corner has a significant lead over another at this point in time, and no one is going to take a significant lead in the race for the No. 2 cornerback job until at least one game has been played. Bush is starting right now because he has the most experience, but I truly believe that this is a wide-open four-way race and that the coaches aren't going to pencil anyone into a job for a very long time. It's fun to follow the performances of the cornerbacks from day-to-day, but I guarantee you that no one is going to gain or lose serious ground on the other players until the first preseason game.