On Thursday, the Packers held one of their few OTA practices that is open to the public.
- What does Aaron Kampman's reluctance to talk about his switch to linebacker, Nick Collins' absense due to the death of his father, and Donald Driver's unexplained absense have in common? They all appear to be unhappy about their contracts. Actually, I don't begrudge any of these guys. They need to go get their money while they still can ask for it. The NFL is a cold league that will cut you tomorrow if you get hurt and it will save the team a dime. But obviously not everybody thinks the way I do. Although in Collins' case, while his agent might think a new contract is a priority, Nick has had other priorities lately. But it wouldn't have killed Driver to show up for OTA while his agent kept pressing on a new contract.
A typical Mike McCarthy press conference; everyone is working hard and improving. Although he does provide a bottom line answer as to how the practices are going:
Now, the defense had 22 mental errors yesterday and the offense had nine. That's not OK, but that's what this time of year produces.
- CB Tramon Williams finally signed his 2009 contract. He'll get $900,000 next season. The idea that he might have held out was crazy, but he did receive nearly twice what the Packers initially offered. If he repeats his 2008 performance in 2009, he'll get some serious interest next season as a restricted free agent.
- Hey, there was actually some football going on at practice:
- Clay Matthews is the starter at right OLB, but 2nd year player, and former DE, Jeremy Thompson is the top backup.
- DE Cullen Jenkins is sitting out with an ankle injury, so the Packers went with a jumbo defensive line of Raji (337 lbs.), Pickett (330 lbs.) and Harrell (310 lbs.). That's nearly 1000 lbs. Opponents are going to have a tough time moving that load off the line.
- 3rd year player Allen Barbre will get the first crack at winning the starting RT job. Before this season, Barbre has rarely played and only at left tackle and left guard.