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Cheese Curds, 7/7: Spriggs bulks up, Callahan needs to prove himself all over again

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Today’s curds examine several second-year Packers as they aim for bigger and better things in year two.

NFL: Green Bay Packers-OTA Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

As NFL players work to prepare for their second years as professionals, everything is different for them. Last spring, these individuals were working hard to prove to NFL teams that they deserve a shot; they prepare for Combine and workout drills, study up for Wonderlic exams and bizarre interview questions, and work only sporadically on actual football skills.

Between years one and two, however, the work is all in the weight room and the film room, as they prepare to shed pounds or add muscle. The Green Bay Packers had plenty of players who did both, but it should come as no surprise that last year’s second-round pick, offensive lineman Jason Spriggs, was squarely on the “add bulk” side of the equation. Spriggs measured in last season at 6’6” and 301 pounds, but it was a lean 301 and that became evident at times when he was asked to fill in at guard.

Meanwhile, pass-rusher Reggie Gilbert shed a few pounds this offseason, looking to get a bit quicker and more nimble; in addition, he’s working hard to develop his skills on special teams, units that he had not played on at all in college. Finally, quarterback Joe Callahan finds himself needing to prove his value to the Packers all over again this offseason, but he should find snaps harder to come by this preseason (provided Brett Hundley is healthy).

As you can see, today’s set of curds is heavy on second-year Packers today as we prep for the weekend.

Packers OL Jason Spriggs is ‘bigger and stronger’ entering second year | Packers Wire
It's almost getting to the point that the line about a second-year player reshaping his body in the weight room is as cliche as players being in "the best shape of their lives." Still, this one seems more reasonable, given the full-time work that can be done in an NFL strength and conditioning program — after all, Spriggs has reportedly added a whopping 20 pounds to his 6’6” frame this offseason.

Reggie Gilbert looks to seize opportunity at linebacker | Packers.com
Last year, Gilbert -- an undrafted free agent out of Arizona -- spent the whole season on the practice squad. This year, he's got a chance to make an impact, both on special teams and given the unproven depth behind starters Nick Perry and Clay Matthews.

Quarterback Joe Callahan out to prove himself again | Wisconsin State Journal
The quarterback hopes to demonstrate that he’s more than a blip on the radar in Green Bay. Barring some regression, Mike McCarthy will likely be irritated once again if Ted Thompson decides to cut Callahan, but if Brett Hundley stays healthy, I see little point to keeping a third QB given bigger needs at other positions.

NFC North Q&A: How much will Vikings O-line improve? - ESPN
Says the ESPN Lions reporter: "It should be better than last year...but it won't be that much better."

Tom Brady wants to become a self-help guru - SBNation.com
Brady released a cookbook a year ago and now is getting into the self-help game. But any book that says to stay away from strawberries is one I want no part of.