GREEN BAY—The Packers’ three coordinators each gave their approval of their units’ progress through the first week of training camp.
“It’s been a very good camp,” Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said on Friday. “We did a lot of good work in the spring. The veterans are playing very well. The younger guys are flashing. It’s very competitive and that’s good because it’ll make us better.”
As the Packers head into tonight’s “Family Night” practice, the spotlight is shining brightest on the offense’s tight end position, where Andrew Quarless is trying to hold off rookie Richard Rodgers and young veteran Brandon Bostick. Tight end is the position on offense that seems to be the least settled.
“We’re still in our installation phase. We’re still in the process of putting the offense in. On Monday, we’ll have all of the offense in and then we’ll get into the preseason games,” Clements said.
Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers has a difficult task ahead of him. Capers has to hide from media and fans what he doesn’t want them to see, yet, find enough time before the regular season begins to install the expected new schemes that’ll accommodate Julius Peppers’ arrival in Green Bay.
“You limit those things,” Capers said. “You put it on tape and everybody in the league is going to see it.”
The problem is “practices are cut by more than a third,” Capers said. “We’ve got a couple of installs left; different personnel groups you might use on third down. These next two installs are specialty things.
“Julius and Clay (Matthews) have been able to stay together every practice out there, which is excellent.”
The “Family Night” practice, of course, will not feature Peppers and Matthews.
“We’ve got some young, ascending players the arrow is pointing up on and we need to get them some work,” Capers said.
Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Slocum is experimenting with a lot of different returners. Early indications are running back DuJuan Harris is the leader for the kickoff return job.
“He’s a quick, powerful little guy. He’s got good top end speed. I’m anxious to see him get tackled and play,” Slocum said.
“From Randall (Cobb) to Micah (Hyde) to 3-4 other guys,” Slocum said.
“That whole group of young linebackers look pretty good to me. The safeties look pretty good, too. I like this roster,” Slocum added.
A large crowd is expected at Lambeau Field to take their own look at the Packers.