Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com. This is an abbreviated version of the 2011 Training Camp Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the 2011 Training Camp Dope Sheet:
TRAINING CAMP UNDERWAY IN GREEN BAY
- A day circled on the calendar of every sports fan – the official beginning of the NFL season – finally arrived this past Saturday as the Green Bay Packers kicked off the 2011 campaign at Ray Nitschke Field.
- Last seen hoisting the Lombardi Trophy following a victory over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV, the franchise’s 13th world championship and fourth Super Bowl title, the Packers have begun to write this season’s story in front of fans at Nitschke Field.
- A tradition first started under Curly Lambeau in 1946, training camp in Green Bay remains one of the most intimate settings in all of professional sports. 2011 marks the third summer at the newly constructed Nitschke Field, just a short bike ride away from the team facility.
- Nitschke boasts the same playing surface as Lambeau Field and seating for 1,500 fans with unobstructed views and sideline access to their favorite players.
- Just as it does at Lambeau Field, new traditions blend with historic ones at Packers training camp, as players continue to ride children’s bicycles to practice, a tradition first started under the legendary Vince Lombardi. Players continue to stay in the dorms at St. Norbert College, the NFL’s longest training-camp relationship between a team and school.
- According to the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, training camp, along with Packers Family Night, will attract an estimated 100,000 visitors from across the nation and as many as 20 foreign countries from July 31 through the final open practice, Aug. 30. With an economic impact estimated at $25 million, training camp is a financial boost to many area businesses.
- Media and fans can visit www.packerstrainingcamp.com for the most up-to-date information regarding the practice schedule, events, dining and accommodation options, activities and more throughout training camp.
SAVE THE DATE
Important dates to remember (all times CDT):
- Friday, July 30 – Players report to training camp
- Saturday, July 31 – First practice, 7 p.m., Nitschke Field
- Saturday, Aug. 6 – Packers Family Night presented by Bellin Health, 6:30 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Saturday, Aug. 13 – First preseason game, at Cleveland Browns,6:30 p.m., Cleveland Browns Stadium
- Friday, Aug. 19 – Preseason game vs. Arizona Cardinals, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Friday, Aug. 26 – Preseason game at Indianapolis Colts, 7 p.m., Lucas Oil Stadium
- Tuesday, Aug. 30 – Final practice open to public, 10:30 a.m., Nitschke Field; Possible roster reduction, to 75 players
- Thursday, Sept. 1 – Preseason game vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Saturday, Sept. 3 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players
- Thursday, Sept. 8 – Regular-season opener vs. New Orleans Saints, 7:30 p.m., Lambeau Field
THE MONTH AHEAD
- A total of 13 practices under the lights at Nitschke Field headline a training camp schedule that features 22 practices overall, including the Family Night practice, and four preseason games in just over one calendar month.
- Including the Family Night practice at Lambeau Field on Aug. 6, the Packers’ first 11 training camp practices will be held in the evening.
- All but two of the practices at Nitschke leading into the first two preseason games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Following the contest against Arizona (Aug. 19), the Packers will shift into more of a regular-season schedule with one practice each morning on Aug. 22-24 heading into the preseason contest at Indianapolis on Aug. 26 and one on Aug. 28-30 leading into the preseason finale vs. Kansas City.
- A now-signature event during camp, Packers Family Night is presented by Bellin Health. Now in its 11th year, the evening will feature a full-team padded practice and fireworks display high above Lambeau Field. The event will benefit the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids foster-care adoption program.
LOTS OF FAMILIAR FACES
- General Manager Ted Thompson continued his philosophy of building through the draft in the 2011 offseason, so much of the Packers’ core remains intact once again.
- Eight Packers earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2010, the most by a Green Bay team since it featured nine in 1967, and all eight of those players return for the 2011 campaign.
- Green Bay welcomes the return of 21 of 22 players that started against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
- The Packers battled their way through several season-ending injuries in 2010, finishing the season with 15 players on injured reserve. The group returning from injuries includes fifth-year RB Ryan Grant, a 1,200-yard rusher in both 2008 and 2009, fourth-year TE Jermichael Finley, the team’s leading receiver through four games last season, third-year LB Brad Jones, who started five games in 2010, second-year S Morgan Burnett, the starting strong safety for the first four contests last season, and second-year DE Mike Neal, who was limited to just two games as a rookie in 2010 but figures to compete for increased time this season.
- The continuity extends to the coaching staff, where almost the entire group returns for 2011 with a few changes in duties.
- Edgar Bennett, who tutored the running backs for the past six seasons, moves into the role of wide receivers coach in 2011, while Jerry Fontenot, the assistant offensive line coach for the past four seasons, takes over the running backs.
- John Rushing, the offensive quality control coach in 2009-10, will now serve as assistant wide receivers/special teams. Joel Hilgenberg, who worked with the Packers last year during the spring and summer as a coaching intern, will serve as the offensive quality control coach. Hilgenberg enjoyed a 10-year playing career (1984-93) as an offensive lineman with the New Orleans Saints.
MEET THE DRAFT PICKS
- Training-camp storylines always hover around new players and just how they figure into the depth chart. This summer, all eyes will be on the 10 draft picks added to the club this past April, Green Bay’s largest draft class since an 11-player one in 2007. With no offseason work at Lambeau Field due to the lockout, training camp is the 2011 class’ first on-field action as Packers.
- T Derek Sherrod, the first Mississippi State offensive lineman to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, was a first-team All-America selection by CBSSports.com and Rivals.com in 2010 and earned first-team All-SEC honors. He helped the Bulldogs rank second in the SEC in rushing in 2010 and first in ’09. Sherrod joined new linemate Bryan Bulaga (2010) as only the second offensive tackle to be selected in the first round by Green Bay in the past 14 drafts.
- The Packers stayed in the SEC in Round 2 by selecting versatile Kentucky WR Randall Cobb in the second round. He earned first-team All-America recognition from The Associated Press, ESPN.com and SportsIllustrated.com as a junior in 2010 as an all-purpose player. Cobb set the SEC single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,396 in 2010, topping the previous mark of 2,310 yards by Arkansas RB Darren McFadden (2007). He was the only player in FBS to rank first or second on the team in receiving, rushing and passing.
- RB Alex Green, the Packers’ third-round choice, rushed for 1,199 yards and 18 TDs in 2010, ranking second in University of Hawaii history for rushing yards in a single season and tying the school mark for rushing TDs. His average of 8.2 yards per carry in 2010 ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I-A among players with 100 or more carries. Green spent his first two seasons at Butte Community College in Oroville, Calif., the same junior college that produced QB Aaron Rodgers.
- In the fourth round, the Packers drafted CB Davon House, who earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a junior and senior at New Mexico State. He finished his career ranked first in school history in INT return yardage with 319 and tied for sixth with 11 INTs. House was named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list and was an honorable mention All-America selection by The NFL Draft Report in 2010.
- Green Bay selected TE D.J. Williams out of the University of Arkansas in the fifth round. In 2010, he became the first Razorback to win the John Mackey Award, an honor given to the nation’s top tight end. Williams also received the 2010 Disney Spirit Award, which is given to the most inspirational figure in college football. He finished his Arkansas career with 152 receptions, the second-highest total in school history and the most by a non-wide receiver.
- With the first of three choices in the sixth round, the Packers picked G Caleb Schlauderaff. He earned second-team All-America honors from Walter Camp and SportsIllustrated.com and was named first-team All-Mountain West at Utah in 2010. A four-year starter, he was part of a Utes squad in 2008 that finished No. 2 in the AP’s final poll, the only team in the country to post a perfect record (13-0).
- Green Bay also drafted LB D.J. Smith out of Appalachian State in the sixth round. He was one of only two players in school history to record 500 tackles in his career, joining three-time NFL Pro Bowler Dexter Coakley. Smith finished his career at ASU as the NCAA Division I FCS active leader in tackles with 525.
- The Packers added another linebacker in the sixth round with the selection of Ricky Elmore from the University of Arizona. He finished his collegiate career with 25½ sacks, second in school history behind only Tedy Bruschi (52, 1992-95). Elmore led the Pac-10 in sacks in 2010 with 11, giving him 21½ over his final two seasons for the Wildcats.
- With the first of two picks in the seventh round, Green Bay drafted TE Ryan Taylor from the University of North Carolina. He set a single-season school record for receptions by a tight end with 36 in 2010, and established career highs for receptions and yards in each of his final three college games. Taylor was also a key contributor on special teams, serving as a two-year captain for that unit during his Tar Heel career.
- The Packers also drafted DE Lawrence Guy out of Arizona State in the seventh round. An early-entry into the draft, he earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 recognition each of his three seasons with the Sun Devils and was part of units that led the conference and finished in the top 20 nationally in run defense in 2009 and 2010.
- In addition to the seven draft picks, one must also pay close attention to the non-drafted free agents, as at least one seems to make the team each year. Members of the Packers who entered the NFL via the free-agent route include RB Ryan Grant, CB Sam Shields, CB Tramon Williams and LB Frank Zombo.
ST. NORBERT AND THE PACKERS
- Continuing a tradition started under Packers coach Scooter McLean in 1958, the Green Bay Packers will call St. Norbert College home for a 54th consecutive training camp this summer. The relationship between the private college in De Pere, Wis., and the Green Bay Packers marks the longest continual use of any training camp facility by an NFL team.
- Players will take up residence in Victor McCormick Hall, a 60-room coed dormitory used to house 225 students during the academic year.
- St. Norbert, founded in 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, borders the Fox River and enrolls around 2,000 students.
- The Packers use their own practice and team-meeting facilities at Lambeau Field during training camp, with the college serving as housing headquarters.
- Players return to St. Norbert via cars and vans every evening for team dinner.
- The 6.62-mile commute is estimated at 11 minutes each way.
- The team will travel roughly 264.8 miles between the college and practice facility during training camp…that’s almost 4,660 lengths of a football field. It will take an estimated 7 hours, 20 minutes for the team to commute to and from the college…roughly the time of two-and-a-half NFL games.
A LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE
- The Green Bay Packers’ 91st NFL regular-season schedule – headlined by four prime-time games as well as a nationally televised Thanksgiving contest – was released in mid-April by the National Football League.
- Green Bay will begin the 2011 season at home against the New Orleans Saints in a Thursday night contest on Sept. 8. The matchup of the last two Super Bowl winners will mark the first time in franchise history that the Packers will open the season on a Thursday night. It will also be just the third Thursday night game in Lambeau Field history.
- The Packers will head out on the road in Week 2 to take on Carolina, the first of back-to-back road games for Green Bay. It is the second straight season that Green Bay has played two contests away from Lambeau Field in the first three weeks.
- For the second straight season, the Packers will visit Soldier Field in Week 3 to take on the Chicago Bears, a rematch of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
- Green Bay will face another 2010 playoff foe in Week 5 when it travels to Atlanta for a Sunday night contest against the Falcons on NBC. It will be the Packers’ third game against an NFC South opponent in the first five weeks.
- The Packers will host Minnesota in Week 10 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. 2011 marks the 19th consecutive season the Packers have appeared on MNF, the NFC’s longest streak (Denver, 20).
- For the third time in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers will travel to Detroit for a Thanksgiving Day matchup. Green Bay won the previous two Thanksgiving meetings (2007, 2009) under McCarthy.
- With the MNF game against Minnesota and the Thanksgiving game at Detroit, the Packers will have three games in an 11-day span. Green Bay has some recent experience with a stretch similar to that, having won three contests in 12 days in 2009 (Nov. 15-26).
- Both of the Packers’ December road games will be played outdoors in potential cold-weather conditions with visits to the N.Y. Giants (Week 13) and the Kansas City Chiefs (Week 15).
- Green Bay finishes the regular season with back-to-back home contests (Chicago, Detroit) for the second straight season. The only other time the Packers have finished with two home games in consecutive seasons was 1922-23.
- For just the second time in franchise annals, the Packers will play on Christmas. Green Bay will host Chicago in prime time on NBC. The only other Christmas game in Packers history also came against the Bears (2005) at Lambeau Field.
- The Packers will be the first NFL team to play on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day in the same season, with all three games coming against divisional foes.
- Green Bay closes against an NFC North opponent for the fifth time in the past six seasons, this time against Detroit.
2011 SCHEDULE NUGGETS
- Green Bay’s bye week arrives in Week 8, the second time the Packers have had their bye that week under McCarthy (2008).
- The Packers go into (at Minnesota) and come out of the bye (at San Diego) on the road for the first time since 2003.
- Under McCarthy, the team has won four of five games immediately after the bye week and 11 of its last 15 after the week off dating back further.
- Overall, the Packers are 30-19 (.612) after the bye under McCarthy, and since 2000, the team is 61-36 (.629) following the week off.
- Thirteen games are slated for Sunday this season, with two Thursday night contests and one on Monday night. Only six games are scheduled for noon (CT) starts with five games currently slated for 3:15 p.m. (CT).
- The Packers have five games on the schedule against 2010 playoff teams, beginning right away in Week 1 vs. New Orleans. The other matchups come against Chicago (Weeks 3 and 16), Atlanta (Week 5), and Kansas City (Week 15).
- Green Bay (No. 9 offense, No. 5 defense) was one of just four NFL teams to finish in the top 10 in both total offense and defense in 2010. The Packers play all three of the other teams in 2011, hosting New Orleans (No. 6/No. 4) in Week 1 and traveling to take on San Diego (No. 1/No. 1) in Week 9 and the N.Y. Giants (No. 5/No. 7) in Week 13.
BY THE NUMBERS
Nothing attracts more attention during training camp, both from fans and media, than positional battles. Here’s a look at the Packers’ current roster. Just a quick note – the first number is the number of players at that position currently on the roster, while the second is the number at the position during Week 1 last season.
Quarterback – 3 (2)
- Aaron Rodgers has emerged as one of top players in the league at his position, with a career passer rating (98.4) that ranks No. 1 in NFL history. He posted 12,394 passing yards from 2008-10, which ranks No. 2 in league history behind only Kurt Warner (12,612, 1999-2001) for the most passing yards by a QB in his first three seasons as a starter.
- Behind Rodgers is fourth-year signal caller Matt Flynn, who saw his most extensive game action in 2010. He has served as the No. 2 quarterback in each of his first three NFL seasons and got his first start as a pro last season in Week 15 at New England when Rodgers was sidelined with a concussion.
- Also at the position is first-year player Graham Harrell, who spent time on the practice squad and as the third QB in 2010. He set numerous NCAA records including career TD passes and completions while at Texas Tech (2005-08).
Running back – 5 (3)
- Ryan Grant, one of only three players in team annals to post back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons (2008-09), returns to action after missing all but one game in 2010 due to an ankle injury sustained at Philadelphia in Week 1.
- Behind Grant is second-year pro James Starks, who was limited to just four games in the regular season but made a splash in the playoffs with a team-high 315 yards, the third most ever by an NFL rookie in a single postseason.
- Rookie Alex Green was selected in the third round out of the University of Hawaii. His average of 8.2 yards per carry in 2010 ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division I-A among players with 100 or more carries, and his 1,199 yards on the season were good for No. 2 in school annals.
- Second-year man Dimitri Nance saw some action as a rookie, posting 95 yards on 36 carries (2.6 avg.). The running back group also includes non-drafted rookie Brandon Saine, who finished his career at Ohio State with 1,408 rushing yards and 17 TDs.
Fullback – 3 (3)
- Last year the team kept three fullbacks, with two of those players, John Kuhn and Quinn Johnson, returning in 2011.
- With injuries at running back, Kuhn took on more of a role as a ball-carrier and responded by setting or matching his career high in every major offensive category.
- Johnson saw action in 11 games as a rookie in 2010, and at 263 pounds, brings a physical presence to the position.
- The only other fullback on the roster is non-drafted free agent Jon Hoese from the University of Minnesota.
Wide receiver – 12 (5)
- Veterans Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, who both earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2010, form a dangerous 1-2 combination on the outside. Jennings has topped the 1,000-yard mark each of the last three seasons, while Driver has topped the mark in six of the last seven seasons.
- Fifth-year wideout James Jones, who recently re-signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent, posted career-highs in catches (50) and receiving yards (679) as he joined Jennings and Driver to comprise the first trio of 50-catch receivers in team history. Fourth-year man Jordy Nelson had a career year as well, posting personal bests in catches (45) and receiving yards (582) in 2010.
- Third-year pro Brett Swain made contributions as the No. 5 wideout in 2010 as well as on special teams, appearing in all 16 contests. Green Bay added versatile WR Randall Cobb in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Cobb was a first-team All-America selection by The Associated Press as an all-purpose player in 2010 at Kentucky and will likely factor in as a return man in addition to wide receiver.
- First-year man Chastin West will look to compete for a roster spot after spending the 2010 season on the practice squad, as will several other young players. That group includes first-year WR Antonio Robinson and non-drafted rookies Diondre Borel, Tori Gurley, Shaky Smithson and Kerry Taylor.
Tight end – 6 (4)
- An already deep tight end group welcomed the addition of two more players through the draft.
- Fourth-year TE Jermichael Finley posted one of the most productive stretches by a Packers TE with a team-high 301 receiving yards on 21 catches in the first four games, but his season was cut short when he sustained a knee injury at Washington on the opening series in Week 5.
- Second-year man Andrew Quarless saw increased time after Finley’s injury, and posted 21 catches for 238 yards (11.3 avg.) and a TD in his debut campaign.
- Second-year TE Tom Crabtree appeared in all 16 contests in 2010, contributing primarily as a blocker and on special teams. Third-year pro Spencer Havner caught four TD passes with Green Bay in 2009.
- The Packers added 2010 John Mackey Award winner D.J. Williams of Arkansas through the draft, as well as seventh-round selection Ryan Taylor out of the University of North Carolina.
Offensive line – 15 (10)
- Four of five starters return from a year ago on a line that started the same five players the final 16 games of the season (including playoffs).
- Veteran LT Chad Clifton, who earned his second career Pro Bowl selection in 2010, returns for his 12th season. Second-year RT Bryan Bulaga, the Packers’ first-round pick in 2010, started the final 12 games and all four postseason contests as a rookie.
- Eighth-year C Scott Wells brings a consistent presence to the middle of the line, while RG Josh Sitton emerged as one of the top guards in the league in 2010 in his third season, earning recognition as a Pro Bowl alternate.
- Many eyes will be focused on the competition at left guard with starter Daryn Colledge departing in free agency. Rookie Derek Sherrod, Green Bay’s first-round pick in 2011, was a three-year starter at LT at Mississippi State but will be in the mix at LG. So will third-year man T.J. Lang, who provided depth at guard and tackle in 2010 after starting three games at tackle as a rookie in 2009.
- Also expected to compete along the inside are second-year pros Nick McDonald and Evan Dietrich-Smith and rookie G Caleb Schlauderaff, a sixth-round pick in 2011. G/T Marshall Newhouse, a fifth-round pick in 2010, will also be battling for a roster spot.
- The group also includes first-year G Adrian Battles, first-year T Chris Campbell, and rookie T/G Ray Dominguez, C Sampson Genus and T Theo Sherman.
Defensive end – 7 (5)
- The defensive end group will be led by veteran Ryan Pickett, who appeared in 14 games with 12 starts in 2010 and posted 53 tackles (27 solo) and a sack.
- With the departure of veteran end Cullen Jenkins in free agency, the right defensive end position is expected to feature a competition between a trio of young players in second-year pros Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson and third-year man Jarius Wynn.
- Neal, Green Bay’ second-round selection in 2010, was limited to two games during his rookie campaign due to a shoulder injury, but did show flashes of his potential in brief action.
- Wilson, another member of the 2010 draft class (seventh round), saw significant time during his debut campaign due to injuries along the line. He appeared in 15 games with two starts and registered 21 tackles (12 solo) and a sack.
- After being released in the final roster cutdown last season, Wynn re-signed with the team heading into Week 2 because of injuries and went on to appear in nine contests on the season.
- The Packers added another defensive end late in this year’s draft by selecting Lawrence Guy out of Arizona State in the seventh round. A pair of non-drafted rookies, Chris Donaldson and Eli Joseph, fill out the position group for Green Bay.
Nose tackle – 3 (1)
- Third-year man B.J. Raji was the lone nose tackle on the roster in 2010 and he responded in a major way by starting all 16 contests and posting 66 tackles (36 solo). His 6½ sacks were the most by an NFL nose tackle since Minnesota’s Ken Clarke registered seven in 1990, and Raji was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.
- Seventh-year veteran Howard Green was acquired by the Packers off waivers midway through the season in 2010 and ended up playing a prominent role on the line as he worked primarily at end. Solid against the run, Green appeared in nine contests with three starts and posted 17 tackles (four solo).
- Jay Ross, who spent time on the practice squad in 2010, rounds out the position group.
Linebacker – 14 (8)
- This position was also hit hard by injuries in 2010, but several players took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them.
- On the inside, sixth-year LB A.J. Hawk continued to serve as a steadying presence on the defense, but took on more of an every-down role in 2010. He led the team with 134 tackles (97 solo), and his career-high three interceptions tied for the league lead among linebackers.
- At the other inside spot, fifth-year LB Desmond Bishop moved into a starting role for the first time in his career after contributing primarily on special teams in his first three seasons in the league. Bishop trailed only Hawk in tackles with 121 (82 solo), while his 10 passes defensed were the most by a Green Bay LB since John Anderson registered 15 in 1981.
- Second-year man Robert Francois and rookie D.J. Smith, a sixth-round choice this spring, are expected to compete for a roster spot on the inside, as will first-year LB Cardia Jackson and non-drafted rookie Elijah Joseph.
- On the outside, third-year LB Clay Matthews looks to follow up his first two years that saw him become the first Packer to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first two seasons since RB John Brockington (1971-72). He led the team with 13½ sacks, No. 2 in the NFC and No. 4 in the NFL.
- At the ROLB spot opposite Matthews, three players that started games there in 2010 return. Second-year man Frank Zombo played in 13 games with eight starts as a non-drafted rookie and recorded four sacks, while fourth-year LB Erik Walden played in nine games with two starts and posted three sacks. Third-year pro Brad Jones was limited to just six games with five starts last season due to a shoulder injury, but is expected to compete once again for the starting spot while also potentially providing some depth on the inside.
- The Packers added LB Ricky Elmore from the University of Arizona in the sixth round of the draft, and he will be joined by non-drafted rookies Jamari Lattimore and Vic So’oto in competing for a spot on the outside.
Cornerback – 8 (6)
- Veteran Charles Woodson earned his seventh career Pro Bowl bid in 2010, registering career highs in tackles (105) and forced fumbles (five) while adding two interceptions and two sacks.
- In his first season as a full-time starter, fifth-year man Tramon Williams posted the finest all-arounds season of his career with career highs in tackles (63), interceptions (six) and passes defensed (23).
- Sam Shields won the nickel job as a non-drafted rookie free agent in 2010, and the second-year man appears poised to maintain that role once again this season.
- Sixth-year pro Jarrett Bush remains one of the team’s best special teams players and provides experience at the position, while fourth-year man Pat Lee saw his most significant action as a pro in his third season.
- Green Bay added another player to the mix with the selection of CB Davon House out of New Mexico State in the fourth round. Filling out the position group are first-year CB Josh Gordy and non-drafted rookie Brandian Ross.
Safety – 7 (4)
- Securing three straight Pro Bowl berths has solidified FS Nick Collins’ status as one of the game’s best at his position. Opposite Collins, however, will be where most of the focus is in the back end.
- Second-year man Morgan Burnett, who started the opening four games at SS in his debut campaign, will be looking to return to his starting role after sustaining a season-ending knee injury last year in Week 4.
- But Burnett could see competition from sixth-year pro Charlie Peprah, who stepped into Burnett’s starting spot and posted the finest season of his career with 64 tackles (50 solo), two interceptions and seven passes defensed.
- Third-year man Brandon Underwood, who played CB his first two seasons, has made the shift to safety, and non-drafted rookies Anthony Bratton and M.D. Jennings join first-year S Anthony Levine to round out the group.
Specialists – 3 (3)
- Though no specialist job in the NFL could ever be deemed secure, K Mason Crosby, LS Brett Goode and P Tim Masthay are the only players at their respective positions on the roster. Solid performances in camp and in preseason action should earn each a roster spot.
- Masthay earned his spot last season with a strong showing in training camp, and went on to post a 37.6-yard net average during the regular season to match the best mark since 1976 (Jon Ryan, 2007).
- Crosby, whose 509 points are the second most in NFL history by a player in his first four seasons, re-signed with the team recently as an unrestricted free agent. Goode has handled the long-snapping duties each of the past three seasons.