Many eyes at Ray Nitschke Field on Tuesday were plastered on rookie wide receiver Trevor Davis, who after making a one-handed grab along the sideline seemed to gain confidence as the practice wore on. He made several other catches that made fans excited, but it drew attention away from another receiver having a really good day: Jared Abbrederis.
The third-year pro always has been a good route runner, but he looked more polished and decisive than in the past. He made a Jordy Nelson-type grab on the sideline against Damarious Randall, jab-stepped LaDarius Gunter after a short reception and took off down field and worked wide open on a corner route against Randall Jette for what would have been a touchdown.
“(I’m) just getting more patient I think and winning different ways,” Abbrederis said of the difference in his route running. “That's probably the biggest thing that's changed since I've been here."
Of course, it’s early and Abbrederis’ first two camps were marred by lengthy injuries, so one practice doesn’t make a season. But Abbrederis got off on the right foot in what should be a tight receiver competition.
The punters had a tough time in difficult conditions and are probably hoping nobody was watching. Incumbent Tim Masthay and challenger Peter Mortell were forced to punt into a stiff wind with a live rush on the first day of camp.
If this is truly a competition, special teams coach Ron Zook decided to get right into it. In two different sessions in which the punters kicked from their own 20-yard line, the two managed just three punts of 40 or more yards in 11 attempts.
Masthay was more consistent and hit three solid punts in the second session (40, 35, 38 yards), but his long in the first batch he hit was a 37. Mortell was extremely inconsistent. He belted a couple of 40-yarders, but he had a 29-yarder in the first session and 27- and 24-yarders in the second.
The two are going to get to punt a lot this summer and likely will be put in tough spots all camp long just to see how they react. The Packers are eager to see how Masthay handles a challenger after a poor end of the season.
There were no additional injuries to report.
Bits and Pieces
» DT Mike Daniels lit up rookie NT Kenny Clark on the sideline for a mistake he made, saying after practice that he was going to be tough on him because of how much the defense will need him this year.
» On the final play of practice, the defensive linemen mobbed Clark because he corrected the mistake he had made earlier.
» Quinten Rollins started at the cornerback position opposite Sam Shields in the base defense, which was surprising given he had missed most of the OTAs with a finger injury.
» Damarious Randall, the starter at Rollins’ position, rotated outside and in the slot. Last year, he played exclusively outside.
» Clay Matthews and Nick Perry lined up as the starting outside linebackers in the 3-4, a sign that the team is serious about lessening Julius Peppers’ snaps this year.
» K Mason Crosby hit all seven of his field goal attempts. They were from: 33, 36, 38, 40, 42, 46 and 48 yards.
» WR Randall Cobb let CB Robertson Daniel strip the ball out of his hands on what should have been a reception on a slant route.
Quote of the Day
“I’m as light as I’ve been in a while but my muscle mass is as strong as it’s been when I’ve been 10 pounds heavier. That was the goal as I get older was to continue to find ways to get my nutrition and my muscles where I need them to be, and I feel good about where I’m at.” – Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Wednesday’s practice begins at 8:15 a.m.