Packers Camp Insider: Daniels getting test from Taylor

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Packers defensive end Mike Daniels (76) battles guard Lane Taylor (65) during training camp Monday.

The more safety Morgan Burnett lines up in the box in the Packers’ sub packages, the more he seems to draw tight ends in coverage. Since the beginning of camp, Burnett regularly has had to cover tight end Martellus Bennett in 11-on-11 drills and it has created a pretty good competition. The 6-1, 209-pound Burnett gives up five inches and 66 pounds to Bennett, who is in his first season with the Packers. Burnett had to shadow Seattle’s Jimmy Graham, another giant tight end, last year and did quite well. But the work he is getting against Bennett is making him find new ways to get the tight end covered. “He’s a big guy, and he can move, man,” Burnett said. “He’s shifty. That’s what I like. I’m not saying it because he’s my teammate, but I honestly feel he’s one of the best tight ends in the game.” The daily matchup between the two is interesting to watch. Burnett used his speed and long arms to break up a throw across the middle on one play; on another Bennett got Burnett to bite on a fake upfield during a scramble drill, turned around and then caught an Aaron Rodgers third-down pass as he fell out of bounds. Burnett is going to see Graham in Week 1 of the regular season and other pretty good tight ends as the year goes on. Bennett is helping prepare him. “I feel like I go against that every day, you can’t help but get better,” Burnett said. “Just the things he’s seen since he’s been in the league. He’s very crafty. That challenges me on the defensive side. You really appreciate and enjoy the competition.”

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The Packers pay defensive tackle Mike Daniels to get after the quarterback and not to win back a fake championship belt from the offense. Daniels will get his sacks this season, but one thing he hasn’t been able to do is beat guard Lane Taylor in the one-on-one pass-rush drill. He is 0-4 against the starting left guard. On two of his attempts, Taylor managed to get him on the ground. Daniels’ only win in the one-on-ones was against veteran Jahri Evans on Monday. Maybe Daniels needs to use more than his patented bull rush. “He has countermoves, but that’s his go-to,” Taylor said. “He’s made about $40 million off of it.” In Daniels’ defense, Taylor has had a very good camp. After starting last year for the first time, his confidence appears high and his pass blocking has come a long way from when he played at Oklahoma State. “It’s definitely a good start,” Taylor said. “We’re matching power with power. He’s a good player. I’ve gone against him a lot. That’s where I’ve learned to handle bull rushes is from him. Obviously, it’s a little different situation than it was last year. I want to play at a high level, the best I can play at. This cranks it up a little bit.”

Injury report

The only addition to the injured list was rookie CB Kevin King (shoulder). King took part in stretching and warm-up drills and then watched practice from the sideline.

Bits and pieces

» Rookie linebacker Johnathan Calvin, who blocked two field goals during his senior year at Mississippi State, tipped one of kicker Mason Crosby’s attempts, but the ball still made it through the uprights.
» Crosby connected on all eight attempts (33, 36, 39, 41, 43, 46, 46 and 48 yards) and is 14 of 15 in camp.
» Safety Kentrell Brice was lucky he didn’t break his hand when he took a swing at guard Justin McCray during a scrum. If his fist had connected with McCray’s helmet he might have paid a big price.
» During a red-zone team-run drill, Ty Montgomery busted off a decent run on the second play and rookie Aaron Jones got free for a 10-yard touchdown run, but most of the other runs went nowhere.
» The best pass play of the day occurred in the red zone when Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams on a perfectly timed slant route for a 16-yard touchdown. Cornerback Davon House was covering.
» UW basketball coach Greg Gard attended practice. He was on the field observing drills and spent about 10 minutes talking with coach Mike McCarthy.
» The stands at Ray Nitschke Field were half full later in practice. It was the second straight day of clear skies and high temperatures.

Practice schedule

There is no public practice Wednesday. The next practice is 6:15 p.m. Thursday.


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