Packers Camp Insider: Morgan Burnett sets the tone
There’s a pretty good chance veteran safety Morgan Burnett isn’t going to play much in the exhibition opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night at Lambeau Field. It would be pretty easy for him to throttle it down this week and get himself ready for a long week of practice that follows the Eagles game. But Burnett showed why he garners a lot of respect in the locker room when he drew gasps in the violent one-on-one blocking drill with the running backs. It’s a blitz drill in which the backs have to pick up a linebacker or safety charging through rushing lanes created with the strategic placement of blocking dummies. Burnett took several turns in the drill, but the one that caught everyone’s attention was when he came blasting up the middle and de-cleated running back Devante Mays. Burnett got under Mays’ pads and drove him back several yards, depositing him on his rear end on his way to the quarterback. Jamaal Williams stopped him on his second try, but he clearly set the tone for the rest of the drill.
Rookie cornerbacks don’t usually have a lot of success in the NFL. There are so many good receivers in the league and the rules favor them so heavily, the transition from college to the NFL can be brutal for a corner. Second-round pick Kevin King is finding out how rough it can be. Since camp started, he has struggled mightily in the one-on-one drills and Tuesday was no different. First, Jeff Janis drove upfield with a quick burst, getting King to bail out quickly, then made a hard stop and caught the ball with a huge cushion between him and King. Next, Davante Adams drove upfield and then flattened inside for a big gain across the middle. King again gave up too much room and couldn’t recover. Randall Cobb followed and used a subtle push-off to gain space on an out route. Finally, Geronimo Allison did the same thing as Adams, breaking off a route into the middle and getting wide open as King failed to recover. “I’ll learn from it, and try not to make the same mistake twice,” King said.
Tight end Richard Rodgers left with an unidentified injury and did not return. No other new injuries were reported.
Bits and pieces
» Undrafted rookie safety Aaron Taylor had a field day in the one-on-one pass-rush drills with the backs, destroying all three of his opponents, including one in which he made 231-pound running back William Stanback whiff.
» Wide receiver Michael Clark added to his impressive resume of leaping catches by jumping over the long-armed King for a 9-yard touchdown throw from Brett Hundley in the corner of the end zone.
» Receiver Trevor Davis had a big day, but most of it was when he was playing scout team with quarterback Aaron Rodgers against the No. 1 and No. 2 defense. Rodgers hit Davis on several slants and corner routes.
» Safety Kentrell Brice is playing fullback on the punt coverage team, meaning he calls out the signals and makes sure everyone is set.
» After hitting only 5 of 11 in the Saturday night practice at Lambeau Field, Mason Crosby hit all six of his kicks (33, 35, 36, 38, 38 and 40 yards). However, there was at least one bad snap from Derek Hart.
» Rookie offensive lineman Kofi Amichia got to line up in the backfield as a fullback on the scout team in a goal-line situation. The offense was mimicking a play the Eagles might run Thursday night.
Quote of the day
“I'm excited to see kind of the sleepers, the surprise guys, when the lights go on, who steps up and makes plays because there's a lot of jobs up for grabs and guys who can surprise in the preseason every year, make a lot of plays, who are just kind of those gamer players, I'm excited to see who those guys are.” -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the preseason opener.
The next practice open to the public is Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at Ray Nitschke Field.