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GREEN BAY – After the first week of camp, it looked like cornerback LaDarius Gunter was going to nose dive so far on the Green Bay Packers’ depth chart that he’d never come up for air.
He looked like the same guy who ended the season getting spun like a top in the playoffs against Dallas receiver Dez Bryant and Atlanta’s Julio Jones.
But heading into the second week of camp, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt moved Gunter from a perimeter spot to the slot and let him compete there. All of a sudden, Gunter is climbing out of the hole.
“I let a couple of plays get away from me,” Gunter said of his poor start. “For the most part I stuck with what I was doing, watched the film and saw I was kind of off my technique and those sort of things.
“So, I was kind of correcting myself all the way leading up to this past week.”
The 6-2, 201-pound Gunter played much better against Philadelphia, causing and recovering one of the five fumbles the Eagles had. In practice this week, his play has been better.
On Wednesday, he deflected a pass into the end zone that teammate Cody Heiman picked off. In the one-on-ones he blanketed receiver Geronimo Allison on one incompletion and covered up Jeff Janis on a fade route.
The slot position wouldn’t seem ideal for Gunter because of his lack of speed, but it actually might be better because he has the size and willingness to tackle, to play the run and blitz the quarterback. He’s still fighting for a roster spot, but he’s no longer buried on the depth chart.
“I feel like I can get the ball a little bit,” Gunter said of playing inside. “I played with a lot of confidence inside. Just getting a feel for it, getting back to the groove. I hadn’t been there for a while. I just need to keep improving.”