Packers notes: Free-agent OLB Ahmad Brooks would 'fit right in'
GREEN BAY - Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks visited the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday, his first meeting with a team since the San Francisco 49ers released the 11th-year veteran.
Coach Mike McCarthy said he had not yet met with Brooks when he addressed reporters in the morning, but said he was “looking forward to” their conversation.
General manager Ted Thompson refused to answer any questions about Brooks.
A source said the Packers were hopeful of signing Brooks. As of Tuesday evening, it was unclear whether they would.
Outside linebackers coach Winston Moss called Brooks a “tough, physically imposing” linebacker who can rush the passer and defend the run on the edge.
Moss said he believed Brooks would fit nicely with the defense.
“He can do everything that we would ask him to do in our scheme,” Moss said. “He can play to the tight end side, he can play to the open-end side. He can play the outside linebacker, he can play the elephant. If he were to be placed on our roster – however that decision goes down – he could come right in and fit right in.”
Full tank: For a team whose starting quarterback is Aaron Rodgers, or any other bona fide star, it’s widely recognized that having two additional quarterbacks on the 53-man roster is considered a luxury. A star and one backup should do the trick.
The same could be said of Thompson’s decision to carry two fullbacks late last season. The Packers could have survived with one, but Aaron Ripkowski was joined by backup Joe Kerridge, who played mostly on special teams during the playoff push.
Ripkowski and Kerridge have enjoyed solid training camps from start to finish, and the question now is whether Thompson will indulge in the luxury of two fullbacks for the second consecutive season. While Ripkowski is close to a lock, it’s Kerridge who is trying to play his way onto the team.
“We’ve got one more game, and that’s what I’m looking at,” Kerridge said. “I’m trying to improve myself on special teams and at offense. I’m going to do whatever I can when we play the Rams this Thursday night.
“The tape travels with you. It’s your resume regardless of what team it is who’s watching, whether it be (the Packers) or the next team scouting.”
Kerridge has impressed running backs coach Ben Sirmans with his love for physicality, dishing out hit after hit in the half-line and nine-on-seven drills. He has held up fairly well in pass protection and even flashed the ability to catch a pass out of the backfield.
And, just like Ripkowski, he is a major contributor on special teams.
“(Kerridge) has always shown the ability but now he’s really starting to get the offense down and it’s showing,” running back Ty Montgomery said. “He’s playing fast out there and he’s seeing stuff and thinking about stuff before it even happens. Hearing the conversation in the meeting room between him and Rip sometimes, it’s great to see.
“I trust both of those guys a lot. I’m comfortable with either one of those guys in there.”
The rest is up to Thompson.
The right stuff: After a solid week of practice, second-year pro Kyle Murphy was given the starting right tackle position for the Denver game, but he had to share snaps there with Jason Spriggs
This week, after Murphy played well and Spriggs was inconsistent, Murphy received all the snaps with the No. 1 unit in practice, a sign he would be the one called upon if Bryan Bulaga’s ankle injury were to keep him sidelined for the season opener.
“I think this last game kind of stressed us with (the number of) reps, I kind of took advantage of that,” said Murphy, who hadn’t taken reps with the ones previously.
The coaches, according to offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, were looking simply for him to show he had made the necessary improvements to be the top backup right tackle.
“He’s been one of those guys who's been consistent,” Bennett said. “That’s one of the things you look for. Make the improvement and be consistent. He’s one of the guys who’s been able to do that.
“Now you have to continue to do that. He’ll get another opportunity this Thursday.”