GREEN BAY - If all goes well, second-year cornerback Kevin King should be completely ready for the start of Green Bay Packers training camp.
Joe Whitt, the Packers' defensive pass-game coach, said he hopes King will be “full go” in camp. King has been present at organized team activities this month and participated in individual drills, but remains out of team drills as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
“He’s been really attentive,” Whitt said. “He’s worked his butt off in the work room. The guys in the work room are just raving about the way his work ethic hasn’t necessarily changed, but from Year 1 to 2 you grow up, and he’s matured that way.”
Clinton-Dix still absent
Tramon Williams returned to the practice field after missing the first open OTA session, but three uninjured players were absent Thursday: safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, receiver Randall Cobb and kicker Mason Crosby.
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Of the trio, Clinton-Dix was the only player who was also absent last week. Whitt said he isn’t concerned with Clinton-Dix’s absence, noting players can choose to be present during voluntary workouts.
“Not at all,” he said. “It’s voluntary. So the guys that are here are the guys that we’re worried about.”
Tricks of the trade
When the Packers hit the practice field last week for the start of organized team activities, a chiseled figure jogged with the linebackers from drill to drill. He wore a white shirt and a Packers cap but looked capable of jumping into line with Clay Matthews, Blake Martinez and the bunch.
It appeared as if Nick Barnett, a former Packers linebacker now working with the team as a coaching intern, could still play.
“You almost want to throw them in the drill,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I know Nick wants to jump in there sometimes. You’ve got to hold him back. It’s really neat to see where they are in their lives and the interests that they have and hey, if we can help them in any way possible, it’s fun to be part of it.”
Barnett is one of three former players working with the Packers as coaching interns during OTAs and minicamp, a process that runs from May through mid-June. Joining Barnett are former safety Jarrett Bush and running back Brandon Jackson, who was with the staff last spring as well.
All three are part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program, the team said.
“It’s an interesting process, and it’s really where they are in their lives,” McCarthy said. “You would think that more players would take advantage of that opportunity, but some players are just not (interested in coaching). They’re smart enough not to think of getting into coaching. Not to say that these three aren’t, but you always want to have your own back. I don’t think I’ve ever said no to one of our former players. I think it’s important. It’s great to have those guys back involved. … All three look like they could still play.
“What these guys get out of being here more than anything is the after-the-meeting conversations. It’s not really, I mean, they get to go through the install and pick up the little things and be in all the meetings, but the time in lunch or the video sessions with the coaches or after the day is done, the conversations that they can have on the side, that’s the real value in these internships.”