Packers notes: Rookie punter JK Scott angling for more hang time
GREEN BAY – On his first punt against a rush in training camp, Green Bay Packers rookie JK Scott made a mistake.
When the snap hit his hands, Scott didn’t stride directly toward the line of scrimmage. He instead stepped diagonally, opening his hip and swinging his leg across his body.
“That changed everything,” Scott said. “You have to walk in a line. You have to be straight."
Without efficient momentum, Scott’s first punt traveled only 39 yards with an unofficial hang time of 3.62 seconds. It was much less than the fifth-rounder from Alabama expected.
The good news: Scott had five more punts left.
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Eventually, Scott put on a fireworks show on camp’s opening day, closing out his set with punts of 55 yards (4.46-second hang time), 55 (4.45), 60 (4.63), 60 (4.50) and 60 (4.69). It flashed the type of raw power that prompted general manager Brian Gutekunst to call Scott a “rare” talent this spring.
If it’s a sign of things to come, the distance Scott gets on his punts could help the Packers' defense immensely, flipping field position and pinning opposing offenses deep.
“My goal isn’t necessarily to hit just 60-yard punts,” Scott said. “My goal is more to put the ball in the right location, and to get the hang time. Then the distance is going to come.”
Take your pick
A day after training camp’s team drills started with a Kevin King interception that Aaron Rodgers disputed, coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t about to pick sides.
“I’m a head coach,” McCarthy quipped Friday. “So I thought it was an excellent play by both guys. I like the way Randall (Cobb) finished with the ball, but like the position that Kevin was in.”
King leaped over Cobb and was first to corral Rodgers’ deep pass Thursday, but the veteran Packers receiver wrestled away the football on the ground. Rodgers was adamant Cobb caught his pass, while King defended his interception.
If the result of that play was unclear, Friday offered some easier calls.
Rodgers tossed three picks in Friday’s practice, increasing his total through camp’s first two days to four. His lone drive in the two-minute drill ended on fourth-and-goal with a jump-ball pick to inside linebacker Blake Martinez. Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix also scooped an overthrown Rodgers pass before it touched the field, and inside linebacker Jake Ryan caught a deflection off running back Jamaal Williams’ hands.
The 2-minute drill was the most competitive part of practice and matched the No. 1s against the No. 1s, 2s against 2s and 3s against 3s.
The only unit to score on three attempts that started at the 35-yard line was the No. 3s led by quarterback DeShone Kizer. One play after hitting receiver Jake Kumerow for an 18-yard gain, Kizer laid a perfect ball into the hands of tight end Robert Tonyan in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
The score came with less than 10 seconds left.
On his series, Rodgers threw the interception to Martinez, and on his series Brett Hundley threw incomplete on fourth and 10 at the 25-yard line.