Packers notes: Kenny Clark relishing run-stuffing role
GREEN BAY - On a day when Aaron Rodgers’ no-look touchdown pass overshadowed everything else, Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark’s one-armed tackle was worth remembering.
In the Packers' run-oriented combo drill, Clark was unblocked in the backside A-gap after running a stunt with inside linebacker Blake Martinez. It’s unclear whether the Packers' offensive line blew an assignment, but if they were counting on a defensive tackle being unable to chase down the play, they were wrong.
Clark chased down Packers running back Jamaal Williams and, before he could get out of the backfield, tackled him with one arm.
“Once the offensive line started flowing that way,” Clark said, “I knew where the play was going. Once I planted my foot in the ground, he was almost into the line. I just had to get a good angle, the best angle I could, and try to make that play.”
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The tackle showed a glimpse of what the Packers might expect from their third-year defensive tackle this season. Clark had a solid second season, finishing with 4.5 sacks – all of them coming in the season’s final month. But Clark said his “bread and butter” is being a run stopper.
“I feel like I’m comfortable,” Clark said. “I feel like things are coming to me way slower than they ever were. Now it’s just up to me just to put all that stuff together and make plays when my number is called.
“I want to be a great player in the league.”
Rookie punter JK Scott boomed some punts during practice reaching a high of 4.93 seconds in hang time.
He had only two punts that were under 4.4 seconds and had four that were in the 4.8-second range punting some against a full rush and some against a half rush.
Scott started focusing more on hang time during his senior year at Alabama and is continuing to do so. He said he does not have a set hang time he expects to reach on average over the course of the season.
“I wouldn’t say I’m looking at those numbers,” Scott said. “If I can get that ball in the right place and my steps are right, then the hang time should take care of itself.
“That’s what coach (Nick) Saban instilled in me at Alabama. He’s so big on the process. Don’t look at the scoreboard. Do everything you can do on your play and everything should take care of itself. That’s my mentality.”
Scott said punting in front of 70,000 people Saturday night at the Lambeau Field practice won’t be a big deal. He has punted in conference and national championship games and said he is able to tune out the crowd.
“I remember my first punt at Alabama. I was thinking about before the game, ‘Is this going to affect me?’” Scott said. “When I went out on the field and looked and saw everyone lined up in front of me, the same as practice, it just felt so normal. You kind of forget about everything else.”
Words of encouragement
In Cincinnati, a reporter asked receiver A.J. Green what he thought about former teammate Jake Kumerow, who has had an impressive start to training camp here.
Kumerow was on the Bengals’ practice squad for two seasons.
“I love Jake,” Green said. “Jake was one of the guys I really formed a great relationship with when he was here, a guy that worked his butt off, great hands, sneaky fast.
“Put him in a system and just let him run around. He has great hands so I know he would have a great camp.”
Asked whether Kumerow could make a team, Green said, “I think so. I think so and I think he will.”