Lyerla struggling on the catch

Pete Dougherty
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Green Bay Packers tight end Colt Lyerla (46) runs drills during OTAs at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

Rookie tight end Colt Lyerla has all the physical traits of an uncommonly athletic tight end but hasn't caught the ball well in the first week of training camp.

On the first day of camp, Lyerla dropped the only two throws to him in team drills, and for several days thereafter he had limited work and few passes thrown his way in 11 on 11. Then in the last two practices he's had several receptions but few clean catches.

On Friday, for instance, he caught two touchdown passes from backup quarterback Matt Flynn in red-zone drills. But on the second, a two-yarder, he juggled the ball momentarily before cradling it with no defensive player particularly close to him.

Lyerla is trying to make the roster as an undrafted rookie and has been working at the bottom of the team's seven-man depth chart at tight end.

"Physically (Lyerla) has got great explosion in his hips and legs, he's got a strong upper body," said Jerry Fontenot, the Packers' tight ends coach. "The guy that I saw on tape is pretty much the guy we got.

"Something we'll continually work on is hand-eye coordination, as we work on with everybody in our group. For him particularly, that's one area he needs to focus on. We do it at the end of practice primarily. Whenever he gets the opportunity he has to make the most of it. Unfortunately the first day it didn't go so well, but he's been able to come back somewhat from that."

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