What to watch in Week 2 of Packers' OTAs

June, 3, 2014
6/03/14
8:00
AM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers will hold their second open practice of their organized team activities on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. local time.

It will be outside on Ray Nitschke Field and open to fans (weather permitting) and reporters (rain or shine).

Here are some things to keep an eye on:

1. Davante Adams and Khyri Thornton: The rookie pair missed last week’s OTA sessions because they were selected to attend the NFL's annual Rookie Premier in Los Angeles. Coach Mike McCarthy did not sound too happy about it. "My understanding is the rookie premiere is part of the CBA contract, and I won't touch that with a long telephone pole," he said. "That's part of the legal counsel. I have no opinion on that stuff. Do I like that they're missing practice? No, I don't like that they're missing practice. I don't understand it either, but that's part of a contract.” Approximately 40 rookies participated in the event. Adams, a second-round pick from Fresno State, is expected to compete for the No. 3 receiver spot. Thornton, a third-round pick from Southern Miss, is expected to provide depth on the defensive line.

2. Rookie roles: Last week, there wasn't a single rookie who worked with the No. 1 offense or defense. At some point, that will change. Could it be this week? The Packers will no doubt begin to integrate first-round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- and likely several others -- into the mix with the starters. However, when OTAs opened last week, Micah Hyde took all the reps with the starters at free safety. The second-year defensive back is working at safety for the first time after playing cornerback last year as a rookie.

3. Quarterback competition: The Packers believe they are in a better situation behind Aaron Rodgers than they were last year at this time, when Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman were battling for the backup job. This year, they have a proven capable backup in Matt Flynn, who went 2-2 in four starts last season. And if Scott Tolzien develops like the Packers believe he can, then there might be a legitimate competition for the No. 2 job later this summer. The Packers also have a fourth quarterback, Boston College undrafted rookie Chase Rettig, on the roster. McCarthy has said he would like to take four quarterbacks to training camp.

4. Running back rotation: It might be the deepest group of running backs the Packers have had in McCarthy's nine season as head coach, but there's still plenty to sort out behind starter Eddie Lacy. James Starks was productive -- and finally healthy for the most part -- last season in a limited role that suited him well. But DuJuan Harris, who missed all of last season because of a knee injury, is back and practicing at full speed. There's also still hope for Johnathan Franklin, a fourth-round pick last season who did not practice last week and is coming off a neck injury that landed him on injured reserve last December. It's tough to judge running backs in these non-pads practices, but you can sometimes get a feel for how they're planning to use them.

5. Return duties: The Packers are not a team with the luxury of a proven kick returner -- unless they want to use receiver Randall Cobb, and there is no reason to think that they do. They liked what Hyde gave them in the punt return game last year, but they are sure to put several players through return tryouts this summer. Among the recent draft picks who could do it include receivers Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis plus cornerback Demetri Goodson. Look for them to get extended reps during OTAs.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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