Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Seen and heard at Packers' minicamp
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's a look at what stood out from the Green Bay Packers' minicamp practice on Tuesday:
1. Hayward's return: Casey Hayward played like it was 2012, when he led all NFL rookies with six interceptions. After a lost 2013 season in which Hayward was limited to only three games (and no interceptions) because of a recurring hamstring injury, which first occurred on the eve of training camp, Hayward has taken part in the entire offseason program and looks to be back to his rookie form. During a play from the defense's 15-yard line during red zone period, Hayward made a leaping interception in the end zone on a corner route that may have been slightly underthrown by Matt Flynn for tight end Richard Rodgers.
"I told him today, don't go pulling a hamstring the day before he's supposed to come to training camp," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said after practice.
2. Tolzien's progress: On back-to-back plays during the final team period of practice, backup quarterback Scott Tolzien completed a deep out to Myles White and then threw a rocket on a seam route that rookie Jared Abbrederis snagged. They were among Tolzien's most impressive throws of the offseason and could be a sign that he is poised to launch a legitimate run at Flynn and the No. 2 job this summer.
"He's made improvements throughout the course of the whole camp," quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said of Tolzien, "which is what you'd expect to see."
3. Matthews eases in: Clay Matthews was not an official participant in practice but near the end he jumped into a drill during a position group period. He did not wear a helmet but did some light drill work. He did not have any protection on his twice-broken right thumb.
"Clay is coming along," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He's still part of the group that's not practicing."
4. Cool Crosby: Mason Crosby was perfect on seven field goals during a special teams period. He hit from 33, 36, 40, 43, 45, 50 and 53 yards on a breezy day. The Packers have no plans to bring another kicker to training camp like they did last season, when Crosby was coming off his worst year in 2012. So far, he looks to be in the same form as last season, when he made 33-of-37 field goals.
"We've got to maintain this and not outkick ourselves and be fresh and explosive week to week," special teams coach Shawn Slocum said.
7. Roll call, part 2: Left guard Josh Sitton did not attend practice. McCarthy said Sitton had been excused.
8. Wednesday's activity: McCarthy has a practice on the schedule for Wednesday but given that it is closed to the public, it is expected that he will take the team on a non-football team-building exercise like he typically does during minicamp. The next practice open to the public is Thursday.