Green Bay Packers: Shaun Lewis

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have been holding a roster spot open ever since the end of the June minicamp, when they released injured running back Johnathan Franklin.

And even after signing first-year linebacker Korey Jones on Wednesday, they still have a roster spot available with two days remaining before players report to training camp. That's because they also waived rookie linebacker Shaun Lewis, an undrafted free agent they signed from Oklahoma State.

NFL teams are allowed to carry 90 players on their training camp roster.

Jones went to camp with the Arizona Cardinals last summer as an undrafted rookie but was released in the first round of roster cuts last August. He then signed with the B.C. Lions’ practice roster before being activated for the final two regular-season games plus the CFL playoffs.

The Cardinals listed him at 6-foot-2 and 233 pounds, although he was measured at 6-0.5, 230 at the combine and in his pro day workout before the 2013 draft. He played mostly inside linebacker in college at Wyoming, although he did play some snaps at defensive end.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Between now and the Green Bay Packers' first training camp practice on Saturday, we will break down each position group.

Next up, linebackers.

Peppers
Returning players: A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Mike Neal, Nate Palmer, Andy Mulumba, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington

Gone from last season: Victory Aiyewa, Robert Francois

New this season: Julius Peppers (free agent), Carl Bradford (fourth-round pick), Jake Doughty (undrafted rookie), Joe Thomas (undrafted rookie), Jayrone Elliott (undrafted rookie), Adrian Hubbard (undrafted rookie), Shaun Lewis (undrafted rookie)

Position coach: Winston Moss (ninth season)

Biggest issue: The Packers are banking on the 34-year-old Peppers to give them another pass-rushing threat. To do so, they plan to play him at outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. It's the first time they have had a bona fide pass-rushing threat opposite Matthews. What does that mean for Neal and Perry, who combined to play nearly 1,200 snaps at outside linebacker last season? Defensive coordinator Dom Capers might be wise to find a healthy rotation between Peppers, Perry and Neal in order to keep them fresh and effective.

Player to watch: The Packers gave Lattimore the lowest restricted free agent tender offer ($1.431 million), but that does not mean he's an afterthought. Capers would like to get the fourth-year pro more involved in certain packages even if he sticks with Hawk and Jones as his starting inside linebackers.

Matthews
Medical report: Matthews sat out all of the offseason practices while recovering from the second of two surgeries on his broken right thumb. Perry, who missed time last season because of foot and ankle injuries, also did not practice at all this offseason.

Help wanted: While there may not be any starting jobs up for grabs, the competition will be heated, especially at outside linebacker. In addition to Peppers, Matthews, Neal and Perry, the Packers have two other players -- Palmer and Mulumba -- who saw playing time last season. Combine that with the addition of Bradford and Hubbard, and it looks like a loaded group.

Quotable: "There’s only two guys on the field at a time, and it'll be the best two," Moss said of the outside linebackers. "Those other guys are going to have to fight for it. That's why we have an offseason. That's why we have a process. That's why we have a training camp. The guys that prove themselves and are reliable and make plays, they'll be the guys that are going to play."

Previous installments

July 14: Quarterbacks

July 15: Running backs

July 16: Receivers

July 17: Tight ends

July 18: Offensive line

July 21: Defensive line
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After looking at the Green Bay Packers' offensive depth chart on Monday, it's time to take a look at the defensive side of the ball.

Remember, this is an unofficial assessment, but it is based on observations during organized team activities and minicamp practices combined with interviews with assistant coaches and scouts.

Defensive line: Ends -- Datone Jones, Josh Boyd, Khyri Thornton, Jerel Worthy, Carlos Gray, Luther Robinson. Tackles -- B.J. Raji, Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion, Mike Pennel.

Notes: Raji, who returned on a one-year, $4 million contract, will move back to nose tackle in the base 3-4 defense. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers plans to pair Jones and Daniels together as the inside rushers in nickel and dime situations. Guion should provide some run-stopping bulk up front that was lost when the Packers chose not to re-sign Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly.

Outside linebackers: Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, Nick Perry, Carl Bradford, Andy Mulumba, Nate Palmer, Adrian Hubbard, Jayrone Elliott, Shaun Lewis.

Notes: The Packers plan to move around Peppers, but he played almost exclusively out of a two-point stance during OTAs and minicamp practices that were open. Matthews and Perry did not practice all offseason because of lingering injuries. Bradford, a fourth-round pick, flashed some pass-rush ability, while undrafted rookie Hubbard brings some added size (6-foot-6, 257 pounds) to the position.

Inside linebackers: A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Jamari Lattimore, Sam Barrington, Jake Doughty, Joe Thomas.

Notes: Linebackers coach Winston Moss insisted this offseason that Brad Jones remains one of the two starters despite an inconsistent 2013 season, and there was nothing in the offseason practices to suggest Jones' job is in jeopardy. However, the Packers want to get Lattimore more involved, so look for them to carve out a role for him.

Cornerbacks: Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Jarrett Bush, Demetri Goodson, Ryan White, Jumal Rolle.

Notes: The importance of Hayward's return from the hamstring injury that limited him to just three games last season was evident during minicamp, when the third-year cornerback picked off a pass in the end zone. The Packers remain high on House, who stepped in for Shields in the playoff game against the 49ers and performed well. Goodson, a sixth-round pick, brings athleticism to the group.

Safeties: Morgan Burnett, Micah Hyde, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Sean Richardson, Chris Banjo, Charles Clay, Tanner Miller.

Notes: Hyde, who played as a slot cornerback last season as a rookie, has looked natural in his conversion to safety and played ahead of Clinton-Dix, the first-round pick, with the defensive starters. Richardson also had a strong offseason.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's a look at what stood out from the Green Bay Packers' third open organized team activity of the offseason on Tuesday:

1. Rodgers impresses: No, not Aaron Rodgers, although the quarterback looks likes his old self. Tight end Richard Rodgers made more plays than perhaps any other rookie during the one hour and 40-minute practice. During one team period, he hauled in a pass from backup quarterback Scott Tolzien that was either lightly tipped or was thrown behind him. Either way, Rodgers reached back to bring in the ball while still keeping his momentum going down the field. Said coach Mike McCarthy of the rookie Rodgers: "Big-time catch today. I just think he's a natural in space. I'm excited to see him when we get into the in-line work into training camp, but as far as all of the movement, playing in space, picking up the scheme, I think Richard's off to a very good start."

2. An interception by a safety, really: For a team that failed to get a single interception from a safety all of last season (the only NFL team with such a dubious distinction in 2013), there was reason to get excited about Sean Richardson's play during a no-huddle team period. Richardson, who played in the final seven games last season in a reserve role after coming off PUP following neck surgery, intercepted an Aaron Rodgers' deep pass intended for Jarrett Boykin. Richardson said he still put some value on the play even though it was during a non-pads session because of the focus placed on taking the ball away and "because I dropped three interceptions since the OTAs started," he said.

3. Inside pass-rushing combo: It remains to be seen how defensive coordinator Dom Capers will line up his pass-rushers once Clay Matthews and Nick Perry return to practice, but it appears he likes the pairing of Datone Jones and Mike Daniels as inside pass-rushers. Those two have lined up in tandem often.

4. A scare for Hyde: Defensive back Micah Hyde, who continues to work with the number one defense at free safety, briefly left practice after getting shaken up but returned to the drills a short time later. First-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix got his first work with the defensive starters in Hyde's place the rest of that drill. The Packers do not give injury information during offseason workouts and Hyde was not available to reporters, but the injury (which appeared to be to his upper body) did not appear serious given that he returned to the field.

5. Sitton's back: A week after Josh Sitton was limited because of a sore back, he was back taking all the snaps at left guard with the starting offensive line.

6. Barclay on the move: Sitton's return meant Don Barclay, who filled in last week at left guard, was back with the number two offensive line at right tackle.

7. QB rotation: The quarterback rep counts during the team drills were distributed evenly among the top-three quarterbacks. In most team periods, Rodgers took four reps followed by four for Matt Flynn and three or four for Tolzien. Rookie Chase Rettig got very few team snaps. Typically in training camp, for every four reps for the starter, the top backup gets three and the third-stringer gets two.

8. Roll call, part 1: Tight end Colt Lyerla, defensive tackle B.J. Raji and defensive end Jerel Worthy all returned to OTAs after missing all or part of last week's sessions. Worthy, however, did not participate in practice. He missed the last two weeks after his grandmother was accidentally shot and killed. Tight end Brandon Bostick participated for the first time since he underwent foot surgery last December.

9. Roll call, part 2: Receiver Chris Harper (hamstring) joined the list of those not practicing, which included running back Johnathan Franklin, tight end Andrew Quarless, cornerback Jumal Rolle, Matthews and Perry.

10. Roster move: The Packers were back at the 90-man roster limit after signing rookie linebacker Shaun Lewis of Oklahoma State. Lewis was in Green Bay last month for the Packers' rookie orientation camp as a tryout player.

The Packers' next offseason session that is open to fans (weather permitting) and the media is June 17, the first of a three-day mandatory minicamp.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Normally, the list of tryout players the Green Bay Packers bring in for their rookie orientation camp does not have many recognizable names.

But former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla's named jumped off the page, given his talent level and highly publicized departure from the Ducks followed by a drug arrest.

Just about every year, the Packers end up signing a few of them to their 90-man offseason roster and some -- like receiver Jarrett Boykin and tight end Brandon Bostick -- make it all the way to the 53-man roster.

This year, there is even another tryout player from Bostick’s alma mater, Division II Newberry College.

"These tryout players, like I told them, there's not a whole lot difference between some of these tryout players and the guys that are here and have been drafted or have already signed a free agent contract," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Friday. "Some guy may have run a bad 40. One guy may be a little bit shorter, but they're all very good football players that are here for a reason. There's no lottery tickets that were laid out and you happen to get lucky to get into the room."

Here is the full list of tryout players, by position:

Offense

QB: Jacob Karam, Memphis
RB: James Sims, Kansas; Chris Rycraw, Ouachita Baptist
FB: Jeremy Eddington, Rice
WR: Nick Truesdell, Cincinnati; Wilson Van Hooser, Troy; Travis Van Leeuwen, Utah State; Cole Stanford, Cal Poly.
TE: Ike Ariguzo, Eastern Kentucky; Colt Lyerla, Oregon
OL: Jamal Ellis, G, Newberry; DaShawn Johnson, G, William Patterson; Theo Goins, G, Central Florida; Rico Forbes, T, Washington State

Defense
DL: Ted Ouellet, DE, Bowling Green; Luther Robinson, DE, Miami; LT Tuipulotu, DT, Utah
LB: Cole Klotz, Wisconsin-Whitewater; Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland; Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State; Nate Dreiling, Pittsburg State; Brandon Denmark, Florida A&M
CB: Charles Clay, Hawaii
S: Demetruce McNeal, West Alabama; Greg Worthy, Furman

Special teams
K: Vincenzo D’Amato, California
P: Paul Layton, Temple
LS: Bryan Whitaker, Youngstown State

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