It doesn't get better than an OTA roundup
May, 30, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Let's round up some newsbits on the open organized team activities (OTAs) hosted Wednesday by the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings:
- Bears offensive lineman Gabe Carimi confirmed that he practiced Tuesday but said the decision to sit out Wednesday is part of a larger recovery plan for his right knee. Carimi, via ESPNChicago.com: "We're taking it slow right now. I feel like I'm explosive off it right now, and hopefully we'll keep on progressing."
- Receiver Devin Hester suggested he can do a lot of damage with just a little more attention in the Bears offense. The team's plan for a "Hester Package," he told reporters, is "Just getting the athlete the ball. Getting the guy who you know can do a lot of damage with the ball in his hands ... getting him the ball regularly. I can go a season with 40 catches ... the way the offense is designed I only need about 40 to 50 catches and I can get close to 800 or 900 yards receiving. With this offense you might not have a lot of balls but you're going to have a lot of big plays."
- Packers receiver Donald Driver was in uniform for Wednesday's practice and defiantly rebuffed suggestions that he might not make the 2012 roster, despite a newly renegotiated contract. Driver, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "People talk about how this is a young man's game. But I have proven that age is just a number. And I haven't declined. People talk about, well, I didn’t have 1,000 yards. I didn’t have 80 catches. I don't control who throws the ball. Every ball I caught, it was amazing. I made amazing catches, amazing runs. Hopefully when it is all said and done, people will look at that as the game plays, not the age."
- Coach Mike McCarthy didn't discount the possibility that the Packers could keep six receivers in 2012, according to the team website.
- New Packers defensive lineman Phillip Merling did not participate in practice but will on Thursday. McCarthy said: "We'll have him involved in everything tomorrow and see where he is. He's added competition at the defensive line group. We feel he's a good fit for a 3-4 and the sub groups. You can't have enough big guys on your football team and we have excellent competition on the defensive line."
- High upon a hill overlooking the Vikings' practice field, there was some serious talent. Tailback Adrian Peterson (knee) and receiver Percy Harvin (shoulder) got a little competitive during a conditioning drill that goes with their injury participation. The players would jog to the base of the hill and then sprint up it. Harvin admitted that Peterson, who is just about five months removed from surgery, beat him twice. "He's amazing," Harvin said. "I told him the other day that I don't think he's human."
- The only veterans missing from Vikings OTAs this week are linebacker Chad Greenway, who is dealing with a family issue, and defensive end Jared Allen. Typically, Allen does not attend voluntary sessions, but coach Leslie Frazier said he hoped to see him in Minnesota next week. Harvin has been an inconsistent attendee in the past but said he made a point to be in town this year.
- It's rare to see a healthy player walk away from the game, but that's what it appears Vikings cornerback Asher Allen did last week. Allen was a third-round draft choice in 2009 and started 21 games over the past three years before walking into Frazier's office and announcing his decision. Allen, 24, suffered a concussion last season but didn't mention health as a reason for retiring, according to Frazier. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall after the Vikings signed veterans Zackary Bowman and Chris Carr this offseason while also drafting cornerback Josh Robinson in the third round. In three years, Allen earned about $1.95 million, including a $725,500 signing bonus.