The Green Bay Packers officially kicked off OTA’s on Monday, May 23rd and had practices on the 23rd, the 24th and the 26th. They will resume again May 31-June 1, June 3rd, June 13-14 and June 16th. Mandatory minicamp will take place from June 7-9.
The Packers have had three of these OTA practices so far. Andy Herman did a nice job of recapping the main news and notes from this last week. His video will be posted on the bottom of the article but here is a recap of what Herman said.
1) Ten Packers players were not present for OTA’s
Aaron Rodgers highlighted the group of players who did not attend Week 1 of OTA’s. These practices are voluntary, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the 18 year veteran was not in attendance. Other notable players who were not there are Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Marcedes Lewis, Jaire Alexander, Preston Smith, Rashan Gary and Rasul Douglas.
As Herman pointed out, it’s fair to question whether Rodgers’ absence could negatively impact the development and chemistry between QB1 and the young wide receivers, like Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Amari Rodgers. However, he also made a point that these receivers more than likely have their heads swimming just attempting to learn the playbook, let alone starting to develop chemistry with Rodgers. It’s been said that WR is the most difficult position to learn in Matt LaFleur’s offense, so it’s fair to assume that the young trio of wide receivers have plenty on their plate already, even with Rodgers’ absence.
2) Five players did not practice during OTA’s
David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Kylin Hill, Robert Tonyan and Dean Lowry were all present for OTA’s but did not practice. Video clips of Hill, Tonyan and Jenkins showed encouraging signs of a positive step in recovery from their serious injuries in 2021.
3) TJ Slaton looks to make a Leap
The Packers second year Defensive Tackle from University of Florida, TJ Slaton, appears to look really good this spring and may be ready to take a big leap from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign. Herman notes how Packers.com reporter Larry McCarren has really liked what he’s seen so far out of Slaton’s development.
4) Offense in OTA’s
QB Jordan Love received first team reps in OTA’s with Aaron Rodgers’ absence. Love said he has “more confidence and greater comfort” in the Packers system. Additionally, rookie WR’s Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs were running with the first team. On the offensive line, the first team group from left to right was Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Royce Newman and Cole Van Lanen. The second team group was Nijman, Runyan, Myers, Jake Hanson and Newman.
5) Special Teams
New Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia brought fire and intensity to the first week of OTA’s. Players like Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon and De’Vondre Campbell were seen on special teams units. Getting reps at punt return were Amari Rodgers, Randall Cobb and Romeo Doubs.
6) Other Tidbits
*Head Coach Matt LaFleur spoke about his excitement for TE Tyler Davis, the former college Quarterback. He has been impressive this off-season.
*Darnell Savage, who the Packers picked up his 5th year rookie option on, made a few splash plays during OTA’s.
*It was announced that the Packers and Saints will hold joint practices in Green Bay, prior to their Week 2 preseason game in August.
Those are the main takeaways from Week 1 of Packers OTA’s. For a full breakdown on the points above, most can be heard in Andy Herman’s video below.
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\’s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.