Among the blue chip performers at today's morning session at Packers training camp:
- Defensive tackle Daniel Muir batted down a pass by quarterback Matt Flynn during a team 11-on-11 portion of practice. As the defensive tackle position seemingly gets thinner by the minute, it's imperative that Muir steps up to become a force on the defensive line. After seeing spot duty during his rookie season, he's sure of becoming part of the regular rotation along the defensive line in his sophomore year.
- Safeties Atari Bigby and Tyrone Culver stole the show in a two-minute drill. Bigby stripped the ball from wide receiver James Jones in what should have been a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Culver also batted away a pass in the redzone. The guys at the Green Bay Press-Gazette describe, "During the second team two-minute drill, Brian Brohm led the offense to the 7 yard line, but with 1 second showing on the clock, Brohm’s pass into the end zone intended for receiver Jordy Nelson fell incomplete when safety Tyrone Culver knocked it away."
- Head coach Mike McCarthy deserves blue chip status for keeping selected veterans off the playing field during the first practice on a two-a-day schedule. Among them: tackles Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton; cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Al Harris; receiver Donald Driver; defensive linemen Aaron Kampman, Ryan Pickett and Kabeer Gbaja Biamila; andlinebacker Nick Barnett. The evening portion of practice is always the most important of the two as the team goes with only shells in the morning but pads in the evening. There's no need expose the valuable veterans to injury.
- Defensive coordinator Bob Sanders for allowing Brady Poppinga to use his strengths to his advantage. Poppinga was seen lined up in a three point stance at left defensive end. "McCarthy said that’s a reflection of defensive coordinator Bob Sanders expansion of his scheme, but that the implementation of Poppinga as a hand-down rusher – or any other unique sub-packages -- is something that would be based on matchups," reports the Press-Gazette.
- Cornerback Will Blackmon is sat out of practice because of soreness in his previously injured right foot despite not having a day off from practice on Thursday. According to the Press-Gazette, McCarthy did not express concern about the injury. "McCarthy said the report from athletic trainer Pepper Burruss was positive and that Blackmon feels good," said the newspaper reporters. We'll reserve further judgement until we get more information. Perhaps the Packers are just being cautious with a player that could contribute this season. If Blackmon goes tonight, all the better.
- Running back DeShawn Wynn sat out practice because of an concussion sustained during practice Wednesday night. If the second year back wants to make the final roster, he's got to be on the field. A concussion is a serious matter, and it's hard to blame Wynn for not practicing, but so far he's been a player who can't avoid injury.