Legendary senior writer jclombardi reports Sunday night training camp news.
Photo: LB Bishop is back. John Klein MJS.
1. Desmond Bishop, John Kuhn, Mike Daniels, Marc Tyler, and Tori Gurley returned to Sunday night practice. BM at the MJS observed how important LB Bishop to the Packers defense:
Bishop made his 2012 debut in pads. The difference in intensity was palpable. With A.J. Hawk given the night off, Bishop's physicality and violent streak stood out. The first time he hit someone, one of the defensive linemen acting as a guinea-pig ball carrier fumbled. Later, in team drills, Bishop slammed into the back of rookie FB Nic Cooper on an overthrown pass in the flat.Bishop has that linebacker's maniacal look in his eye. Bishop is far from mid-season form. Although he was right on top of TE Tom Crabtree on a seam pattern, he was unable to prevent the 20-yard TD pass. The Packers better hope Bishop's calf problems are a thing of the past.
2. Several veterans had the night off including Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver,Ryan Pickett, Jeff Saturday, Jarrett Bush, Anthony Hargrove, Charles Woodson, and A.J. Hawk. Marshall Newhouse and Greg Jennings were absent due to concussions suffered in Friday night's intrasquad scrimmage. They may be out for the entire week, including the preseason San Diego game.
3. Inside linebacker D. J. Smith played in the absence of Hawk. As the Weston H. of the GBPG said, "In his absence, linebacker D.J. Smith continued to play well and figures to have roles in the first-team nickel and dime defensive packages moving forward." From a year ago, the Packers now have quality depth at the inside linebackers positions. As Tyler Dunne of MJS observed:
Smith and Lattimore could give Capers some more flexibility. Bishop and Hawk don't need to take all base, nickel and dime snaps this season. Lattimore may be able to provide speed inside to rush the passer, while Smith says he is more comfortable handling calls and running the defense.
4. Backup rookie tackle Andrew Datko had rough night. Backup journeyman tackle Herb Taylor had an on-and-off night. Datko had problems with OLB Erik Walden. Taylor got abused by DL Jerel Worthy and OLB Dezman Moses.
5. Number two quarterback Graham Harrell had a generally solid night. Harrell completed a 45 yard back-shouldered touchdown pass along the sideline to WR Nelson. On the next drive, he completed six of eight passes throwing a scoring touchdown pass to TE Tom Crabtree. Later, he completed a long pass to James Jones. His only mistake was one huge overthrown pass that rookie CB Casey Hayward dropped for an potential interception.
6. RB Brandon Saine is having a good camp especially as a receiver. McCarthy: “Brandon Saine is Mr. Consistent. He does it every day. He’s such a pro for a young player. He’s strictly business. He’s made the gains from Year 1 to Year 2.”'
7. As mentioned earlier, LB Jamari Lattimore is another promising second year man. McCarthy: “I think Jamari’s a little more natural more inside than outside. He’s another individual from Year 1 to Year 2 that has made a jump.”
8. Rookies DL Jerel Worthy and OLB Nick Perry continue to make progress improving their defensive pro skills including pass rushing. Worthy beat-up on Taylor, had one sack, and knocked down a pass. Perry overcame OT Bulaga with a power rush in one-on-one drills.