The biggest surprise of the first week of the Packers OTAs has to be second-year outside linebacker Jeremy Thompson. The Wake Forest product has been working out with the first-team defense, a unit that consisted of B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, and Cullen Jenkins on the defensive line; Aaron Kampman, Brandon Chillar, A.J. Hawk, and Thompson at linebackers; Tramon Williams, Al Harris, Aaron Rouse, and Atari Bigby in the secondary. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said not to pay any attention to where players are now, with good reason, as projected starters Nick Collins, Charles Woodson, and Nick Barnett are not participating in camp, and rookie Clay Matthews was held out of practice with a hamstring injury.
This means there is so much more turnover that has to be expected with the depth chart, but at least all of the players with the exception of Thompson were expected to work with the first team defense at some point. Thompson rarely saw the field in his rookie season and now appears to be making a case to be taken seriously on defense and not just a special-teamer.
Linebackers coach Kevin Greene on Thompson:
“Jeremy Thompson brings a lot to the table. He’s very athletic, very athletic. He’s very fluid. His fluidity at outside backer is going to obviously be a plus.”
Greene was one of the best, so you know he has to like what he sees. I like Thompson. Wake guys are usually pretty intelligent, and Thompson really seems like he could be a plus to the defense in 2009 if he keeps his improved performance up.
Topics: A.J. Hawk, Aaron Kampman, Aaron Rouse, Al Harris, Atari Bigby, B.J. Raji, Brandon Chillar, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Cullen Jenkins, Dom Capers, Jeremy Thompson, Nick Barnett, Nick Collins, Ryan Pickett, Tramon Williams