Takeaways from the First Day of Packers Training Camp


Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones works on a drill during opening day of training camp at Nitschke Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

The Green Bay Packers training camp is officially under way, and we’ll be providing you with the latest news and updates of the roster competition during the coming days and weeks.

Here is what we can take away from the first practice of the 2013 training camp. We’ll try to provide updates every few days to keep you informed on how the roster is taking shape, so check in with us on a regular basis. (Reports courtesy of Tyler Dunne and Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Training Camp Day 1

Green Bay Dealing with Injuries Already

Green Bay is already dealing with some notable injuries. DuJuan Harris, Mike Neal, and Casey Hayward are all in danger of missing the first couple weeks of camp due to injury. It looks like the Packers are taking precautions with Harris after he underwent surgery in the offseason to remove a cyst from his chest. Neal (abdomen) and Hayward (hamstring) are both dealing with injuries they suffered during personal workouts and will be sidelined the next couple of weeks and may even miss the preseason opener. 

Micah Hyde Impresses

With Hayward and House sitting out with injuries, Micah Hyde got a lot of work in today with the second team defense. According to McCarthy, Hyde looked impressive and was one of the players that really stood out in practice. He batted down a few passes and demonstrated excellent cover skills for a rookie defensive back during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 team drills. Maybe he’ll be a dark horse for the cornerback competition this year.

Don Barclay (67) works on a drill during opening day of training camp at Nitschke Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Datone Jones’s Starting in Nickel Defense

First round pick Datone Jones seems to be the early favorite to start at one of the defensive line spots alongside B.J. Raji in the nickel package. Jones could bring some pass rush to the interior defensive line. Something the Packers have been missing since losing Cullen Jenkins two seasons ago. This is where Jones could really make his mark this season. We’ll see if Jones holds this spot once Neal returns from injury.

Don Barclay Getting Work at Center

As of now, Don Barclay is taking snaps at right tackle with the second unit. He also took some snaps at center today. Barclay could provide depth at a thin position on the offensive line and be a swingman on game day who could sub in at right tackle, guard, or center.

James Starks and Alex Green Have Strong Starts to Camp

Alex Green was the Packers starting running back to open camp. This will most likely be the case until the rookie backs are up to speed with the playbook, but early reports show that Green looked impressive in passing drills. James Starks was also reported as coming out with a strong performance on the first day. Starks appeared to be in top shape and ran with some enthusiasm. If both Green and Starks have good camps the situation at running back could get real interesting.

M.D. Jennings works on ball drills during opening day of training camp at Nitschke Field. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Jennings Begins Camp Ahead of McMillian at Safety

M.D. Jennings started over Jerron McMillian with the first team defense to begin camp. He seems to be the more reliable choice at this point, but McMillian could push Jennings with a strong camp. We’ll continue monitoring this situation closely.

Young Receivers Struggle with Drops

There were a number of drops from the young receivers during team drills today. Charles Johnson, Kevin Dorsey, and Myles White were all credited with drops during practice. A lot of wide receivers will be fighting for just a few available spots on the roster, so they need to make the most out of every opportunity. Granted it’s the first day of camp, but drafted rookies Johnson and Dorsey missed most of OTAs because of injury so they can’t afford to have poor performances in camp.