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Packers OTAs: Changes and Sweat

May 19, 2010

Photo by Mark Hoffman

The Packers kicked off Organized Team Activities today, and it was chock-full of action and surprise. Then again, we’re only talking about practice.

Let’s start with a Justin Harrell sighting. He was a full-participant for the first time since…well, ever? Lori Nickel caught up with the fourth-year defensive end, who summarized his tenure in Green Bay as follows:

“I really haven’t done anything since I’ve been here…I’m just trying to go out every day and just work as hard as I can. I’m doing what I can and we’ll see what happens.”

After three years of injured-reserve, if Harrell can find a way to contribute on an already talented defensive line, it would simply be icing on the cake. There has been talk of cutting ties with the oft-injured lineman, but if he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, the coaching staff would have to be thrilled with any contribution he could provide.

Also of note were a few positional changes today, some more surprising than others. First, last year’s first-round pick, Busari Raji Junior (more commonly known as “B.J.”) and Ryan Pickett switched positions. In the base defense, Raji will play nose tackle and Pickett will play left defensive end. How do they feel about it? Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press Gazette explains:

“It’s a big adjustment,” Pickett said. “I kind of liked the nose spot, but this is what’s best to help the team, so.  At nose tackle, I think B.J. will help the team.

“At first, I was like, ‘ah I don’t like it,’ but then I started thinking ‘they’re right.’ I can actually play either one, and I think B.J. will be a great nose.”

Raji said he was excited about the switch.

“It’s awesome,” Raji said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Where does that leave last year’s starting defensive end, Johnny Jolly? Well, he is yet to sign his restricted free agent tender, so he did not attend practice today, and his trial on possession of codeine is scheduled to start on Friday in Houston. In other words, I have no idea where that leaves Mr. Jolly.

Based on Pickett’s comments, it sounds like he was toeing the company line. Good for him, he’s always been a professional. It also sounds like Pickett has officially become a Wisconsinite. My proof? He finished a sentence with the word “so.”

The other roster moves were somewhat less significant. Will Blackmon was moved to safety and Jarrett Bush is no longer a safety and a cornerback; he is only a cornerback.

Finally, I’ll leave you with the tweet of the day from QB1: Aaron Rodgers:

Good couple days of OTA’s. The weathers been amazing. Days like today I’m thankful tausch isn’t my center. He sweats a whole lot haha

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2010 7:51 pm

    Max,

    Bush is now strictly a corner, according to Greg Bedard…

  2. May 19, 2010 8:17 pm

    Thanks, Al. And thank goodness for the “edit” button.

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