If B.J. Raji (shown here in a file photo) is as disruptive against the run all season as he was Wednesday, the Packers defense will improve greatly in 2014.
Benny Sieu/Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
8:20 a.m. (Total: 2 hours, 36 minutes)
Movin’ On Up:
NT B.J. Raji
A permanent move back to nose tackle is apparently just what B.J. Raji needed to revitalize his career. This wasn’t the first day in training camp that Raji has performed at a very high level, as he went 3-0 on Monday during one-on-one pass-rushing drills.
In Wednesday’s practice, Raji dominated in stopping the run. During an early one-on-one run-stopping/run-blocking drill against the offensive line, he destroyed rookie center Corey Linsley and also beat presumed starting center JC Tretter. Later in the team run period, Raji blew up the play by immediately pushing his way into the backfield. Toward the end of practice in team red zone, the very first snap saw Raji push Tretter at least five yards backward to force Eddie Lacy to change directions. After exerting so much energy in stopping the run, Raji didn’t have a good day as a pass-rusher during a one-on-one period (he won only 1 of 4 matchups), but if he’s as disruptive against the run all season as he was Wednesday, the Packers defense will improve greatly.
"B.J.’s in great shape," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Some of the things we’ve changed, not really changed, but what we’re emphasizing in B.J.’s particular job responsibility, I think he does very natural. And if you ever want to get a center ready, B.J. Raji and Josh Boyd are your guys because they definitely present a challenge to covering up a center."
So You Had A Bad Day:
Punt returner / wide receiver Myles White
There are bad days, and then there’s the day that Myles White had. While he was fine in his responsibilities as a receiver, his opportunities as a punt returner were disastrous.
White muffed a punt return, drawing a few reactions from the assembled crowd. He caught his next one but then followed it up by dropping another two in a row. By the third muffed punt, White was swearing loudly while the crowd jeered.
The Packers kept giving White chances, and he did end on a high note. When he caught the next punt following the two consecutive drops, White received a Bronx cheer from the crowd. He successfully fielded two more as the crowd continued to react, at that point in a more positive manner, though.
– Morgan Burnett left practice early with a tweaked ankle. This gave many opportunities for Micah Hyde and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to pair together as the starting safeties.
– Burnett is also usually a member of the special teams. Without him, the Packers punt coverage unit consisted of: Jarrett Bush and Davon House as the gunners with Brandon Bostick, Brad Jones, Nate Palmer, Jamari Lattimore, Micah Hyde, Clinton-Dix and James Starks. Brett Goode, as always, was snapping to Tim Masthay.
– Masthay had a very good day punting the ball. His first one had good hang time and was fair-caught at the 5-yard line, with his next one looking similar and landing at the 8-yard line.
– T.J. Lang continues to be limited, only taking the first snap at right guard of each drill. Don Barclay then subs in for him.
– Bostick got all of the work with the starting offense and performed well. Though he admitted to a mental error on a red zone play (one that Aaron Rodgers let him hear about), Rodgers went to Bostick on the very next play by connecting for a touchdown in tight coverage.
– Linsley won all three of his matchups during the one-on-one pass block/rush drill.
– Bush nearly had an interception in the end zone along the sideline, but Jarrett Boykin ripped it out of his hands. By the time the exchange happened, Boykin was out of bounds, so it wasn’t a touchdown, but it did save a turnover. Boykin flexed at Bush after the play.
– Davon House flashed on a play that otherwise would have been a touchdown from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. House broke on the ball quickly and batted it away just before it could reach Nelson’s hands. Lattimore hyped up House after the play, yelling towards the field about the victory that his defensive teammate just claimed over the star receiver.
– With a day off in between, this was the Packers’ second padded practice in a row.
– The regeneration / TV timeout songs that played loudly over the speakers were: Toby Keith – "American Ride" — Pearl Jam, "The Fixer" — Vampire Weekend, "Diane Young" — Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"