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Packers: ESPN at Training Camp

Jclombardi reviews ESPN’s visit to Packers training camp.

Guest senior writer jclombardi @

Espn observations at Packers training camp:

1. McCarthy expects a big reduction in the 51 sacks the Packers allowed in 2009 during an 11-5 season. First-round pick Bulaga has been so impressive that instead of just learning the left tackle position behind veteran Clifton, he is competing to be the starting left guard.

2. The unsung player on offense is right guard Sitton entering his third season. The Packers believe he is a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

3. Special teams play was such a weakness last season that McCarthy has emphasized it in camp. There’s been no lack of tackling in practice, and officials have been asked to monitor penalties that plagued the unit in ’09.

4. Packers tickled with the move of last year’s top pick Raji to nose tackle. They like their depth with defensive tackle Pickett and defensive end Jenkins, and are high on rookie defensive end Neal.

5. Linebacker Hawk, short of lofty expectations as a former first-round pick, is having his best camp. He looks lean and quick.

6. LB Matthews, recovering from a hamstring injury, flipped to left outside linebacker to add to the disruption Jenkins can cause at right defensive end.

7. While CB Harris recovers from ACL surgery, the cornerback competition has allowed young defenders to shine, including a physical Underwood and a very speedy undrafted rookie Shield.

8. DC Capers had an tremendous statistical impact in his first season; McCarthy and Capers just want fewer breakdowns against big-time veteran passers who burned the Packers in crucial games last season.

9. Safety Collins, one of the league’s best, is also schooling rookie S Burnett, a third-rounder who has a chance to contribute in the secondary.

Coach McCarthy Interview


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