The open portion of the Packers’ OTAs have come to a close. The team will be finishing up this week and then come back for mandatory minicamp June 17-19. Training camp will open up on July 26 so it will be a while before we see the Green and Gold together again. As this part of the off season comes to a close I’d like to offer a few observations.
1. Colt Lyerla- everything that you would want to hear pertaining to Lyerla since joining the Packers you’ve heard. He referred to the “troubles” he had at Oregon as a low point in his life. He’s also expressed a real appreciation for the opportunity he’s been give in Green Bay.
“I feel like I have a new home,” Lyerla said. “I was kind of lost for a little while, but being here and being accepted here is truly great.”
Not only is Lyerla saying all the right things but it would appear that he’s also walking the walk. It’s been reported on more than one occasion that Lyerla has been the last one to leave the practice field, getting in as much work as he can every day.
— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) June 10, 2014
The athleticism and talent of Lyerla has never been in question and if he can continue to toe the company line, I am steadfast in my opinion that he’s a top 50 talent in this year’s crop of players.
2. Micah Hyde- the coaches really believe in him. Press conference after press conference and interview after interview the coaching staff continues to talk about how they feel they need to find a place on the field for Hyde as much as possible. It appears that it might be a difficult task. The Packers are very good at cornerback. Their top three players are all solid players and with the exception of Casey Hayward (who might come back as the best nickel CB in football) are highly invested in.
The original idea to get Hyde on the field was to possibly ask him to help solve the problem at safety. With Sean Richardson coming on in OTAs and the team using their first round pick on Alabama’s HaHa Clinton-Dix there might not be snaps there either. Unfortunately with this team it may all be a moot point as Hyde will probably seamlessly slide into the game plan when someone gets hurt. As far as when the whole defense is healthy (lol, good one, right?) I’d maybe like to see him play a little linebacker in a hybrid nickel/dime scenario playing next to Hawk or Jones as he is such a willing tackler.
3. Matthews and Peppers- I would say that one interesting strategy tidbit that I’ve gleaned (and this might be looking too much into a small comment) is that it would appear the these two are going to play across from each other. Both superstars have made comments about never having played with a player of the others caliber across from him.
I had quietly wondered whether the Packers were going to use them across from each other or if they were going to team up a la Justin and Aldon Smith. Playing these two guys across from each other is certainly going to put a strain on offensive tackles but it’s also going to put pressure on guys like Mike Daniels and Datone Jones to be able to win against the one on one matchups that might come if the two stars on the outside require extra attention.