One: The Big Deal
At training camp, it tends to be all about the flavor of the month.
Then there's 37-year-old Donald Driver. The old pro has beaten plenty of double teams in his amazing career, but he's in the fight for his football life as he tries to keep Gurley, Borel and Father Time at bay.
Driver was the Packers' best receiver in the playoff game against the Giants and he was the best receiver on the field on Tuesday.
During a red-zone drill, Driver toasted the toast of training camp, Davon House, on a corner route for an easy touchdown from Aaron Rodgers. A few plays later, Driver lined up in the slot, got inside Jarrett Bush and caught a rocket from Rodgers for another touchdown. Later, Driver punctuated a successful two-minute drill by catching an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers in front of Morgan Burnett.
"Nope," Driver said when we asked him whether he's driven by the young competition. "I can't control what they do. I only can control me. I'm not driven to try to prove anybody wrong but the people that doubt. The people that doubt me, those are the people I'm going to prove wrong. It's not a competition. We're a big family in our receiver group. We love each other to death and we help each other. We're not trying not to help the young guys. We help the young guys in any which way."
Two: Rookie of the Day
How about Greg Van Roten?
Greg Van Who?
Van Roten, an undrafted rookie who attended the Chargers' and Jets' minicamps but was not signed, was a late addition to the training camp roster, joining the team when it released Charlie Peprah. A three-time all-Ivy League selection for Pennsylvania, he started at tackle as a sophomore, junior and into his senior season before injuries forced him to guard. He's playing guard for the Packers. Through three days of one-on-one pass-rushing drills, Van Roten (6-3, 303) owns a perfect 9-0 record, though those wins have come against Philip Merling, C.J. Wilson and Daniel Muir rather than Jerel Worthy and B.J. Raji.
Three: Position of the Day
Each day, we take a look at the competition at one position.
Tight ends: Jermichael Finley returned from what may or may not have been a concussion. After leading NFL tight ends in drops last season, he's been working extensively with position coach Jerry Fontenot during the special teams periods, when Finley's not needed. On Tuesday, for instance, Finley knelt behind a large dummy that blocked his view of Fontenot. Standing about 10 yards away, Fontenot fired one pass after anotherl, with Finley shoving aside the dummy, quickly locating the ball and making the catch.
"There's always room to improve," Finley said.
Even with Andrew Quarless (knee) sidelined, the depth is tremendous, especially with the early emergence of second-year player D.J. Williams. Williams, a fifth-round pick who won the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end in 2010, is a sure-handed receiver with a great feel for the game.
The undrafted rookies, Eric Lair and Brandon Bostick, have intriguing receiving skills. Lair, however, sustained a knee injury on Monday and his long-term status is unknown. Bostick played wide receiver at Division II Newberry.
Gurley, on progressing despite limited reps in a deep position group: "In college, I learned from Coach Spurrier, but now I can watch Pro Bowlers do it consistently. I can watch them and emulate them. Coach Spurrier did a lot of teaching on the board, but they do a lot of hands-on work with Jordy and Greg and James and Drive and even Cobb. All the quarterbacks, they always chime in and we put it all together and that's how we make plays out there."
Tramon Williams, on Davon House, who took over as the third cornerback: "I love what I've seen from him so far. That's something that we knew that he had. We kind of had to get him out of his lackadaisical mode a little bit. But he looks good. He looks like what we thought he could look like. He's getting the opportunity to show that. It's up to him to hold onto it."
Coach Mike McCarthy, on watching Rodgers' reps: "We have to be careful with Aaron and his pitch count. If you notice the beginning of our practices are different than in the past so actually our quarterbacks – with only having three quarterbacks in camp – they're throwing a lot in individual drills where they did not throw in prior years. You're looking at 50 to 70 throws that is a variance between each practice. We are being smart with Aaron."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.