Four-Point Stance: Practice No. 5 of Camp

Every year, coach Mike McCarthy looks to his second-year players to make a big jump. Mike Daniels looks poised for a breakout season. Plus, another tough day for B.J. Coleman, our position of the day and much more from Wednesday.

Here is a look back at the highlights of Practice No. 5 of the Green Bay Packers' 2013 training camp.

Big day

There's plenty of reason to be excited about a pairing of first-round pick Datone Jones and veteran Mike Neal in the Packers' nickel package. Don't, however, forget about Mike Daniels.

Daniels is having a strong training camp — emphasis on the word "strong."

Daniels, a fourth-round pick out of Iowa in 2012, had a decent rookie season, especially when you consider he was held out of the offseason program after surgery to repair a torn labrum. He had two sacks and six quarterback hits, by the team's count, and was the unit's second-best pass rusher on a per-snap basis.

Coach Mike McCarthy talks frequently about players making a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and Daniels could be in for the biggest jump of this year's second-year players.

"I feel bigger. I feel stronger. Overall, I just feel better," said Daniels, who's listed at 294 pounds but says he's up to 301. "Actually had an offseason to train instead of (rehabbing). Now, getting back, watching film, working on my footwork, lifting, training, conditioning, I can definitely tell how valuable that offseason is. Even OTAs and minicamp, which I couldn't do last year, I can see where I'm better for being able to participate in that."

By our count, Daniels went 1-3 in the daily one-on-one pass-rushing drill. In reality, he had big pushes on three of his four reps. When he stays low and can use his power, he's been a handful for anyone trying to block him.

Bad day

As if being picked off by center Evan Dietrich-Smith during unit drills on Tuesday wasn't bad enough, B.J. Coleman threw two interceptions on Wednesday.

Last year's seventh-round pick has had plenty of good moments during training camp. When he's been able to drop back and throw the ball in rhythm, he's enjoyed success. It's when the play breaks down or his first or second read aren't available that trouble brews.

"The (second) interception, three-man rush and we're in a spread formation, he did exactly what you're supposed to do," McCarthy said. "And then when he did slide to his right, it was just a poor decision. A good play on Morgan Burnett's (part). From his standpoint, that was a bad decision. The other one, I think he got fooled a little bit (and was intercepted by A.J. Hawk). I would throw those mistakes in the area of experience, recognition and something that all quarterbacks need, and he can't get enough of it because this is where he is."

Position of the day

When Ted Thompson was asked on Tuesday why he traded Desmond Bishop, he said "it speaks well to our depth at that position." That depth has shown up routinely at practice, and there's little doubt that all six members of the depth chart will have a job somewhere once the regular season begins.

Hawk and Brad Jones remain the unquestioned No. 1 tandem, though Jamari Lattimore and Robert Francois occasionally have worked as a pair with the rest of the No. 1 defense. Lattimore and Francois have hit just about everything in sight. Second-year player Terrell Manning and rookie seventh-round pick Sam Barrington have flashed, as well. Manning is incredibly athletic and Barrington has a nose for the ball.

"I think our inside linebacker depth is as good as we've had since 2010," McCarthy said. "This is a very good group and the young guys are pushing A.J. and Brad, and Robert's having a heck of a training camp and Jamari had made a number of flash plays. Sam's a little reckless but I like that about him. Those guys are off to a good start."

Four-point stance

— Datone Jones lost his first two reps in the one-on-one pass-rushing drill before putting on an absolute clinic in scoring easy wins against Greg Van Roten, Andrew Datko, Patrick Lewis and Lane Taylor. No, that's not a murderer's row of offensive linemen but it underscored Jones' excellent athleticism and footwork.

Nick Perry had his best day of camp. In a run-blocking drill, he used his brute power to overwhelm tight end Ryan Taylor. During 11-on-11 drills, he beat impressive David Bakhtiari and Andrew Datko for what might have been sacks in a real game.

— Second-round pick Eddie Lacy had a second consecutive big day. The big running back, as expected, has thrived during the full-contact practices. During 11-on-11 late in practice, he lowered his head to get past Jones and ran right through Manning.

"I thought Eddie Lacy got better today," McCarthy said. "I (like) his inside running skills, his instincts, his decision making. He's finishing better."

— McCarthy said Randall Cobb would be the kick returner if the Week 1 game were played tomorrow. Of course, the season doesn't kick off for five-and-a-half weeks. Given Cobb's value on offense and Ross' potential — he had three big returns in six quarters with Cobb sidelined last year — Ross remains the favorite.

"I just have to earn it," Ross said. "It's not going to be given. It's not going to be something that's going to be something that's handed to me. I don't expect that at all. I expect to work for it. That's all I can do at this point. Just do the best I can and work and we'll see what happens."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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