Four-Point Stance: Practice No. 9 of Camp

David Bakhtiari, the new starting left tackle, backed up the coaches' belief in him with a terrific practice on Tuesday. Run or pass, he continues to play beyond his rookie status. Plus, today's disappointing player, position of the day and more in our hard-hitting daily feature.

Here is a look back at the highlights of Practice No. 9 of the Green Bay Packers' 2013 training camp.

Big day

Coach Mike McCarthy made it clear that David Bakhtiari is the starting left tackle ... for now.

"Marshall Newhouse has played a lot of left tackle here and Don Barclay has played right tackle in games, so we know what those two guys can do," McCarthy said during a news-filled press conference following Tuesday's practice. "It's still training camp. We have young players that need opportunities. Our young players are going to factor in the makeup of our 53-man roster, so we have to create opportunities for these guys to grow and contribute. How we end up, time will answer that. I'm in charge of creating opportunities. Ultimately, it comes down to the players. The players got to step up and they've got to take advantage of these opportunities."

He took advantage of those opportunities on Tuesday, as he has throughout training camp. He showed his strength by driving powerful outside linebacker Andy Mulumba off the ball during a team period that emphasized the running game. He showed his pass-protection prowess by going 4-0 during the daily one-on-one drill, including wins against Clay Matthews and Johnny Jolly. During a team period, he blocked Dezman Moses for eternity as Graham Harrell searched in vain for a receiver, and his stuffed blitzing linebacker Terrell Manning.

"I've matured very quickly throughout this whole process, learning the plays, adjusting to the speed of the game going against top-tier talent. That's been a big thing," he said. "They've seen I haven't hit too many speed bumps and I've transitioned pretty well. With that, they're giving me a big responsibility and I'm going to have to step up to the plate."

Bad day

B.J. Coleman has been a staple of this daily feature. It's not that we are holding a grudge. Actually, Coleman deserves praise for welcoming reporters to his locker rather than hiding in the trainers room following Saturday's scrimmage and thanking them for their time on Tuesday.

Coleman's job, never secure to begin with, grew ever-more precarious with the signing of Vince Young on Tuesday. This is the time when you'd like to see Coleman rise to the occasion, to use that big arm and his eagerness to learn to put together a string of completions. Instead, he had another rough day.

Red zone was the day's emphasis, and Coleman went 2-for-9 in the two periods and struggled against the blitz. One of the incompletions probably should have resulted in defensive pass interference. Another was a drop by Myles White, though that pass was high. On the other hand, one of his completions was an easy swing pass to the flat to Lacy. He had a bad incompletion when, on a bootleg, he badly overthrew Jake Stoneburner, who was running wide open to the front pylon of the end zone.

"I think you've got to stay within yourself and understand who you are," Coleman said when asked about if there's any added pressure with the addition of Young. "You've got to go out there and you have to make plays. Whether you're in a room all by yourself or on a room with four other guys, you have to prepare and keep the same routine. It's not going to add or subtract any pressure. You have to go out and do it, and that's the bottom line, especially at this position."

Position of the day

Jordy Nelson's out for a few weeks, Randall Cobb injured a biceps and rookies Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey can't get on the field. With so many receivers injured, opportunity is knocking for the team's big group of young receivers.

On Tuesday, Jarrett Boykin was the one who took advantage.

Where he truly shined was in a no-huddle period to end practice. Aaron Rodgers threw a back-shoulder ball to Boykin, who stopped, reached back and made a terrific catch that showed his strong hands and long arms. One play later, Boykin caught a pass over the middle and was drilled by hard-hitting safety Jerron McMillian but held onto the ball.

On the other hand, Jeremy Ross needs to find some consistency. He's far and away the best return prospect (not named Randall Cobb) but ball security remains an ongoing issue. He muffed a punt during a punt-return drill early in practice.

Four-point stance

— Dezman Moses returned after missing the last four practices. As you'd expect, he had an up-and-down day, but when Moses was good, he was really good. Early in practice, he got Kevin Greene fired up by blowing up a Lacy run. Later, he beat bruising tight end Matthew Mulligan to thwart a toss to Johnathan Franklin. On the other hand, it looked like he was a treadmill trying to beat Bakhtiari on passing plays.

— Standouts in the one-on-one pass-protection/rushing drill were Marshall Newhouse (3-0), Don Barclay (4-0) and Lane Taylor (4-1). Taylor, an undrafted rookie who struggled during the first week of camp, earned a win against hard-charging Mike Daniels and a pair of victories against Jolly. The defense went 10-31, but B.J. Raji went 3-1, including a dominating win against Evan Dietrich-Smith. Jolly went 0-5, though he did stuff Lacy on a running play.

Jermichael Finley, who is having an excellent camp, started strong and finished strong. During a red-zone period, Finley pancaked Mulumba. On the final play of the day, Finley streaked down the middle and made a nice catch for a touchdown despite tight coverage from McMillian.

— Cornerback Brandon Smith, who is transitioning from receiver, looked lost during the first week of training camp, and he got torched by Cobb after a catch during the scrimmage. Smith has plenty of upside, though. He had the end-zone interception in the scrimmage and he tore the ball away from James Jones on Tuesday. When he can get up and press, he's tough to beat.


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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