Korth OTA Blog: June 14

The Packers' Organized Team Activities practices continued on Thursday on a warm, sunny day at the Ray Nitschke practice field in Green Bay. PackerReport.com's Todd Korth was there and offers his thoughts on the action.

* While the air temperature was in the low 80s, the temperature on the FieldTurf at Ray Nitschke Field was much higher with the sun beating down on a surface that is composed mainly of rubber pellets buried under synthetic blades of grass.

It was so warm the Coach Mike McCarthy skipped the second 11-on-11 drill, which usually takes place later in practice.

* With Brett Favre resting a sore shoulder, Aaron Rodgers took the bulk of the snaps with the first team. Rodgers had his ups and downs in practice, but for the most part completed the majority of his passes, including some deep routes as well as short passes over the middle.

* With second-year cornerback Will Blackmon sidelined with a groin injury and veteran cornerback Al Harris absent from the voluntary practices this week, Patrick Dendy started at cornerback. Frank Walker and Jarrett Bush played as the top backs in nickel and dime defenses.

Should there be concern about Blackmon? Heck, yeah. He's got all the talent in the world, and can be a top cornerback and kickoff returner, but if he keeps getting injured the way he has thus far in Green Bay, he may turn out to be more of a liability than asset because the team won't be able to rely on him.

Dendy hasn't received a whole lot of attention, but he has been playing well enough thus far in the off-season to retain his nickel back position. However, he will be challenged by Walker and Blackmon in training camp.

* Robert Ferguson returned to practice with the team this week. The veteran wide receiver has been out all off-season recovering from a sprained foot. Rookie James Jones has taken over lining up in Ferguson's spot as the ‘X' (slot) receiver, and Ferguson said afterward in the locker room that he is being asked to learn all three wide receiver positions. For his first six years in Green Bay, Ferguson has played mainly as the team's slot receiver, but the coaching staff favors Jones at this point for that position.

Ferguson caught some passes, but didn't do anything spectacular, which he will have to do in training camp to retain his roster spot. He again will have every chance to make the team but absolutely cannot miss any time due to injuries in camp to make the team.

* The Packers seem to be putting a much bigger emphasis on special teams this year. And they should because the Packers had the worst special teams units in the league last year. Mike McCarthy said in his press conference afterward, that the team has practiced special teams a little more this off-season.

The Packers worked quite a bit on kickoff returns today in practice. At least 10 to 15 minutes in one session, which is a little longer than usual. A number of players, including David Clowney, P.J. Pope, Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn and James Jones took turns running back kickoffs in the no pads practice.

* Bubba Franks had his ups and downs today, but mainly down. The veteran dropped some catchable passes, but did snare one in the end zone from Rodgers during a 7-on-7 drill a few plays after he allowed linebacker Brady Poppinga to knock a pass away.

* The practice ended on a high note for the defense as rookie linebacker Desmond Bishop tipped a pass in the end zone thrown by Ingle Martin to safety Charlie Peprah for an interception.

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