The Packer Report: Following the Trends

Who is trending upward and who is trending downward? We have the answers you need to know after a hot and humid Monday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Packer Report follows the training camp trends in this daily feature.

Trending upward

— It's like cornerback Charles Woodson has been playing this scheme for a decade rather than months. See the "Play of the day" below.

— Punter Jeremy Kapinos got two opportunities, booming kicks of 55 and 59 yards with impressive hang time. His competitor, Durant Brooks, wasn't bad with a 49-yarder. Maybe Kapinos is hitting his stride, though it's important to note this was a punt-return drill and the punters weren't facing a rush.

— During a one-on-one period, safety Aaron Rouse almost intercepted Brian Brohm while tight end Spencer Havner made a nice leaping catch from Aaron Rodgers. Rouse has had a strong camp and Havner continues with his bid to be a two-way player.

— On Friday, it was Jake Allen. On Monday, it was JaRon Harris who stepped up as the down-the-depth-chart receiver who had a big day. Harris made a tremendous over-the-shoulder catch on a long heave by Rodgers. Moments later, Harris caught another long pass, a laser from Rodgers that just beat Nick Collins. That play, however, was nullified by a false start by Breno Giacomini.

— No. 3 cornerback Tramon Williams had perhaps his best day of camp. He came in untouched on a corner blitz for a sack, broke up a couple passes and gave James Jones a shot after giving up a completion.

— Starting left tackle Chad Clifton seemed refreshed after two days off. Cullen Jenkins got nowhere while being a standup rusher on one play. Later, Woodson didn't have a prayer on a corner blitz, with Aaron Rodgers taking advantage to hit Jordy Nelson for a touchdown with safety Atari Bigby too slow in coverage. Clifton also helped spring a nice cutback run by Ryan Grant.

Jason Spitz took a step toward winning the job at center. While Scott Wells bungled a snap to Rodgers, Spitz was a beast during one-on-one pass-rushing. On one rep, he drove impressive Anthony Toribio to the turf.

— Rookie lineman T.J. Lang helped pancake linebacker Desmond Bishop on one play and helped spring a big run by Tyrell Sutton.

Trending sideways

— Undrafted lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith continues to impress — he frustrated Brady Poppinga during a four-on-four combo blocking drill. But later, during the No. 2 offense's 2-minute drill, he had a false start. His penchant for pre-snap penalties is one of his few faults. He'll be in Green Bay after the final cuts — practice squad, at worst.

— During a 2-minute series, No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn took a sack on first down and missed a hot read against a Brandon Chillar blitz and threw the ball away. Earlier, however, he expertly diagnosed a blitz and hit Kole Heckendorf in the vacated space.

Trending downward

Allen Barbre has ceded some of the No. 1 reps at right tackle to Breno Giacomini. During a third-down segment, Barbre was flagged for holding against Aaron Kampman.

— This happens way too often. When A.J. Hawk is called upon to blitz, he gets to the line of scrimmage and just sort of dances with a lineman. When Brandon Chillar and Desmond Bishop blitz, they go 100 mph. They might not always get to the quarterback, but if you're going to get beat, you might as well get beat when going full speed.

— Fullback Quinn Johnson seems lost way too often. On four plays when we isolated on Johnson, he ran to the hole, stutter-stepped while trying to find someone to block, and blocked nobody. Twice, Desmond Bishop flew in for the tackle. Johnson played in a man-on-man blocking scheme at LSU. He's clearly having difficulty figuring out the zone scheme.

Duke Preston, the Packers' only true unrestricted free agent signing, just hasn't been impressive. The interception will count against Brian Brohm, but the biggest factor was undrafted free agent defensive end Ronald Talley blowing right past Preston at the snap.

— Another bad day at the office for Mason Crosby, who hit 6-of-9 field goals. The worst was a miss from 28 yards, though he wasn't working with the No. 1 snapper-holder combo of Brett Goode and Matt Flynn. He should be able to hit that with his left foot.

— With injuries to Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn, this is Kregg Lumpkin's opportunity. When Wynn was out last year, Lumpkin seized the opportunity to win a job. On Monday, Lumpkin bobbled a dump-off pass by Matt Flynn, resulting in an incompletion when he was hit by Jarrett Bush. Compounding matters for Lumpkin was another strong day by undrafted Tyrell Sutton.

Play of the day

Take your pick of Charles Woodson gems. Do you want his corner blitz, in which he used a spin move that left running back Ryan Grant grasping at air? Or do you want Woodson baiting Aaron Rodgers into an interception during the 2-minute drill? Woodson lined up in the slot, and just before the snap, he made a beeline toward the sideline. When Rodgers rolled to his left and threw to Greg Jennings at the sideline, Woodson ran underneath the route for the interception. He's the most amazing defender the Packers have had since Reggie White's heyday.


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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 and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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