The Packers in the final week of their organized team activities. The third and last public practice was held on a perfect day Tuesday on Ray Nitschke Field. The purpose of the OTA's is to install all phases of the offensive, defensive and special teams systems. Along with individual drill work like ball security and tackling fundamentals, the team portions cover specific game situations like blitz pick ups, no huddle offense and the like. Head Coach Mike McCarthy commented after Tuesday's workout this may be the best, overall athletic roster he's worked with. The OTA's are still considering voluntary under the collective bargaining agreement and there were some notable abscences to start the final week. Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings were not on the field and several other players like Clay Matthews and Jermichael Finley were sideline observers.
Mike Neal talked about his four game suspension by the NFL for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. Neal said he was suspended for taking Adderall, a prescription used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity. The third year defensive end said he took the drug while recovering from last season's knee injury while he also battled obsessive-compulsive disorder. The prescription did not come from team doctors and that may have led to the positive league test. Neal has already lost one appeal but says he'll challenge the suspension again. Even though another player beat the rap for using Adderall, Neal isn't likely to. The league's extensive drug testing policy makes every player aware of the medications, prescription or otherwise that fall under the performance enchancing umbrella and players are surrounded by trainers and medical staffs well versed in the allowable and prohibited substances. It's almost inconceivable that a pro athlete in today's testing environment would take anything internally before checking it out first. Neal, who's appeared in only nine games in two seasons will now pay that price.
Following immediately on the heels of the OTA's will be the Packers' mandatory mini camp. Three more practices will take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with only Tuesday's workout open to the public. That will take place at 10:45 on Ray Nitschke Field.
On the link below, a collection of quotes from Mike McCarthy and players, including a focus on two positions in particular, the re-tooled defensive line and the collection of, for the most part, untested running backs.