The Packers packed a lot into the weekend for their rookie orientation camp. First things first, all eight draft choices agreed to terms on contracts before the first practice of Friday. That's a far cry from days gone by. The new collective bargaining agreement, worked out after last off-season's lockout, all but eliminated the negotiation process. Rookie salary pools are fixed and terms are limited to four year deals for the most part. Once the slotting begins, the contracts fall into place. League-wide, many of the number one picks still need to be worked out but the hangups are over signing bonuses. The majority of the camp indoctrinated the players into the Green Bay way of doing things, from the playbook and its terminology to the weight room rules and the training table menus. Three practices were conducted over the weekend, all in shorts and helmets. Aside from checking out the athleticism of the players, not a whole lot can be gleaned on potential productivity but a few players stood out. Number one draft choice Nick Perry of USC worked exclulsively at left outside linebacker. Mike McCarthy called it a starting point, leading to speculation that Clay Matthews may move back over to the right side, the spot he piled up sacks in his rookie year. Second round pick Jerel Worthy of Michigan drew early praise from McCarthy. One of his strengths is what coaches call "get off". He flashed plenty of quickness at the snap. 7th round quarterback B.J. Coleman out of Tennessee-Chattanooga displayed a strong arm and weak feet. His footwork fundamentals need some attention but he's very eager to learn and he's also landed in a system that knows how to develop quarterbacks. Just one draft pick did not work, Mike Daniels, the defensive tackle from Iowa actually failed his physical because of shoulder surgery last year. He should be cleared well before training camp arrives. 29 players were in camp as tryout invitees, among them, Drew Vanderlin of Michigan Tech. The defensive end played his high school football at Green Bay Southwest and the former Trojan was thrilled to get a shot with his hometown team. Only a handful of the tryout players will be offered contracts and at least one, guard Grant Cook from Arkansas, earned one. He tweeted Sunday that he had a deal. At the conclusion of the camp, McCarthy was asked about a couple of veterans coming off season ending surgeries. Running back Alex Green (knee) and tackle Derrick Sherrod (broken leg) are both progressing well and should be ready by camp. Tight end Andrew Quarless is another story. He ripped up his knee late last season and might be a candidate for the physically unable to perform list. If placed on that list at the start of camp he can come off whenever he passes his physical but if Quarless is on the PUP list at the start of the regular season, he would have to miss the first 6 games. The team is protected at the position however with Jermichael Finley, Tom Crabtree, Ryan Taylor and D.J. Williams all returning. Most of the signed players will stay in town this week in advance of the organized team activities which welcome the returning veterans next week. On the link below, some quotes from McCarthy and selcted players on the first camp of the 2012 campaign.
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