Rookie Mini Camp Complete

Mike Clemens
May 06, 2019 - 6:10 pm

Sportsradio 105.7 FM The FAN

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Green Bay, WI -  Matt LaFleur wants to take it one step at a time.

After completing his first mini camp for rookies, the first time NFL head coach said it’s essential to keep it simple for now.

The media was allowed inside the Don Huston Center, featuring a brand new synthetic turf and new field markings, changing the field from two shortened fields of 70 and 30 yards, to one 100 yard game regulation field, complete with end zone markings and a Packers “G” logo on the 50 yard line, just like game day at Lambeau Field.

But why reporters were not allowed to see any 11- on -11 team drills? You know, some football?

“I knew you were going to ask that,” said LaFleur after practice. “You didn’t miss much. We are only going to go 7-on-7 during this mini camp. We are throwing so much at these guys right now. We want them to focus on concepts and formations. Where do they line up? What is their assignment? We need them to be sure of the basics before we bring them back later this month for Phase II.”

The Packers had 49 players participate for the weekend rookie mini camp. They inlcuded the eight players just drafted, a few from last year, like guard Cole Madison, drafted in 2018, (but sat out the season for personal reasons) and the rest undrafted free agents, many in for a tryout. 

A running back who was picked up after being waived by the Texans, and active for one game as a Packer in December, 2018, Lavon Coleman, out of Washington, was released on Monday.

6th round pick, running back Dexter Williams, Notre Dame, certainly looked the part during drills during practice, exploding after taking hand offs, catching passes out of the backfield, and turning up field.

During some of those drills, LaFleur, a quarterback at Saginaw Valley State who threw touchdowns to future Packers wide receiver Ruvell Martin, took over at quarterback during one of the drills as running backs went out for flair passes out of the backfield. The 39 – year –old LaFleur threw about 25 passes during the drill, all with plenty of spin.

There were three quarterbacks that were brought in for the weekend camp. CJ Collins, SW Assemblies of God University, Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State, and Manny Wilkins, Arizona State, who seemed to have the most command of the position of the three. On of Wilkins’ favorite targets at ASU, wide receiver K’Neal Henry was selected in last month’s draft at the end of the first round, 32nd overall, by the New England Patriots.

The Packers added two players to the roster on Monday, following the weekend rookie mini camp. They liked what they saw in practice of wide receiver Darrius Shepard, 5-11, 186lbs, North Dakota State.

Shepherd, 23, played in 57 games for the Bison, recording 188 receptions for 2,841 yards and 20 touchdowns. Shepard also ran the ball 31 times for 219 yards. He also was an award winning punt returner, returning 44 punts for 578 yards, a 13.1 average per return.  

The Packers also added another undrafted free agent on Monday, cornerback Chandin Sullivan, 5-11, 189 lbs. from Georgia State. Sullivan was with the Eagles last season, appearing in five games, starting in one.

Shepard will wear the #10 jersey. Sullivan #39.