Thursday’s Play, Player and Position of Day

Richardson (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

Two under-the-radar players turned in impressive performances during the fifth day of training camp. Plus, our daily position-of-the-day spotlight falls on the inconsistent group of receivers beyond the Big Three.

Here is our review of the fifth day of Green Bay Packers training camp.

PLAY OF THE DAY

This is the kind of play that might get an undrafted rookie an extended look.

During a team-run period, just as LaDarius Perkins took the handoff, outside linebacker Nick Perry was manhandling rookie left tackle Jeremy Vujnovich. It looked like a certain tackle for loss for Perry, who was making his training camp debut. Instead, Perkins stopped on a dime — as if he were Barry Sanders running at the Silverdome. Perry’s momentum carried him forward a step, which allowed Perkins to cut inside Perry and accelerate into the open field for a big play.

The play drew an audible “Ooooh!” from the players on the sideline and the fans lining the field. To be sure, there’s a wide separation between the Big Three of Eddie Lacy, James Starks and DuJuan Harris and Perkins, Michael Hill and Rajion Neal, but the 5-foot-7, 195-pound Perkins showed why he was one of the most prolific players in Mississippi State history.

PLAYER OF THE DAY

A few days ago, coach Mike McCarthy spoke highly of Sean Richardson, which was interesting, since Richardson was toiling on the third unit.

Richardson, however, has turned in one strong practice after another to move ahead of Chris Banjo in the battle to be the No. 4 safety. The second play of practice was a flea-flicker, with Matt Flynn firing a deep crossing route. Davon House deflected the ball and Richardson showed good reactions by grabbing the interception. It was Richardson’s second interception of training camp.

A short time later, tight end Richard Rodgers caught a short pass on a bootleg, only to be leveled by the 216-pound Richardson. A few plays later, tight end Justin Perillo caught a pass in the flat but was stopped by Richardson for no gain.

With Morgan Burnett, HaHa Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde, only an injury-related disaster would get the No. 4 safety onto the field. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear why the Packers stuck with Richardson following neck surgery in 2012.

“I think Sean Richardson is having an excellent training camp,” McCarthy said. “He’s done a lot of good things (on defense, and) he did some real good things early in the week on special teams.”

POSITION OF THE DAY

There’s no doubt that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin will be the team’s top three receivers. Inconsistency plagues the rest of the depth chart.

Second-round pick Davante Adams flashed some nice open-field moves after short passes, including a great juke against Clinton-Dix, and made a nice block on a short pass to Myles White, but has dropped a couple of passes, got pulled from the lineup after a false start on Wednesday and couldn’t field an onside kick on Thursday. Fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis failed to make a tough grab over the middle, only to haul in a deep pass moments later on Thursday. White has had a strong camp on offense but muffed three punts on Wednesday. Chris Harper clutched his helmet in disbelief after a drop, only to finish Thursday’s practice on a high note with a couple of catches. Alex Gillett made perhaps the best catch of anyone in training camp by taking an interception away from Demetri Goodson on the final competitive play of practice. Earlier, however, he dropped an easy pass from Aaron Rodgers.

“Yeah, definitely,” Gillett said about that being a big play for him, “especially when Aaron is in there and you drop a ball. That’s one where you’re kind of like I need to make up for it. That definitely crossed my mind.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Boykin, on having a chip on his shoulder after being released after Jacksonville’s rookie camp in 2012: “You can never take any of this stuff for granted. Each day before I hit the practice field, I say to myself, ‘Let’s get better today. Let’s make this day the best one.’ No matter if you’re coming off a great practice, let’s do even better. You want to be consistent. Just do whatever I can do day in and day out to be a pro about everything.”


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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.

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