Packers release linebacker Charlie Peprah; training camp beginsWisconsin Sports
Seven players failed physicals the day before practices began. They included inside linebacker Desmond Bishop, who reportedly had a problem that was not football-related.
Training camp began in earnest on Thursday for the Green Bay Packers as they held their first practice across from Lambeau Field.
It appears that a young player will get the opportunity to earn a starting job at safety after the Packers released Charlie Peprah on Tuesday.
Peprah had arthroscopic knee surgery after last season. He said he did not complete the running portion of his physical yesterday.
Peprah was expected to compete with second-year pro M.D. Jennings and fourth-round rookie Jerron McMillan for the safety spot opposite Morgan Burnett.
Peprah spent parts of five seasons with the Packers in two stints since 2006. He was a starter for much of the last two seasons.
Peprah has seven career interceptions, all in the last two years. He’s not ruling out an eventual return to the Packers. Green Bay cut him in 2009 and brought him back a year later.
Regardless of what happens, Peprah said it was a dream come true to play in Green Bay, and to be part of the 2010 Super Bowl champion team.
Also on Wednesday, July 25, the Packers signed rookie guard Greg Van Roten from Pennsylvania. They cut guard Grant Cook, who signed as an undrafted free agent in mid-May.
The Packers were not at full strength when they began their training camp practices on Thursday. Seven players failed their physicals on Wednesday, including inside linebacker Desmond Bishop who reportedly had a problem that was not football-related.
Outside linebacker Frank Zombo also failed his physical, along with fullback John Kuhn, tight end Andrew Quarless, offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, defensive tackle Johnny Jones and guard Jaymes Brooks.
Most of the problems were the result of injuries from last season.
Sherrod’s rookie season ended with a broken leg. Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that Sherrod suffered a setback in the spring.
The first six practices will begin at 8:15 a.m. The Packers will then have nine practices at either 3:30 p.m. or 7 p.m., and finallay, six workouts starting around 11 a.m.
McCarthy says the Packers will have a lot of different starting times for their games early in the season. He wants his players to get used to the varied schedules.
Badgers get a Gopher
A defensive back from Minnesota has decided to play his college football at Wisconsin instead of with the Gophers.
Keelon Brookins was the first player to commit for Minnesota’s 2013 recruiting class, but he withdrew that commitment and told the Badgers he’d play for them instead.
The 5-11 Brookins will be a senior this fall at Tartan High School in Oakdale, Minn.
He missed most of his junior year, after he tore an ACL knee ligament. He’s still considered one of the Gopher State’s top prospects.
Woodson to play safety
Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson is expected to spend more time at safety this year.
In Thursday’s first training camp practice, he spent a lot of time at the spot held by starter Charlie Peprah before he was cut on Tuesday. Coach Mike McCarthy says it’s not really a new development, as Woodson has played at the spot before in various packages.
McCarthy says the big thing is to get the 35-year-old Woodson closer to the ball and have him use his veteran instincts more, similar to a quarterback on offense.
Meanwhile, the Packers have made a host of other changes to try to improve a defense that was the NFL’s worst a year ago.
At corner, Jarrett Bush was at a No. 1 corner spot Thursday, ahead of Sam Shields. And first-round draft pick Nick Perry was at the No. 1 outside linebacker spot opposite Clay Matthews.
Second-year pro D.J. Smith was with the No. 1 defense at inside linebacker in place of Desmond Bishop, who failed his physical on Wednesday because of a calf injury from a personal workout.