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Posts tagged with "Jahri Evans"

Move-in day at St. Norbert College kicks off training camp

GREEN BAY – The cars and trucks pulled up one by one at the St. Norbert College dorms Tuesday, the unloaded bags and suitcases signaling the start of yet another Packers training camp.

Launched in 1958 by head coach Scott McLean, the 60-year training-camp partnership between the Packers and St. Norbert is the longest in NFL history.It’s become a rite of passage for every player on the roster. While the team devotes its days to meetings and practice, nights are spent at the private college located in De Pere, Wis., a short 10-minute drive from Lambeau Field.

Veteran Jahri Evans and rookie Josh Jones are on different ends of the NFL spectrum, but both were in the same boat in moving into their Packers dorms for the first time on Tuesday.

Evans, a six-time Pro Bowl guard, had some previous dorm experience with the New Orleans Saints, who held training camp at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., during his first three NFL seasons.

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His first move-in at St. Norbert went well outside of Evans getting lost on his way to the dorms. When he saw a horde of media in front of one of the buildings, the veteran guard joked he must finally be in the right place.“I had to ask for directions,” said Evans with smile. “I got to the university but I had a little trouble finding (the dorms). It’s all good.”

Evans said he didn’t bring too many amenities with him to the dorms. With A/C units and beds already provided, Evans was content with bringing a few sets of comfortable clothes.

Dorm life is nothing too out-of-the ordinary for Jones, a second-round pick out of NC State. He vividly remembers his mom bringing him to college only a few short years ago.

With Netflix readily available on his phone, the rookie safety isn’t too concerned about passing whatever free time he’s afforded. Plus, as a younger player, he’ll share his room with another teammate.

So what’s the biggest thing on Jones’ camp wish list?

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The fire burns in this secondary

Ben from Denver, CO

To Ron from Waukesha. So when House left a couple years ago, we “let him leave in free agency.” But when Hyde left this year, we “lost him to free agency.” You can’t have it both ways. House is back in a system where he enjoyed enough success that a team like the Jaguars gave him a nice contract. Give the guy a chance before you say he won’t be good for us. I, for one, love that he’s back.

It’s a perfect fit. House was born in this defense, his play style fits this defense and now he has the opportunity to show he belongs in this defense. I expect the fire to burn brightly for House this season and the entire secondary.

Dave from Kaukauna, WI

Jahri Evans is in his 12th season. Most offensive lineman learn more than one position. Many guards play center. Does Evans? Has he played center in college or in preseason or regular-season NFL games? Because he has to learn all the plays, are all his reps at guard? I want to know if he’s already had reps at center for the Pack.

Evans has started his entire career at right guard. You get those privileges when you’ve been selected to six Pro Bowls. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t worked at center before. Prior to the NFL, Evans was the starting left tackle for Bloomsburg (Pa.) University. He’ll continue to work as a right guard in Green Bay.

Justin from Normal, IL

Will the coaches ever ask Aaron Rodgers to pick on a particular matchup during practice to better evaluate that DB? Or is it all about making sure the offense makes the proper read and executes?

It’s probably more the latter, but Rodgers and a lot of the best quarterbacks in the NFL have been known to test their younger defensive backs to see how they react. This secondary gets to practice against one of the best to ever do it on a daily basis. What better way to prepare for Sunday?

Bob from Park City, UT

Aaron has mentioned several times in interviews the importance and knowledge regarding nutrition on his health and potential ability to play plenty more years. We know Aaron gave up dairy, but can you tell us what books or sources Aaron uses for his nutrition guidelines?

I don’t know the specifics, but he and the Packers have a ton of resources. I’ve lost count of how many players have credited Packers director of performance nutrition, Adam Korzun, for helping structure their offseason diet.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The Packers score a TD. A two-point conversion ties the game. It is early in the third quarter. Would you go for two in the season opener? The playoffs?

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Packers’ veteran offensive lineman earns respect and appreciation from coaches, teammates

GREEN BAY – For years it was often heard that if any player knew the Packers’ offensive playbook as well as quarterback Aaron Rodgers, it was probably fullback John Kuhn.

But now that Kuhn has been gone for more than a year, who’s next? Does anyone’s familiarity come close?

Strange as it may sound, Don Barclay could be the answer.

The veteran offensive lineman has at least practiced – if not played in a game – at every position up front during his six years with the Packers. And as he appears to be settling into his primary role as backup center for 2017, his playbook knowledge is only growing.

“It lets you control the bus,” Barclay said this spring about learning the offense from the center’s perspective. “You have to control what’s going on out there and make the calls.

“Not only that but it lets you focus in on the whole playbook now. You’re really looking at everything. You have to know fronts, you have to know the calls. You can call everything from the right tackle to the left tackle. You’re really in control out there, and it feels good.”

Barclay would have every right not to feel so good about the upcoming year. After all, he would have been the odds-on-favorite to win the starting right guard job to replace T.J. Lang had 12th-year veteran free agent Jahri Evans not been signed just before the draft.

Instead, Barclay was making all the snaps for the No. 1 offensive line throughout OTAs with starting center Corey Linsley recovering from offseason surgery. He’s once again the super-sub, Linsley’s top backup as well as possibly the first reserve option at either guard spot given his experience.

It’s a role he has not only accepted but owned with pride, and his longtime teammates have nothing but respect for his professionalism, on the field and in the locker room.

“Bringing Don back was a big thing for us,” Rodgers said, referring to the re-signing of Barclay this past offseason. “He’s really improved his game.

“This is a guy that’s started at tackle for us, started at guard for us, and now is in line to be our backup center. That’s fantastic, and I give him a lot of credit.  He has a great approach, he’s a great teammate, and he continues to show this team how valuable he is to it.”

Barclay proved his value early in his career, filling in at right tackle due to injuries as an undrafted rookie from West Virginia in 2012. The following year, he started 14 games at right tackle.

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The Green Bay Packers have seen their share of 2017 predictions with the season just a few months away. But the Packers have yet to see what Pro Football Focus thinks of the defending NFC North champions.

Until now.

PFF recently released its first set of 2017 projections and the Packers are projected to finish third in the NFC with a 10-6 record. The two teams that will finish better than the Packers in the NFC are the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons.

Here’s what PFF’s Nathan Jahnke had to say about the Packers.

Similar to the Cowboys, the Packers had an unsatisfactory end to the season with a blowout loss to the Falcons. They lost T.J. Lang, who was top five in pass-blocking efficiency for guards over the last two seasons, but replaced him with Jahri Evans, who was top 10. Year after year, they’ve been a division favorite who can make a run in the playoffs. Some of their key players are getting older, including two free agents over the age of 30, but this season should result in similar success.

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