Monday, June 07, 2004

It was surprising that reported the CB Michael Hawthorne started with the first team defense in place of absent CB Mike McKenzie for the first week of the June minicamp. The Packers had given repeated indications that Hawthorne was a safety first and a cornerback second this offseason, even lists Hawthorne as a safety, although it might be temporary until rookies CB Ahmad Carroll and CB Joey Thomas learn the playbook.

Even more surprising was that when CB Al Harris sat out with a bad ankle on Friday, free agent CB Chris Watson played on the first team defense in place of Harris, according to When the Packers first signed Watson before the draft, I compared Watson favorably to high priced free agent CB Jason Webster, who signed with Atlanta this offseason. Although Watson has proven himself to be a useful 3rd or 4th cornerback when he played in Buffalo, he is coming off a lost season in Detroit (injury) and he seemed like a longshot to make the Packers. Apparently Watson has showed more promise than second year CB Chris Johnson, and now Johnson has to be considered the longshot to make the Packers. reported that former-CB Bhawoh Jue is out of the rotation at cornerback and working with the second team defense at free safety, and he will have to battle for a roster spot with S Curtis Fuller.

As far as starting off on the wrong foot: had a quote from defensive coordinator Bob Slowik that Carroll didn't play well in April's mini-camp because of "all those draft parties". Although Slowik followed up by saying "there's a noticeable improvement now" with Carroll, it sounds like Carroll is a early candidate for the doghouse and being deactived for Sunday ala DE Jamal Reynolds.

Current cornerback depth chart (excluding McKenzie) reads: 1. Harris; 2. Hawthorne; Nickel. Watson; Dime. Thomas.

No comments: