Jones and Packers' rookies get rolling

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm •  Published: May 10, 2013
Advertisement
;

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Datone Jones liked what he saw when he got his Green Bay Packers' playbook.

The first-round draft pick from UCLA took part in the team's rookie camp, though he was one of the team's two unsigned draft picks. Green Bay has signed nine of its draft picks and has nine undrafted free agents.

The team also had 27 players taking part on a tryout basis, a longshot route that has led to contracts for several players over the past few years.

Both Jones, a defensive end, and second-round pick Eddie Lacy, a running back from Alabama who is also unsigned, were able to participate in the practices.

Jones went in with a distinct advantage over his fellow rookies: The defense he played in at UCLA under coach Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Lou Spanos was strikingly similar to the Packers' scheme.

"Coach Spanos took a lot of Dom Capers' defenses. So today, when I'm looking at the playbook, I see pretty much all our installs from when I went to UCLA to here," Jones said. "Coming here, it's now like, 'Let me go to install four and five because I know the first three installs off the top of my head. Let me start learning what other guys do on the field and play faster."

Most of Jones' new teammates didn't have that luxury.

Lacy got his first look at the Packers' offensive playbook when he arrived in town Thursday and called it "the biggest playbook I've ever had in my life."

Then again, coach Mike McCarthy estimated that the camp is "40 to 50 percent about culture/orientation" and "50 to 60 percent about football," with the more football-focused organized team activity practices and the mandatory full-squad minicamp looming in the next six weeks.

Lacy said he wasn't bothered by recent news that both the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers had passed on him in the draft because of health concerns, including toe fusion surgery he had before his final season at Alabama.

Lacy played in all 14 of the Crimson Tide's games last season, rushing 204 times for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns while also catching 22 passes for 189 yards last year as a junior.

"I just feel like everything happens for a reason and even though I didn't get picked where I was supposed to, I fell to Green Bay and even though it was the second round, I feel like it's the perfect place to be," Lacy said. "I'm not knocking (those teams) for feeling like that, but I feel like I'm in a great situation and I'm just going to move on from there."