GREEN BAY — When the Green Bay
Packers went back to work Monday for the official start of the team's
offseason workout program, they saw more of wide receiver Jordy Nelson
and less of running back Eddie Lacy.
Nelson is on the comeback trail
following last year's season-ending right knee injury and Lacy looks
slimmer after being called out by coach Mike McCarthy for being
overweight last year.
"It's early. It's the spring right
now," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "So we're going to see
how the team comes together; we're not going to make any wild
With the Sept. 11 regular-season opener
at Jacksonville still five months away, the Packers have to be excited
about the prospect of having a healthy Nelson, who went down with a
torn ACL in an Aug. 23 preseason game at Pittsburgh, and a leaner
Lacy, who was not among the players who spoke with reporters on
"Eddie looks good, man,"
Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels said. "We'll see when the
pads come on and everything, but I do think he's a guy who rises to
the occasion. He came under a lot of fire (after McCarthy's comments),
so I think he's a guy that he got put on the spot and he
Despite his playing time fluctuating
because of a missed curfew and conditioning concerns, Lacy still
rushed for 758 yards last season and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. But
after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to start his career, Lacy now
must rebound in the final year of his rookie contract if he hopes to
keep his starting job and land another lucrative deal.
"Sometimes guys have great year,
great year, great year and then one 'down' year, and that's just what
happens to everybody," Daniels said. "Unfortunately he
wasn't his best (last season), but he's a guy that has pride. He's got
pride, and I think hearing all the negativity might have sparked him
up a little bit."
Nelson is well ahead of schedule
following his knee injury and said the strength and conditioning
coaches gave him the same offseason workouts that his teammates were
given. He's already started running routes and hinted that he would
like to take part in the organized team activity practices that begin
"I've attacked the rehab the way I
wanted to; it's progressed the way I wanted to. I continue to work out
the way the coaches and trainers want me to," Nelson said.
"We'll do everything we can to make sure I'm ready to go."
Nelson, who caught 98 passes for a
team-record 1,519 yards while earning his first Pro Bowl berth in
2014, also said that he doesn't have "a mental block with
anything" he's done physically during his comeback.
Rodgers appeared rested and trim
despite a busy offseason that included attending the Academy Awards
with actress girlfriend Olivia Munn and golfing with President Barack
Obama. Although he is coming off a season in which he had the lowest
passer rating of his career as a starter (92.7), Rodgers again
emphasized that it's too early for bold predictions.
"It's April," Rodgers said.
"We have goals that we'll put in place, and you want to finish on
top every year, and only one team does. So every other team, if you're
not the Super Bowl champ, you're falling short."
Notes: The Packers have re-signed
offensive lineman Don Barclay and signed linebacker Lerentee McCray.
Barclay played in all 18 games last season. McCray, a fourth-year
player out of Florida, has spent his career with Denver and played in
24 regular-season games over the past two years, recording 19 tackles,
1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and four special teams tackles.