Packers rookies hit the Don Hutson Center
GREEN BAY - If it didn't feel real for the newest members of the Green and Gold during the days following the NFL Draft, Friday's first rookie orientation practice in Packers pads certainly did.
"Once you get drafted, you don't really feel it," Packers wide receiver DeAngelo Yancy said. "Then once you put the helmet and jersey on, you're like OK, time to go to work."
"It's like see ball, get ball," Packers safety Josh Jones said. "First day, first NFL practice down, many more to go."
After a few quiet months, the Don Hutson Center was awakened with the youthful energy and the promise of roster and position battles to be won down the road.
"I've got to earn it just like the other guys out here," Packers cornerback Kevin King said. "I don't put myself on a pedestal or anywhere else, regardless I'm going out there and do the best that I can. Ready to learn like everyone else."
It's not only in the secondary, where King and Jones should make immediate impacts, but also in the backfield where Green Bay's newest additions are saying the right things.
Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays are all battling to backup Ty Montgomery as the team's second tailback heading into 2017.
"We're all pushing each other, want to see each other succeed," Packers running back Aaron Jones said. "Friendly competition and all getting after it together."
For most, including the team's 10 draft picks, the first few days are about shaking off the awe and trying not to get too shaken up.
Former Wisconsin standout and hometown favorite Vince Biegel among the players to be nicked up in their first practice with the team.
"It was a hand injury, nothing of concern," Packers linebacker Vince Biegel said. "I took some x-rays, being evaluated right now, disappointed obviously that I didn't finish my first practice. Looking forward to it but they'll be bumps in the road on this journey."
For the coaches and members of the front office, the film gathered during these practices will likely tell a story of growth.
"I thought the work was great today," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. "We'll have excellent tape to go through with them."
As for the players, the members of this year's camp should have plenty of good stories to tell in the coming months.
"You see his locker, and you're like that's (Aaron) Rodgers but you're also his teammate," Packers running back Jamaal Williams said. "I want to be able to tell him I grew up watching him but I also want to be relied on when my name is called."
"Just the legends that came before me, following in their footsteps," Packers defensive tackle Montravius Adams said. "Being a defensive lineman, I have big shoes to fill."