2. Rich Bisaccia put his new title to work on Friday.
As LaFleur led Saturday’s practice, he passed the clipboard to Bisaccia on Friday while attending the sixth annual Wisconsin men’s basketball coach’s ‘Garding Against Cancer’ charity , Greg Gard, in Madison.
Bisaccia, entering his second season as Green Bay’s special teams coordinator, added an assistant head coach to his title this offseason. Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich also called plays.
LaFleur said it was his first time meeting Gard, who led the Badgers to five NCAA Tournament appearances and two Big Ten titles during his eight seasons at the helm. Gard spearheaded the cause after his father, Glen, died of cancer in 2015. Friday night’s event raised nearly $900,000 for cancer research.
“I think we have an incredible platform in what we do, and raising money for such a great cause for such a serious disease was a no-brainer,” LaFleur said. “And I thought Rich would do a great job of maintaining the fort, which he did – and our other staff too. We have great staff, and I feel confident with those guys and thought that missing rookie training was not going to be the end of the world.”
3. Anders Carlson got the Bisaccia seal of approval.
The Packers’ decision to sign Anders Carlson from Auburn was music to the ears of Bisaccia, who worked with his older brother, Daniel, for 3½ years with the Raiders.
Under Bisaccia from 2018-21, the elder Carlson made 108 of 121 field goal attempts (89.3%) and was named to his first-team All-Pro in 2021 after converting 40 field goals leading the league at 93.0% rate.
Following in his brother’s footsteps at Auburn, Anders scored 79 of 110 goals (71.8%) and 173 of 176 added points (98.3%) during his five college seasons. His last two campaigns have been impacted by injury. Carlson tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2021 and then missed three games with a shoulder injury last season.
The rookie minicamp marked a significant turning point for the rookie kicker, however, as Carlson was able to get rid of the knee brace he wore on his plant leg during his senior season.
“Oh, he was very high on him,” LaFleur said of Bisaccia’s reaction to the Packers signing Anders. “Obviously having a history there with his brother and he’s known him for a while now. So that certainly had a big impact on Anders’ ability to be picked by us. But he’s a talented guy and we’re excited. He’s got a big leg and he’s certainly far from a finished product.”
4. Rookie Kenneth Odumegwu has a special story…and an opportunity.
Earlier this week, the Nigerian linebacker was assigned to the Packers through the NFL’s International Pathway program, which aims to provide elite international athletes with the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately , to work to earn a spot on an NFL. list.
Odumegwu, who hails from Anambra State in Nigeria, converted to football through educational basketball. He attended Osi Umenyiora’s NFL Africa Touchdown Camp in Accra, Ghana, where he was assigned to the defensive line and named Defensive Most Valuable Player.
A 6-foot-6, 257-pound linebacker in Green Bay, Odumegwu impressed at the International Combine in England last October and has spent the past three months training in Florida before being paired with the Packers. He will be with the Packers during training camp, at which time Odumegwu will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption with his assigned team.
“I’m very excited to be here,” Odumegwu said. “Even on my social media page, the fans were very welcoming. Someone even gave me a nickname on Twitter. OD. They said they couldn’t pronounce my last name. I was like , ‘OK it’s fine !’ So the weather and the weather, yes I’m from Nigeria so Nigeria is hot but I’ve been to Norway so I’ve experienced the cold, it’s very welcoming here.
It’s the first time the Packers have been assigned a foreign-born player since the International Pathway program began in 2017. While LaFleur doesn’t recall coaching a player from the International Pathway program before, he has worked with current Dallas defensive line coach Aden Durde in Atlanta. .
Durde, from Middlesex, England, played an integral development of the NFL Undiscover program, a predecessor to the current International Player Pathway.
“It’s a good thing just for football to give someone an opportunity from another country, it’s just a big plus,” LaFleur said. “Obviously that has its benefits from a lineup point of view as well. So we’re really excited about that.”