Thank goodness, football is back.
While a solid week of practice to start training camp is by no means the deciding factor to land an NFL roster spot, it can be a sign of encouragement. This is certainly true for former Wisconsin Badgers walk-on Jared Abbrederis, who after being drafted in 2014, has had quite a bit of fan support but is looking to solidify his spot with the Green Bay Packers.
Abbrederis, who has 9 catches for 111 yards to his credit for his career, has strung together a productive first week of practice. That including having a very good day on Saturday in making a couple of impressive receptions, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky, Packers.com and Packer Report's Bill Huber ($). This is particularly significant for "Abby," who hopes to be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. The hard-to-please Rodgers stresses that he needs a high level of trust in his receivers that they'll see what he does. Abbrederis will need to lean on his his football IQ to complement his physical skill set.
The Wautoma native spoke to that on Saturday, stressing that having a good day was great, but he needs to have a lot more to ensure his spot in the receiving corps.
"There’s a lot of tight windows, so you have to be on time with the quarterback," Abbrederis said via Packers.com. "The quarterback’s got to have trust in you, and it’s just getting open. When you get the press (coverage), you have to get off."
Abbrederis also made a fan out of former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley on Saturday:
After watching @Packers practice for two hours Saturday Jermichael Finley said he was most impressed with Jared Abbrederis - routes, hands.— Mike Clemens (@MikeClemensNFL) August 1, 2016
Tom Silverstein from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also took notice of Abbrederis earlier in training camp, giving him a "thumbs up" for his performance on July 26. Acme Packing Company's Jason Hirschborn noted the former Wisconsin walk-on's play during the team's Family Night earned him a "Stock Up" rating.
Abbrederis, though a fan favorite for his collegiate career at Wisconsin, will have to fend off Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery, and recently drafted Trevor Davis for playing time and a roster spot.
Jared Abbrederis just always seems to be where Aaron Rodgers needs him to be. #Packers— Lance Allan (@lanceallan) August 1, 2016