WERNER ON THE MOVE: Rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner shifted from side to side during Wednesday’s practice, but he worked exclusively as the “rush” linebacker with free agent addition Erik Walden playing the “sam” position.
Veteran Robert Mathis will start on the rush side this season, but he was absent from the voluntary workout. And Werner made the most of his opportunity.
“Just different packages, they just put me there (on the right or left),” he said. “And, you know, just flip-flopped me around where they could use me.”
The former Florida State star will compete with Walden and Mathis for playing time in the fall, but linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald said that’s a good problem to have. He said the coaches will have some good players standing next to them on the sidelines at times next season as the competition for playing time heats up.
Werner’s natural ability to quickly pick up new concepts, and his versatility, should aid his cause.
“We’re just trying to put him into the whole picture,” FitzGerald said. “He’s going to learn his responsibilities (at rush linebacker). What I see from him is the ability to play ‘rush’ linebacker or ‘sam’ linebacker somewhere down the road. So he’s setting his feet, he’s getting wet. I think we’ve got him in the right spot right now, but we will have flexibility with him in time as he develops.”
ANGERER STILL ON MEND: A broken foot suffered during the first preseason game cost inside linebacker Pat Angerer five games last season and limited him to just two starts.
The injury was still enough of a concern Wednesday to keep the former Iowa star on the sideline during OTAs. And the idol time is starting to get to him.
“It’s hard not to (push it), man,” Angerer said. “You are just bored. But I ramped it up a bit and am feeling good.”
Angerer was one of several players watching the proceedings either due to injury or a scheduled day of rest. Included in that group were defensive end Cory Redding, rookie safety John Boyett, nose tackle Brandon McKinney, defensive end Fili Moala, safety Larry Asante and safety Joe Lefeged.
Four other players — outside linebacker Robert Mathis, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, safety LaRon Landry and offensive guard Donald Thomas — missed the practice all together.
Angerer said he’s unsure whether he’ll be cleared for full practice before the end of OTAs.
“I’ll get an MRI here sometime, I don’t know, figure it out and see,” he said. “It feels better now than it did all last year.”