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Worthy starting to come on for Packers

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Aug. 08, 2012 @ 11:58 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

It certainly hasn’t taken long for Packers second-round DE Jerel Worthy to fit in with his new teammates. In the team’s early training-camp practices, his amiable rapport with teammates, both young and old, is instantly eye-catching.

So is his big-time burst off the ball.

“The one thing you see right away is just how quick he is right off the snap,” said one team insider.

Packers NT B.J. Raji, who is likely to be spending lots of time alongside Worthy in nickel situations, couldn’t agree more.

“He has a lot of ability,” Raji told PFW. “He understands what we do from a schematic standpoint. He’s a good 3-4 end with size and great quickness, and he really should help us apply more pressure up the middle. He’s a smart kid who learns real quick.”

Worthy had been up and down in the early stages of training camp before coming up big under the lights Aug. 3 in a noteworthy performance in the Packers’ “Family Night” practice.

He also appears to be a good kid with excellent character.

“I’ve never seen a rookie who is so involved and wants to know as much as he can about everything,” said free-agent addition Anthony Hargrove, who is spending as much time observing his new surroundings off the field as participating in drills on the field with his eight-game suspension to start the season for his alleged involvement in “Bountygate” stuck in legal limbo at presstime.

“Even though he was a hot high pick, he’s very humble and attentive,” added Raji. “He’s not afraid to ask a lot of questions.”

In a perfect world, the Packers’ No. 2 pick out of Michigan State will quickly develop into a younger version of ex-Packer Cullen Jenkins, whose inside pass-rushing ability has been sorely missed since his exit to Philadelphia last offseason as a free agent.

“You know, that’s a pretty tall order at this point,” said Raji. “I mean, Cullen is probably the best pass-rushing tackle I’ve seen since Warren Sapp was playing. But I do think Jerel will do some good things and establish his own identity.”

Up to now, daily team observers tell us Worthy has looked better overall than first-round LOLB Nick Perry, who has had his share of struggles converting from defensive end.

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