Packers' top rookie Kevin King can finally trade FaceTime for face time

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- If you've tried to FaceTime Joe Whitt or Kevin King over the last month, don't feel bad if neither one answered. The apps on their iPhones or iPads were probably busy.

FaceTime is just about the only way the Green Bay Packers cornerbacks coach could make the rookie cornerback feel like he was part of the team's offseason workouts.

That should change this week, when King will be able to trade FaceTime for actual face time with Whitt and the rest of the team. King -- the Packers' second-round pick -- is expected at the team's mandatory minicamp now that his school, the University of Washington, is finally out for the summer. Final exams in Seattle ended on Friday.

Until then, King was barred from participating in organized team activities because of the archaic NFL rule that says rookies can't attend OTAs if their schools are still in session -- even if they're no longer enrolled -- unless they have already graduated. Washington, like many schools in the Pac-12 and on the West Coast, operates on a quarter system. The Packers' other nine draft picks and all but one undrafted free agent (linebacker Josh Letuligasenoa of Cal Poly) attended two-semester colleges that let out in early-to-mid May.

"When they're not here, in Kevin King's situation you have meeting time that you're able to push through, and Joe Whitt is doing that," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "You make the best of FaceTime and those types of things."

Like most coaches, Whitt sounded like someone who doesn't care for the NFL's rule. When asked how much time he spends online with King, he said: "Not enough. I wish he was here."

It's the second straight year that the Packers' top pick has been barred from OTAs. Last spring, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said he used Skype to keep first-round pick Kenny Clark of UCLA (along with fourth-rounder Dean Lowry of Northwestern) up to speed while he was away. Both Clark and Lowry returned in time for the mandatory minicamp.

"We're talking as much as we can; we actually just got finished here a little bit ago," Whitt said during a recent session with reporters during OTAs. "As much as we can get in, we get in. But I wish he was here. There's nothing like being here and being in the room and working the technique. There's only so much you can do through FaceTime on the board and trying to really explain it to him in a proper fashion."

King should get plenty of hands-on coaching this week, especially if McCarthy excuses veterans from the minicamp as he did last year. Although McCarthy wouldn't confirm this supposition last week, his statement that minicamp "is designed for our younger players" at the start of OTAs points to a possible repeat of last year's format.

The three-day session that begins Tuesday constitutes the final on-field activity in Green Bay until the first training camp practice on July 27.

While King was away, LaDarius Gunter and Davon House took the starting cornerback reps in the base defense, while Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins have manned the slot in most nickel and dime sub packages.