Hello, Mom, Dad and girlfriend: Kevin King's phone finally for something other than football

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Not all of the recent calls on Kevin King's iPhone and FaceTime app are from Joe Whitt, the Green Bay Packers' cornerbacks coach.

Only most of them.

"Joe Whitt and then my girlfriend a little bit and Mom and Dad and then Joe Whitt," said King, a cornerback from the University of Washington who was the Packers' top draft pick in April.

King, the No. 33 overall pick, should have more phone time for Aliyah and for his parents now that he's finally back in Green Bay. He spoke Tuesday after his first practice since rookie camp in early May. King couldn't participate in any of the organized team activity practices because of the antiquated rule that prevents rookies from coming to OTAs while their school is still in session -- even if that player wasn't enrolled, and King was not (he said he withdrew from school to prepare for the draft and has a little more than a quarter to go in order to finish his degree in American Ethnic Studies).

So until King got back into town Sunday night and took his physical Monday, the only way he could keep up with what the rest of his teammates had learned was via phone calls and video conferences with Whitt, his position coach. They kept in regular contact while King was back home in Oakland.

Still, the Packers didn't just throw in King right away when the first of three minicamp practices began Tuesday. Coach Mike McCarthy limited him to only individual drills; there was no 11-on-11 participation for King.

"We're going to bring him along at a pace and see how he does," McCarthy said Tuesday. "We'll talk about tomorrow's practice and do the same for Thursday. I don't think it's smart regardless of who the player is to throw him right out there and think he's going to pick up where he left off."

That might prevent King from getting snaps with the No. 1 defense when training camp opens July 27, but it shouldn't have any impact on whether he's able to win a starting job before the Sept. 10 season opener against the Seattle Seahawks. After all, the Packers drafted King to help improve their 31st-ranked run defense from last season.

"I think Coach did a good job of keeping me up to speed," King said. "So whenever they choose to unleash me, I'll be ready."

Without veterans at minicamp -- McCarthy excused any player with at least five years of experience -- and without King in team drills, the starters' reps at cornerback went to LaDarius Gunter, Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall.

"Other guys have been here, and other guys have been working for the same opportunities," King said. "I haven't shown anything yet for me to just come in here and be a Day 1 starter just like that. Like I said, I'm going to compete, and come Game 1, whoever's out there is going to get the job done."