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Highlights From Day 1 of Packers-Saints Joint Practices

Here’s the Play of the Day, Player of the Day and a bunch of highlights from Tuesday at Green Bay Packers training camp.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – The first day of joint practices confirmed just about everything about the identity of the Green Bay Packers. Even on a team quarterbacked by four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, this will be a team driven – at least for the start of the season – by the defense.

As has been the case for most of the first 15 practices of training camp, the second period of Tuesday’s practice against the New Orleans Saints drove home that point.

For New Orleans, it was Andy Dalton instead of Jameis Winston at quarterback but, really, it didn’t matter. On the first play, Rashan Gary recorded a “sack.” On the next play, cornerback Rasul Douglas broke up a pass to Jarvis Landry. On the third play, Jarran Reed, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith converged for a “sack.” The fourth play was a short completion, followed by another play in coverage by Douglas.

And on it went. The No. 2s entered and outside linebacker Kobe Jones had two “sacks.” When the starters re-entered, Quay Walker blitzed and drew a holding penalty on former Wisconsin star Ryan Ramczyk, star receiver Michael Thomas dropped a pass, Dean Lowry tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and Douglas prevented another completion. Later, backup safety Shawn Davis had a pick-six.

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“Domination. That’s our key,” Douglas said after a day in which he walked the walk and talked the talk. “Everybody gets dominated no matter who you are.”

Meanwhile, Green Bay’s offense wasn’t dominated. Rodgers called it a “stalemate,” which was an improvement over most days of training camp. In the offense’s second period, Rodgers threw a long touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins but also was “sacked” twice and had a deep pass dropped by Romeo Doubs.

Rodgers added a couple touchdown passes in a red-zone period and led the offense to a field-goal in a two-minute drill. An unsightly eight false starts put a damper on the production, though.

“I didn’t think we ran the ball very well, especially outside zone,” Rodgers said. “I thought we threw it pretty good, had some opportunities. A lot of mental errors, a lot of pre-snap penalties. Kind of been the theme of camp. Simple, simple plays we’re messing up. So, it’s good to do it against another team. I like the energy from the first unit, but a lot of mental mistakes.”