GREEN BAY, Wis. – Believe it or not, the first day of Green Bay Packers training camp on Wednesday included a practice.
For about 1 hour, 40 minutes, the Packers conducted an OTA-style helmet-and-shorts practice. That will be the case again on Thursday.
“I think every year has got new challenges and I think it all starts in training camp, how you come together as a team, because that team cohesion, that team camaraderie, chemistry, that’s an important part of it,” coach Matt LaFleur said before hitting the practice field. “We know what the winning formula is around here, and it's taking it day by day, one game at a time. I know it's cliche and I'm sure some of you guys are rolling your eyes at me right now. But that is the truth. We’re just going to take it one day at a time and watch this team come together and we'll see where we're at.”
De’Vondre Campbell, Eric Stokes Among Starters
There were two new faces in the defensive starting lineup. With veteran cornerback Kevin King starting camp on the sideline with an undisclosed injury, first-round pick Eric Stokes moved into the starting lineup.
Far more noteworthy was linebacker. Instead of lining up with the second-year tandem of Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin, the Packers went with Barnes and veteran addition De’Vondre Campbell.
“He’s been moving fast, picking it up,” safety Adrian Amos said of Campbell, a 70-game starter who joined the team in June. “A lot of times when you have more players on a defense that have played a lot of ball and can come in and get stuff going, and they can pick up on it fast because you just know football. When you know football, it’s easier to switch schemes or get with a new team.”
Elgton Jenkins at Left Tackle
When All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari was out for the NFC Championship Game with a torn ACL, the Packers shifted Billy Turner to left tackle and inserted veteran Rick Wagner at right tackle.
How might the Packers line up for Week 1 at New Orleans if Bakhtiari isn’t quite back? On Wednesday, Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins moved out to left tackle and Turner stayed home at right tackle. The left guard snaps were split by Ben Braden and Jon Runyan. Rookie Josh Myers was the center and Lucas Patrick was at his customary spot at right guard.
Let the record reflect the first play of training camp was a botched center-quarterback exchange between Aaron Rodgers and Myers.
Brief Scare for Davante Adams
During the aforementioned red-zone period, Davante Adams was unable to pull in a pass from Rodgers against Sullivan. Adams stayed on the turf for perhaps a half-minute before coming off the field. No problem, though. He was back in later and ended the day with a touchdown.
Adams is coming off one of the great seasons in NFL history. Now, he wants to be even better.
“It’s not numbers-based for me,” he said. “It’s about the way my film looks. Typically, if my film looks good, my quarterback is going to find me, which turns into the numbers kind of take care of themselves. Obviously, I want to elevate. I want to do better in every category than what I did. But I’m not going and saying, ‘OK, now it’s 20 touchdowns or whatever.’ I would love to have 20 touchdowns. When I see that film, I want to see me impose my will on the defense. I just want teams and players to still feel the same way or be even more scared as what they were previously.”
Play of the Day
While Rodgers looked sharp as far as Day 1s go, showing he put in the work during the offseason, it was Jordan Love who might have made the play of the day. During a red-zone period, rookie receiver Amari Rodgers got a step beyond Chandon Sullivan. Love dropped the ball over an unsuspecting Sullivan’s shoulder and into the hands of Rodgers for the score. For the most part, though, the defense won the period.
Rodgers did deliver his own gem. Earlier in the day, Equanimeous St. Brown got free of Jaire Alexander on a corner route and Rodgers lobbed one into the front corner of the end zone for the score.
Packers Injury Report
Injured: None. Non-football Injury List: CB Kevin King, S Will Redmond, S Henry Black, OLB Za’Darius Smith, LB Isaiah McDuffie, DT Kingsley Keke. Physically unable to perform list: RB Patrick Taylor, TE Dominique Dafney, LT David Bakhtiari, TE Josiah Deguara.
Returned to Practice: OLB Tipa Galeai opened camp on the non-football injury list but passed his physical and practiced.
Packers Training Camp Schedule
As established by the collective bargaining agreement, the first three days must contain zero contact. On Days 4 and 5, teams can practice in “spiders and shells” (helmets and light practice gear). Day 6 is a mandatory day off. Day 7 is when training camp really begins, with full pads and contact.
Officially speaking, Day 1 of Packers training camp was Tuesday, meaning Sunday is their day off. The pads, if LaFleur chooses, would go on on Monday.