GREEN BAY, Wis. – The fifth practice of Green Bay Packers training camp featured 2-minute drills to end the day.
The Aaron Rodgers-led No. 1 offense kicked a field goal for the win. Starting at its 25 with 1:15 remaining and one timeout, Rodgers connected with Davante Adams on a silky-smooth back-shoulder throw against Eric Stokes for a gain of 16. A juggling catch by Marquez Valdes-Scantling – he tipped it to himself three or four times – gained 9 to midfield. Rodgers found tight end Robert Tonyan for 6 yards and a first down to the 44 before he clocked the ball with 37 seconds remaining.
An incomplete pass to Allen Lazard made it third down, setting up the key play of the sequence. Rodgers went deep to Randall Cobb but safety Darnell Savage intercepted the ball to give the defense the win. Instead, Savage was penalized for pass interference, giving Rodgers and Co. a first down at the 17 with 33 seconds to go.
Back-to-back passes to Adams against Stokes came up empty. On the second, Stokes must have been flagged for interference. That made it first-and-goal at the 6. Savage broke up a pass to Tonyan on first down. On the final play, Mason Crosby booted a 24-yard field goal.
Jordan Love and the No. 2s took the first 2-minute drill. Given the same scenario, Love picked up a couple first downs but ran out of time. On the first, Love connected with receiver DeAndre Thompkins on a crossing route. Linebacker Ty Summers probably “tackled” Thompkins short of the market but, for the good of the drill, the offense was given a first down to the 37.
A checkdown to Kylin Hill gained only 2 yards and forced the offense to burn its only timeout. A crossing route to Amari Rodgers picked up 9 yards, making it third-and-1 with 21 seconds to go. Love wound up scrambling for the first down and clocked the ball with 7 seconds to go. Rather than give Love one last throw to gain about 18 yards for a shot at the first down, coach Matt LaFleur pulled the offense.
Big Bunch of Blockers
You never can have enough offensive linemen. The Packers learned that lesson last year when they ran out of competent offensive tackles for the NFC Championship Game.
Even without All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari cleared to practice, the blockers have given Rodgers ample time to survey the defense. Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins has been so good at Bakhtiari’s spot that he’s been easy to overlook. At Jenkins’ spot, Ben Braden and Jon Runyan have rotated in with the No. 1 offense. That means, once Bakhtiari is back, there could be a three-man battle at right guard between incumbent starter Lucas Patrick, Braden and Runyan.
“You have to hand it to the coaching staff,” right tackle Billy Turner said. “They do a great job preparing us. The Green Bay Packers, there’s a standard for offensive line play, and all the older guys in the room let the younger guys know that from Day 1. As soon as they walk into this building and walk into that room, there is a standard. We’re one of the best of the best year in and year out. That is the standard. We are not (crappy) players, so you need to figure your stuff out.”
Play of the Day
It wasn’t a great day for Love. But it’s throws like this one why the Packers are such believers. On a bootleg to the right, Love threw a rope downfield for a long touchdown to Chris Blair. With Love throwing on the move, the ball was perfect and Blair didn’t have to break stride.
Packers Injury Report
New Injuries: OLB Randy Ramsey (left leg) needed help off the field after going down during an 11-on-11 period. WR Bailey Gaither (undisclosed) was not at practice.
Old Injuries: None.
Returned to Practice: RB Patrick Taylor (groin; activated from PUP). CB Jaire Alexander, who was limited to position drills on Saturday, took some team reps.
Packers Creep Out of Cellar of Hall of Famer’s NFL Rankings
The Green Bay Packers rank 30th in the Aikman Efficiency Ratings published by The 33rd Team.
Non-Football Injury List: CB Kevin King (hamstring), S Will Redmond (foot), OLB Za’Darius Smith (back), LB Isaiah McDuffie (hamstring), DT Kingsley Keke (ankle).
Physically Unable to Perform List: TE Dominique Dafney (knee), LT David Bakhtiari (knee), TE Josiah Deguara (knee).
Training Camp Photo Gallery: Aug. 2
Some Quick Reads
– What did coach Matt LaFleur think of Week 1 of camp? “I thought our guys did a nice job. I know we had a couple times where the ball was on the ground in that practice but, for the most part, our guys have done a really nice job taking care of the football. I think these guys are learning to practice against one another. It’s competitive, but they take care of one another, too. Really, it’s a double-edged sword because, from an offensive perspective, you don’t want to see the turnovers but, from a defensive perspective, you want to see us, we call it hammer, rake, punch at the football. You’d like guys making plays on the ball, in the air, so. But I think our guys are learning and getting better at that on the defensive side of the football.”
– Crosby made only half of his eight attempts during a field-goal drill. On kicks ranging from 33 to 53 yards, Crosby was wide left from 36, wide right from 39, wide left from 45 and wide right from 53.
– Who’s the fastest player on the team, Eric Stokes or Marquez Valdes-Scantling? While the 40-yard times say it’s Stokes, Valdes-Scantling said “no question” it’s him. Rodgers put their speed to the test. He went deep to Valdes-Scantling but Stokes was in perfect position to deny the completion.
– Adams dropped a pass. Stop the presses.
– One of last year’s sixth-round offensive linemen, center Jake Hanson, didn’t have a good sequence. With the offense backed up near the goal line, Love and Hanson botched the quarterback-center exchange. A few moments later, Hanson’s shotgun snap was off-target and Love had to scurry back to get the ball.
– Rookie running back Kylin Hill might have had his most impactful day. He followed blocks from Cole Van Lanen and Jacob Capra for an explosive run. Later, on a third-and-19 following the wayward shotgun snap from Hanson, Hill got the ball in space on a screen and might have picked up the first down.
– During individual drills, Rodgers probably spent 2 minutes teaching young No. 3 quarterback Kurt Benkert.
– Marcedes Lewis is the oldest tight end in the NFL but still going strong as a key role player and leader. “I’m just 37, that’s it. You know what I mean? I like to put it in perspective. I live my life like I’m on a one-day contract. I put things in perspective and see things for what they are. Camp is a necessary evil. You build your callouses for war. I learned how to compete at a very young age. It’s something that I still look forward to and love to do, so it’s easy for me to come in here and give all I’ve got for the amount of hours that I’m here and try to get better at something every day.”
– LaFleur said 11 of his 89 players haven’t been vaccinated. With 89 players on the roster, that would give the Packers a vaccination rate of 87.6 percent – better than the league’s goal of 85 percent of players on each team. “All we’re going to do is continue to tell them what the protocols are and try to educate guys the best we can and give them the information, and then they have to make the decision for themselves,” LaFleur said.
Packers Training Camp Schedule
For the first time in camp, practice will more closely resemble real football with the players putting on pads on Tuesday. Practice time is 10:10 a.m. After that, the next public practice is 10:10 a.m. Thursday. The leads into Saturday’s Family Night.
“Everybody loves to be physical,” outside linebacker Preston Smith said. “Everybody loves to be in pads because you get to exert your physicality and you can show how dominant you can be as a player. Guys are excited to be in pads because sometimes they feel like, I like to call them T-shirt All-Americans. Guys shine better in jerseys than they would in pads because you have to be a lot more physical in pads. That’s more where the game’s catered to you being physical and trying to be dominant and impose your will on the other guy.”