GREEN BAY, Wis. – After two consecutive days off the practice field – one scheduled, one to discuss societal issues – the Green Bay Packers got back to work on Friday.
“One thing we talked about as a team afterwards is when you are away for a significant amount of time, which they were, every time we step out on that field, we’ve got to maintain our standard, and our standards can’t slip,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “We have to make sure that we go out there ready to practice with the right mindset and just put our best foot forward each and every day.”
Not everyone met that standard.
“I thought some guys did an excellent job, and then there were some mental mistakes that occurred that we can’t have,” he said. “Everybody for the most part is in Year 2 of this thing in all three phases, offense, defense and special teams, so we’re going to hold these guys to a high standard just like we hold our coaches to a high standard.”
Because of rain, the team practiced inside the Don Hutson Center. That brought some logistical issues fitting 80 players into the smaller practice facility.
“More than anything else, just the wear and turf the puts on these guys’ bodies, it’s extra strain vs. being on the grass,” LaFleur said.
The Packers returned healthier. Veteran right tackle Rick Wagner, who was signed to contend for the spot manned by Bryan Bulaga, had missed the last four practices with an injured arm. In his absence, Lane Taylor had received the first-team reps at right guard and Billy Turner the first-team reps at right tackle.
As LaFleur said at the start of camp, he isn’t in a rush to determine winners at the right-side spots. He said he could take it all the way to the week before the Sept. 13 opener at Minnesota.
“He’s an experienced vet that’s played a lot of ball and we’re excited to get him back in the fold,” LaFleur said. “Certainly, with the limited reps he’s had up to this point in our team situations, it was nice to see him back out there.”
Fellow offensive tackle Yosh Nijman, an ultra-athletic prospect who went undrafted last year, was activated from the physically unable to perform list. He spent most his rookie season on the practice squad and earned a late-season promotion before suffering an elbow injury that required surgery.
“He’s got a lot of talent,” LaFleur said. “He’s just got to put it together mentally.”
Missed practice: S Raven Greene (unknown), CB Kabion Ento (foot), OLB Randy Ramsey (unknown), DT Montravius Adams (toe).
Dropped out: None.
PUP: LB Curtis Bolton (knee), OLB Greg Roberts.
NFI: RB Patrick Taylor (foot), G Simon Stepaniak (knee).
Returned: RT Rick Wagner (arm), OT Yosh Nijman (elbow from PUP).
The Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Ryan Wood reported Ento sustained a broken bone in a foot.
Plays of the Day
Because I’m not one of the handful of “Tier 2” writers, I was not allowed into the Don Hutson Center for practice. So, thanks to good friends Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Wes Hodkiewicz of Packers.com and Matt Schneidman of the Athletic, here are some noteworthy plays.
Demovsky: Practice 10 was a good one for No. 10. Rookie quarterback Jordan Love had perhaps his best throw of training camp when he hit receiver Malik Turner on a deep corner route.
“I thought today he was much better,” LaFleur said. “He was more aggressive. I thought he was more decisive, and that’s what we want to continue to see. I think that from a footwork and mechanics standpoint, he’s continuing to impress and get better each and every day. We’ve just got to slow it down mentally for him because there’s a lot of information. It’s not like we’re holding back the playbook. We’ve thrown everything at him, and there’s a lot to digest. As he gets more comfortable, it’ll show in his play.”
Hodkiewicz: Marquez Valdes-Scantling made a one-handed catch on a crossing route, corralling a pass thrown slightly behind him without breaking stride. Meanwhile, last year’s first-round pick, Rashan Gary, continued his strong training camp by shoving offensive tackle John Leglue to the ground during the one-on-ones.
“I think Rashan is extremely talented,” LaFleur said. “I think he’s done a really nice job of being violent with his hands and being able to get the offensive lineman’s hands off him. I think he’s continuing to get better each and every day. I’m excited about what he can bring to our defense.”
Schneidman: “It was when AJ Dillon stood still while Rodgers was rolling out and Rodgers asked him what the (heck) he was doing.”
Links of the Day
- This is my 13th season covering the Packers. I don’t think I’ve ever written a first-person story, and I definitely have never written about my college football experience because it’s laughable. But, back in 1991, I was just a white kid who’d spent almost no time around minorities. That’s until my first day of football practice, when the guy next to me was black. So, here’s my politics-free 2 cents on the subject.
The Next Days
The Packers will practice at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Ray Nitschke Field and noon Sunday at Lambeau Field before a scheduled off-day on Monday.
Last Word of the Day
Safety Adrian Amos, on balancing football and societal issues:
“Obviously, certain things, certain days are harder than others, but this is what I love to do. I love to play football but, at the same time, things are going to be on your mind. When I go home, when I’m seeing what’s going on in the world, that still affects me, as well. It’s tough but it’s what we have to do. Me playing football is what is giving me this platform to speak right now. That’s big for me to continue to show what I can do but also allowing people to understand that I’m more than a football player.”