Training Camp Observations, August 3, Evening, Full Pads
The weather man was wrong. It’s sunny and 85 degrees about an hour before practice.
– There is a lot of talk here in Green Bay on the Brett Favre retirement. My thoughts — he stays retired until September 9th when, while mowing the lawn, he decides to drive the lawnmower to the Superdome to announce his return… Bobby Boucher style.
– Looks like we may potentially see some FGs tonight. Hopefully it goes better than it has been, especially from the right hash.
Offense vs. defense
– Aaron Rodgers short pass to Tom Crabtree. A.J. Hawk on coverage.
– Nice pass from Rodgers to Donald Lee on the run.
– Rodgers pass to James Jones in front of Frank Zombo.
– All plays had running backs split out wide, which looks like a new wrinkle.
– Players start in a huddle and sprint out to their positions as soon as Mason Crosby is ready to kick.
– Brady Poppinga wins both of his and gets a breather for it.
– Shawn Gore probably wonders how he drew Quinn Johnson.
– Cyril Obiozor gets some love from the coaches. He seems like a guy they really like.
Offense vs. defense, round two
– End around to Jordy Nelson would of been stopped by Clay Matthews, except Nelson throws to James Jones for huge gain.
– Well set up screen from Graham Harrell to John Kuhn.
– Desmond Bishop with the quick pressure on Rodgers — would of been a sack if not for the red jersey.
– End around to James Jones goes for not much of a gain.
– Errant pass from Graham Harrell to Chastin West broken up by Charlie Peprah.
1-on-1 (linebackers vs. tight ends)
– Championship belt shown to crowd as the winner’s prize.
– Matthews beats Jermichael Finley.
– Poppinga beats Crabtree with a rip move.
– Andrew Quarless beats Zombo.
– Donald Lee beats Obiozor.
– Matthews beats Jermichael again.
– Crabtree holds his own against Poppinga and Brady takes it to the ground.
– Quarless beats Zombo again.
– Lee and Obiozor get into it after the whistle. Kevin Greene breaks it up, tags in Ric Flair….Wooooooooooo!
– Tight ends win the championship belt.
Two-minute drill — offense needs a TD (2 timeouts), 7-on-7
– Rodgers puts a pass on Donald Driver’s back shoulder.
– Pass down the middle to Nelson, timeout.
– Great back shoulder catch by Finley.
– Another back shoulder toss with a great catch by Brett Swain.
– TD to Lee on a short pass.
– Matt Flynn takes the No. 2 offense down the field but fails to score.
Regular offense vs. defense drills
– Quinn Johnson makes a huge block on Zombo. The pads popped.
– Finley shows his strength as he catches a quick screen, gets his helmet knocked off, and keeps going.
– First teams are looking pretty sharp.
– Charles Woodson would have destroyed Flynn on a blitz.
– Nelson makes a huge catch deep down the middle from Rodgers. It would of been a 30-plus yard gain.
– Brandon Chillar makes a big stop on a running play behind the line.
– Morgan Burnett shows great coverage.
– Desmond Bishop and Breno Giacomini get into it. Cullen Jenkins comes in from the side and blows Giacomini up. Finley gets in Jenkins’ face. I love the intensity. Jenkins is heated.
– We just had a Ron Wolf sighting.
– Another fight — Jarius Wynn and someone else are throwing punches. Mike McCarthy calls a meeting.
– Jenkins is still fuming about something.
– 27-yarder from the right is good.
– 27-yarder from the left is good.
– 35-yarder down the middle is good.
– 40-yarder from the left is good.
– 44-yarder from the right is good.
– 45-yarder down the middle is good.
– Great catch by Driver from Rodgers. He still has it.
– Nelson slides and catches a low pass over the middle.
– Mike Neal gets quick pressure on Flynn. Johnny Jolly who?
– West makes a nice leaping catch on a Rodgers throw.
– Hawk breaks through the line and stops Ryan Grant for a loss.
– Lee takes a quick screen from Flynn in for a TD.
– Nelson catches a TD from Flynn in a goal line situation.
– Is the run defense strong or is the rush offense weak?
– Flynn makes a great off-balance TD toss to Lee.
Game situation: offense vs. defense
– The defense forces a three-and-out with the No. 1 units. Burnett had great coverage on Jones on 3rd-and-long.
– Flynn takes the No. 2 unit down the field. Crosby attempts a 40-yard field goal from the left that goes wide right. Crosby is forced to take a second without pressure and makes it.
Thoughts on the night
There was a high amount of intensity throughout the practice and that’s a promising sight. There were three fights tonight, with two of them being pretty heated. The fight between Giacomini and Bishop started when both guys attempted to finish the block, then Jenkins came in from the side and chucked Giacomini down, which set off a huge brawl that ended with Finley and Jenkins standing face-to-face. The children in attendance were able to learn a couple new words, most of the cussing variety, and it was a pretty intense scene. The other large fight was on the press side of the practice field and I’m unsure what caused Wynn to throw punches, but it was enough that we were able to hear Jenkins yelling from across the field. Nobody seemed to be hurt in the rumble, so I’ll say these were fights that were good for the team, since everyone was playing all-out.
Jordy Nelson is looking really impressive running his routes, getting open, and catching the ball. James Jones may be improved this year and will possibly hang onto the No. 3 wide receiver spot, but Nelson is making the kind of plays that have him looking like the real No. 3 receiver. By the end of the year it wouldn’t be a shock to see that happen officially.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Morgan Burnett is the Packers starting safety. His coverage skills are miles ahead of Atari Bigby, Derrick Martin, Charlie Peprah or any other safety not named Nick Collins. It’s going to be exciting to see how Burnett looks in the preseason, to see if he can handle being the guy at his position.
What to say about Mason Crosby? Just when it looks like he’ll have a flawless night, he finds a way to shank one on the only game situation field goal. His night was better than his 6-for-11 pace up until tonight, but missing a 40-yard field goal is not something the Packers can settle for in a real game. I was real high on Crosby when the Packers drafted him, but I’ve been jaded by all his misses. I hope he finds his way and he finds it soon. At least tonight was a move in the right direction for Crosby.
Brady has lived in Green Bay for the majority of his life, mostly because the Packers also reside there. He decided to forgo city life and nice weather in favor of the smell of brats and the ramblings of a Packers armchair GM. To Brady, there is the big 3 -- Packers, beer, and more Packers.