Day 5 Notes from Packers camp

Observational notes from the Packers 5th practice of 2020's training camp.

Just some stuff I saw today during practice inside Lambeau Field, not meant to be exhaustive in the slightest.

Injuries

Most notable addition to the injury list is Rick Wagner who dropped out of early team work and had a trainer looking at his left arm. He eventually made his way inside to get looked at. 

David Bakhtiari also took himself out after taking a tumble to the ground in team red zone work. He was out for the remainder of that period but was back for the work on the two minute drill. 

Davante Adams and Za'Darius Smith were both observers today, but Matt LaFleur indicated again after practice that there's no serious concern with either player.

Pass Pro Drill

We got our first look at the pass pro drill the Packers like to do where a backer lines up a few yards off the line of scrimmage and comes firing into the backfield. The backs are meant to step up and into the oncoming rusher. Both Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones had several strong reps throughout the drill. However, rookie running back AJ Dillon had two rough reps in particular which at one point saw running backs coach Ben Sirmans stop and give the young player some coaching points. 

This is, of course, not unexpected. Rookie backs notoriously struggle early on in pass pro. One of the best pass pro backs I've ever seen, Brandon Jackson, began his NFL life as a terrible pass protector, but worked himself into one of the best to ever do it in Green Bay. Patience will be the order of the day with Dillon, though the sooner he starts to refine and develop this part of the game the better, as it will be hard for him to see the field consistently until he does. 

John Lovett Flies The Friendly Skies

I can't help it. Love this player. I really can't wait until we see something closer to actual hitting because this guy brings the wood. He also, once again, displayed some big time play making ability, pulling in a deep shot down the left sideline from Tim Boyle. (LaFleur indicated after practice that he'd have to check the tape for a pushoff) No matter where they use this kid or what they ask him to do so far, he gets it done. I'm in. 

Time for Tipa

This camp has been tough on young guys, that's no secret. The Packers have traditionally been one of the better clubs at giving undrafted guys legit shots to make a roster, but with no offseason and so little time to get ready for Week 1, any undrafted guy who wants a shot at sticking will have to make plays that stand out. One such play happened today for undrafted edge rusher Tipa Galeai. 

I really liked Galeai's tape from Utah State and was anxious to see him put on pads and go against NFL competition. After a quiet couple of days, he had a couple really strong showings rushing the quarterback during team work. On one in particular, he made the tackle look silly. Yes, it may have been someone further down the depth chart, but still, it was the kind of burst and quickness you saw in his college tape and it was striking to see it show up at Lambeau today. It's still very, very early and the next step is for Tipa to string together a few practices like this in a row, but he certainly brought it today. 

Kabion Ento Enters the Scene

With Josh Jackson and Chandon Sullivan getting a lot of attention early in camp, and rightfully so, you could be forgiven for forgetting about Kabion Ento. An undrafted free agent out of Colorado who spent last year on the practice squad, Ento hadn't really been on my radar much early on in camp because I'd mostly been watching the starters vs starters. I got a chance to see him a bit more today, and...hello. Really strong stuff from Ento in coverage throughout the team stuff today (he did get beat once or twice, but who doesn't). His most noticeable play for me though came when he shed a block and pretty much stoned Marcedes Lewis just as the veteran tight end was about to pick up steam on a screen to the right side. Ento's collision made the pads pop and Big Dog just stopped in his tracks. That's the kind of play that will get the coaches attention and possibly earn him a few more looks. 

Good day from MVS

The Packers are obviously counting on development from their young receivers and MVS had the kind of day today that he can build on to become the kind of complimentary piece the Packers are looking for at the position. We all know the kid can fly and we've all seen him go deep, ut today he was everywhere doing all the things an NFL wide receiver needs to do to be effective. From crisp route running on a deep crossing route where Rodgers found in the middle of the field off play action, to diving for a ball that Rodgers thew short on a deep comeback (Rodgers gave MVS the patented "that's on me" signal after the throw) to doing some real down and dirty blocking in the run game, today is how it has to be every time MVS steps on the field. If he can find that consistency, then he'll be cooking with gas. 

That's it for today. If there's a player you're interested in that I didn't mention, be sure to check in on the Cheesehead TV YouTube channel every day for my pre-and-post practice chats. I try to answer as many questions as possible there. 

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Comments (9)

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Bure9620's picture

August 20, 2020 at 05:36 pm

Kabion Ento is intriguing, good twitch and interesting size, was he covering the receivers that will make the team??

I already Love Lovett

All Rookie backs suck in pass pro, This is why I am a higher on Jamal Williams than most for those reps....How do Lovett and Deguara look as blockers??
Any Special Teams work yet??

Let's get it together tonight Bucks....

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 20, 2020 at 06:08 pm

I've seen some tweets noting that Lovett is intriguing and looked good, but nothing specific like nice catch, nice route, nice block on a this or that play. This is another promising player at a position of potential strength. That's a good problem to have. By that I mean GB has Jones, Dillon, Jamaal, Ervin, Deguara and Lovett at RB, although one can count Deguara as a TE. Sternberger, Lewis and Deguara are "locks" at TE. I think as a rookie anyway Deguara is strictly an H-Back, but we shall see. Still, 5 RBs and 3 TEs can fit into a 25 man offense (give or take one roster spot), but choices will have to be made. Add 2/3 QBs, 9/10 OL and 5/6 WRs.

I like reading about depth coming along/developing at positions where depth is less obvious. Love to read that Ento (hoping for Hollman as well) is playing better at CB. I'd love to read about Bolton, Nijman (when they can get back on the field), Summers, Burks, etc. showing up strongly. Time will tell.

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Coldworld's picture

August 21, 2020 at 08:16 am

Agree with you on the issue of rookie running backs taking time to become proficient in blocking. Not only do many not have much experience of doing it but they are up against different schemes and formations. I wonder if Dexter Williams has progressed at all in that regard?

I also think Deguara is strictly an H back, though that’s a pretty flexible role. The team has always seemed to view him as such. As for Lovett, he seems to be a similar type but perhaps able to be a move type TE? Really early to tell, especially via text only.

Ento really impressed me last year, not in the sense of being ready but in having the tools and instinct of needing to learn and refine from that base.

Always think it’s harder to see much from non starters and defensive players in particular early in camp. Perhaps more so this year with Sullivan needing reps, Jackson getting a lot of focus and King and Alexander getting most reps. More so for the linebackers just due to way practice works.

I am pleased to hear the news on MVS. In my view his problems stem in large part from lack of experience and prowess running routes and doing things other than burn, which was pretty much all he did in college. If he is learning routes an finesse in timing and positioning I think it will allow him to focus on the play and unlock a lot of his potential. I hope this is a development not a flash in the pan.

Really hope one or both of Nijman and Bolton can get back on the field soon. We need the extra competition at both their positions as much as they need the reps. I know we are going to be ultra cautious since they are coming off injury/surgery but one can hope.

At some point I would expect to see less veteran snaps and more exposure for younger players. Don’t know how soon in this weird year, but that’s what I’m eager to hear about.

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Denver's picture

August 20, 2020 at 06:32 pm

Good stuff, Nagler, thanks. So hoping the NFL pulls this off, already crushed there will be no Badgers games this fall.

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Dzehren's picture

August 20, 2020 at 07:38 pm

Great stuff Nags. Appreciate your work.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 20, 2020 at 08:30 pm

Nags can't tell us what unit was on the field but at least it's easy to infer on offense.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

August 21, 2020 at 05:27 am

As I've said before, John Lovett's college tape impresses me more than Deguara's. I'm worried that he's the kind of player that the Packers will try to stash on the Practice Squad, only to lose him (hmmm.. what other athletic, running QB comes to mind?)
Lovett is really easy to recognize in his tape, because he has a funny look to his game: he's very upright, but has really quick, active feet and a strong finish, three things that are usually mutually exclusive. He looks like an exclamation mark, where the dot is a blur of feet. :-D
Although I like Marcedes Lewis, I'd rather keep a guy like Lovett. I honestly feel like he could play any position on offense, even OL (IF he gained 100 pounds of muscle). :-D
I also said he's like a blend of Love's and Deguara's best qualities, and I stand by that.

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blacke00's picture

August 21, 2020 at 07:57 am

How the final roster shapes up is going to interesting. First, you can almost bet that there will keep 3 QBs. This is just a red shirt year for Love let's face it. Next year will be his "real" rookie season for him, if we return to normal activities.
Another question, do you really need Lewis taking reps and a roster position from a good young and developing player? IMO..No. If we do than the younger guys really aren't that good.

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Dzehren's picture

August 21, 2020 at 09:43 am

GB needs Lewis in 2020 because he the best blocking TE on the roster.

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