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Packers: Breaking down the Good and Bad from Family Night

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Packers: Breaking down the Good and Bad from Family Night

There are few preseason traditions in the NFL like Family Night for the Green Bay Packers and despite some weather delays, the annual event went off without a hitch Saturday night at Lambeau Field.

While things have changed over the years and Family Night is now more of a practice than a game, there were still some key takeaways from Saturday’s practice on both sides of the ball. So here is a quick breakdown of three good things that happened, as well as a couple bad. 

Good: Dean Lowry, a fourth-round draft pick in 2016, registered two sacks last season for the Packers and has shown solid pass-rush skills throughout training camp. Saturday, he got some snaps ahead of Kenny Clark and continued to apply pressure on the quarterback. Yet, not to be outdone, Clark forced a key fumble late in the scrimmage that might have been the biggest play of the night be the defense.

Good: If there was one position group offensively that stood out Saturday night, it was the tight ends. Not only did Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks play well, but Richard Rodgers also caught three passes and rookie Aaron Peck caught a touchdown from quarterback Brett Hundley in the No. 2’s two-minute drill. Peck also executed the best Lambeau Leap of the night. 

Good: One area of concern for the Packers this offseason has been the pass rush and Saturday brought about mixed signals in that area. Neither Kyler Fackrell or Jayrone Elliott did much to impress, however, Reggie Gilbert, a former undrafted free agent, found a way to turn heads. Gilbert got some snaps with the No. 1 defense at outside linebacker and even earned a holding penalty against starting left tackle David Bakhtiari. Gilbert can make a much bigger impression when the pads come on for real, but he at least showed he belonged in the battle to back up Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. 

Bad: Aaron Ripkowski’s fumble was probably the worst play of the night for the offense. The starting group was moving the ball down the field for what would have been a game-winning score in the two-minute drill, before Ripkowski coughed up the ball. On Saturday, it ended the drive in the scenario, but down the road, it could prove to be much more costly, just as it was when Ripkowski fumbled in the NFC Championship game against Atlanta. 

Bad: So far Mason Crosby has been money in training camp, but Saturday night, he was clearly off, connecting on just 5-of-11 field-goal attempts. Admittedly, it was strange to see Crosby be so inaccurate, but unless it becomes a trend, it’s nothing to be overly concerned about.

In the end, there were good and bad things that happened Saturday, but for the most part, Family Night was a success. Aaron Rodgers didn’t get a ton of work in, but he looked as solid as ever. Hundley, the No. 2 quarterback was sharp and Ty Montgomery had a good night running and catching the ball. 

The secondary also had its moments and for the most part, the offensive line held its own. All in all, it was a good night for the Packers and the 63,000 fans that came out to see them and the best news of all, was that no major injuries were sustained, leaving Green Bay relatively healthy heading into its preseason opener Thursday against the Eagles. 

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (51) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree on Lowry, the TEs, and Gilbert. Fackrell beat Murphy for his first sign of life (not in the same league as Gilbert beating Bakh, but when you're 0-8 in one on ones, beating anyone, including Murphy, is at least a baby step). Calvin played a zone run well. Lowry beat Bulaga for one of his pressures, so that is a positive against a good player.

I thought Rip never secured the handoff. I actually charged the fumble to AR. Clark did make a hit, but otherwise I can't remember seeing a single tweet about Clark this entire TC, good or bad, and I read several sites that provide tweets. Maybe I just don't remember. I'll have to look for a clip of the fumble.

Chris Peterson's picture

You are right about that. I have seen some good reports for Clark especially in practice. I think he still has a chance to take that leap this year. Just not sure if it's going to be as a pass rusher.

Nick Perry's picture

Just read on MJS where the long snapper Hart has struggled get the ball to Vogel with the laces facing forward. As a result of that the ball isn't always exactly like Crosby likes it. Goode very rarely made a bad snap where the holder needed to spin the ball. Didn't we love it when the Vikings couldn't even kick a 27 yard FG a few years ago in the playoffs because the laces were facing the kicker?

Hopefully Thompson was calling Goode by about miss #3 and he'll be there Monday morning. This is just not something I'd mess with for long. The Packers are changing 2/3rds of the FG process with a new holder and snapper. This is something I'd fix RIGHT AWAY so Crosby doesn't get in a habit of missing. Wouldn't want a kicker entering week one with a smidgen of doubt about the snap/hold process.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I really don't understand about Goode. I do realize that reportedly GB isn't happy with his coverage ability. It shouldn't be about money since the difference in cap between Goode and Hart is about $150K (assumes Goode signs a qualified contract). I always fear that some other team is going to lose their LS and sign Goode.

I've been in an argument on another site with another commenter (well, no point in arguing with that particular person) who insists there are 50 long snappers currently working in subway shops and for concrete contractors who would be fine. I don't think so. They can be replaced, of course, but it does take time to get things down. Missing field goals costs points.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm sure there probably ARE 50 long snappers working in subway shops and whatnot, but their ability to snap the ball properly is probably is the reason they haven't been in a TC this summer! Kickers are funny and I don't mean "funny-haha" either.
I'm no expert but I'd be willing to bet an amount of money that mattered that most of Crosby's struggles in 2012 were mental. We'll need Crosby's head on straight this year and with the start of the season almost here they'll need Crosby's best early with Seattle, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Dallas are all on the schedule early.

flackcatcher's picture

Not about money. Guessing here, I say age and weight. The packers for the past couple years have brought guys who were more like Rob Davis in overall size than Goode. Who knows how much that knee injury Goode suffered took out of him. Packers may think Goode can't make though the season after last year, and decided to move on. I agree, the packers are taking a risk. How big is unknown.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I hadn't thought of that, Flack. Yes, if GB thinks Goode can't get through a season, then it is time to move on since I wouldn't want to have to bring in a new LS mid-season, although we've done it before.

Oppy's picture

Wasn't Goode injured or something?

Or am I way off on that?

Bearmeat's picture

Great news on the DL. Encouraging about Gilbert - although we've seen many August darlings at OLB do nothing in the regular season before.

So far, it's as expected for our back end OLBs overall though. I would have been pleasantly surprised if Fackrell had made a jump, and absolutely shocked if Elliot did. It's rare that a player hangs around for 3-4 years, then all of a sudden becomes a red-chip piece.

I think it's safe to say that if (when) CM3 and/or Perry get hurt, the defense is going to be scrambling to get off the field.

Don Hutson's picture

A concern!

Don Hutson's picture

A concern!

The TKstinator's picture

Twice as concerning!

GVPacker's picture

Bearmeat I got my fingers crossed. Maybe he'll be able to make the jump like Desmond Bishop did in 2010!

dobber's picture

Either way--Perry, CMIII, Gilbert, etc.--this is a defense that's going to have to bring pressure creatively to be effective, methinks.

Bearmeat's picture

Yep. And while it doesn't doom the season all by itself, the ability to rush the passer and win 1v1s is a HUGE part of championship defenses. They'd better stay healthy, and the back end had better hold up for a LONG time, or we're going to be in for a LOT of 38-35 games this year. Again.

dobber's picture

Too true. To bring that extra guy, you're creating an opportunity somewhere. The more often you have to do it, the more likely you are to get burned.

Finwiz's picture

Defense will be scrambling to get off the field with or without CM3 and Perry. Check last years tape...and the year before, and the year before...ect.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Welcome back Desert. Maybe you misread the site description. This is a blog for Packer FANS. Try saying something positive for a change. Who knows you might like it.

Finwiz's picture

I know you were talking to "Desert" and not me, but try being objective about your team, and have higher expectations. You won't be as disappointed when they give up 40+ points in the playoffs!

Have a nice day.

Bearmeat's picture

Who are you calling Desert? DPF? I think Stroh has picked a new screen name. And at any rate, he hasn't been on this thread that I've seen. I certainly am NOT Stroh!

4thand1's picture

My gut feeling is Fackrell will turn some heads in a good way. He has the size speed and football smarts to see the field a lot more this year. Health wise he should be 100%.

sonomaca's picture

With the corner group much improved, I'd like to see more safety blitzes. With Jones and Brice, we've certainly got the horses to get home now.

This would take some pressure off the LB's who, aside from Perry ( and maybe Gilbert) aren't likely to offer much.

The TKstinator's picture

I think the whole intrasquad structure is a yin-yang. Like I alluded to in another thread, if the OLB's look great then we wonder about our OT's, and you can apply that idea to all the units: WR's look good, worry about CB's? Etc etc
But it IS exciting to take this one step closer to live action!

Bearmeat's picture

Yeah. Except we KNOW that our LT and RT are All Pro caliber. We KNOW the passing offense is going to be dominant. We also have (unfortunately) come to know that the pass rush on our defense is probably going to be sub par.

The TKstinator's picture

You know, it would be interesting to hear how CM3 and NP do against Bakh and Bulag on a daily basis, if in fact they do really match up. Even more interesting would be Fackrell, Elliott, etc. against those guys. Can we realistically expect the second stringers to do well against 69 and 75? And if they don't, what should we make of that?
Same thing with 20 vs. 12 and 87. Not wise to expect King to dominate, but at least show some promise, progress, good attitude, etc.
Seems to me in this day and age, coaches are really careful about what they say to the media about stuff like that, unless they are trying to send a message ("Eddie Lacy cannot play at that weight", for example.)
One of the reasons I miss Ron Wolf. He seemed so candid and didn't seem to put a fake happy face on everything.

sonomaca's picture

Janis and Elliott are in the same boat. Talented athletes who haven't been able to figure things out yet. Yet, ST work has saved both, for now.

dobber's picture

I think they're both roster locks, though. People are high on the likes of Clark and Dupre, but neither offers anything in terms of ST which means they're healthy scratches week after week.

sonomaca's picture

The snapper/holder situation is scary. Remember when McIlroy switched to Nike gear. That was ugly.

lou's picture

Great analogy to get your point across. I still don't know why teams don't use one of their best special teams player instead of the punter to hold for place kicks. An example would have been Jarrett Bush (10 year vet), you know he is going to be on the active roster each week and he is competent, just add to his duties. Punters in most cases come and go unless you have a Ray Guy type on your roster.

dobber's picture

True, but punters rarely get hit and even more rarely get hurt. I would argue that this is why P's and backup QB's are often holders: you know they're going to be there and on the active roster on game day.

stockholder's picture

Good- TE's. Interesting that they made the splash and not the Wrs. Are we going to baby the secondary? What about the camp Battle at Wrs position? We Haven't seen anything yet. It's just timing.

4zone's picture

Hey Chris, and for all professional writers of today as a matter of fact, do a better job of proofing your material before you post it. It's getting embarrassing.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Those who can't do criticize.

4zone's picture

I've been a writer for years. I can critique because I DO!

The TKstinator's picture

While those who can't criticize, do.

Or do the Dew. (Mountain)

croatpackfan's picture

Dolphins pick up Jay Cutler. Unfortunately, the season Packers aren't playing them. That would be certain victory!

dobber's picture

There's still the SB! ;)

croatpackfan's picture

That would be hilarious!

4zone's picture

As for the content, liking Lowry and think he will be a real good one. Add Clark and TT did good there.

Tundraboy's picture

No injuries, Lowry and Dupree. All good.

dobber's picture

"No injuries"

Best outcome of the night!

dobber's picture

Bring on Philly! Let's get some of these guys some meaningful reps.

flackcatcher's picture

If I had my way, I put the packers starters in bubble wrap until the regular season starts. Football Gods do not favor GB when injures come.(and come and come...)

JohnnyLogan's picture

I predict Fackrell to be the breakout player of the year. Last year he showed athletic talent, just a little lack in power. This year I think he has more sacks than Mathews or Perry. He's a smart, agile, fast player and I think the Packers know it which is why no pass rusher was signed.

The TKstinator's picture

Testify, brother!

JohnnyLogan's picture

I predict Fackrell to be the breakout player of the year. Last year he showed athletic talent, just a little lack in power. This year I think he has more sacks than Mathews or Perry. He's a smart, agile, fast player and I think the Packers know it which is why no pass rusher was signed.

The TKstinator's picture

Testify, brother!

Donster's picture

So what happened to the long snapper that replaced Goode? Kid worked at his father's sandwich shop. Can't think of his name at the moment. Thought he played well. He on another team?

Jonathan Spader's picture

Rick Lavato. He's now the long snapper for the Eagles. Their LS got famous on AGT for his magic tricks.

Donster's picture

Thanks Jonathan!

The TKstinator's picture

Plus he's Demi's brother.

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