Packers Practice Roundup: August 23 Plus Comments And Opinions

Monday's practice was closed to the public and was not in pads.  There were lots of comments by the coaches after Saturday's preseason game against the Jets, many of which were reflected in where and how players lined up in practice.

GENERAL/PERSONNEL:

Practice is over after 1 hour, 26 minutes. Hodkiewicz

New injuries are ILB Ty Summers (hamstring) and S Will Redmond. Also out are: WR Devin Funchess, WR Chris Blair, S Vernon Scott, OLB Za’Darius Smith, T Dennis Kelly and WR Juwann Winfree.  Silverstein

Starting defense in team drill without pads: DL: Clark, Keke, Lowry OLB: P Smith, Gary ILB: Barnes, Campbell CB: Alexander, King S: Amos, Savage.  Wood [With Zadarius still nursing a back injury, this is the presumed starting defensive lineup back in March.]

KC Bout those first team snaps. King and Lowry Gary back with one defense too.  2)  This may be the first day Jerry Montgomery has entire D-line available. Tyler Lancaster is back, wearing an apparatus over his elbow.  3)  Equanimeous St Brown is back at practice.  Hodkiewicz

GB 21 class after 2 PS games. (Rookies only) Stokes: 59.0 (AVG) 36th CB; Myers: 78.8 (AVG) 1st C [best rookie center]; Rodgers: 60.1 (AVG) 31th WR; Newman: 85.9 (HQ) 1 G [best rookie guard]; Slaton: 61.3 (AVG) 11 IDL; SJC [Shemar Jean-Charles: 63.3 (AVG) 32 CB; CVan Lanen: 74.3 (AVG) 4 T; McDuffie: 69.6 (AVG) 15 LB; Hill - 82.8 (HQ) 1 RB [best rookie RB].  Morley

Since arriving in Green Bay, Matt LaFleur has used the 2nd highest rate of screen passes in the NFL... And with AJ Dillon + Kylin Hill in the backfield stable with Aaron Jones, I expect some creative 2-back (Pony) screen designs this year! Both Dillon & Hill are perfect fits…  Fennell

 

QUARTERBACKS/WIDE RECEIVERS:

Rodgers to Adams for a TD on third and 2 from the 7 in MTB. Runyan was the center. Myers has been with the equipment staff. Seems fine.  Hodkiewicz

During an 11-on-11 period, Benkert’s back-shoulder pass to Hazelton was a bit low and to the outside. Hazelton made the catch, anyway, a tremendous all-hands grab.  Huber

QB Jordan Love took part in individual drills, but he has gone inside to do rehab during time. LaFleur said it was likely he would only do individual.  Silverstein

Matt LaFleur asked if Kurt Benkert's interception was on the throw or Patrick Taylor's route. "The way we coach that route, he got a little bit too much width, but I don't think it should have affected the throw to that degree."  Wood  [The previous day:  Matt LaFleur says Kurt Benkert "just airmailed it a little bit" on the interception: "I think it just got away from him.  Wood]

GM Brian Gutekunst said he's not sure whether there will be any calls to trade for QB Kurt Benkert. He said he started receiving calls last week about potential deals and that discussions will go right up to the final cuts. Benkert is a clear No. 3 for GB.  Silverstein  [SO, there have been inquiries prior to the Jets game, so one might expect them to heat up?]

LaFleur on Malik Taylor: "Malik showed a lot of energy and made some big-time plays. It's just consistency but we have seen a lot of improvement from him."  Hodkiewicz

 

 

RUNNING BACKS:

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1429493310712946695  Fennell on nuances of Kylin Hill.  “Reliable pass pro, solid hands, efficient inside/outside runner, tough. 'Pros Pro' type of RB.”

LaFleur said RB Kylin Hill had a good performance and made yardage out of plays where there wasn't much there. "He's doing really well for himself."  Silverstein [See Hill’s stellar PFF grade.]

 

 

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN:

Lucas Patrick with starting LG, Royce Newman to RG at start of new team drill.  The Packers are literally looking at every guard configuration they can.  2)  Ben Braden and Jon Runyan Jr. are rotating in at LG and RG with starters behind Royce Newman and Lucas Patrick.  The Packers are still very much looking at four guards for two spots. They have been trending Newman though.  3)  starting OL today: Elgton Jenkins, Royce Newman, Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick, Billy Turner.  4)  LaFleur "We're still competing at that guard position, both of them." He says Royce Newman "did a lot of good things," minus tripping QB. Likes what he's seen from Lucas Patrick, Ben Braden, Jon Runyan too. "It's a good competition, and we're going to let that sucker play out."  Wood

Royce Newman at LG today. Don’t think he’s taken a left-side rep in team drills all summer. If he has, it’s not many.  Huber

LaFleur said he thought Ben Braden did a pretty nice job at right tackle. But he said it's still a good competition at right guard and that Newman hasn't wrapped up the starting position yet.  Silverstein

"It's a good competition" at guard, LaFleur says. Points to Braden, Patrick and Newman as playing well vs. Jets. Also says Nijman "has put himself in a pretty good position."  Huber

Lost in the shuffle of Josh Myers and Royce Newman playing really well is Cole Van Lanen. The dude has been rock solid in both games.  Morley  [He has played later in games against 2nd and 3rd teamers, but still.]

Matt LaFleur says Kurt Benkert's trips were on G Royce Newman, not the QB: "The plays that he got stepped on, we've got to be better at the guard position."  Wood

Kurt Benkert had the snap where he got foot stepped on - watching it back, there were 3-4 others that were so close to happening... Not getting out from under center fast enough.  Ben Fennell  [I suppose I should agree with LaFleur but the difference in opinion is interesting.]

 

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN:

Montgomery said DL Jack Heflin reminds him of Tyler Lancaster in that he's smart and plays hard. He said he made great improvement from Week 1 to 2, but he said they're looking for more consistency.  Silverstein

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1429898544480141315  Fennell vide of Heflin

DL coach Jerry Montgomery on TJ Slaton: "6-4, 330, 18 percent body fat. He's a man, and he's got a lot of tools." He says Slaton could be a "force" in the running game.  Wood

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1429460376370954240  Fennell video on Slaton - note where Slaton lines up - all over!

 

LINEBACKERS:

Mike Smith says Jonathan Garvin did not play last year because of special teams, not defense. He says Garvin's strength gives him chance to be good edge defender. David Bakhtiari told Smith that Garvin was one of the players that could give him good reps because of that strength. 2)  Mike Smith is high on OLB Jonathan Garvin. He says Garvin has a good demeanor. “He’s got an old soul." Garvin is 22.  Wood  [Garvin was inactive for the last 8 games, and played 85 defensive snaps and 22 ST snaps during the first 8 games.]

OLB coach Mike Smith says Za'Darius Smith's back is feeling better each day. He did not have a setback after briefly returning to practice last week. It was just decided that his back needed more time.  Wood  [I’ve got a bridge for sale if….]

Gutekunst said Smith’s back injury recently “flared up” and that he’s day-to-day.  Schneidman

 

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS:

CB depth chart has clear top 4. A week ago, it seemed they were looking at 4 CBs for 2 spots rounding out the position: Kabion Ento, Shemar Jean-Charles, Ka'dar Hollman, Josh Jackson. Jackson was traded [for Yiadom]. Now Hollman [for a 7th round pick acquired from the Bears]. Big winners in past week: Ento and Jean-Charles.  Wood

The key for Yiadom, Jerry Gray says, will be learning the techniques that he teaches and how he performs on special teams.  Huber

Jaire Alexander spends time in the 'star' role [today at practice].  Silverstein

It’s significant that Kevin King is getting starter reps in a drill with limited sprinting  The Packers  have limited King’s running coming off the hamstring injury, leading to a lot of reps for Eric Stokes. Doesn’t mean Stokes is the starter.  2)  He (Barry) says CB job between Stokes and King is open competition.  Wood

DBs coach Jerry Gray said he noticed undrafted rookie S Christian Uphoff on special teams vs. the Jets and he will make sure to get him snaps against Buffalo because of how well he played. Competition for backup positions is fierce.  Silverstein

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1429936416356716545  Fennell  video of Uphoff  [Also in Jersey Al's 3 Playes That Make You Go Hmmm]

 

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Drayton said if there weren't mistakes being committed on special teams in preseason games, then he'd be concerned. He said improvement has been gradual and that all of the bad plays are lessons he and his staff can teach the players for the regular season.  2)  Drayton said the encouraging part of the film from the Jets game was that they saw a lot of players using the techniques that they are teaching. He said the key is getting everyone doing it.  Silverstein

 

 

NFL Categories: 
12 points

Comments (41)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:40 am

I chose to use a photo of Royce Newman. I am about ready to anoint him as a starter at guard, probably right guard. Starting OL is probably Jenkins, Patrick/Braden, Myers, Newman and Turner.

I love those PFF grades for the rookies. However, bear in mind that the Packers played a woeful Jets team and a terrible Texans team. Buffalo should be a better test, plus it is on the road.

Edit: Ben Fennell's twitter site often has wonderful video of Packers' players. Andy Herman (see link below) keeps a close eye on Fennell and often retweets packer-related video, plus Andy is detailed with his tweets about the packers and their practices.

https://twitter.com/AndyHermanNFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp...

8 points
8
0
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:45 am

Thanks, TGR!

6 points
6
0
stockholder's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:30 am

All smoke. This is pre- season. Smoke them if you have them. But veterans still Rule.

-3 points
2
5
PatrickGB's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:54 am

I am starting to understand why the Packers have drafted a boatload of offensive linemen. Historically, teams that have a great line do better in the season. Now is the best time to work that out. I have often wondered why they don’t draft more on the defensive line but if the talent isn’t there then it makes some sense when the team is restricted by the cap and quality in the draft.

7 points
8
1
Johnblood27's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:17 am

Only so much spaghetti will stick to the wall, no matter how much you throw at it.

Sometimes excessive spaghetti can pull the marginally sticky stuff off when it falls.

Hence not drafting positions just to have bodies clogging up drills and obscuring evaluation of others.

4 points
4
0
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 08:07 am

I think the plan is to improve the PS pipeline development pool. That’s where Van Lanen seems likely to go to me.

So Sommers has a hammy from the game. They must have really wanted Martin out then. Let’s hope a Wilford, Harris or McDuffie type is really impressing behind the scenes.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:25 am

There's really a quagmire on the interior OL that's exacerbated by Bakhtiari's absence. Once #69 comes back, things firm up. Given that Dennis Kelly really looked lousy against Houston--and is now dinged up--the fact that Nijman and Braden have been serviceable playing LT/RT should keep him up at night. Maybe he's safer than I think (he's cheap and has proven himself in the past), but he would help himself considerably if he plays against Buffalo and plays well.

Assuming Bakhtiari stays on the PUP (they might activate him and move him to short term IR to keep him flexibly available), there are 13 rostered OL. I think there are 3 clear cuts on the OL: Hanson, Cronk, and Capra. Any of those guys could land on the PS.

That leaves 10 guys for 9 spots. I think Nijman and van Lanen are the ones on the bubble...and Nijman's status depends an awful lot on what Kelly does. Trades could also settle this position without making cuts.

6 points
6
0
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:19 am

I’d like to see Capra on the PS. He’s looked good in very limited opportunities. I think Van Lanen will go to the PS. Promises more than I expected but not in the mix. Nijman isn’t going anywhere if they view him as a viable LT depth now or more in the future. Could Jenkins move to RT after Bakh returns?

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:33 am

These are some very good points...but the question is just how much does the front office see this as "all-in" vs. a balance between "all-in" and the future.

2 points
2
0
Lphill's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:35 am

and JK Scott is God awful!

-5 points
3
8
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:44 am

Yeah, we get your point.

I'd almost rather hear you drone on about Nick Kwiatkoski....

11 points
11
0
pacman's picture

August 24, 2021 at 07:54 am

Is it too early to start worrying about ST again?

2 points
3
1
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 08:02 am

No

2 points
2
0
BDaddy's picture

August 24, 2021 at 08:17 am

I’d say Yes. Preseason ST always tilted to give reps to those “on the bubble.” Noticed very few reps distributed to key personnel…

5 points
5
0
LambeauPlain's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:44 am

Yet that is the case for our preseason ST opponents too...and their "bubble players" are beating ours.

3 points
4
1
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:22 am

If it were a back up returner/kicker then preseason is more of an excuse. Widespread indiscipline/organization on blocking or coverage teams is a wholly different matter and one where we are consistently worse than other coaches manage with scrubs.

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 11:02 am

I don't know how many roster spots are really up for grabs for the Packers. It can't be very many...maybe 6? 8? There aren't that many bubble players on the Packers roster.

2 points
2
0
LambeauPlain's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:41 am

The first two preseason games for the STs are two failing grades. I have high hopes for Drayton but he was the top assistant for both Mennenga and Zook.

So far the STs look like deja vu. Once Drayton gets his final personnel after the 53 is decided, he needs to fix STs fast.

7 points
7
0
PeteK's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:45 am

Don't worry they're using the techniques. LOL I'm a bit worried.

0 points
1
1
nostradanus's picture

August 24, 2021 at 08:05 am

Great Recap as always James, thank you!

Quick ND observations:

QB: Benkert is fun to watch at QB but let’s not forget he’s had several pro training camps. Practice Squad

RB: Hill is the real deal and will be getting real touches this season and possibly starting in two years.

OL: This is the deepest (and most talented) group I’ve ever seen in Green Bay! Kudos to Gutey! They may have to trade one in the coming weeks. An embarrassment of riches there.

WR: Injuries as usual are sorting this group out. Winfrey’s injury issues go back to college, EQ has been unavailable, It’s coming down to Funches & Taylor for the 6th spot and Taylor has been steady and plays special teams. Taylor takes it.

TE: The top four are set, Kafusi is battling and maybe makes the PS (cuz Rodg mentioned him) Sternberger gets the 2 week exemption but may be traded cuz he is still in the dog house.

DL: Slayton is going to be a force in 2-3 years and will contribute this year. Heflin is just a great kid who will always give 💯, he’s on the PS for sure. Keke will give some good pass rush reps this season but is just ok against the run. Previlon may sneak on the PS again this year also.

OLB: of course the Big 3 are set, though they are going to keep 5 because of Z’s back. Garvin looks bigger and Smith loves him. My bet for the 5th is Chauncey Rivers, the dude is just tough! Tipa and Scott will both make it to the PS as next season one of the Smith Bros. Are most likely gone.

ILB: Cutting Martin is an endorsement for Mcduffie who looked good in limited reps against the Jets. Burks & Summers are big special teams contributors but if one has to go it’s probably Summers.

CB: Trading Hollman was a big endorsement for K. Ento who is a special teams gunner and has looked good in coverage. The new kid Yiadom sure looks the part and also plays special teams, me thinks he goes to the PS to start.

S: Great depth here! Behind the starters Black has been solid on Special Teams and at safety he’s an excellent tackler. Gaines shows up also as well as Scott who is dinged unfortunately. Now Uphoff is showing up also. This is going to be tough to sort out with at least one or maybe two being stashed on the PS!

P: JK Scott gotta go! You can’t have this much talent on a Super Bowl contender and have a terribly inconsistent Punter muck it all up!
The Packers will pluck a veteran Punter at cut downs.

ND

7 points
7
0
PeteK's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:50 am

Ento's tackling ??

2 points
3
1
WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:04 am

Might be more depth at OL than in the past but not sure there is more starting talent than Bryan Bulaga , T.J. Lang , Corey Linsley, Josh Sitton, David Bakhtiari in 2016. There's at least 3 All-Pros in that group. And Tretter was a backup.

7 points
7
0
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:27 am

Kaufusi will be on the PS and elevated if Lewis is out. He’s the same size, former DE. He’s there to do what Lewis does. Catching is a minor part of that and blocking is critical. But we won’t carry 2 Lewis types on the active with the rules as they were last season. I’d like to treat Taylor (RB) similarly in case of Dillon missing time. Daffney could be viewed the same way at H-Back, but I think he is in the roster for STs, or should be.

2 points
2
0
Swisch's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:20 pm

If you're on target, ND, then it seems Funchess would bring a good return in a trade (4th-rounder?).
Pair Funchess with an offensive lineman for a better return.

-3 points
0
3
nostradanus's picture

August 24, 2021 at 11:03 pm

Unfortunately I don’t believe Funchess has much trade value as he’s missed basically 2 years

2 points
2
0
19kurt's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:33 am

Will Packers use these 'injuries' to hide some players they don't want exposed..I figure most teams do it to some extent....you leave them on injured for a couple weeks and let other teams firm up their squads...THEN bring them off injured reserved...they would be (most likely 3rd string) but players that they would like to take a longer look at

2 points
3
1
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 09:46 am

Anyone who moves to IR in the preseason is lost for the year, and if they're on one-year contracts, they're subject to injury waivers (which almost never leads to a claim). The Packers haven't been afraid to use this route in the past to protect a project.

If they want someone available for IR recall, they'll have to include them on the active roster, THEN move them to IR after the final cutdown date passes. This is where Bakhtiari's situation is important.

3 points
3
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:03 am

Dobber, David is on PUP, not IR.

2 points
2
0
dobber's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:36 am

Yup. See above.

1 points
1
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 24, 2021 at 05:16 pm

For now. IR is still an option.

0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:31 am

To do that you have to have them on the initial 53, which means exposing other players to waiver. I’m not sure that, with this roster, any injured player other than Bakh warrants that (if they activate him) or is out long enough to not just carry if they really want them. At this point, most injuries seem short term or to have already led to IR. Hopefully that continues after the last game (touching wood).

1 points
1
0
Since'61's picture

August 24, 2021 at 10:58 am

My concern is Scott. Preseason performances don't really mean much to me but a punter who is in his 4th season in the league should be punting consistently by now, preseason or not.

It's also a concern that the Packers released the other punter (Winslow?) prematurely. I would have kept him to keep the pressure on Scott. There is still time to release him even if they decide to stay with Scott. It just makes me wonder what the coaches are seeing. I realize that Scott has been the holder for Crosby and that's important but should we be retaining a punter who is still inconsistent in his 4th season In the league? Is it really so difficult to find an NFL punter? Doesn't make sense to me. Thanks, Since '61

6 points
6
0
Tedlyflyfisher's picture

August 24, 2021 at 04:44 pm

Agreed. And if being the holder for field goals is the hang up, wouldn’t it be prudent to use a backup running back or QB as a holder? That way, if the snap is botched, the holder could try to run or throw for a first down. Or on an extra point try, run it in.

1 points
1
0
Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2021 at 06:18 am

run it in on a botched snap from the 15 yd line?

0 points
0
0
Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 24, 2021 at 05:23 pm

Winslow was even worse in practice than he was in the game. Perhaps it was premature but if so then all releases are premature. [Hmm, that sounds vaguely risqué but since I am on my phone, I won't rephrase.]

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:50 pm

Not sure why the Cardinals picked him up since they just resigned Andy Lee to a new contract and he’s healthy. Cardinals blogs seem puzzled if largely disinterested in the transaction.

0 points
0
0
Irish_Cheesehead's picture

August 24, 2021 at 12:53 pm

"Drayton said if there weren't mistakes being committed on special teams in preseason games, then he'd be concerned."

Really? Wouldn't a lack of mistakes be a good thing? I understand it gives them things to work on, but I'd rather see stellar play and no mistakes.

4 points
4
0
Johnblood27's picture

August 25, 2021 at 06:19 am

shoulda signed Rizzo...

ST is Russ Balls fingerprint on this team.

1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

August 24, 2021 at 02:01 pm

I'm going to put in a good word for Reggie Begelton.
He's been a star at a pro level -- and even though that was in Canada (102 receptions for the Calgary Stampeders in 2019), it seems a higher level than college.
Also, he showed well in the Jets game. Besides the good catch in traffic, he had an impressive punt return that seemed to demonstrate speed and agility.
Overall he's an experienced and accomplished pro, including one year getting to know the system of the Packers.
It seems, at the least, he's worth serious consideration.
Would like to see him start against the Bills.
What do others here at CHTV see as his pros and cons?

0 points
2
2
Coldworld's picture

August 24, 2021 at 06:56 pm

I like Bagelton for the PS. He looks much more comfortable this year. His negatives are age (28 I think) and speed. He’s a possession guy in this league not a perimeter guy. Our main possession type is bigger (Lazard). Taylor’s development and that of Winfree seem to provide players who can play at multiple positions and are more athletic. Winfree is not healthy, but Taylor could be his biggest obstacle. I’d still keep him on the PS with Winfree.

1 points
1
0
Swisch's picture

August 24, 2021 at 08:11 pm

It's interesting to me that Begelton turns 28 on August 31, cut day. (Randall Cobb just turned 31 on August 22, by the way.)
I wonder about Begelton as a slot guy, but that's seemingly already taken by Cobb and Amari Rodgers.
As I wrote, Begelton has shown he can excel at a pro level in Canada, and that seems a huge consideration.
Then again, Cobb had excelled in the NFL. I've been a huge Cobb fan over the years because he has combined his impressive athletic ability with savvy competitiveness. He's a gamer.
I hope Cobb still has a fair amount of the athleticism left, at least enough for the competitiveness to make him effective for the Packers this season. I didn't see the athleticism his prior season with the Packers in 2018, but maybe that was just a down year for some reason such as nagging injuries. I'm rooting for him.
If Begelton doesn't work out for the Packers in the top 53, I wouldn't be surprised if another team picks him up. At almost age 28, it's be nice for him to get an opportunity somewhere.
If he goes to the practice squad for the Packers, that'd be good with me. If there are injuries at wide receiver, he could be a valuable player with his experience.

-1 points
0
1