Packers Practice Roundup: August 9, 2022

The front seven dominates once again.  Jordan Love threw some nice passes as Aaron Rodgers has a veteran's rest day.

Another day dominated by the defense, but with a sprinkling of nice plays on offense.

GENERAL/PERSONNEL:

That’s it for the first Aaron Rodgers-less practice after one hour and 36 minutes. Lots of a end-of-game scenario work.  Demovsky

CB Donte Vaughn is out with a hamstring injury. ILB Ty Summers has returned after an illness kept him out of practice yesterday.  2) OLB Randy Ramsey is out today with the ankle injury.  3) Aaron Rodgers is getting the day off for veteran rest. Gives Jordan Love a chance to get ready for Friday’s preseason opener.  Wood

[Players brought in for tryouts at positions other than specials teams]:  Dexter Williams - RB Jaylen Samuels - RB Kalen Ballage - RB Stevie Scott - RB Calvin Turner - WR Airon Servais - OL Drew Himmelman - OT Brendon White - LB Micah Abernathy - S.  Herman

Rasul Douglas was candid when discussing his switch to nickel, a position he'd never played. How the move was presented. The adjustments he's still making. Most significant, the fact his new preference is to play there every week. He's come long way with the idea in a short time.  Wood

Bears All-Pro LB Roquan Smith has requested a trade.  Rapoport  [Smith said he loves the Bears, but that the front office has been trying to take advantage of him in contract negotiations on an extension.  Smith is playing 2022 on his 5th year option for $9.735M.  Bears going to Bears.  They have $18M in cap space this year and $96M in 2023. OTC]

NFL: Rodgers' ayahuasca use not a drug violation.  Demovsky  [Apparently, AR consumed the psychoactive brew on a trip to Peru in 2020.  Strange Brew, indeed, and stranger NFL rules. TGR]

 

QUARTERBACK/WIDE RECEIVERS:

“I will say, between 88 and 87, there’s been a lot of positive things that make you feel good about the depth we could have in that (WR) room.” Aaron Rodgers on Juwann Winfree and Romeo Doubs.  Herman

Jordan Love, running with the 1s, throws a high pass off Sammy Watkins’ hand on a slant. It deflects straight to #Packers CB Eric Stokes, who picks it.  Wood  

As Aaron Nagler and I discussed on the sidelines today - Sammy Watkins has had a very quiet start to camp. Worth remembering that veteran contracts are guaranteed if on the roster Week 1 and Watkins’ contract has cost savings if released. Not saying yet - just monitoring.  Herman  [I have mentioned the cap aspect, but also noted that the Packers are very short on guys who have proven they can play the X WR position.  That's the guy split wide who has to stay within one yard of the LOS and cannot go into motion, giving real NFL CBs a great chance to press or play Al Harris style serious bump and run.  I dismissed this possibility, but on the other hand, Watkins does have to show something.  Watkins just returned from a hamstring injury, so the notion that he is not yet giving 110% (a solecism using 110%) in practice seems like a reasonable possibility to me.  Cap savings on a Watkins release is $1.422M with $350K dead in 2023.  TGR]

 

Doubs:  Rasul Douglas slow picking up Romeo Doubs on a cross, and Doubs catches a TD from Jordan Love in the red zone. Entire offense congratulates him in the end zone. Another day, another splash play for the rookie receiver.  Wood

Love under throws Doubs in the end zone. May have been some contact but can’t say the ball was catchable.  2) Love finds Aaron Jones for a touchdown from the 9. Nice route and throw from 10 to 33.  2) Love hits Doubs over the middle on a crosser. Three defenders there to meet him.  3) Love hits Toure in stride over the middle. Nice throw in rhythm by 10.  4) Doubs end around works well. Solid blocking outside by Winfree.  Herman

 

TIGHT ENDS:

Nice find by Etling to Alize Mack over the middle for a nice leaping catch right up the seam. 2) Situational drill next. 4 yard line. 3 seconds left. Need to get in the end zone. Amos solid coverage on Tyler Davis back end zone for a pbu on the first play. Pretty good ball by 10.  Herman

 

OFFENSIVE LINE:

Nice run by Dillon to the outside with a huge hat tip to Josh Myers for leading the way.  2) Yosh nice job on pass pro against Gary. Gary and Preston stunt works to perfection, Smith comes clean.  Herman  [Against whom did the stunt work??]

If David Bakhtiari isn’t ready for Week 1, Yosh Nijman is LT. If so, then the Packers seem to have 2 options for their right side: 1) RT Zach Tom, RG Royce Newman 2) RT Royce Newman, RG Jake Hanson Could Newman play GB into a Tom/Hanson duo? Sure. But that’s how it shakes currently.  Wood  [I am not clear on why it couldn't be RG Newman/RT Tom.  I don't think OT Caleb Jones and Rasheed Walker are ready to play in 2022, at least not early in the season.  TGR] 

The Packers forgot to block Rashan Gary on a run play that went right at Rashan Gary. It… did not go well.  2) MLF said the offensive line isn’t set yet but another day of Yosh - JRJ - Myers - Hanson - Newman starting today.  Herman

 

DEFENSIVE LINE:

Packers just went one man rush and 10 in coverage. Jarran Reed did not beat the 5 OL.  2) Clark & Reed combine for a stop of Dillon.  Herman  [Slow the hype train on Reed, I guess.  TGR]

More splash plays during team period from Rashan Gary (split a Nijman-Aaron Jones double team for a “sack”), Jarran Reed (stuffed a B.J. Baylor run), Jonathan Garvin (beat Cole Van Lanen for a “sack”), Gary again (pressured Love) and Chris Slayton (“sacked” Etling).  Schneidman

TJ Slaton swallows up a run play. And TJ Slaton swallows up another run play in large part due to a fantastic edge set by Garvin. Chris Slayton coverage sack on Etling.  2)  Heflin shoots through again against Newman. He continues to show up on run defense. (Byers with the stop near the line).  3) Devonte Wyatt shows some emotion after. Run play when he ends up OTG. Seemed frustrated with himself.  4)  It’s usually against the 2nd/3rd teams but Heflin has been eating rb’s for lunch in run defense.  5) Chris Slayton with a stop near the LOS.  Herman

 

LINEBACKERS:

Rashan Gary with another pressure.  2) Now Garvin with a great pass rush for a “sacks.  3) Nice run by Tyler Goodson to the outside. Garvin may have had a play on him. He beat Dafney. Garvin’s getting in the habit of making plays lately.  4) Last 4 plays: Pick Sack 4 yard tfl Probable sack.  5) Blocking Preston Smith with Amari Rodgers shockingly doesn’t work. Smith stops Jones 4-5 yards deep in the backfield. Nixon right there for support too. Next play Preston probably has a would be sack on Love.  6) Rashan Gary just destroyed a Yosh/Aaron Jones double team for an easy sack on Love. Love looked shocked Gary was there so quickly.  Herman

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS:

Kiondre Thomas with some pretty damn good coverage on Allen Lazard. Keisean Nixon is a fun player. Love how he plays. Just mauled (legally) Hyman off the LOS. Plays with a lot of confidence. Nixon just did the same thing to Toure.  2) Shawn Davis was with the 1’s earlier but back to Vernon Scott now.  3) Shemar with a pbu vs Danny Davis. Ball was a bit high from Etling too.  Herman

The Packers’ No. 1 dime defense has been almost non-existent through two weeks of practice.  Dougherty

 

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Full list of Packers tryouts w/ positions (two pages): Simon Laryea - Punter Will Spiers - Punter Bailey Flint - Punter Austin MacGinnis - Kicker Ramiz Ahmed - Kicker Aldrick Rosas - Kicker Antonio Ortiz - LS Mitchel Fraboni - LS.  Herman  [Enough said.  I noted that the LS and the kicker if Crosby can't heal by week one might not be on the roster at present.  It would seem that the Packers are in search mode.  TGR]

LS Steven Wirtel back at practice today after limping off yesterday.  Herman  [I am sure his return is wholly unrelated to the Packers bringing in two long snappers for tryouts.  TGR]

Keisean Nixon showing off his special teams chops as a gunner. Right in the returners grill (legally) as he caught the punt.  Herman  [I personally think kick and punt coverage and return units are the proper metrics for measuring an ST coordinator, rather than the results of the punter, kicker, and long snapper.  O'Donnell and Crosby are known quantities and RB can't even really coach Crosby.  Perhaps a coach can give a tip to a specialist that helps them, but lots of muscle memory to erase in such a short time.  TGR]

Mason Crosby is getting some kicking in … with a Packers’ logo soccer ball at that. He’s still on PUP after offseason knee surgery, but this is the first time we’ve seen him kick anything.  Demovsky

 

Photo courtesy of Mark Hoffman and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

 

 

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Comments (15)

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GregC's picture

August 09, 2022 at 10:02 pm

That is interesting about Sammy Watkins. When they got him, I was thinking he could have a 1,000 yard season or he could get hurt in training camp and fail to make the roster. He is kind of walking that line right now, having arrived at camp with a bad hamstring.

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BuckyBadger's picture

August 10, 2022 at 12:49 am

He has been north of 1000yds once in his career. When signed I thought the Pack would be lucky to see him for 8 games.

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Coldworld's picture

August 09, 2022 at 11:10 pm

Let’s see if and how much Watkins plays in preseason. Rodgers really hyping Winfree today. The battle rolls on.

Garvin seems to be learning how to harness his burst not just his strength. If he’s learned some moves, he has a lot of upside.

Sorry, I think that Newman should be RG and, if Caleb Jones can’t I’d put in a call to Bulaga and see if he will take a veteran back up role.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 10, 2022 at 01:13 am

I haven't seen enough of Caleb Jones. Feet were better than expected but I wasn't sure if they were good enough. OTOH, he has 36" long arms and a massive 86 and 5/8th inch wingspan (Bakh is at 79" and change and Tom has an 80.25 inch wingspan). At the risk of engaging in a dubious joke, is his length and general massiveness enough to overcome any deficiencies in technique and foot speed?

I haven't seen Newman at RT. I agree with you that he improved a lot as last season progressed.

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Coldworld's picture

August 10, 2022 at 07:21 am

I have not seen enough of Jones either. Size doesn’t guarantee anything, but If existing options are failing (and I think there are), I see some point in seeing if he can at least be more stout. I’d prefer to have Newman at guard. No disrespect to Hanson—I will judge him on how he plays, but 4 out of 5 plus one seems better than 3 plus 2 who are less good or out of position.

I know that means I’m overlooking Tom, but I just don’t see the physical presence required on the right before technique can carry the player. Hence the thought of at least trying Jones with his wingspan and physique. That at least might provide a more robust anchor for a TE to help? Perhaps games will reassure but practice has not.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 10, 2022 at 10:32 am

Perhaps they are hoping that he can be developed like they did with Yosh (another big fella). But Yosh had athleticism in addition to his size. If a big guy can move and have good technical fundamentals then he has great potential.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 10, 2022 at 04:09 pm

Bulaga is washed up and aging. Better for the Pack to sign Eric Fisher or Daryl Williams.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

August 10, 2022 at 03:15 am

Roquan Smith is a weird situation. AP named him 2nd Team All-Pro in 2020 and 2021. PFF awarded him grades of 67.2 (career high) and 47.8 in those years. There is some kind of huge dichotomy going on here. His traditional stats via PFR are good: 139 and 163 tackles, 4.0 and 3.0 sacks, 18 and 12 TFL, good coverage with allowed passer ratings of 59.6 and 78.6, and missed tackles percentages of 6.7% and 3.6%.

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Coldworld's picture

August 10, 2022 at 10:09 am

“Roquan Smith is a weird situation.” Yes. He’s a Bear.

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PatB's picture

August 10, 2022 at 02:01 pm

I've noticed PFF grading can be brutal (compared to traditional stats) for off-ball LBs. They gave 35s to both Devin White and Deion Jones for 2021, and a 44 to Krys Barnes for 2020.

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PackyCheese500's picture

August 10, 2022 at 08:07 am

My guess is that we will see more of Sammy Watkins near the beginning of the season, and as the season goes on, the passing attack will utilize him less and we will see less of him. Partly because of rookie development, partly because of injuries.
The Packers also MUST do something about the O-line. With the revamped WR corps and an aging A-Rod, having a good O-line is more important than ever. Hopefully Bakh and Jenkins can return soon (I’ve heard Jenkins is ahead of schedule), but we don’t really know when that is (not for Bakh, anyway), and I think the Packers should use some of their open salary cap space to sign a veteran OT (like Eric Fisher or Daryl Williams).
Newman has gained weight this off-season to be better suited to the profile of a guard, and Tom is rather inexperienced and has not done a great job of protecting the QB in camp. A veteran OT signing would be like what Rick Wagner and Dennis Kelly were like for the last two years - a backup swing OT. Even when Jenkins/Bakh come back, it would still be good to have a swing tackle as a contingency measure in case any more injuries occur.

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PatrickGB's picture

August 10, 2022 at 10:39 am

Packy, I think you may be right about Sammy.
With the gazillion draft picks and FA’s for the that line, I expected to see a lot of sorting out at those positions. But it doesn’t look good right now. Perhaps it’s due to an excellent defense? In any case, I would not be surprised if the team looks at a couple of vet FA’s.

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HarryHodag's picture

August 10, 2022 at 08:22 am

NFL: Rodgers' ayahuasca use not a drug violation. Demovsky [Apparently, AR consumed the psychoactive brew on a trip to Peru in 2020. Strange Brew, indeed, and stranger NFL rules. TGR]
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Whatever he took whenever he took it matters not if you can't PROVE he took it via a drug test. He could say he was running naked with goats in Outer Mongolia, does that qualify him for a mental health facility?

I'm not a fan of psychedelics having seen what they can do to people and not in a positive way. But Rodgers seems to be able to still function in reality so best to leave it alone.

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croatpackfan's picture

August 10, 2022 at 09:21 am

Once again TGR thank you very much.

Regarding Sammy Watkins - I do not know what to think about. He has ability, but he would need to adjust to Packers offense and way how AR and/or JL throwing the ball, as I read that Mahomes has very specific way of throwing the ball. It may be the reason why there is the problems with him. Also, it is worrisome his injury history.

Regarding OL - I'm with Coldworld, call Brian Bulaga and see if he is willing to sign for back up role. But the question is, who will be starter? And it is also worrisome that they were pushing Newman to play RG whole season, and now when he finally "mastered" it, they are pushing him to play RT. Looking not very reasonable, but maybe the coaches knows some additional information we do not have or know.

We'll see in 2 days...

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saltandpeppers's picture

August 10, 2022 at 09:25 am

I'll be surprised if Watkins makes the team. To me, bringing him was an insurance policy similar to Funchess last year. The two are very similar: talented vets who can't stay healthy. Just like Funchess last year, Watkins will be cut.

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