Packers to hold joint practices with Saints

Matt LaFleur confirms that New Orleans will be in town for practices leading up to the Packers second preseason game. 

Head coach Matt LaFleur confirmed earlier this morning that the Packers will welcome the New Orleans Saints for joint practices leading up to Green Bay's only preseason game at Lambeau Field. 

LaFleur has spoken many times, and indeed did again today, about what he sees as the benefits of holding practices with other teams prior to the start of the regular season. 

LaFleur's quarterback was pretty vocal about his lack of enthusiasm regarding joint practices a few years ago, but seemed to soften that stance last year during the team's joint sessions with the New York Jets. 

I can understand Rodgers' initial resistance, but I tend to agree with LaFleur that the benefits of having fresh looks to go against and an opponent that you're not familiar with during the dog days of camp when you've been going against the same guys and the same looks for weeks far outwiegh any drawbacks, such as needing to dial back playbook installs. 

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Comments (11)

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Lphill's picture

May 24, 2022 at 03:25 pm

LaFleurs Quarterback ?

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PackerAaron's picture

May 24, 2022 at 04:56 pm

You're going to be ok.

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jont's picture

May 24, 2022 at 04:42 pm

As the NFL moves away from pre-season games I expect we'll see more of these scrimmages in years to come.

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HarryHodag's picture

May 24, 2022 at 05:31 pm

In theory it's good to practice against another team but often the one-on-one sessions can get a bit overheated.
One reason the players don't like them is the person fighting for a roster spot might take needless chances and/or play to excess to impress. Those efforts sometimes result in injuries. The positive value is simulating game conditions.
But Matt LF has been hesitant to put the starters out there in the preseason so it begs the question: what's the point?

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Swisch's picture

May 24, 2022 at 08:37 pm

I don't get these joint practices with other teams. They seem stupidly dangerous.
It seems to me that when you're playing football, it's hard to go part way, even in practice, which means there's bound to be incidents when a guy from the other team gets too aggressive (and it may not even be intentional, just getting caught up in the nature of the sport).
It seems that this dynamic is different when practicing with teammates, as they get used to each other day in and day out, and there's a sense of all being on the same side that helps to keep things in line.
Practicing with another team just seems idiotic: Either there's going to be too much aggression -- or too little (which seems to make the whole thing pointless).
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This is what preseason games are for, with real rules, real referees, and a sense of being in a real game -- even if it doesn't count in the standings.
Yet it seems the Packers have their starters sitting out preseason games altogether, while participating in these joint practices.
A player can go all out in a preseason game in hitting an opponent legally, but has to hold back somewhat in the joint practices in a way that can be awkward and thus itself the cause of injury. Or the player gets in trouble for going too far.
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This is one of those situations where I'd like to have the head coach talk to his players in such a way as to learn what they really think.
To me, joint practices are insanity -- while preseason games are a reasonable risk for the starters in preparation for the regular season (playing about a quarter to a half of a game), as well as a way to test out the new guys and the backups.
I'd like to get the thoughts of the players, though, how they genuinely feel away from any peer pressure.

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GregC's picture

May 24, 2022 at 09:23 pm

Yeah, I think one of our players got cheap-shotted by a low-level player and suffered a pretty serious injury in one of those joint practices a few years ago. I can't remember who it was. The opposing player got scolded for doing it. That was his punishment.

I have no idea what LaFleur's reasoning is for liking these things. You ask a very good question.

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BradHTX's picture

May 24, 2022 at 09:42 pm

That was Jace Sternberger, given a concussion by Texans CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.

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GregC's picture

May 25, 2022 at 06:41 am

Yes, I was thinking it might have been Sternberger. Good catch.

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PatrickGB's picture

May 25, 2022 at 12:31 pm

He likes it because it gives the players a chance to go up against someone other than their own teammates. It also is closer to a real game experience. #12 may not buy into it but he won’t be playing in those games anyway. According to Matt, many of the players in those scrimmages are backups and need the experience. I am undecided if all that is true or not. But I do know that injuries often happen regardless of the format. Bahk got injured in practice and Matt even limits practice time.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 25, 2022 at 02:39 am

It also gives Russ Ball and Gute a chance to discuss how to mangle the salary cap with the master, NO's GM Loomis.

LaFleur can discuss the pros and cons of being the Head Coach for a team that just lost its franchise QB with Saints HC George Allen. I gather Sean Payton will use a zoom call to discuss the cons of staying as the HC - that is, on the pros of bailing as HC when the franchise QB retires.

Perhaps they scrimmage next year with the Eagles so as to get advice from Howie Roseman, the only other GM who can rival Loomis.

11 of the top 12 salaries on NO have the minimum for a base salary. The exception is their Kicker who makes a $3.4M base salary. GB isn't far behind with their top 7 cap guys all having base salaries at the minimum. Looking randomly, four of the highest paid players on Dallas have base salaries in excess of $10M. All top 10 cap guys on Indy have at least a $5M base salary.

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mnbadger's picture

May 25, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Sshhhh! Don't share RBall's secrets! GPG!

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