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Three Things to Not Worry about During Packers Training Camp

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Three Things to Not Worry about During Packers Training Camp

With training camp in full force, the identity of the 2015 Green Bay Packers is beginning to take shape. It's a long process, but it's often said that January and February victories are born during the dog days of July and August training camp practices.

That's just it. It's a long process, and the team will continue to grow throughout the season. The Packers team that takes the field this Thursday against the New England Patroits in their preseason opener will be vastly different than the one that is hopefully sealing up home field advantage for the playoffs in December.

The roster will turn over, players will get injured, new schemes will be deployed, and technique and confidence will continually improve.

So, much of what transpires during training camp needs to be taken in with the correct perspective. There are things that should cause genuine concern, such as a rash of season-ending injuries or players that were clearly overvalued during the drafting process and probably won't make the team.

However, there are plenty of things that seem to get spun in the hype machine a little too much, and seem to never go away from the front of our minds, but we really shouldn't worry about them at all during this juncture. 

Here are three things that you should not worry about during training camp.

1. Aaron Rodgers' interceptions during practice. He's thrown more interceptions than we're accustomed to this training camp, including the Family Night practice, but it's no cause for alarm. He has one of the best ball security statistics in the history of the game, and he's not suddenly going to morph into a turnover machine overnight.

You also have to consider that there's no risk in practice, and therefore nothing to lose by taking chances. He may throw a ball into tight coverage, or let one sail into a sea of hands, but if the ball is intercepted, practice doesn't end. The game isn't lost. He gets the ball back and practices the next play. Or, he repeats the play in an attempt to get it right.

It's okay to take some risks in practice. How else do you improve without knowing the limits of your own ability? Maybe he's also testing his receivers, and trying to build chemistry, by seeing if they can come up with a play and nab the ball away from a defender with velco-like coverage.

Another thing to consider is what good is a ball thrown away during practice? Sure, in a game, if everyone is covered or if the quarterback is in the grasp, they are supposed to take the sack or throw the ball out of bounds and not force anything into coverage. In practice, that no longer matters. It's better to see if one of your guys can make a play. That's worth more than a safe toss to the ballboy.

Futhermore, there is no game install during camp. The receivers are running basic routes and vanilla route combinations. The specialized game planning and scheming is installed behind closed doors, out of sight from the railbirds. Any defender who has a shot of making a professional roster knows the vanilla route combinations and can jump them, stealing a quick pick.

In his own words, we should R-E-L-A-X about training camp interceptions.

2. Nagging, non-devasting injuries. On any given day, there may up to 10+ players on the DNP (did not participate) list. It's common to see the reasons described as soreness, bruises, sprains, precautionary rest, etc. Sometimes, they're just listed as generic body parts, like groin, knee, wrist, etc.

Don't worry too much about this. It doesn't mean the injury bug is hitting hard again. It's all precaution. It's a long season, and including the bye week, there are 21 weeks of games. There's no sense in pushing players now and risking real damage or fatigue later on.

Futhermore, if this was the regular season, many of these players on the DNP list would be practicing during the week and playing in the upcoming games. There's more risk than reward to push it this early in the process.

Additionally, in a more cynical view, it's no secret that vested veterans assured of a roster spots and/or starting roles don't always like to practice. It's pretty well known that some of these players embellish their soreness a little bit to get a day off from the grind. Haven't you ever benefitted from "calling in sick" at your job? Exactly.

In a more positive light, the time off gives bubble players more reps and a chance to improve and show something.

Worry about major muscle pulls, concussions, broken bones, and tears. Don't worry about soreness, dings, and bruises. Everything will work out as it should with respect to building a roster.

3. Concerns over lack of continuity and chemistry between groups of players. Much is made about these ideas, especially if goups of players aren't on the same page. They may experience miscommunication, make mistakes, lack trust, or rip off a series of distastrous plays bordering on the edge of futility.  

No worry. 

During training camp, there are 90 players on the roster on any given day, and it won't be the same 90 the whole time. It's difficult for all the different and potential personnel packages to develop chemistry at first, especially with the second and third units, and even moreso on special teams. The starting lineups may be set already, but all of the packages are still moving pieces. Special teams are built from the bottom of the roster up, and no one knows what the final bottom is yet.

Once the roster is set at 53, that's when the real chemistry begins. Also consider, as I mentioned earlier, the game planning and specific installs don't begin until after training camp when the railbirds are blocked from viewing. If chemistry doesn't develop then, that's the time to worry. With 37 (or more) players currently in camp who won't be here for the regular season, there's bound to be miscommunication, lack of trust, mistakes, and imperfect chemistry.

It's all part of the process.

Keep all of this in mind as the team progresses through camp. Unfortunately, there will probably be something to legitimately worry about, but these three aren't anywhere on that list. Don't put too much stock in the spin machine.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tundraboy's picture

Voice of reason prevails. Thanks for calming words before frenzy begins.

PETER MAIZ's picture

Things are a breeze right now. So let's enjoy the season. Pray, pray, pray we don't have another meltdown! And there's no reason to have another one.

vj_ostrowski's picture


FITZCORE1252's picture

If this squad has the same luck as last year in the health department, we win it all, hell, might not lose a game. Seriously.

DrealynWilliams's picture

It's always that 1 damn team with a damn good front 4. The Rams and the Panthers worry me. They might not have the fire power to win in a shootout - but we all remember how that Chiefs game ended.

NewNikeShoes's picture

honestly, if the team is mentally there, I have no doubt they can beat anyone.
they have the talent to, its up to the coaches to put it together.

gr7070's picture

If they do have good health luck they'll be very difficult to beat in any game.

gr7070's picture

Good article with a few great points within.

Tundraboy's picture

Dup post sorry

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Nice article, Jay. I would add that it is still a little early to worry about the actual performance of rookies. The light might still come on for some of them in time to impress.

The first cutdown to 75 isn't until September 1. The 3rd preseason game where the starters usually play most of the 1st half is on August 29, so the real fringe players might need to impress some before that, but guys like Thornton, Bradford, Ringo, etc., unless they really lay eggs, probably will have a chance to play a lot of snaps in the final preseason game on 9/3/15.

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