Training Camp Week in Review: Week 2

Sarah Kelliher gives a recap of the second week of action from Packers camp.

The Green Bay Packers are just two weeks away from their season opener in Minnesota on September 13. With the team back in action during training camp, a bundle of nerves, excitement and new expectations for the 2020-2021 season come with it.

With the second week of training camp in the books, let’s look back at each day of practice and what we learned.

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23, 2020

Linebacker Rashan Gary continued his strong start to camp in week two, specifically shining in one-on-one drills Sunday. Packers reporter Wes Hodkiewicz reported that Gary had two strong rushes off the edge and was certainly a standout throughout the day. Hodkiewicz also shared that fan favorite linebacker Preston Smith performed well, securing two wins early on in the same drill.

On the offensive side of things, quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn’t waste any time getting into a rhythm in week two of training camp. The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman reported that on back-to-back snaps, Rodgers threw 50 – and 45-yard touchdowns during the 11-on-11 period. The first, to Davante Adams, and the second, to Jake Kumerow. CheesheadTV’s Aaron Nagler reported that Rodgers was “money” and had several other key connections with Adams throughout the day as well.

At his post-practice media availability, tight end Marcedes Lewis had high praise for his quarterback. "When you're in a position like Aaron's in, accomplished so much, Super Bowls, MVPs, all external influences don't matter. He's in charge of his process. The things he can control, he will, the things he can't, he won't."

According to Hodkiewicz, Za’Darius Smith, Alexander, Montravius Adams, Roberts, Bolton, Taylor, Nijman, Stepaniak and Wagner did not practice. Lewis was present but was on a veterans’ rest day. Amos was back in the mix after being excused for a personal matter. Practiced ended after about 1 hour and 45 minutes for veterans, the youngsters went for a bit longer.

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2020

Following one of the longest and toughest practices of camp on Sunday, Monday was much more of a laid-back day for the Packers. According to Packers writer Mike Spofford, players did not dress in pads and were moving at no more than a jogs pace throughout the morning. As a result, there really wasn’t much to note during practice. However, we learned quite a bit from the post-practice media availabilities.  

As I previously mentioned, Rodgers looked noticeably sharp the last couple of days and, after speaking with media Monday, we learned that’s surely no coincidence. The veteran QB shared that he is constantly looking for ways to improve and watched tape back from 2010 that he believed helped elevate his recent play.  

“…I just noticed something from a clip from 2010 actually. It kind of hit me. And I know it was 10 years ago but the next day I went out to practice and started working on what I saw on the film, and the last couple days kind of happened. It is interesting,” Rodgers shared with media.  “It’s just a good reminder for all of us the tape of yourself can be the most important to watch. Because you can always pick things up. I won’t get into exactly what I saw but it definitely has helped me the last couple of day.”

In addition to digging into the film archives, Rodgers also gushed about some new ideas that LaFleur brought to the table. He shared that coach texted him with some “fantastic” practice ideas and that after testing them out in practice Sunday, they were able to hit both for big gains.

Kicker Mason Crosby also spoke to media Monday and confirmed the theories that he was put on the COVID-19 reserve list at the start of camp, after testing positive for the virus. He went on to speak very positively about the policies and procedures the NFL has put in place and the team’s overall level of safety.

“I do believe that the [players association] and the NFL, the negotiations and the policies that we put into place have worked well, especially in a situation like that where nobody got in the building that might have been exposed or tested positive before we even started coming in as a group,” Crosby shared.

According to Packers reporter Wes Hodkiewicz, once again, Montravius Adams, Roberts, Bolton, Taylor, Nijman, Stepaniak and Wagner did not practice. Safety Raven Greene also did not practice. Za’Darius Smith and Jaire Alexander were back in the mix after missing a couple of the last practices. Practice ended after about 1 hour and 10 minutes. 

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2020

To kick things off Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings announced that no fans will be allowed in U.S. Bank Stadium for at least the first two home games of the season. This means that the Packers' season opener against the Vikings will be an empty one.

Although it isn’t much of a surprise, this news is certainly something that could work in Green Bay’s favor. Minnesota is typically a tough place to play, but with fans now out of the equation, it takes away so much of the “home field advantage” feel for the Vikings and will allow the Packers to come in a bit more comfortably in week one.   

During practice Tuesday, rookie linebacker Kamal Martin continued to impress. CheesheadTV’s Aaron Nagler reported that Martin read the action in the backfield perfectly and busted through coverage to stop the ballcarrier dead in his tracks during team play. This isn’t the first-time media in attendance has been impressed with Martin either. Several media members reported that Martin has continued to read plays well and bust through coverage in camp. As a rookie, there are surely areas Martin can still improve on, but it  certainly seems like we may see him making a real impact on the field sooner than we may have thought.  

On the offensive side of things, the Athletic’s Matt Schneidman shared a lot of updates on the wideout room Tuesday. From his reports, it appears that Darrius Shepard continues to catch nearly everything that’s thrown his way, most notably a diving catch on a ball thrown way behind him, while Savage was all over him in coverage. Schneidman also reported that Rodgers to Adams, as well as Rodgers to Lazard already looked “season-ready” in team drills.

LaFleur was clearly excited about what he saw too, praising Aaron Rodgers’ recent level of play to media at his post-practice media availability.

"I like how he's [Aaron Rodgers] playing right now,” LaFleur said. “He's very decisive. He's letting it rip and he's extremely accurate.”

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2020

In response to the events that followed the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Green Bay Packers made the decision to cancel practice Thursday.  

Coach LaFleur spoke with media Thursday afternoon and said that the team held meetings earlier that morning where many players, as well as coaches, shared their experiences.

“Instead of having our offense and defense meetings this a.m., we met as units and then came together as a team to talk about things we could do moving forward to help and make a significant change,” LaFleur shared.

LaFleur noted that no players specifically said that they did not want to practice but that he ultimately made the decision not to after seeing the emotions of his players and staff.

“Not one guy said that they didn’t want to practice today. That never came up. We were having some really long conversations. When you feel that emotion in the room it’s hard to focus on football. It is emotionally draining for everyone in the room. So I made the decision that ‘hey, we’re not going to go today.’ I just didn’t think it was right.”

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2020

Weather was a bit of an issue on Friday, so the Packers moved practice inside due to rain. Only “second-tier” media was allowed inside the Hutson Center but luckily, we were still able to receive most of the inside scoop.

Packers reporter Wes Hodkiewicz shared that Gary continued to look impressive on Friday, particularly turning heads with one of the best rushes in camp thus far.

Several media reported that after struggling for the first bit of camp, rookie quarterback Jordan Love started to find something Friday, with several nice completions during team drills. Coach LaFleur noticed an improvement as well, sharing his satisfaction with Love at his post-practice media availability.  

"I thought today he [Love] was much better. He was more aggressive. I thought he was more decisive, and that’s what we want to continue to see, “ LaFleur said. “I think that, from a footwork and mechanics standpoint, he’s continuing to impress and get better each and every day."

According to Hodkiewicz, Montravius Adams and Raven Greene still did not practice, as well as linebacker Randy Ramsey and cornerback Kabion Ento. Rick Wagner and Yosh Nijman were both back and in pads, marking Nijman’s first practice of the season. Practice ended after 1 hour and 51 minutes for the vets. The youngsters went a bit longer.   

 

SATURDAY AUGUST 29, 2020

Saturday’s practice started off on a bit of a lighter note in Green Bay. Although there weren’t fans there to cheer them on along the way, several Packers rookies still had the opportunity to take their first DreamDrive, riding into practice from Lambeau Filed on bicycles.

Personally, this is one of my favorite training camp traditions. Although it looks a lot different this year, I’m so glad that the team was still able to participate in some capacity, and for a good cause; according to the team eight of the autographed bikes will be donated to local charities to be used as auction items to raise money for their causes.

As far as practice went, The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman reported that Love continued to show improvements throughout different team drills Saturday. He also reported that cornerback Chandon Sullivan picked off Aaron Rodgers deep down the field, following a miscommunication on the offensive side of things. From the looks of it, media reported that specialist/receiver Tyler Ervin may have been to blame, since Rodgers appeared visibly upset with him after the play.

At his post-practice media availability, LaFleur shared that Sunday’s practice will be a scrimmage held inside Lambeau Field.

"It's gonna be our closest opportunity to a game-like experience,” coach shared. “We’re gonna have the guys in their uniforms. It's gonna be all unscripted."

According to Packers reporter Wes Hodkiewicz and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Silverstein, Greene, Ento, Ramsey, Montravius Adams, Will Sunderland and Treyvon Hester did not practice. For the first time all of camp, Equanimeous St. Brown did not practice, which is something to keep an eye on after he missed all last season. Linebacker Oren Burks started practice but later dropped out and watched the remainder from the sideline. Lewis was on another veterans’ rest day. Practice ended after 1 hour and 28 minutes.

Sunday’s scrimmage inside Lambeau Field marks the end of “training camp style” practices for the Packers. Next week, Green Bay plans to transition into “regular-season mode” for the duration of camp.  

 

We’re almost there, folks. Just two weeks away from regular season football. See you next week for my final training camp roundup.

 

 

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (4)

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hobowilly's picture

August 30, 2020 at 09:54 pm

thx Sarah, particularly appreciated your glee about the bike riding and where the monies go. Again, no where else but a franchise such as the Green Bay Packers, America's real team!

Further, it would be appreciated if you can give your in sight of the Queens acquiring the DE from the Jags. Minn is down with D line injuries, but it could be a smoke screen. We're all hoping for the best effort and a W to start the season once again on the road with a divisional opponent. GB going 6-0 was simply amazing no matter what the ney sayers have said that GB shouldn't have won 13 games. Well, they won ALL of their divisional games with a first year head coach and that's really saying something. Love what MLF has created thus far with his team environment and great love for his players.

And, then what happened? his GM turned right around and gave him some Love: ah, in the first round, that is.

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Heyjoe414's picture

August 31, 2020 at 04:05 pm

Agreed. 14 wins is 14 wins. Period.

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hannahberry's picture

August 31, 2020 at 01:37 am

Let us see how well you did. Don't expect anyone for anything. What makes me different is myself. https://geometrydash-best.com

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JGPACK's picture

August 31, 2020 at 09:31 am

Thanks Sarah. Solid summary

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