Packers training camp report: Aug. 2

Date:
Friday, August 2, 2013

Practice Time:
7:00 p.m. (Total: 2 hours, 9 minutes)

Sidelined:
* WR Jordy Nelson (Knee — First missed practice)
* TE Andrew Quarless (Quad — First missed practice)
* S David Fulton (Knee — Missed Wednesday, practiced Thursday, out again)
* LB Jamari Lattimore (Illness — Missed first two practices, returned for three, out again)
* LB Brad Jones (Finger — Left practice early)
* CB Casey Hayward (Hamstring — Consecutive Missed Practices: 7)
* DE Mike Neal (Abdomen — Consecutive Missed Practices: 7)
* RB DuJuan Harris (Knee — Consecutive Missed Practices: 7)
* OL Derek Sherrod (Leg — Consecutive Missed Practices: 7)
* S Sean Richardson (Neck — Consecutive Missed Practices: 7)
* WR Charles Johnson (Left Leg — Consecutive Missed Practices: 5)
* WR Kevin Dorsey (Leg — Consecutive Missed Practices: 5)
* CB Tramon Williams – (Knee — Consecutive Missed Practices: 4)
* OLB Dezman Moses (Toe — Consecutive Missed Practices: 3)
* OL J.C. Tretter (Ankle — likely out until midseason)
* DL Jerel Worthy (Knee — likely out until midseason)
* WR Sederrick Cunningham (Wrist Surgery — Return date unknown)

He’s back:
* OLB Nate Palmer (Shoulder — Returned after missing two practices)

Movin’ On Up:
WRs Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross

Boykin has had a very good first week of training camp, but Friday night was his best outing so far. Aaron Rodgers was looking for Boykin often and each pass between them resulted in a completion. Boykin beat Davon House (who hasn’t had many passes completed on him) deep down the left sideline and Rodgers found him. Two plays later, Rodgers went right to Boykin on a quick screen.

With receivers Jordy Nelson, Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey all injured, Boykin got more time on the field and made the most of it. Boykin has really separated himself and become the Packers’ clear-cut No. 4 receiver.

Ross shouldn’t just be viewed as a returner. He, too, has benefitted from both of Green Bay’s seventh-round pick receivers (Johnson and Dorsey) being out. In the two-minute drill that closed out practice, Ross caught two passes from Rodgers for first downs.

“I think Jarrett and Jeremy are both definitely guys you say, second year you can say, ‘Hey, look at this young man right here, the improvement he’s made from Year 1 to Year 2,'” coach Mike McCarthy said this week. “They know everything. They’re comfortable with what they’re being asked to do. You can see the relationship, the connection they’re having with the quarterback. That’s a huge indicator as far as timing on routes and interpretation of things and adjustments, particularly for the number of things we do at the line of scrimmage.”

So You Had A Bad Day:
RB Alex Green

In a span of two minutes Friday night, Green squared up to fight with linebacker Robert Francois before the two were separated and then took the next handoff and fumbled. Green had the ball knocked away by Johnny Jolly. A day earlier, McCarthy was very upset by the number of times the ball hit the ground, so he was not pleased to see his third-year running back cough it up.

Green has little room for error. With rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin both performing well and James Starks looking very good, Green can’t have many moments like this one.

“Good play for the defense, bad play for the offense,” McCarthy said. “It’s unacceptable by Alex.”

Consider “unacceptable” to be a word that Green won’t want to hear McCarthy use in relation with his name again.

Noted:
– This was the Packers’ first night practice of the year and thousands of fans were in attendance. Even though it was just drills and there wasn’t any live tackling, the crowd was into it the entire time.

– Mike Daniels continues to be a player to watch — and listen to. Not only does he use his superior strength to bully offensive linemen around but he also is one of the most vocal players on the team. When defensive line coach Mike Trgovac made a comment to Daniels following one combo-drill play, Daniels fired back loudly, defending himself by saying that he did the right thing. Trgovac didn’t seem to mind Daniels’ fiery response.

– Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Donte Savage has had several nice plays in training camp and had another notable one Friday night when he got past Kevin Hughes during a combo drill and then stopped running back Angelo Pease in the backfield for a loss.

– Both backup quarterbacks had a few nice throws. Throughout the night, B.J. Coleman hit Myles White deep downfield on a tough pass, found Boykin on a short route and threw a bullet 25 yards down the middle in tight coverage that was caught by D.J. Williams. However, Coleman struggled in blitz drills and often doesn’t get rid of the ball before the pressure has caved in the pocket. Harrell had two perfectly thrown deep balls in team drills, both to Alex Gillett (one of which was dropped and the other was caught).

– Undrafted rookie wide receiver Tyrone Walker continues to display good hands on offense, but he had a rough moment as a punt returner when the ball bounced right off his shoulder pads for a fumble.

– Randall Cobb fielded the first live punt return, followed by Ross.

– Starks did a really good job on a blitz pickup during 11-on-11 team drills, preventing cornerback Loyce Means from getting to the quarterback.

– Micah Hyde had another good practice, blanketing Cobb on a deep pass from Rodgers. The ball was a bit underthrown and Hyde broke it up. Later, Hyde ripped James Jones’ hands down while he was trying to haul in a pass on a short drag route.

– In the final drive of practice, the starting offense quickly marched down the field and scored on a 15-yard pass from Rodgers to Jermichael Finley for the touchdown. Finley excitedly spiked the ball before joining his teammates in the middle of the field for McCarthy’s final words of the day.

– The three songs played during the team’s water breaks: Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” Hootie & The Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You” and The Black Keys’ “Gold on the Ceiling”

What’s Next:
* Saturday, August 3 – 6:30 p.m. (Family Night Scrimmage at Lambeau Field)
* Monday, August 5 – 1:50 p.m. (Training Camp Practice No. 9 — Closed to the public)

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