Call it an edge or call it a sense of urgency. Each was evident in the Packers’ practice on Sunday, from the edge in special teams coach Shawn Slocum’s voice as it bellowed from the loudspeaker, to the clap of thunder that sent practice indoors, to the late hit and brief scuffle that followed.
“I think they’re focused on a normal week. They’re starting to get their legs back. The tempo was excellent. We finished up early,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said following a practice that was longer than had been par for the past two weeks.
The reason might be the return of receivers
“I thought he was fast in the hole. I was impressed with him,” McCarthy said of Benson, who gave the running back position a healthy glow on Sunday.
Why was there a sense of urgency on Sunday?
Clearly, that’s the result of a 35-10 loss to the Browns last Thursday, a preseason game in which the Packers allowed 32 unanswered points.
“You want to see players step up and take advantage of their opportunities. That was not the case for a large part of our football team this past week. Hopefully, that’ll change this Thursday,” McCarthy said.
Some of it began to change on Sunday.
Even the scout team had its moment, as
A team that was 15-1 last season is 0-2 in this preseason, and though nothing about the preseason engenders itself to desperation, the Packers are in distinct need of a better performance in Cincinnati this Thursday than they’ve exhibited through the first two games of this preseason. That fact was easily detected in the coaches’ voices on Sunday.
“That’s not good enough,” Slocum shouted during a special teams drill.
“Get out of there, Jeff,” offensive line coach James Campen said, as Saturday was replaced for the down by
McCarthy regretted having to send his team indoors.
“I wish it had stayed that way the whole time,” he said of the rain, before the arrival of lightning. “You have games like that. You’re eventually going to play in it.”
McCarthy said the Packers’ starters will play through the first half in Cincinnati. “In the second half … we still have a number of individuals we want to see.”
Jennings and Finley each caught passes of significance in Sunday’s practice. McCarthy said running back
“I thought Thursday was probably his best day as a Packer. He took a big step from San Diego to the Cleveland game. I’d like to see him do it again,” McCarthy said.
Based on Sunday’s practice, it would seem everybody wants to take the same step.Related links