Put the ball near the goal line and watch their spirits rise.
A little more than 90 minutes into an otherwise uneventful practice on Monday, the Packers embarked on a series of team (11-on-11) periods with the ball in the red zone. Whether it was the day off on Sunday or the first sniff of true “scoring” during training camp, the intensity suddenly shot up.
“We pushed the envelope as far as getting as many different plays as we possibly can into the periods, so we got a lot of reps today,” Mike McCarthy said. “A lot of team reps.”
A lot of competitiveness, too, which was the most noticeable it’s been in camp so far. So much so that plays involving the undrafted rookies were generating buzz. When fullback
The offense and defense went back and forth getting the best of one another. Cobb on a wheel route and
The tit-for-tat continued in a later red-zone period, this one with crowd noise piped in from the sideline. Amidst players arguing offsides calls, Nelson was wide open again for a TD before
“It’s not going to be as crisp as you would like, but these are the way these practices go,” McCarthy said, referring to high-volume installations of the playbooks, which this week’s practices will be leading up to Friday’s Family Night scrimmage.
“I like the way they’re working through it. That was a long practice today. The humidity was up there a little bit. These are the type of practices where your team is built.”
One segment of the team that has established itself early is the offensive line. The first unit, left to right, has featured
Heading into camp, the only player thought to possibly challenge for a starting job was 2011 first-round pick
“I think it’s comfortable to stand up here and not answer the questions I’ve answered in the past,” McCarthy said. “Every year we’d sit here and try to determine when we were going to establish a starting offensive line. Now the obvious is being presented every single day at practice.
“When five men practice every single day together, obviously continuity comes quicker, and we’re able to do that right now.”
That group of five helped the offense get in the last punch of the day during the two-minute drill, with Rodgers driving the first team 60 yards in just over a minute. Completions to
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