GREEN BAY—It was just the first day of training camp, but it was the kind of play Packers fans can expect to see over and over again for years to come, now that
Bracketed in coverage by
“You just laugh and go on to the next play,” said Hyde, who began camp where he was in the spring, as a safety with the No. 1 defense.
The completion showcased Rodgers’ deadly accuracy but also the connection and trust Rodgers and Nelson have developed over the previous six seasons. With Nelson once again in the fold long term, the connection might only grow more dangerous.
“I think he’s got the best instincts in any receiver I’ve ever played with,” Rodgers said. “He has incredible reactions, second and third reactions. He knows where he needs to get to, what spot on the field, to make the proper play.”
Just a few snaps after the eye-catching sideline grab, Nelson leaped to snag a bullet from Rodgers on a crossing route. Then later, Nelson beat cornerback
All this was going on amidst high-fives and hugs from teammates as they heard of Nelson’s news. Nelson told the receivers and quarterbacks before practice, and then Rodgers gave a brief congratulatory message in the huddle right before one play to get the buzz going, according to running back
“It’s the first day of camp, so you have all the energy you’re able to have,” said Nelson, who was entering the final year of a contract extension he signed back in 2011. “It was fun. I was excited to get it done. I think other guys were excited for me as well, which is always fun to see. You’re a little more at ease, knowing you don’t have to worry about anything and you can just go play football.”
“I’d love for Randall to be next,” Rodgers said. “He’s a guy, again, who’s done it the right way.”
All looked right with the first-team defense on day one with
He’s still wearing some protection on his thumb but nothing like the bulky club-case he tried to play with last season before the second break.
“I can’t really put a percentage on it,” Matthews said of the thumb’s overall health. “I’d say it’s strong, quite strong. It was a good step in the right direction for a first day. I’m happy with the reps I took, the movements I made with it. There will be some obstacles to overcome.”
“It’s a dream come true,” cornerback
The news wasn’t all good on defense, though. Pass rushers
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Perry and Neal were “close” to passing their physicals, but Worthy might “be some time.”
A starter at right tackle the past season and a half, Barclay is now behind
“He plays any position,” McCarthy said. “He’s played some center. If he had to, he could go out and play left tackle. He’s a tough guy, technical.
“Don’s a guy you don’t want to compete against, because he’s going to be there each and every day, and he’s exactly what you want.”