Skip to main content

5 things learned at Packers training camp – Aug. 1

QB Jordan Love and the offense looking to turn the corner, as rotations continue up front


GREEN BAY – The Packers put the pads on for the second straight day Tuesday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Here are five things we learned:

1. The offense is getting annoyed with doing extra calisthenics.

Each practice of training camp ends with a competitive period that carries consequences in the form of push-ups or up-downs for the losing side of the ball.

The defense has won those periods regularly and did so again Tuesday by shutting down a pair of two-minute drives at the end of practice, leaving the offense frustrated at its lack of success.

"I think we're all pretty tired of it," quarterback Jordan Love said. "Kudos to the defense but, obviously, it's disappointing as an offense collectively as a whole. It's definitely an area that we need to step up and figure out how we can turn that thing around."

Love added the offense continues to go through growing pains and while there are spurts of efficient play, it hasn't been consistent.

"There wasn't a lot of juice out there from us," he said, adding the defense is challenging the receivers with press coverage but throwing some change-ups here and there as well.

"We've got some really good DBs that know what they're doing out there," Love said. "They're really smart, they're really savvy, they're mixing up looks really well. They're disguising if they're going to two-shell, if they're blitzing from one way, blitzing from the other way."

2. More parts are moving around on the offensive line.

While camp started with the focus up front on the competition at right tackle, the center spot now appears just as much up for grabs.

For a considerable portion of Tuesday's practice, Zach Tom took over at center for Josh Myers on the No. 1 offensive line, with Yosh Nijman playing right tackle. The other three spots – David Bakhtiari at left tackle, Elgton Jenkins at left guard and Jon Runyan at right guard – haven't changed unless Bakhtiari or Jenkins has rested during some first-team reps.

The most constructive way to look at it is this: As the Packers look to find their best five up front, three of them are Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Runyan, and it appears the other two will come from the trio of Tom, Myers and Nijman. If Tom is one of them, then his spot could be dictated by whether Myers or Nijman is the other.

As for the changing centers and whether he'd prefer a decision made sooner than later, Love isn't concerned.

"I have a great camaraderie with both those guys," he said of Myers and Tom.

3. In attempting to bounce back, rookie kicker Anders Carlson had an up-and-down day.

Coming off Saturday's practice in which he missed five long field-goal attempts, Carlson went 5-of-8 Tuesday on kicks mostly from 45-plus yards.

He had two separate three-kick segments during practice, missing from 40 before hitting from 45 and 47. Then he missed from 49 and rebounded to hit from 48 and 52. Concluding two end-of-game situations late in practice when the offense got in position for field goals, he was good from 46 but missed from 52.

He was kicking with a left-to-right crosswind, and all three misses were wide right. Distance was not at issue with any of his attempts.

4. Peyton Manning's visit Monday brought back a bad memory.

Matt LaFleur appreciated Manning's willingness to address the team after Monday's practice and share some words of wisdom from a Hall of Fame career, but it also prompted the head coach to share the story of a game against Manning he'd rather forget.

In his first year as an NFL assistant coach, with Houston in 2008, LaFleur and the Texans thought they had Manning and the Colts beat. But no.

"We're up 17 late in the fourth quarter and to watch this guy bring his team back and of course beat us in the 2-minute drive … they scored 21 points basically in about a 5-minute span," LaFleur said.

The Colts' comeback featured two fumbles by the Texans, one returned by Indy for a defensive touchdown, so it wasn't all Manning. But the point of the story remains.

"It was a great lesson early in my coaching career about, you've got to play 'til that clock says zero," LaFleur said. "I'll never forget sitting up in that press box and we're up 27-10, thinking 'Oh my gosh, we're going to beat the Indianapolis Colts,' only to see it evaporate quickly."

5. Love got to chat one-on-one with the Hall of Famer as well.

Love confirmed Manning's chat was not about a pitch to include the Packers' new starting QB on the next season of the popular Netflix series "Quarterback."

Instead, the two talked a lot about communication, leadership and preparation, including that Manning would watch film of four games of the upcoming opponent before any team meetings prepping for the next game commenced.

"There was a lot of advice," Love said. "He had a lot of really good gems in terms of taking notes, how you watch film. When you're at home by yourself, are you writing down questions, things that you can come with and ask your coaches later.

"How are you asking to be coached? Are you a guy that wants to be coached really hard? Are you a guy that kind of just wants to go do your own thing? It all matters. He said that when he was a player, that was his biggest thing is he wanted to be coached really hard. He always wanted to be told what he was doing wrong."

Related Content