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5 things learned at Packers training camp – Aug. 23

Tyler Davis bounces back; Mason Crosby aiming for Week 1

TE Tyler Davis
TE Tyler Davis

GREEN BAY – The Packers conducted a final, non-padded practice on Tuesday leading into their preseason finale in Kansas City on Thursday night.

Here are five things we learned:

1. Tyler Davis bounced back in a big way.

Back in the locker room after a brisk 75-minute practice, veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis had just two words to sum up Davis' performance.

"Bounced back."

The third-year tight end had one of his best outings in training camp, catching a seam route from Jordan Love and a no-look dart from Aaron Rodgers that had his quarterback pumping his fist in celebratory fashion afterward.

It was the type of response Davis was looking for after a dropped pass that turned into an interception against San Francisco in the preseason opener, and a fumble last Friday vs. New Orleans.

"It was good, just to be able to go out there and make plays," Davis said. "I feel like I just had fun out there. That was the big thing for me today. Just had a ball out there, got a great backbone here with the teammates – Aaron, No. 1, being the guy that's just so supportive all the time for me, and just was excited to make some plays."

A big part of that foundation is the Packers' locker room. Many of the same veterans who welcomed Davis in the door last year as an in-season signee were the same ones telling him to pick his "head up" after the turnovers.

Lewis was part of that brigade. Reading the pulse of the room, the 17th-year veteran actually spoke to all the tight ends over the weekend for about 15 minutes, reminding everyone of the standard and the unit's importance to the offense.

For Davis to respond in a positive way was a beautiful thing for Lewis to see.

"What the tight ends do in our offense is big-time for anything that we want to do, whether it's me, Bobby (Tonyan), (Josiah) Deguara, TD, it doesn't matter," Lewis said. "Our job on that specific play is very important for our success for that play. If you want to be looked at like that, you gotta bring it every day in practice and I feel like he did that today."

2. Mason Crosby is aiming to be ready for Week 1.

While Crosby remains on the physically unable to perform list, the Packers' all-time leading scorer continues to hit all his checkmarks recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Crosby said he's kicking balls again on his own in rehab and is hopeful to be ready for the regular-season opener in Minnesota. If cleared, it would extend Crosby's active NFL record of consecutive games played to 242.

"As of right now, this is six weeks out so that was kind of the goal was to be progressing and kicking more at this point," Crosby said. "I hit a set inside today and felt really good. I'm just going to keep building off that. The goal is obviously to be full-go and ready to go by Week 1."

3. Devonte Wyatt has enjoyed his lunches with Rodgers.

Walking with his lunch through the team cafeteria, the Packers' rookie defensive lineman recently noticed his MVP quarterback sitting by himself at a table.

As one of the new kids in town, Wyatt wasn't sure what to do. He wanted to sit down with the future Pro Football Hall of Famer but initially chickened out.

With a little prodding from Head Coach Matt LaFleur, Wyatt sat down with Rodgers and the two enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation that included Rodgers playfully mentioning how Wyatt was supposedly funny, according to his teammates.

Wyatt has been picking his brain ever since.

"If I see him at the table by himself, I just choose to go sit with him. Because every day you can learn something," Wyatt said. "Like, 'What do you see from D-linemen?' He's like, 'What do you see from offensive linemen?' Every time I go in there I ask him a question, he asks me a question. I didn't even know he went to JUCO, so I learn every day I sit with him."

Beyond football, the conversations also have helped Wyatt overcome some rookie jitters.

"We talked, we sat, we ate," Wyatt said. "He just made me feel better about being in my predicament I'm in right now because I told him I'm a little stressed out about how things are going for me in camp, but he was like, 'Don't worry about it. You got a long season.'"

4. The Packers' starters won't play in Kansas City (but Christian Watson might).

After much thought and discussion, LaFleur and the coaching staff have decided to sit most of Green Bay's veteran starters in Kansas City, including Rodgers.

As LaFleur said earlier this week, the starters are still expected to participate in pregame warmups and walkthrough before shutting it down for the night.

"Just the risk vs. reward, knowing it's a long season, having 17 games," said LaFleur of the reasoning. "I think early on we get stressed with travel in the season, as well. You factor in everything."

One player who may be a game-time decision is the rookie receiver Watson, who returned to 11-on-11 this week after missing the first three weeks of camp following an offseason procedure on his knee.

"We'll see where he's at," said LaFleur when asked about Watson's availability. "If he's able to go, he will go."

5. The team honored Larry McCarren after Tuesday's practice.

After practice, LaFleur pulled together the entire team to present Packers Hall of Fame center McCarren with a game ball commemorating his 50th training camp as either a player or broadcaster.

McCarren was selected to the Pro Bowl twice during his 12 seasons with the Packers. In 1988, he was named the main sports anchor and sports director of WFRV-TV in Green Bay.

A member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, McCarren has been a member of the team's radio broadcasts since 1995. He joined the Packers as video analyst in 2015.

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