5 things learned at Packers training camp – Aug. 28

Notes on Friday morning’s meeting, Rashan Gary’s old-school pass rush and Jordan Love showing more aggression

LB Rashan Gary

GREEN BAY – The Packers' 10th practice of training camp was moved inside the Don Hutson Center due to inclement weather Friday.

Here are five things learned from the day:

1. Rashan Gary continues to show progress in Year 2.

The Packers' 2019 first-round pick has been a man on a mission throughout training camp and Friday's one-on-one pass-rushing drills were no exception.

Gary, who has impressed following a rigorous offseason, broke out Reggie White's patented hump move to toss 301-pound offensive lineman John Leglue to the ground and win the rep coming off the edge.

The 22-year-old pass rusher garnered heaps of praise from outside linebackers coach Mike Smith last week and continues to draw rave reviews from Head Coach Matt LaFleur.

"Rashan is extremely talented. I think he's done a really nice job of being violent with his hands and being able to get the offensive lineman's hands off him," LaFleur said. "I think he's continuing to get better each and every day. Again, I can't speak enough about his work ethic.

"I'm excited about what he can bring to our defense."

Pro Bowl outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith also had a good day during the one-on-one period, winning reps from both outside and inside. Smith returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out practice for a week with an undisclosed injury.

2. LaFleur liked seeing Jordan Love be more aggressive.

LaFleur praised his rookie quarterback after Friday's practice, complimenting Jordan Love on being "more aggressive" and "more decisive" with his throws.

Love threw one of his best passes in a Packers uniform on his first pass in team 11-on-11, showing nice touch on a deep ball to Malik Turner who finished his corner route to the sideline.

The rookie first-round pick also quarterbacked the offense during the final team period LaFleur has been reserving for the team's young players after veterans have been excused.

"I think that from a footwork and mechanics standpoint, he's continuing to impress and get better each and every day," LaFleur said. "We've just got to slow it down mentally for him because there's a lot of information. It's not like we're holding back the playbook. We've thrown everything at him, and there's a lot to digest. As he gets more comfortable, it'll show in his play."

3. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had the catch of the day.

The Packers' third-year receiver, who has come on over the past two weeks, made one of the best catches of training camp during a late team period.

Coming on a crossing route, Valdes-Scantling snagged a pass slightly behind him with one hand and pulled it into his body without breaking stride.

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, receivers coach Jason Vrable discussed the strides Valdes-Scantling has made in practice this summer and his optimism for how it will translate on the field this season.

"I've been with him for a year now and the last three days were the best I've seen out of him as far as his consistency," Vrable said. "He's playing fast. He's doing a great job cutting at the top of the route and breaking down. … If Matt asks a question in front of the whole group, right away he's the one guy who can kind of answer and say, 'Oh, that route is this.'

"When you're at that level and you have the type of speed he has, I really believe it'll equate to success for him this year."

4. Rick Wagner and Yosh Nijman returned to practice.

Both offensive tackles were back at practice. It marked the first time Wagner has been in pads since the Packers' first practice inside Lambeau Field on Aug. 20.

Wagner, who signed with Green Bay in March, has been competing with fellow veterans Lane Taylor and Billy Turner for a starting role on the right side of the Packers' offensive line.

"That competition, he's an experienced vet that's played a lot of ball and we're excited to get him back in the fold," LaFleur said. "Certainly with the limited reps he's had up to this point in our team situations, it was nice to see him back out there."

It was Nijman's first practice since being placed on injured reserve last December with an elbow injury. He's the first player to be activated from Green Bay's physically unable to perform list.

5. The Packers held a morning team meeting before hitting the practice field.

After cancelling practice for a discussion on racial inequality and social injustice, LaFleur met with the team at 8 a.m. on Friday to review everything they'd discussed.

"One thing I want to make sure, and I know our team wants to make sure, that we're very deliberate about the actions we take in this regard," LaFleur said. "We know these discussions are far from over and we'll continue to have them, and we have to be able to balance both being a football player and attack these racial injustices that exist in our country."

LaFleur said it was a challenge moving practice indoors with an 80-player roster but was "pleased for the most part" with the effort. The team will practice again at Nitschke Field on Saturday before hosting another practice inside Lambeau Field Sunday.


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