GREEN BAY – The Packers made their long-awaited return to Ray Nitschke Field on Wednesday for the first training camp practice open to fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are five things learned from the day:
1. Davante Adams is locked in for 2021
The offseason came and went without the Packers and Adams agreeing to terms on a new contract, but the All-Pro receiver remains as focused as ever on proving he's the best wideout in the game.
Adams, who played a majority of the 2017 season with an expiring contract, also doesn't expect the lack of a long-term deal to distract him from his goals this upcoming season.
"That's how I've had success my whole life," said Adams, who reset the franchise record for single-season receptions (115) and tied the receiving touchdowns mark (18).
"It's been the recipe for me and just locking in on the moment. When I start thinking about being paid and all this other stuff and my mind is not right, it makes it very tough to focus on what you have to do. This is a tough league to perform in, consistently, if you don't have your mind right, especially the position that I play. I have to focus."
2. The spring was beneficial for Jordan Love's development
With Aaron Rodgers' return to Green Bay this week, Love was back taking reps with the second-team offense on Wednesday.
The former first-round pick took every first-team rep with the offense during the offseason program. That was a complete 180 from a year ago, when the pandemic eliminated the physical offseason program and shortened training camp.
Although Love's reps will be greatly reduced with Rodgers back in town, the second-year quarterback should still see a lot of action in the Packers' three preseason games next month.
"I think it was great for Jordan and he did a wonderful job with it," said General Manager Brian Gutekunst of Love's reps during the offseason program. "The really nice thing about Jordan is he's really Steady Eddie. His attitude and the way he's approached all of this, obviously, with all the noise around it, I couldn't be happier about that. He had a really, really good offseason. We're really excited."
3. Opportunity is knocking for several players
Opportunity also knocked for a pair of recent first-round picks, with rookie cornerback Eric Stokes and third-year linebacker Rashan Gary filling in for Kevin King and Za'Darius Smith, respectively, in the starting defense.
King and Smith both started the non-football injury list. Speaking with reporters before practice, Gutekunst said he doesn't have any long-term concerns about any of the players the Packers placed on PUP and NFI.
St. Brown had fans cheering during the first team period of practice when he ran a nice corner route to the end zone to catch a 20-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers.
Rookie third-round pick Amari Rodgers finished practice in similar fashion, when he perfectly timed his jump to catch a touchdown pass from Love in team red zone.
5. Returning fans made a difference on Day 1
There was a good turnout for the first day of camp, with fans filling up the Nitschke Field bleachers. It's the first time the Packers have practiced in front of fans since Aug. 19, 2019.
"It definitely livens the practice, just like when you have music out there," said safety Adrian Amos of the crowd. "Just a different sound, a different energy to practice. It's just like in games, when you have fans or don't have fans, it's just another level of energy that can get you up for the game."