5 things learned at Packers training camp – July 29

Jordan Love, offense have their best practice to date

QB Jordan Love

GREEN BAY – The Packers wrapped the first week of training camp with an eventful practice No. 4 at Nitschke Field on Saturday.

Here are five things we learned:

1. Jordan Love and the offense had their best showing so far.

The Packers' starting quarterback was locked in, completing 16-of-22 passes during team periods while leading the offense to the 1-yard line for an end-of-half field goal during the final two-minute period of practice.

Love went 4-of-7 for 60 yards on the series, highlighted by a beautiful 33-yard pass to second-year receiver Samori Toure down the left side on third-and-3.

"It was perfect," said Toure after practice. "It was perfectly in stride between the safety and the corner. You can't throw it better than that."

A 9-yard pass from Love to Romeo Doubs then set up first-and-goal at 7 and the offense thought it had won the drill with a Patrick Taylor touchdown run up the middle on the next play.

However, the referees didn't signal a touchdown and the offense had to spike the ball with 8 seconds left on the clock. The Packers settled for a 20-yard chip shot from kicker Anders Carlson after tight end Luke Musgrave was unable to break the plane of the goal line off a short fade with two seconds remaining.

While Love finished on a high note, he also made several tight throws. He hit Toure while rolling out on play-action earlier in practice and had several other connections with receiver Christian Watson, including a 14-yard completion to start the two-minute period.

"He was putting the ball where it needs to be," said Toure of Love. "You can tell he's dialed in, and he's ready for sure."

2. Quay Walker's offseason centered on self-improvement.

Amidst preparations for his second NFL season, the inside linebacker also looked inward this offseason after being ejected twice last year during an otherwise impressive rookie campaign.

Walker's plan centers on "just being more open" about his feelings. He took some pointers on meditation from Jaire Alexander and is meeting with Dr. Chris Carr, the team's director of performance psychology and behavioral health clinician.

"I was a person that was real, real closed in, with all my thoughts and everything like that," Walker said. "The stuff I had going on … that ain't really got anything to do with what took place (on the field). But those were the things I did over the offseason to prepare me to not make those same mistakes over again."

A first-round pick out of Georgia last year, Walker was voted to the PFWA's All-Rookie Team after leading the Packers with 119 tackles (five for loss), adding seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles and 1½ sacks.

The 6-foot-4, 241-pound linebacker played in all 17 games but was sent to the locker room against Buffalo in Week 8 and vs. Detroit in the regular-season finale following on-field tussles.

Walker knows opposing teams likely will try to test him but feels he has a better plan in place to cope with adversity.

"I'm already prepared," Walker said. "I know most teams will label me a hothead so I kind of am already preparing for what's going to happen. I've just got to be ready for everything that's going to come."

3. The Packers haven't been shy about giving Lukas Van Ness everything he can handle.

The rookie first-round pick has spent almost every waking hour at Lambeau Field since he reported earlier this week for the start of training camp.

How much exactly?

"I've eaten at one restaurant outside of the facility, if that says enough," said Van Ness with a smile.

Football has been the main entrée on Van Ness' plate over the past week, as the 6-foot-5, 272-pound pass rusher gets his feet wet in a new defensive scheme.

The early signs have been promising. Veterans Justin Hollins and Kingsley Enagbare have mostly been rotating across from Preston Smith with the first-team defense, but Van Ness has started to get more opportunities, as well.

On Saturday, Van Ness had his number called to work with Smith during the final two-minute period at the end of practice. Wherever he's lining up, Van Ness just wants to learn.

"It's just the rotation we have, throwing guys out there and giving them a chance to compete," Van Ness said. "(Position) coach (Jason) Rebrovich says stay at his hip and when a guy is ready to go out, make sure you're ready. Every time you get that opportunity, make it a good one. To me, it doesn't mean anything – first-, second-, third-team reps – they're all valuable opportunities to go out there and play."

4. Defense won the competition period again, evidently.

There was some debate after practice about the offense having to do up-downs once again despite the first-team unit putting points on the board in two-minute.

Based on best two-out-of-three format, however, the defense still prevailed after the No. 2 and 3 units prevented the reserve offenses from crossing midfield.

"It's a fun deal but it's definitely starting to get old, especially with how much they like to talk, too," Toure said. "We definitely gotta get one of these competitions and they'll hear it from us when we do."

5. The Packers are off Sunday and then the pads go on.

After four non-padded sessions, Green Bay's roster will put on its shoulder pads Monday before a fully padded practice Tuesday.

Per the ramp-up rules for training camp, teams are not allowed to put on pads until after the fourth practice.

The Packers enter their first off day mostly healthy. Rookie wideout Dontayvion Wicks (concussion) didn't practice but was allowed to watch practice from the sideline, while tight end Tucker Kraft dropped out of practice and had his quad wrapped in ice after laying out for a pass on the sideline during a team period.

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