GREEN BAY – The first two days of training camp are in the books for the Packers, and the third day will feature the pads going on.
The first full-pads workout is slated for 11:15 a.m. CT Saturday at Ray Nitschke Field. Practices take on a different feel when they more closely resemble real football.
“Oh yeah, 100 percent,” linebacker Blake Martinez said. “I can’t wait to get pads on. I know back at Stanford, we always talked about when you didn’t have pads on, it’s projected plays.
“Until you get the pads on, those are the real plays and you can really mark them up as interceptions, TFLs, sacks, those sort of things.”
In that vein, Martinez wasn’t putting much stock in the strong second day the inside linebackers had Friday, as impressive as it was.
Martinez leaped to intercept Aaron Rodgers’ fourth-down, desperation pass to end the first two-minute drill, Ahmad Thomas broke up a fourth-down pass to conclude two-minute for the second units, and Jake Ryan picked off a deflected pass over the middle toward the end of the workout.
Beginning Saturday, Martinez – who wants to be seen as not only a good leader and communicator but a playmaker in his third season – wants to see more of those types of plays as the defense continues to process its new playbook.
“It’s just so fun to play,” Martinez said of the new scheme. “It’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of things that can distract an offense.”
On the injury front, outside linebacker Nick Perry has yet to practice following offseason ankle surgery, but the veteran pass rusher is trying not to get too impatient.
“I’m ready to go, but we’ve just got to ease into this one,” said Perry, who had seven sacks through nine games last season before multiple injuries eventually landed him on injured reserve. “I’m itching to get back. I’m excited.
“I’m fine ultimately. The main thing is just for them to give me the green light to go. For the long haul, it’s important that my body feels good.”
Wide receiver Randall Cobb is feeling better as well following ankle surgery of his own after the June minicamp. He characterized it as a minimally invasive procedure to remove a piece of cartilage that had been bothering him.
Cobb has been full-go from the start of camp and can tell the difference when he runs compared to the spring.
“I feel much better than I did before,” he said. “I feel like I can move a lot better and I’m not having that throbbing pain I had, so I’m definitely looking forward to this year.”
Cobb has embraced the greater leadership role that has fallen on him and Davante Adams in the receiver room as the two veterans all the young players look to.
Geronimo Allison has begun camp as the No. 3 option, but there’s been little else revealed about the pecking order. Third-year pro Trevor Davis along with a large handful of rookies and first-year players are vying for time and roster spots.
Cobb emphasized how meaningful that competition is, because the offense is going to need other options to turn to at different times during the season.
“It’s bigger than just me and Davante,” Cobb said. “You can look at that and highlight that if you want to, but this team goes as the entire offense goes. We’ve always felt that way. It’s going to take more than me and Davante.”
Cobb referenced 2014, when he and Jordy Nelson combined for more than 2,800 receiving yards and 25 TDs. Adams was a rookie then who chipped in 446 yards and three scores, plus a big game in the playoff win over Dallas.
“Davante was a big piece of that,” Cobb said. “Now that it’s me and Davante, it’s going to be other guys who will be big pieces of it as well.”