GREEN BAY – Prior to Thursday's second practice of training camp, Head Coach Matt LaFleur hesitated to shower praise on anyone who had a strong first day.
"It's just Day 1, so anybody can do something one day," LaFleur said. "It's how consistently can you do it."
The line proved a perfect set-up for rookie receiver Romeo Doubs.
The fourth-round draft pick from Nevada followed up a solid opening workout with a stellar second one, making a handful of highlight-reel plays during extensive red-zone work.
Then, he made the play of the day, running an end-zone fade against second-year cornerback Eric Stokes for a touchdown. With Stokes' back turned, Rodgers fired a bullet at the back of Stokes' head, and Doubs leaped and reached over Stokes to pluck the ball practically off his back for the touchdown.
Still not done, Doubs scored once more as practice was wrapping up, bee-lining for the front pylon and getting a step on All-Pro linebacker De'Vondre Campbell to snag another zipped pass from Rodgers.
Talking to reporters at his locker after practice, the humble, low-key Doubs kindly answered questions but wasn't making a big deal out of his big day. He's certainly taking advantage of all the extra reps he's getting while fellow rookie receiver Christian Watson and veteran Sammy Watkins are sidelined, but he was keeping everything even-keel and already thinking ahead rather than looking back.
"I understand that celebrating is important. I just make sure I try to focus on the next play," Doubs said. "That's my biggest thing for me. You can have a great play, next play could be bad. Emotions kinda change, so that's why I try to make sure I stay flat-lined."
The play against Stokes really was something special, though. It was the type of highlight all over the 6-2, 204-pounder's college reel while he put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in the Mountain West Conference.
Listening to Doubs dive into the details gives an idea of the cerebral traits that accompany his sturdy frame and strong hands.
He said he knew at the line of scrimmage it was man coverage because Stokes had "heavy eyes" on him. Then, he anticipated the play might come his way "just based on spacing," with enough room between him and the sideline to attack the ball and still get his feet down in bounds.
Finally, he became as sure as any rookie could that Rodgers would give him the chance when Stokes turned his back to the QB and would be unable to know when and where the ball would be.
"He made a hell of a catch," Stokes said. "We know for a fact that 50/50 balls, he's good at going up and high-pointing and finishing catches. Coming in, you've got to know he's a hell of a player and you've got to make sure you're on your P's and Q's with him."
Doubs first caught the defense's attention during OTAs in June with the frequency of his catches and reliability of his hands. Thursday's practice, and the over-the-back catch in particular, was his best yet, though Doubs' subdued post-play reaction was in keeping with his personality, and in line with LaFleur's earlier message that camp is barely getting started.
"It was just handshakes from Aaron because I know we still got more days of training camp," Doubs said. "So it's still more evaluations, just as this time goes on until the season starts."
He wasn't about to proclaim where he'll fit into the big picture at that point, as so much depends on the health of the position group overall, and whether Doubs can continue building on a hot start.
He's more focused on cutting down on mental errors with the playbook and his routes, which he admitted have occurred. On one play Thursday, Rodgers got the defense to jump offside for a free play, and he tried to hit Doubs over the middle in the end zone.
The throw was behind him, deflecting off his hands as he reached back, and the ball fluttered into the arms of safety Adrian Amos for a nullified interception. It would've been a very difficult catch, but Doubs actually blamed himself for making a poor route adjustment on the play.
"I pretty much put myself in a bad position, which is just part of making sure I progress while I practice," he said. "Just as these days move on forward, I'll make sure I work on it."
Between practice and meetings, days in training camp can get long, but Doubs concentrates on two things during any free time away from Lambeau Field – taking care of his body and studying the pieces of the playbook he's not entirely sure about.
So far, that dedication to preparation is working for Doubs, for whom tomorrow is always waiting.
"Whatever happened today for me, it's out of the way," he said. "I'm glad it happened, I know I made some great grabs but, just being a team player, I make sure that I continue growing as an individual and growing as a teammate."