Wednesday dawned cool and then turned sunny before the thunderstorms of the late afternoon. That didn’t affect the Packers’ 8:20 a.m. practice, held as usual at the Ray Nitschke Field. And as usual, they started with a bit of special teams punt work.
This interesting ballet is actually some of your defensive players doing their stretching exercises before the more strenuous parts of practice.
In this photo, we see the two combatants for the job of being the Green Bay Packers’ kicker — the incumbent, Mason Crosby (#2) and the challenger, Giorgio Tavecchio (#7). If you are familiar with the Packers’ kicking woes last year, you know why they have someone in camp to push Crosby.
More stretching from some of the defense, including LB Clay Matthews (#52) at right.
LB’s coach Kevin Greene and some of his players watching some of the special teams work.
This is a new drill we saw for the first time today. Each offensive lineman would start flat on his back, jump up and spin around, and end by diving on a mat with a bunch of cushions.
This is a drill we haven’t seen yet this year until today. The red tackling dummy has “arms” that hold a football and mimic a QB. The defensive player had to bat the ball out of the “QB’s” “hand” and then pick it up as it bounced along the ground. Here, DT B.J. Raji (#90) takes his turn.
Offensive line coach James Campen (middle, in green shorts) and all of his big boys.
A drill having defensive players “pop” a teammate with the ball. Here LB Andy Mulumba gets hit by a teammate.
G Josh Sitton (#71) surreptitiously listens in on his defense’s play call.
Having no one to throw to, QB Aaron Rodgers takes off running and shows off his “juke” move to the oncoming defense.
Here, Rodgers manages to throw over the outstretched arms of LB Nick Perry.
Close-up of the line of scrimmage during a scrimmage.
As you may have noticed, we like these shots of linemen beating on linemen.
QB Graham Harrell (#6) takes his turn with the offense during scrimmaging.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy listens in to make sure his QB makes the right play call.
A more wide view of scrimmage action on Ray Nitschke Field.
TE Andrew Quarless (#81) relaxes and stretches.
Future NFL General Manager Eliot Wolf watches the team he worked to put together. Wolf, Green Bay’s Director of Pro Personnel, is the son of former Packers’ GM Ron Wolf.
WR Randall Cobb (#19) runs past us to join his fellow receivers at the other end of the field. He is still practicing with the special teams units, and looks to be staying in that capacity.
TE D.J. Williams (#84) catches a pass during positional drills along the bleachers.
Water cart. Water break.
S Morgan Burnett (#42) runs a drill with his coach hitting him on the head with those red pads.
More pushing and shoving.
Rodgers working late in practice during the full scrimmage portion.
WR James Jones (#89) gives the ol’ stiff-arm to a defender following a completion.
A distant view of the scrimmage taking place.
Rookie RB Johnathan Franklin (#23) makes a run for some yardage. In our opinion, though, he does not seem to be the answer on punt returns. We have seen several of his drops.
QB B.J. Coleman (#9) gets his turn, and has to scramble out of the pocket to get this pass off. We have seen nothing to suggest that he is going to surpass Graham Harrell as the #2 QB at this point. Maybe the preseason games will be a different story.
There goes James Jones (#89) again after a completion in the scrimmage.
Rookie RB Eddie Lacy (#27) gets past the defenders for a long gain. Of course, we must remember that no one is tackling. No tackling in practice. What a concept.
LB Clay Matthews is ready to take on the entire offensive unit all by himself.
RB James Starks (#44) turns the corner.
S Morgan Burnett (#42) picks off a pass.
Also new this year is the “TV Timeout” concept instigated by McCarthy. Practice is stopped and music is played, just as it is in a game situation in the stadium. Players get a drink and relax for a couple of minutes. Than it’s back to scrimmage action. This supposedly prepares them for games and even affects their heart rates to be consistent with what it is during games.
LB Clay Matthews (#52) and McCarthy share a laugh during the break. Presumably, Matthews isn’t telling his coach that he makes a lot more money than he does.
More scrimmage action as practices wraps up.
Practice is over after about two-and-a-half hours, and McCarthy addresses his troops.
Players often hang around a bit afterwards with their position coaches and fellow position players. Here, Rodgers stretches with his QB mates. Practice is again set for Thursday at 8:20 a.m. If you can’t make it, we’ll share more photos Thursday night. Thanks for visiting.