Friday, July 29, 2016

2016 Training Camp — Day 3

On Thursday, the Packers put on the pads for the first time in camp. The most recent labor agreement states that teams must have two non-pads practices before any of the hitting can start. Speaking as a spectator, the quality of practice-watching improves greatly once the hitting starts. There still is no tackling, but lots of incidental tackling. Above, first-round pick DT Kenny Clark (#97) works against offensive linemen. Hopefully, he can make up some of the space in the line vacated by B.J. Raji.

Some of the big boys up front — DT Kenny Clark (#97), DE Mike Daniels (#76), and LB Clay Matthews (#52).

RB Brandon Burks (#34) gets his turn to show what he can do out of the backfield.

RB Eddie Lacy (#27) rumblin’, bumblin’, stumblin’ around the left side.

Members of the offense watching their teammates out on the field. 

OT David Bakhtiari (#69) caught in mid-spit. 

All lined up and ready for kickoff practice. 

Training camp isn’t all work and no fun. Here, QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) cracks up with his coaches. 

Here’s some of that “incidental tackling” during scrimmaging. 

In the offseason, much was made of RB Eddie Lacy’s (#27) efforts to shed some weight. Does he look more svelte this year? You be the judge. 

QB Brett Hundley (#7) evades the rush of DE Julius Peppers (#56). 

RB Eddie Lacy (#27) again having lost his balance, or diving for more yards. 

QB Marquise Williams (#9) directing his grouping of the offense. 

For those trying to make the team, messing up an assignment, dropping a pass, or fumbling the ball are not things you want to do. And it’s best not to do it when GM Ted Thompson (and/or Head Coach Mike McCarthy) is watching your performance.

Two of the offensive linemen that are on the PUP list, OC Corey Linsley (#63) and  OG T.J. Lang, watch their position-mates go through their paces.

K Mason Crosby (#2) hits all four of his field goals in this day’s practice. 

A view of the offense from the Ray Nitschke Field stands.

Offensive Coordinator Edgar Bennett and Head Coach Mike McCarthy discussing the finer points of the Packers’ offense. 

QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) exhibits his coolness and gets a pass off under pressure. 

This is why we like watching Training Camp practices — lots of big guys beating on each other. 

WR Randall Cobb (#18) with position-mates WR Ty Montgomery (#88) and WR Jordy Nelson (#87). 

QB Brett Hundley (#7) tries to maintain his poise under heavy pressure from the starting defense. 

The video camera in the window above is all-seeing. 

QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) seen close-up at the line of scrimmage. 

A herd of defensive backs

More tackling of the donuts, this time on large pads.

TE Jared Cook seen by us on Thursday for the very first time.  

Somewhere in the middle of that group is U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives and Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, who visited Packers practice with his family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Training Camp — Day 2

The Training Camp early birds are out to get their preferred good seats, including yours truly. 

During “team tackling” drills, players take down the giant donuts. Here, WR Randall Cobb (#18) takes his turn.

An unidentified defensive player works on his tackling form. 

Next up was a “knock the ball from the tackling dummy’s ‘hand’ and grab the ensuing fumble” drill, being undertaken by FB Aaron Ripkowski (#22).

TE Casey Pierce (#49) keeps his eye on the fumbled ball. 

OT Jason Spriggs (#78) and OG Matt Rotherham (#74) go through blocking drills with their fellow offensive linemen. 

Head Coach Mike McCarthy visits with the team’s head of security. 

The tight ends work on their blocking as well, with Richard Rodgers (#82), Justin Perillo (#80), and Kennard Backman (#86), plus two unidentified teammates and their coach.  

The quarterbacks work on their fundamentals, something that even M.V.P.’s such as QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) need to do each season. Also seen are QB Marquise Williams (#9), QB Joe Callahan (#6), and QB Brett Hundley (#7).

The group of wide receivers are at work in the south end of Ray Nitschke Field. 

RB Eddie Lacy (#27) after a pass reception from QB Aaron Rodgers

QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) working with the receivers. 

The linebackers and defensive linemen work against the offensive linemen. This is always fun to watch, but we haven’t seen any flared tempers yet. Once the pads go on, that may change.

RB John Crockett (#38) runs after stretching to catch a long pass during the “play-action passing” portion of practice. 

FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (#21) works as ball boy to get balls back to the JUGS™ machine. 

Above and below, the crowd enjoys an often shady and very pleasant day at Ray Nitschke Field. It was a welcome break from the high heat and oppressive humidity of the past week. 

The scrimmaging portion of practice is always popular, and we like to position our spot in the stands accordingly.There are things to look for that makes this possible. And they are our secret.

WR Randall Cobb (#18) takes a handoff from Rodgers and tries to run around the left end. 

QB Brett Hundley (#7) looks for an open receiver. 

WR Jeff Janis (#83) successfully eludes the defense on the left side. 

QB Joe Callahan (#6) puts everything into a throw downfield. 

QB Aaron Rodgers (#12) gets away from DE Julius Peppers (#56), who also is being held. 

RB Eddie Lacy (#27) and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (#21) spend a few moments together during a “TV Time Out.” 

A panoramic view of practice at Ray Nitschke Field. 

First-round draft pick DT Kenny Clark (#97) gets some pointers from LB Clay Matthews (#52). 

OT Kyle Murphy (#68) tries to keep DE Dean Lowry (#94) off QB Marquise Williams (#9).

Third-year players WR Jeff Janis (#83) and WR Davante Adams (#17) watch the action. 

Head Coach Mike McCarthy and Offensive Coordinator Edgar Bennett watch from behind the offense. 

Some work with the punt teams. The players wearing the red knit caps are the punting team. 

Fifth-round pick WR Trevor Davis (#11) has had a good first two days of practice, garnering quite a bit of attention.

After practice, some position groups stick around to work on techniques. The defensive backs usually work at catching balls from the JUGS™ machine while standing only a few yards away. 

Clockwise from upper left, FS Morgan Burnett (#42), CB Micah Hyde (#33), CB Sam Shields (#37), and FS Damarious Randall (#23) all work with the machine. Not one player was hit in the face with a ball.