Morning Buzz: Packers score early and often vs Steelers
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
The Packers saw Tramon Williams pick off the first pass of the game and take it to the house to start a 51-34 preseason laugher over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night. The victory moved the Packers to 36-30-3 all-time in the Upper Midwest Shrine Game.
We’ll start with Ryan Wood’s recap of the brief action we saw from Aaron Rodgers and Jimmy Graham.
It was Graham’s crisp route running that helped him get so wide open at the end of the Packers' first drive in what became a 51-34 rout of Pittsburgh. Matched against Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds, Graham turned his shoulders to the perimeter like he was running a corner fade. Edmunds had inside leverage, but just as he gathered steam to win a foot race to the corner, Graham stutter-stepped and cut inside.
"Open-heart surgery," receiver Davante Adams called it on Twitter.
It was a dizzying route for Edmunds to cover, leaving him in Graham’s dust. Rodgers scooted a few steps to his left to avoid pressure, then made the easy, 8-yard touchdown pass to the tight end who’s quickly becoming a favorite target. It surely won’t be the only time this season Graham, who had 10 touchdowns a year ago, leaps into the home stands.
But, Rodgers emphasized, his new tight end is much more than a red-zone threat.
“He can do it all over the field,” Rodgers said. “I don’t think he was used a ton in the past couple of years in the middle of the field, but he’s an incredible athlete. He’s got a wide, wide catch radius, and there’s a lot of things he can do. It’s exciting to be able to have a guy like that.”
It was the first time Graham and Rodgers have been able to show the chemistry that’s been evident since the Pro Bowl tight end arrived this spring. Earlier this week, Graham had perhaps his most impressive catch of the offseason, a one-handed, back-shoulder touchdown from Rodgers in a red-zone drill.
Pete Dougherty’s Insider has all the important takeaways from last night’s game:
Pete and I broke down the position battle at wide receiver:
I chatted with fans via Facebook Live after the game:
Elsewhere, the NFL has highlights from the game on YouTube:
The Packers are getting closer to signing Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension:
Packers Wire looks at winners and losers from Thursday night:
Josh Jackson joined the pick-6 party:
Rob Demovsky writes on Jake Kumerow’s promise:
The Steelers' quarterbacks struggled against the Packers' secondary:
Andy Herman has a fantastic film break down of Marquez Valdes-Scantling:
Lombardi Ave. has first impressions from the game:
ACME Packing Company keeps a stock watch:
You can watch Rodgers' lone drive here: