Early in his second training camp, Brett Hundley already has learned a valuable skill from Aaron Rodgers: inducing the defense to jump the snap count.
Rodgers is maybe the best in the NFL at getting a free-shot play by drawing the defense offside. And at least three times in practice Wednesday, Hundley did the same.
On the first, outside linebacker Lerentee McCray jumped offside, and then later, on back-to-back plays, defensive lineman Christian Ringo and outside linebacker Clay Matthews jumped the count. Hundley completed only one of the three throws, a deep shot to Randall Cobb for a big gain. But just getting the free plays is a sign that Hundley is quickly learning a sophisticated skill in his move from No. 3 quarterback as a rookie to No. 2 this year.
“You have to act like the ball’s about to come,” Hundley said. “You have to act like it’s on 'One.' I learned pretty much all that from Aaron. For it to work like it did today is really fun to see.
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“… You just say ‘hike,’ they jump, (you) say ‘go,’ and you’re off rolling. We didn’t do it too much in college. I learned it mainly here, to have the fluctuation of the voice. Just simple mannerisms to get the defense to jump.”
If Jeff Janis is going to overtake Davante Adams for the No. 3 receiving job, or at least earn a split of playing time, he can’t have many more practices like this.
Janis came into camp after a promising performance in the offseason, at least in those limited number of practices open to reporters. Several times in the open offseason sessions, he showed an ability to get behind the secondary for field-stretching catches that the Packers’ offense lacked last year.
But Tuesday, he had two bad plays that he’ll have to learn from quickly if he’s going to supplant Adams.
On the first, Janis had difficulty tracking a deep shot from Rodgers, and it led to an interception. As the ball was in flight, Janis cut inside cornerback Sam Shields, but the throw sailed several yards beyond Janis, and Shields intercepted.
On the second, also against Shields, Rodgers made a sight adjustment and tried a back-shoulder throw to Janis along the sidelines. But, Janis continued his route straight down field, so the throw was well behind him and incomplete.
Janis’ reaction after the second play suggested he knew immediately that the error was his. Shortly afterward, Rodgers went over to Janis and was making hand gestures while (presumably) telling the receiver why he should have read it as a back-shoulder throw.
None of the players on PUP to start camp were cleared Wednesday. The only new injury was cornerback Robertson Daniel, who didn’t practice because of an undisclosed ailment.
Bits and Pieces
»Defensive lineman Mike Daniels showed great hustle and provided comic relief on one play in team drills. When receiver Cobb caught a short pass in the flat, Daniels pursued him hard from the middle of the line and chased Cobb 25 yards or so downfield. As they ran back to the sideline, Cobb congratulated Daniels’ for his effort but said he wouldn’t have caught him, even though it appeared Daniels in fact would have tackled Cobb if tackling were allowed. Daniels then sprawled on the sidelines in exhaustion exclaiming, “He’s 100 pounds lighter than me.”
»Rodgers hit on a shot downfield after drawing the defense offside, but Adams’ made the catch after blatantly pushing cornerback Damarious Randall in the back. An NFL ref would have penalized Adams for offensive interference, but the practice ref right on the play let it go, much to the ire of cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt.
»NFL rules mandate that the first two practices of camp are unpadded, so Thursday’s workout will be the first of the season in full pads.
Quote of the Day
“You look at the big plays (rookie receiver) Trevor (Davis) made (Tuesday), I think it really falls in line with what I just talked about, kind of the overall performance of the practice. Really productive, you see the big plays, but it’s the details, the fundamentals, the little things, the discipline. So you just want to see him build off of that because he has shown that he can make big plays.” – coach Mike McCarthy
Thursday’s practice begins at 8:15 a.m.