Packers Camp Insider: Offensive line in fine form
If the starting offensive line performs the way it did Saturday in the first padded practice, it might not matter who the Packers’ running backs are this season. In the first 11-on-11s in pads, the line blew open huge holes for Ty Montgomery and rookie Jamaal Williams against the No. 1 defense. After quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed a screen to fullback Aaron Ripkowski for about 20 yards, coach Mike McCarthy blew his stack and told the defense to get off blocks. On the next play, Montgomery blasted off tackle for a 9-yard gain. Finally, Letroy Guion stopped Montgomery on a short third-down play, but after two straight passes Williams ripped off a 15-yard run. Once the No. 1 line left the field, the running game went nowhere. Rookies Aaron Jones, Devante Mays and Kalif Phillips couldn’t buy a yard. Then with the ball inside the 10, the No. 1 line came back in and Rodgers hit Montgomery on a screen for a 6-yard TD, scrambled and hit Lance Kendricks for an 8-yard TD and handed off to Montgomery for a 6-yard TD. The starting line is off to a good start.
A day after speaking to reporters about his desire to be the No. 1 returner and intention to do something with the ball every time he touched it, second-year receiver Trevor Davis had a forgettable day. It started on punt returns. Davis muffed punter Justin Vogel’s booming 60-yard punt (4.69-second hang time), a bad sign given he had worked all off-season on catching punts. Then he dropped a pass from Brett Hundley on a corner route into the end zone. Later, he had a chance to make a spectacular play running wide open on a post route, but he couldn’t one-hand Hundley’s pass. Finally, he went high for a jump ball in the corner and after failing to catch the ball landed hard on his right shoulder and suffered a stinger. He left practice but said afterward in the locker room that the symptoms had gone away.
Besides Davis, cornerback Josh Hawkins twisted his ankle but said after practice it wasn’t anything serious. Sitting out with injuries were: defensive tackle Montravius Adams (foot) and cornerback Herb Waters (foot). Tight end Aaron Peck was activated from the non-football injury list. Linebacker Vince Biegel (foot) and cornerback Demetri Goodson (knee) are on the physically unable to perform list.
Bits and pieces
» The starting cornerbacks were Davon House and Quinten Rollins. In the nickel package, Rollins moved inside and rookie Kevin King played outside.
» Guard Lane Taylor stymied defensive lineman Mike Daniels twice in the one-on-one pass rush drill, once dropping Daniels to his knees. “Lane’s gotten better every year,” Daniels said. “I’m looking forward to keep fighting against him. It’s a good battle.”
» Kicker Mason Crosby kicked his first field goals of camp and with rookie punter Justin Vogel holding hit six of seven attempts. He made attempts from 33, 36, 38, 40, 46 and 48 yards. His miss, from 42 yards, hit the top of the left goal post.
» Rollins and safety Marwin Evans had interceptions in 11-on-11s. Cornerback LaDarius Gunter had one in the one-on-ones.
» Rookie safety Josh Jones has made his presence known. He leveled wide receiver Malachi Dupre – he’s not supposed to knock down his teammates – and shot through a gap and stopped running back Aaron Jones in the backfield with the ball at the 4-yard line.
» Receiver Davante Adams dominated in one-on-ones, spinning Gunter like a top on one route and outfighting King, who had solid coverage, for a deep ball down the sideline.
» Rookie center Kofi Amichia botched a snap with quarterback Joe Callahan and was immediately pulled.
» Vogel had another impressive day. He averaged 50.7 yards on four attempts and had hang times of 4.8, 4.69, 3.73 and 4.8 seconds.
» The practice lasted 2 hours and 39 minutes, which is about as long as any McCarthy practice will go in training camp.
Quote of the Day
“I've always said this time of year, the first real evaluation is the first game, let's be honest. Football is football. When you kick it off, and clearly there's someone else on the other side and you're playing to win a game. But everything that leads up to that is important, that's why we do it.” – Mike McCarthy
There is no practice Sunday. The next practice is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Monday.