Packers notebook: Hit on Randall rankles Whitt

Ryan Wood
Packers News
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Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) is taken off the field after sustaining an injury in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at Lambeau Field.

GREEN BAY - Although the hard hit Philadelphia Eagles safety Tre Sullivan delivered against rookie receiver Malachi Dupre might have looked worse, it wasn’t the only blow that rankled the Green Bay Packers during their exhibition opener last week.

Cornerback Damarious Randall sustained a concussion when Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs delivered a blindside block. Video shows Treggs loading up for the hit, taking advantage of the unsuspecting Randall.

Joe Whitt Jr., the Packers' cornerbacks coach, said there’s no place in the game for such a block.

“Damarious did everything he was supposed to,” Whitt said. “Just thinking about that play, that’s the type of play that we want to get out of this game. We’re looking to grow the game – and I want my son to play – and make this game as safe as possible. That’s the type of play that shouldn’t be in the game.

“It shouldn’t have happened. It’s a shame that it did happen. And that’s the type of play that we want to get out of this game so this game can grow and be the great game that it always has been and will continue to be.”

Rodgers' playing plan: Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t say if he’ll play this weekend when the Packers travel to Washington for their second exhibition, but he doesn’t expect to sit the entire preseason.

“I would assume,” Rodgers said, “this year with Denver being the third preseason game, I’ll play for sure in that one.”

If Rodgers plays only in the third exhibition, it would follow the plan the Packers used last year. Rodgers got two snaps in their third exhibition at the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, and that was it.

Rodgers said there’s some benefit to having a trip to Denver fall on the Packers’ third preseason week – even he gets only limited snaps.

“That altitude will help with the conditioning,” Rodgers said, “because it’s tough to play out there.”

Bad-ball catcher: The footballs Trevor Davis fields as a punt returner might suit him best.

They rotate end over end, not a pretty spiral. They can land five, 10, 15 yards from where Davis starts. They are intentionally difficult to catch.

According to Rodgers, that’s just the way Davis likes it.

“I laugh with (quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt) sometimes,” Rodgers said, “because it’s almost better when you throw him a bad ball. He’s probably the best bad-ball catcher we’ve got. He can catch a ball running full speed, a foot behind him, in front of him. Sometimes it’s the ones right at him that he struggles with.”

Davis appears to have the starting punt return job secured after his 68-yard touchdown in the Packers' preseason opener against the Eagles. As for Davis' progress as a receiver, Rodgers said he has been impressed.

“He’s had a really nice camp,” Rodgers said.

No sweet 16: Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said when he watched film of last week’s game, he attributed 16 missed tackles to the Packers' defense.

Capers couldn’t compare the 16 to other weeks, but said the total was far too high. He expects the Packers' tackling will improve, starting Saturday in Washington.

“I feel that we’ll get much better,” Capers said. “We expect to improve this week. Every step in preseason, you guys watch us tackle every day on the practice field, and then all of a sudden you get in a real game and the level steps up. Now, here in about three or four weeks, it’s going to really step up and go from preseason to the regular season. It’s something we’ve got to learn from because it’s obviously very important for us.

“To be a good defense, we’ve got to be able to tackle.”

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