Packersnews.com's Aaron Nagler talks training camp, injuries and all other things Packers in a Facebook Live chat with our followers
During Davante Adams’ second season, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett didn’t hide what it was he thought was keeping Adams from blossoming into a starter. Bennett essentially said Adams needed to practice as hard as he played in games. After that nightmare season ended, the light turned on for Adams and it has been evident how far he has come. Adams won’t play a lot in the exhibition games, so most of his work is on the scout team. Though he’s running other teams’ offenses, the routes are similar and he uses the time to work on his craft. “When we’re going out there a lot of it is realistic timing of the routes, so getting out there and getting that timing and that camaraderie it doesn’t really matter if it’s in a team period or a scout-team period,” Adams said. In the one-on-one drills with the cornerbacks, Adams has been impressive. He has been giving rookie Kevin King tips on how to play bump coverage, but he has no compunction about leaving him in the dust. In the drill Wednesday, Adams beat King on a stop route, couldn’t beat Quinten Rollins on a sideline route and then beat Rollins on a slant. In the team drills, Adams has caught just about everything. From his get-off at the line of scrimmage to his body position on contested throws, he has been impressive in practice. He did have a drop in the Philadelphia game, but Wednesday he ended practice with a leaping catch over cornerback Josh Hawkins in the corner of the end zone.
Hawkins is being given every chance in the world to make the team, mostly because he’s tough and runs a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. He is holding down positions as a hold-up guy on punt returns and a gunner on punt coverage. His play at cornerback, however, has been disappointing. The second-year undrafted free agent is raw, but his speed and long arms reminded the Packers of Sam Shields, so they have been patient with him. “He’s been up and down,” cornerback coach Joe Whitt said. “We’re going to give him an opportunity to get more reps. The only way you know if he can play against top-level receivers is to give him an opportunity to go against them.” This practice provided another example of his inconsistent play. In two match-ups with Randall Cobb in one-on-ones, he gave up too much cushion. In the team drills, he drew an obvious penalty when he held receiver Michael Clark on a corner route and then was out of position on a 2-point conversion. Then on the final play, he failed to maintain position in front of Adams despite having decent coverage on the fade route.
Three players were added to the list of those not practicing. Safety Jermaine Whitehead sat out with a hip injury, long snapper Derek Hart was out because of illness and tight end Aaron Peck didn’t go because of a neck injury.
In total, 11 players on the active roster did not participate. The only starters in that group are running back Ty Montgomery (leg) and cornerback Davon House (hamstring).
Bits and pieces
» For some reason, rookie quarterback Taysom Hill threw a pass in the middle of the field that was caught well short of the end zone during a 2-minute drill. There were eight seconds left on the clock when the play began and the offense had no timeouts.
» It appeared nose tackle Brian Price was going to lose his one-on-one pass rush match-up with guard Geoff Gray, but at the last second he pushed the 315-pound linemen away like he was an inflatable clown.
» Rookie corner Raysean Pringle stole the ball right out of receiver Trevor Davis’ arms on a deep sideline route in the one-on-ones. One second Davis had it and the next Pringle did.
» Quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to spice things up late in the 2-hour, 35-minute practice, taunting the defense with cries of “All day”, following his last completion.
» Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac was furious with his position group after the offense blasted open several huge holes during the physical 9-on-7 run drill.
» Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell won his first one-on-one pass rush drill of training camp, slipping past Leff for the win.
Quote of the day
“I haven’t seen him. I’ve seen his dunk tape, and that was pretty impressive, but I haven’t seen him hooping yet. I’m sure we’ll see it next offseason.” – Adams on 6-6 wide receiver Michael Clark, who played basketball for one year at St. Francis (Pa.) before switching to football.
The Packers play Washington at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at FedEx Field. The next practice open to the public is Tuesday at 12:15 p.m.