Matt LaFleur could use the lopsided loss to the Saints in last season's opener to increase intensity during preseason games

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GREEN BAY - Matt LaFleur isn't shying away from using last season's opener, a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in which the Green Bay Packers looked flat, as motivation this season.

With three preseason games on the docket before the season opener on Sept. 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, LaFleur admitted Tuesday he could "potentially" use the Saints loss to shape how he and the coaching staff plan for both competition and intensity in training camp and preseason games. 

"I think you gotta learn from every situation you've been in and at least it stimulates conversation," LaFleur said.

As that competition and eventually preseason games ratchet up, LaFleur says he and the coaching staff will take those reps much more into consideration than early reps. 

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur walks to the field during training camp on Monday. LaFleur said he could use last season's Week 1 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints in his preparation for the preseason.

“Everything matters, every time you go out there you've got a purpose and intent," he said. "That's the only way you can improve. So everything up to this point matters and you’re constantly evaluating and certainly if you see great improvement in certain individuals, you're not going to hold what they did against them early on in camp. But for these guys every rep, every drill, everything we do out there matters.” 

LaFleur said he has not discussed the topic of playing in preseason games yet with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Packers' first game is on Friday, Aug. 12, at the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints will come to town the following week for joint practices on Aug. 16-17 before a preseason game Aug. 19. 

Allen Lazard at ease playing multiple positions

At the risk of continuing to compare those in the Packers' receiving corps to Davante Adams, one of the things that made the All-Pro special was his ability to play every receiver position. LaFleur and staff knew they could use Adams in the slot, outside, in motion, wherever he was needed. 

Allen Lazard is taking over as the No. 1 receiver for the Packers but he isn’t necessarily trying to emulate Adams' diversified approach; primarily because he feels he already has proven his ability to do just that. 

“I feel like I played more all over than Tae did. Tae played X and I was used in multiple positions,” Lazard said. “I ran a lot of the same routes that he ran and did more; brought more to the offense from a blocking standpoint. So I guess we'll see what will differentiate this year from last year but overall, I don't think it'll really change because I already do a lot of those things.”

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Lazard had 41 receptions on 61 targets last season, for 519 yards and eight touchdowns. But with Adams' 132 receptions on 180 targets now gone, Lazard’s chances at those snaps increase exponentially. 

“I think the only thing that’ll be changing is more targets,” Lazard said. “I don't think my job or my role will necessarily change. It'll just be moving me to a different spot and trying to maximize my potential that way.” 

Jordan Love bringing more to the table in meetings

Backup quarterback Jordan Love said one of the biggest differences between where he is now, heading into his third year, and his previous two years, is how he can hold his own in quarterback room discussions.

It would be hard for anybody to sound intelligent when the listening party is a future Hall of Fame quarterback with intimate knowledge of the offense, but Love knew he was out of his league with Rodgers in the room and spent most of his time listening.

He said he’s better equipped to add his two cents in now when talking about the offense.

“I think I understand the system a little bit more now and can talk on a little bit of a — I don’t know what the word is — just more comfortable in the room talking about different things,” Love said. “Kind of knowing what he's thinking on things instead of my first year I'm not ready …  He's on a different level right now what he's doing and I don't really get it yet. I’m still trying to figure out, what's going on.

“So now I just feel more comfortable seeing what he's seeing and kind of learning and picking things up.”

Love said he’s made a lot of progress in identifying where blitzes are coming from and what to do when pressure gets through.

On one of his better passes Tuesday, he saw the blitz coming, knew that the protection was designed to pick it up and stood in and fired the ball downfield.

“The protection we had is picked up on paper, but you know, the defense starts doing stunts and different things, and it's hard for the O-line to be able to pass all those off and just pick it up completely,” he said. “But on paper we’re picked up. It's one of the things where if you’re warm (feeling pressure), you’ve got to get it off quick.”

Packers rookie wide receiver Christian Watson is on the physically unable to perform list after having knee surgery in the offseason.

Practicing patience with Christian Watson

With Romeo Doubs producing at least one highlight per day through camp's first week, the Packers are still waiting to see fellow rookie Christian Watson on the field.

Watson was placed on the physically unable to perform list entering camp after a knee procedure following organized team activities this summer. The setback was considered minor, but LaFleur does not yet have an update on when his second-round pick might return.

When not rehabbing inside the Don Hutson Center, Watson has been seen at practice watching team reps in shorts. LaFleur said he isn't concerned about Watson's continued absence from the field.

"He's getting better," LaFleur said. "He's definitely getting better. He's improving, but as far as giving a timeline, I can't do that."

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