Family Night recap: Packers’ Romeo Doubs shines again

The Green Bay Packers filled Lambeau Field with more than 50,000 fans on Friday, as many cheeseheads got their first look at the 2022 squad. The team seemingly avoided a serious injury, the best that could happen during an August training session, but that doesn’t mean all was well.

Head coach Matt LaFleur was not happy with the team’s condition after practice, claiming that players “draged” at the end of practice. This led to LaFleur ending practice a few minutes early, eliminating the team’s live-tacking squad period.

Still, there were plenty of highlights from Family Night, and the regional broadcast allowed fans to actually record and distribute these plays, contrary to normal practice. Finally we got to see the plays we had to imagine before through the tweets of beat writers.

There were no changes to the team’s participation leading up to Family Night, other than linebacker Randy Ramsey being kept out. Ramsey has just returned from a season-long ankle injury that cost him his 2021 season and put him on the physically incapable list to start training camp. Run Back Patrick Taylor (Groin), Run Back Kylin Hill (Knee), Receiver Christian Watson (PUP, Knee), Receiver Malik Taylor (Shoulder), Receiver Osirus Mitchell (Quad), Tight End Robert Tonyan (PUP, Knee), Tackle David Bakhtiari (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Cole Schneider (ankle) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (NFI, groin) were out for practice.

backfield

A chance to see four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is always an event, but one of the highlights of Family Night was backup quarterback Jordan Love, who is entering his third season with the team. Love started the excitement when he beat Rodgers in throwing the nets in the air.

Love’s connection to seventh-round rookie Samori Toure, who has worked with the backups all through the outdoor season, was evident early on. After practice, head coach Matt LaFleur stated: “It was pretty impressive what… [Love]have been able to put together the past training sessions.” Earlier this week, LaFleur claimed Love has had the best practice of his Packers career. With the preseason starting next week, Rodgers likely not playing, and only one other quarterback on the roster, there will be plenty of opportunities for Love to put out a quality film this summer.

While Taylor was still out for a run back, undrafted rookie BJ Baylor flashed. If Taylor and Hill are still out in Week 1, there’s a good chance the Packers’ latest move will come down to Baylor or Tyler Goodson, players who might have been afterthoughts a week ago but are seriously battling to crack the roster like it looks like today.

This off-season, new offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich stated that he wanted to get Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, arguably the team’s top two players in offensive prowess, more on the field together in 2022. We watched this for at least one moment, when Jones ran a jet sweep of an outside receiver alignment while Dillon was his lead blocker on the perimeter from outside the backfield. If the game looks familiar, it’s because the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings around the same yard last season.

Receivers/tight ends

Romeo Doubs? Yes, Romeo Doubs. He did it again.

The fourth-round wide receiver ensures that every practice is played, to the point where he was the first player named on the Family Night broadcast. Everyone is raving about the Nevada product and that doesn’t change after tonight’s performance.

Doubs, such as Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Juwann Winfree, got early looks with “the ones” as the outside recipient. Tight ending Isaiah Deguara, along with Lazard, Randall Cobb, Doubs and Amaro Rodgers, were seen as final receivers early on. The broadcast noted that Lazard, listed at 227 pounds, has fallen to 220 pounds this season.

On the tight end, Deguara and Tyler Davis were used as the primary pass catchers of the first string, unsurprisingly. Davis and Marcedes Lewis were the team’s key hand-in-the-dirt inline tight ends, while Deguara and Dominique Dafney played off the ball, parted ways or as fullbacks. It appeared that the team played more fullbacks in this practice than they usually did in last season’s average game.

Attacking line

Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Jake Hanson and Royce Newman (left to right) were the “starting” offensive line unit today. In the bottom half of practice, fourth round rookie Zach Tom got the stares as a right tackle, which kicked Newman in to the right hat and put Hanson on the back line. This is roughly on par, as the team has practiced with those two lineups this week, as sophomore tackle Cole Van Lanen appears to be out of the running for the right starting assignment.

Third-round rookie Sean Rhyan struggled a bit with the second-rate today, which may be why the team buried him in the depth chart. As the second team’s right guard, he gave up multiple pressures and was called up for multiple guard calls. In general, the defense got the best from the offensive line, although Nijman and Runyan had good days.

Defense Line

Defensively, the team was set up in different formations during training. There were the expected sets of 3-4 and nickel, but the penny formation seems to be here to stay and the team used a few pressure packs that put an inside linebacker on the line of scrimmage.

The team’s line of defense in their 3-4 defense was Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark (by the nose) and Jarran Reed, with Devonte Wyatt and Clark some clicks at the end and TJ Slaton gets a look at nose gear. Clark only saw snaps at the end when Slaton was by the nose. When the team was in nickel, Reed, Clark, Lowry and Slaton played in with “ones”.

Wyatt had a great day in line with fellow rookie Rhyan. Rodgers noted on Wednesday that sometimes when “the lights come on“Some players are moving towards the moment. In front of more than 50,000 fans, the first round pick had its best practice of the summer, per Packer Report’s Andy Herman.

linebackers

At outside linebacker, Jonathan Garvin and La’Darius Hamilton saw the most snaps with “the ones” behind starters Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. This is a bit of a change of pace, as Tip Galeai was ahead of Garvin on the depth chart until recently.

Inside linebacker was arguably the most boring position to follow from a player participation standpoint, as De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker pretty much took all of the team’s snaps with “the ones”. Campbell was the team’s solo linebacker in penny sets and also played Mike linebacker when Walker walked to scrimmage in pressure packs. Walker becomes the big organ to open things up for Campbell, not the other way around.

subordinate

The cornerback position pretty much gave us what we expected. Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes were the base of the team outside cornerbacks and Rasul Douglas came off the bench to play the slot in subpackages. Later in practice, Shemar Jean-Charles got both looks as an outside cornerback and a slotback, while Rico Gafford also got the wink as an outside corner.

Keisean Nixon, who was the team’s fourth cornerback in the camp until his groin injury, should return to the team soon, which will be a good bar for Jean-Charles and Gafford. The team could keep six cornerbacks on its roster as Nixon and Gafford will make significant contributions to special teams, but that is not certain.

The only injury that shocked today was Darnell Savage’s safety going down. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Savage had ice wrapped around his right hamstring after he stumbled off the field. In the post-practice presser, LaFleur said he didn’t believe Savage had a serious injury and that Savage “didn’t seem too nervous about it.”

As a surprise, former draft pick Vernon Scott replaced Savage. Shawn Davis, who was picked up by the Packers last season, had gotten most of the team’s third safety tips so far in the summer. Like cornerback, the number game on safety – four or five – will be important to follow in regards to the 53-man roster. Savage, starter Adrian Amos, Scott, Davis, special team signing Dallin Leavitt and special teams draft pick Tariq Carpenter all have a shot at remaining on the Week 1 roster.

Special teams

If you don’t want to hear bad news, close the page now.

The punting team didn’t look good today. There were more bad snaps and penalties than you’d like to see, even in early August. The team’s top long-snapper was once again Jack Coco, an unwritten free agent who was signed after training in May. Rookie kicker Gabe Brkic, who “starts” in place of the injured Crosby, also struggled.

The good news is that the returnees looked sharp today and handled most of their returns nicely. Doubs, Rodgers and Ishmael Hyman got looks as point returners and Rodgers even had a nice return where he was close to a ball at full speed to reel it in.

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