The Fan’s Training Camp Central



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Listen to our coverage and daily camp reports and check out some of our pics here.

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Packers have question marks at linebacker without Ryan out for season (Wednesday, August 1)

By MARQUES EVERSOLL

From the moment Packers linebacker Jake Ryan hit the ground Monday at Ray Nitschke Field, it didn’t look good. It didn’t sound good when he screamed. Or when it hit the ground with his fist in disgust.

And it’s not good.

Multiple reports suggest Ryan will miss the entire 2018 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

He was entering his fourth NFL season out of the University of Michigan. He and Blake Martinez were the team’s starting inside linebackers under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Third-round draft pick Oren Burks, from Vanderbilt, lined up with the No. 1 defense Tuesday, and figures to take on a more prominent role without Ryan in the fold.

Martinez is currently the only inside linebacker on the Packers’ roster with any NFL experience. Ahmad Thomas, Marcus Porter and Greer Martini were all undrafted, but all three saw their chances at cracking the Packers’ roster increase after Ryan’s unfortunate injury.

#Marketing #Martinez #Martini

Burks, of course, remains the favorite to “replace” Ryan in Pettine’s defense. Burks is a good fit for today’s pass-happy NFL, as he’s a converted safety who has the necessary size to line up at linebacker.

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Five Things from the First Padded Practice. (Saturday, July 28)

By MARQUES EVERSOLL

    • JIMMY GRAHAM & JOSH JONES “DUST-UP”
      • Early in an 11-on-11 period of practice, Aaron Rodgers targeted Jimmy Graham near the pylon with Josh Jones in coverage. Jones and Graham got, uh, tangled up, the ball sailed over Graham’s head, and immediately the 6-foot-7 tight end asked the ref for a flag. Jones wasn’t backing down from the five-time Pro Bowler, however, and repeatedly looked up at Graham and said, “Shut up.” There may have been some more colorful language, but that’s the gist of this much-talked-about “dust-up.” If nothing else, it was a fun moment of real competition in the first padded practice.
    • JAIRE ALEXANDER HAVING FUN
      • It didn’t take long for Alexander, the No. 18 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, to get a chance to run with the Packers’ No. 1 defense. Alexander has lined up both outside and in the slot, and took several turns with the starters in Saturday’s first padded practice. As the “big uglies” worked on the 9-on-7 run game drill on the Resch Center side of Ray Nitschke Field, the cornerbacks and wide receivers worked on 1-on-1 pass routes. This is a fun drill to watch, although the receivers have a clear advantage; cornerbacks have no safety help, and the receiver knows where he’s going. Alexander had a really nice rep against fellow rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling. “MVS” beat Alexander off the ball on a go route, had a step on him, but Alexander trusted his speed, and broke up the slightly under thrown ball. He didn’t grab, he didn’t face-guard, he just broke it up. Then, proceeded to run in front of the stands, pumping up the crowd like Hulk Hogan. (Note: Alexander is one of the most vocal players on the field. He likes to talk, any chance he gets.)
    • RANDALL COBB LOOKS GOOD
      • Cobb was matched up 1-on-1 with Davon House for most of the 1-on-1 portion of practice. He beat House on a couple occassions, and looks sudden, coming off the offseason ankle surgery. He also gave second-round pick Josh Jackson a nice “Welcome to the NFL” moment, as he beat Jackson off the ball pretty easily on a go route, and caught it in stride for a would-be touchdown. Cobb has had a couple down years in terms of production, but he’s the clear-cut No. 2 receiver behind Davante Adams, and the Packers have to be pleased with how he’s looked early in camp.
    • JAKE KUMEROW IS THE FEEL-GOOD STORY SO FAR
      • Kumerow catching touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers … Who woulda thought? The former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater standout has been impressive early in training camp. If he’s dropped a pass, I haven’t seen it. He’s got great size at 6-foot-4, 209 pounds, and has made as many plays than any of the Packers young wide receivers. Kumerow has an uphill battle to a roster spot with three rookie draft picks likely getting the benefit of the doubt to prove themselves, but he’s undoubtedly made the most of his opportunities.
    • THE ENERGY IS REAL
      • Really, though. Practice seems more urgent and intense early on. From the first practice on Thursday, the influx of fans for the Packer Experience, the offseason changes, whatever you want to attribute it to, the Packers have packed a lot of “juice” into practice. A common theme in the locker room has been the word “mentality,” which is often credited to new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. It’s not like Pettine is patrolling practice with a megaphone, walking up and down Ray Nitschke Field barking out orders like Stone Cold Steve Austin, but he’s clearly brining a new attitude to the Packers defense. We’ll see if this energy keeps up, as camp rolls on.

 

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