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Cheese Curds, 8/15: Packers’ tackling & deep balls need to improve by week one

Some of the more difficult things to practice in the offseason are starting to come together, but

Green Bay Packers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

There are always things to work on for NFL players in training camp, whether you are a wide-eyed rookie or a grizzled, 14-year veteran. Those things are understandably different, but there’s work to be put in and improvements to be made all the same.

One thing that every defensive player in the league needs to practice this time of year is tackling, especially given the league’s collectively-bargained rules around contact in practices. With so little live contact allowed nowadays, that makes for a rough start to the preseason in terms of wrapping up ball carriers. The Green Bay Packers saw that first-hand last Thursday, when their head coach counted 24 missed tackles against the Houston Texans and over 150 extra yards allowed as a result.

Given such a long layoff between live action, that particular skill requires work regardless of your experience level. But for Aaron Rodgers, the finer points of quarterbacking are what he’ll be working on at a personal level. This year in particular presents a new challenge, with Rodgers learning to guide a new offense on the field, but in terms of his own skill set, it’s pretty well-established. Instead, getting on the same page with his receivers and working into the offense are the priorities. While his connection with Davante Adams is unquestioned, one young receiver in particular oozes added potential for this team if he and Rodgers can get on the same page.

As the Packers prepare for tonight’s preseason game in Baltimore, prepare yourself as well by flipping through today’s curds below.

Packers use exhibitions to tackle their early-season tackling problem |
Even Ty Summers, who had an impressive debut with 10 tackles, was frustrated by the Packers' misses, particularly his own. He said this week that he probably should have had another four tackles that he missed. Meanwhile, Adrian Amos is happy with the rules about contact in practices, but he acknowledges that it makes for some difficult adjustments when preseason games begin.

Packers' new offense (not new helmet) on Aaron Rodgers' mind - ESPN
Rodgers is focused on getting familiar with the communication style of the new offensive scheme and the matchup against the Ravens' defense, not with what helmet he'll be wearing when he takes the field.

Rodgers dialing in connection with ‘damn fast’ WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling | Packers Wire
One other thing that Rodgers is working on is figuring out just how fast MVS is. On Tuesday, he missed short on a ball into the wind, then went long, so he's still figuring out just where the second-year receiver will be on those deep balls. Knowing Rodgers, he'll find that range by the time the season starts.

Tommy Bohanon stayed patient during long offseason wait |
Bohanon was in the middle of moving his things back from Jacksonville (where he played the last few years) to his permanent home in Fort Myers when he got the call from the Packers. He swapped cars and made a beeline for the Orlando airport and just barely made it on the flight to Green Bay.

NFLPA issues 'work stoppage guide' to players | ESPN
This doesn't mean that a stoppage is necessarily imminent, but the player's association is certainly trying to prepare its members for the possibility of a lockout or strike.

Hiker wearing headphones knocked over by bear | USA Today
At least she didn't get eaten?