As NFL teams prepare to begin training camps in earnest this week, it’s worth remembering how drastically that six-week preseason period has changed over the past few decades. For generations, camp was a way to whip players into shape; intense practices, often twice per day, left players bruised, tired, and often injured.
For the Green Bay Packers, much of that changed in 1992 when Mike Holmgren arrived. He eased off on the intensity of the summer practice schedule, giving his players more time to recover and in turn helping them absorb the playbook better. Then in 2011, the new collective bargaining agreement further cut back on the intensity of camp, instituting harder limits on full-contact practice time.
With the current rules in place for the last ten seasons, it’s amazing to think back to how big a change it was to go from two full-pads practices in one day to just one with a walkthrough.
Meanwhile, a few NFC teams and Packers rivals made trades this weekend — one a blockbuster and the other a minor transaction. Still, Jamal Adams’ move to the Pacific Northwest looks like a change that could signal a significant shift in the NFC West.
Packers training camp memory: Upon arrival, Holmgren initiates major change | Packers.com
Back in 1992, Mike Holmgren scaled back the intensity of training camp from the approach of his predecessors. He went to only one full-contact practice per day when in two-a-days, and the team's results in the 90s speak for themselves. Obviously the current CBA prohibits such heavy workloads, but at that time Holmgren’s schedule was a massive change.
No football in Green Bay would be economic, emotional blow to Titletown | Packersnews.com (subscription required)
With fan presence to be limited at Packers games this year, the Brown County area will clearly see a big drop in overall income as a result.
Forecasting the 3 biggest strengths and weaknesses of 2020 Packers | Packers Wire
Pass rush should once again be the Packers' greatest strength in 2020 after a tremendous season from the Smiths and company a year ago. But as our Paul Noonan suggested this weekend, a weaker right side of the offensive line might force Aaron Rodgers to play more within the structure of the offense, thereby making him more effective.
Meet the Packers: A scouting report on all 88 players entering training camp – The Athletic (subscription required)
Matt Schneidman groups the 88 Packers players -- he leaves out Jamal Davis, who still needs to pass his physical -- into five tiers, and I have some serious questions about a few of the rankings. For example: does Devin Funchess really belong in "key contributor" territory, or should he be down with the "role players"?
Adams, Seahawks agreed safety will play '20 on existing contract | NFL.com
The Seahawks traded two first-round picks and a third over the next two years to the Jets for safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick. That seems like a king's ransom -- and it is -- but with the lack of success with which John Schneider has been using his first-round picks recently, this might be smart after all.
Bears trade TE Adam Shaheen to Dolphins for 2021 conditional sixth-round pick - Windy City Gridiron
The Bears now have only 23* tight ends on their roster after trading one away.
*Don’t quote me on this, it might be a slight exaggeration
Scots tree surgeon nicknames himself Forest Stump after losing leg in machine accident – The Scottish Sun
No other context is required.
Finally, baseball brings a warning to other sports trying to play their seasons outside of a bubble. Good luck to the Marlins on a recovery, but this should serve as a major warning to the NFL and in particular to anyone tempted to break with established protocols. It’s easy to imagine a similar outbreak hitting an NFL team within the first week or two of training camp, particularly if testing results are delayed by a day or two.
Eight more players and two coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020