The Packers have now completed nine training camp practices, including two inside Lambeau Field. They’ve been living with the restrictions of our pandemic-stricken sports landscape for months, they’ve developed routines, and they’re doing the best they can to put in the work despite uncertain and non-traditional practice environments.
With that much work behind them, you’d think they’d probably have developed something of a rhythm by now. And you’d be right, at least according to Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
“I was pretty pleased overall with the flow of practice,” he said via webconference Tuesday.
LaFleur’s mantra to this year’s team is to pursue a “1-0” mindset every week, and he said so far the team has bought in. “I know it gets old and boring, but that’s our approach,” he said. “I think our guys have embraced that and they’re going to take it one day at a time.”
The best embodiment of that approach might be Aaron Rodgers. Heading into his age-37 season, Rodgers has been sharp in practice, earning praise from his coach.
“He’s very decisive and he’s letting it rip and he’s throwing extremely accurately. He’s playing with a lot of confidence.”
The same can’t quite be said for Jordan Love. Though he’s demonstrated flashes of the physical ability that made him the Packers’ first-round pick, he’s yet to achieve the consistency the Packers hope for. LaFleur says that’s largely because he’s committing one of the cardinal sins of an NFL rookie: thinking too much.
“I know there’s a lot going through his mind right now, but sometimes you gotta shut it off and go out there and rip one.”
But LaFleur was quick to emphasize that Love’s paralysis-by-analysis conundrum was not uncommon. In fact, LaFleur said all of the team’s young players have done remarkably well, considering the circumstances.
“We’re throwing a lot at those guys. We’re really fortunate. Gutey and the scouting staff did a good job of getting guys that are intelligent and can pick things up quickly.”