Pre-practice, head coach Matt LaFleur noted that today’s practice was going to be lighter than previous days, as going hard three days in a row doesn’t seem to be in the Packers’ training camp plans. Tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Isaac Nauta, as well as offensive lineman Simon Stepaniak, were not practicing today, per the Milwaukie Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. Lewis was on the sideline, not a bad idea for a 37-year-old with a roster spot seemingly locked up, but Nauta and Stepaniak are on the roster bubble. Their absence will likely be addressed tomorrow.
.@DavidBakhtiari got his QB @aaronrodgers12 some new wheels pic.twitter.com/WI7bEebL6L— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) July 30, 2021
- While left tackle David Bakhtiari is rehabbing his late-season knee injury from 2020, he’s still being seen and felt at camp. Yesterday, he gave the newly-signed Dennis Kelly his jersey to confused those in practice attendance. Now, he’s going viral for gifting Aaron Rodgers a golf cart with the license plate “LUVN69.”
- Speaking of offensive linemen, the team gave a fresh look at their first-stringers today. Earlier in camp, the Packers had been rolling with a line of Elgton Jenkins, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Lucas Patrick and Billy Turner (left to right.) Now Turner is seeing some reps at left tackle, kicking Jenkins into guard for Runyan, while Kelly, who started for the Titans at right tackle last season, replaces Turner at right tackle. Ben Braden, who saw snaps at left tackle as recently as mini camp, stepped in for Lucas Patrick at right guard. The only consistency in Green Bay’s offensive line experimentation at this point is that Myers is playing center and Jenkins and Turner are on the field.
- The connections between Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers are getting scarier by the day. Not only do they have similar skill sets. Not only was Cobb coached by Rodgers’ father at the University of Kentucky. Not only has Cobb know Rodgers since he was 12. They also both happen to be lefties. We might be only days away from learning that human cloning has arrived in Green Bay.
- Elsewhere in the league, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray praised Aaron Rodgers for speaking his mind, stating, “People like to sugarcoat s***. I love how honest he was.”
Post-practice pressers, Darnell Savage, Jaire Alexander, Dennis Kelly and Josh Myers
- When safety Darnell Savage was asked about how different defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s defense is, relative to what he’s seen in the NFL, he replied, “At the end of the day, football is football. The differences are more so in names of the calls and situations.”
- Savage also gave rookie first-round pick Eric Stokes some words of wisdom after he was scored on, despite playing tight coverage: “There’s not many 12s (Aaron Rodgers) and 17s (Davante Adams) out there.”
- Cornerback Jaire Alexander had a little different take on Joe Barry, stating, “Joe Barry, he brings a different kind of energy...a bunch of energy.”
- When asked about a cramping issue, Alexander told the media that at one point this summer he lost four pounds of weight at a practice.
- After just one day on the job, tackle Dennis Kelly, who had previously worked for head coach Matt LaFleur in Tennessee, was already added into the starting rotation at right tackle. On the topic of positional versatility, Kelly had this to say: “I feel more comfortable at right, but I’ve played at left, started at left. I’ve started it all...I even got a couple starts at tight end.”
- News travels fast and questions arose around Kelly’s War Horse nickname. “So Art Smith made that up last year. During the season, I was battling through some knee issues, so it worked out that I’d be coming out to practice on Friday. So Art referenced it as a war horse coming out of the stable to get me prepared to battle on Sunday. It just stuck and guys ran with it.”
- Rookie center Josh Myers, one of the few offensive linemen who isn’t rotating on and off the bench at this point, made a clear point: Don’t make too much about the line of scrimmage players until the pads come on. “Pads going on for the offensive lineman is going to be a big thing. The game changes dramatically when the pads go on.”