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Cheese Curds, 8/2: Packers’ defense makes its first big statement

Monday saw shoulder pads go on in Green Bay, and the defense had its way with the offense.

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NFL: Green Bay Packers Training Camp Green Bay Press Gazette-USA TODAY Sports

The old cliché goes that nothing really matters until the pads go on. If that’s true, then the Green Bay Packers’ new-look defense is seemingly in good shape.

Monday was the first practice of 2022 for the Packers with any pads — the team wore shoulder pads before going to full-pads for Tuesday’s session — but in that session it was all about the defense. Several days of impressive performances by the offense went by the wayside as players like Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, and Quay Walker were flying around the field, making life difficult for Aaron Rodgers and company.

Impressively, there are players at all levels of the depth chart making plays. While the bigger names are no surprise to earn praise, even players like cornerback Rico Gafford and outside linebacker Tipa Galeai had their share of impressive moments on Monday. Considering the questions surrounding the depth on that side of the football, every good play from a backup is an encouraging sign.

In today’s curds, let’s look at a few of these defensive players ahead of the full slate of pads going on later today.

‘Rashan is a tone-setter’: Packers’ Gary is an emerging star with a new role - The Athletic ($)
Gary is developing his leadership skills now that he is one of the team's veteran players, paying forward to the young edge rushers what Preston and Za'Darius Smith helped him with three years ago.

Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell on wearing Guardian Caps: ‘I just think it’s stupid’ | Packers Wire
Campbell isn't one to mince words, and his comments about the puffy caps over the helmets for linebackers, linemen, and tight ends aren't complimentary.

Shemar Jean-Charles answering the call early in camp |
The 2021 draft pick nearly made a huge play to close practice on Saturday, and he appears to be settling into a role as one of the Packers' primary depth pieces behind their top cornerback trio.

Can Allen Lazard be 'that guy' to replace Davante Adams as WR1 for Green Bay Packers? | ESPN
On Monday, our Paul Noonan looked at whether Lazard can maintain his efficiency in a larger role. That role has arrived for him, and Aaron Rodgers is confident: "I really think Allen is ready to make a jump and be a number 1 receiver."

Man shoots woman, but bullet hits and kills him, TX cops say | Fort Worth Star-Telegram
This story isn't really funny, but it certainly is crazy. The woman was shot in the neck but has reportedly recovered; instead, the shooter is dead after the bullet somehow hit him in the leg.