On Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints met for a joint practice at Ray Nitschke Field, the first of two such practices between the teams ahead of their preseason game at Lambeau Field on Friday evening. Thankfully for both teams, there were few altercations during Tuesday’s practice session, which seemed to go off relatively smoothly.
Part of the lack of dustups between the squads was due to conscious decisions by the head coaches to avoid one-on-one drills. However, a lack of fighting does not mean a lack of competitiveness between the teams, as there was plenty of trash talk and jawing back and forth.
All told, however, the defenses starred for both teams, but especially for the Packers. Green Bay’s pass rush in particular was relentless throughout Tuesday’s practice, keeping
Finally, for anyone in the Green Bay area hoping to attend a practice before the team closes them down for the summer, you have one more chance on Wednesday. That will be the final open practice of training camp, as the team will close down the remainder of training camp to fans following Friday’s preseason game.
Although Elgton Jenkins returned to team drills for Monday’s walkthrough practice (working with the first-team offensive line at right tackle) he did not work in 11-on-11s in today’s session as the Packers keep working him in gradually. Christian Watson and Robert Tonyan, who both returned from the PUP list on Sunday along with Jenkins, did individual drills only once again.
Green Bay released four players prior to practice to put them at 84 players before the session began: now off the roster are RB B.J. Baylor, LB Ellis Brooks, TE Dominique Dafney, and OL George Moore.
Finally, there were no media reports of additional players returning to practice today. That suggests that the following players remain out: OT David Bakhtiari, K Mason Crosby, and RB Kylin Hill (all on the PUP list); DL Akial Byers, S Tariq Carpenter, CB Kabion Ento, S Innis Gaines, S Dallin Leavitt, and S Darnell Savage.
Notably for the Saints, starting quarterback Jameis Winston did not participate in team drills, leaving Andy Dalton to lead New Orleans’ first-string offense.
The Packers did see two players drop out of practice today. One was Rashan Gary, who according to Andy Herman walked into the Don Hutson Center with the Packers’ team doctor midway through practice. He returned to the field a few minutes later with his helmet in hand and appeared ready to go back on the field, but was held out of any remaining drills, seemingly as a precaution. The other player who left practice was wide receiver Danny Davis, who went limping into the Hutson Center with trainers and did not return.
To try to keep tempers in check, here were no one-on-one periods on Tuesday between the two teams. Matt LaFleur indicated in his pre-practice press conference that those drills can lead to fights breaking out, and that he and Saints coach Dennis Allen will make a decision on whether to hold one-one-ones for Wednesday later on after seeing how Tuesday went. Additionally, there were two crews of officials on hand to keep the two teams under control.
Both teams’ defenses were impressive on Tuesday, and particularly Packers’ starting defense against the Saints’ offense. The Green Bay cornerbacks led the charge and let the Saints know it, too, as Rasul Douglas in particular was vocal in his trash talk:
Packers defense just put on an absolute clinic against the Saints offense. Pocket collapsing repeatedly. Tight coverage all over.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 16, 2022
Rasul Douglas is talking an incredible amount of shit. Just a preposterous amount.
Shawn Davis caps the period with a pick-six of QB Ian Book.
Douglas had multiple pass breakups and was spotted jawing with numerous Saints, including Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Dalton, per Schneidman. Meanwhile, the Packers’ pass rush got home repeatedly, with everyone from Rashan Gary to Preston Smith to Quay Walker to J.J. Enagbare to Tipa Galeai getting in on the sack-fest. Perhaps the surprise of the day was reserve edge rusher Kobe Jones, who had multiple sacks of his own and a stop in the run game to follow up on recording a sack in Friday’s preseason opener.
The Green Bay offense did have some success at times, however, particularly in the red zone period. Aaron Rodgers threw touchdowns to Sammy Watkins and Romeo Doubs, who continued his impressive camp with another great play. Doubs’ score was reportedly a tough diving catch near the sideline that required an impressive toe-tap near the pylon (per Ryan Wood). New Orleans also had one solid sequence as well, with a few nice runs and a good catch by Michael Thomas with Jaire Alexander all over him.
New Packers kicker Ramiz Ahmed got a good run of kicks in, and his big leg was as advertised. According to Wes Hodkiewicz, he hit three straight from between 50 and 54 yards as he aims to give the Packers a tough decision to make when Mason Crosby returns from the PUP list.