Family Night recap: Packers’ Romeo Doubs shines again

Family Night recap: Packers’ Romeo Doubs shines again

The Green Bay Packers packed Lambeau Field with over 50,000 fans on Friday as many cheeseheads got their first look at the 2022 squad. The team apparently avoided a major injury, the best thing that can happen for some practices in August, but that doesn’t mean everything was sweet.

Head coach Matt LaFleur was not happy with the team’s conditioning after the practice, claiming that the players were “leaving” towards the end of it. This led to LaFleur ending practice a few minutes early, doing away with the team’s live-tackling team period.

Still, there were plenty of highlights to come out of Family Night, and the regional broadcast meant fans were actually able to record and distribute those plays, contrary to a common practice. Finally, we got to see the plays that we previously had to imagine through tweets from beat writers.

There were no changes to the team’s participation prior to Family Night other than outside linebacker Randy Ramsey being held out. Ramsey just returned from a season-long ankle injury that cost him the 2021 season and put him on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp. Running back Patrick Taylor (groin), running back Kylin Hill (knee), receiver Christian Watson (PUP, knee), receiver Malik Taylor (shoulder), receiver Osirus Mitchell (quad), tight end Robert Tonyan (PUP, knee), tackle David Bakhtiari (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (PUP, knee), offensive lineman Cole Schneider (ankle) and cornerback Keisean Nixon (NFI, groin) remained out at practice.

Backfield

An opportunity to see four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is always an event, but one of the standouts on Family Night was backup quarterback Jordan Love, who is entering his third season with the team. Love started the excitement when he beat Rodgers throwing the nets in the air.

Love’s connection with rookie seventh-round pick Samori Toure, who has been working with the backups all offseason, was evident early on. After practice, head coach Matt LaFleur stated, “It’s been pretty impressive huh [Love]have been able to put together the last exercises.” Earlier this week, LaFleur claimed Love has had the best practice of his Packers career. With the preseason starting next week, Rodgers unlikely to play and only one other quarterback on the roster, there will be plenty of opportunities for Love to post quality film this summer.

With Taylor still out at fullback, undrafted rookie BJ Baylor flashed. If Taylor and Hill are still out by Week 1, there’s a good chance the Packers’ final cornerback spot will come down to either Baylor or Tyler Goodson, players who may have been afterthoughts a week ago but are in serious contention for to break the list. as it stands today.

This offseason, new offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich stated that he wanted to get Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, perhaps the team’s two best offensive skill players, on the field more together in 2022. We got to see this in at least one snap, when Jones ran a jet sweep from an outside receiver alignment while Dillon was his lead blocker on the perimeter from out of the backfield. If the play seems familiar, it’s because the Packers ran it around the same yardage against the Minnesota Vikings last season.

Receivers/Tight Ends

Romeo Doubs? Yes, Romeo Doubs. He did it again.

The fourth-round wide receiver plays every single practice, to the point where he was the first player mentioned during the Family Night broadcast. Everyone is excited about the Nevada product, and that doesn’t change after his performance tonight.

Doubs, like Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins and Juwann Winfree, got an early look with “them” as an outside receiver. Tight end Isaiah Deguara, along with Lazard, Randall Cobb, Doubs and Amaro Rodgers, looked like slot receivers early. The broadcast noted that Lazard, listed at 227 pounds, is down to 220 pounds this season.

At tight end, Deguara and Tyler Davis were used as the first-string primary pass catchers, unsurprisingly. Davis and Marcedes Lewis were the team’s primary hands-in-the-dirt inline tight ends while Deguara and Dominique Dafney played the ball, spread out or at linebacker. It seemed like the team played more fullbacks in this drill than they usually did in the average game last season.

Offensive line

Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan Jr., Josh Myers, Jake Hanson and Royce Newman (left to right) were the “starting” offensive line units today. In the second half of practice, first-round pick Zach Tom looked like a right tackle, which kicked Newman to right guard and put Hanson on the second-string line. This is about par for the course, as the two lineups are what the team has been practicing with this week, as second-year tackle Cole Van Lanen appears to be out of contention for the starting right tackle job.

Third-round rookie Sean Rhyan struggled a bit today with second-stringers, which may be why the team has him buried on the depth chart. As the second team’s right guard, he gave up several pressures and was called for several holding calls. Generally speaking, the defense got the best of the offensive line, although Nijman and Runyan had nice days.

Defense line

Defensively, the team lined up in various formations throughout training. There were the expected 3-4 and nickel sets, but the penny formation appears to be here to stay, and the team used a pair of pressure packages that put an inside linebacker on the field.

The team’s starting defensive line in their 3-4 defense was Dean Lowry, Kenny Clark (on the nose) and Jarran Reed, with Devonte Wyatt and Clark getting some snaps at the end and TJ Slaton looks at the nose tackle. Clark only saw clicks at the end when Slaton was by the nose. When the team was in nickel, Reed, Clark, Lowry and Slaton played inside with “them”.

Wyatt had a great day in line with rookie Rhyan. Rodgers noted Wednesday that sometimes when “the lights come onsome players rise to the occasion. In front of 50,000-plus fans, the first-round pick had his best practice of the summer, according to Packer Report’s Andy Herman.

Linebackers

At outside linebacker, Jonathan Garvin and La’Darius Hamilton saw the most snaps with “them” behind starters Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. This is quite a change of pace, as Tip Galeai was ahead of Garvin on the depth chart until recently.

Inside linebacker was perhaps the most boring position to track from a player participation standpoint, as De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker took virtually all of the team’s snaps with “them.” Campbell was the team’s solo linebacker in penny sets and also played Mike linebacker when Walker went down to the line of scrimmage in pressure packages. Walker is going to be the big body to open things up for Campbell, not the other way around.

Secondary

The cornerback position pretty much gave us what we expected. Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes were the team’s starters outside cornerbacks and Rasul Douglas came off the bench to play the slot in sub packages. Later in practice, Shemar Jean-Charles got looks as both an outside cornerback and a slotback, while Rico Gafford also got the nod as an outside corner.

Keisean Nixon, who was the team’s fourth cornerback in camp until the groin injury, should return to the team soon, which will be a good bar for Jean-Charles and Gafford. The team could keep six cornerbacks on the roster, as Nixon and Gafford figure to contribute significantly on special teams, but it’s not a certainty.

The only injury scare today was starting safety Darnell Savage going down. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Savage had ice wrapped around his right hamstring after he hobbled off the field. In the post-practice presser, LaFleur said he did not think Savage had a serious injury and that Savage “didn’t seem too nervous about it.”

In something of a surprise, former draft pick Vernon replaced Scott Savage. Shawn Davis, who was picked up by the Packers last season, had gotten most of the team’s third safety looks up to this point this summer. Like cornerback, the numbers game at safety — four or five — will be important to track in relation to the 53-man roster. Savage, starter Adrian Amos, Scott, Davis, special teams signee Dallin Leavitt and special teams draft pick Tariq Carpenter all have a chance to stick on the Week 1 roster.

Special teams

If you don’t want to hear bad news, close the page now.

The punt team didn’t look good today. There were more bad snaps and penalties than you want to see, even in early August. The team’s best long snapper was once again Jack Coco, an undrafted free agent who was signed after a May workout. Rookie kicker Gabe Brkic, who is “starting” in place of the injured Crosby, also had a rough performance.

The good news is that those who returned looked sharp today and delivered most of their returns cleanly. Doubs, Rodgers and Ishmael Hyman looked like returners and Rodgers even had a nice return where he had approached a ball at full speed to haul it in.

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