Packers Family Night was once again sold out this year as fans flooded Lambeau Field to get a first glimpse of the 2018 Green Bay Packers. For those of you who have never attended Family Night or have no idea of what it is, it could best be described as a practice in front of a sold out stadium and a chance to introduce the players in each position group as well as the coaches. It was good to be back at Lambeau and watching the Family Night scrimmage up close and getting a look at the team. Here are some quick thoughts I had immediately following the 2018 Packers Family Night practice:
- Kendall Donnerson was impressive with the second team during the inside run period. This period is inside running players vs base personnel. Donnerson was quick to scrape down the line and make some impressive stops. He never seemed to get out of position and was patient in playing the cutback. He did a good job of getting a strong inside punch on the tackle and playing anything back his way.
- Jimmy Graham is as impressive as everyone is saying he is. After seeing him in person I was really impressed with his overall size and athletic ability. I knew Graham was going to bring a lot to the table but now I’m starting to believe that he could be one of the better tight ends that the Packers have had in years. His timing with Rodgers is perfect and I think this could be one of the best QB/TE duos in the NFL. Graham looked especially crisp on his slant, snag, and drag routes.
- J’Mon Moore made an impressive catch in the end zone during a team period. He has been turning heads during practice with his size and ability to go up and get the ball. I would love to see him get worked in to the rotation. Moore is a prototypical X receiver. He he at his best on the boundary and running go routes, posts and comebacks. It will be good to see him go up against some competition during the preseason.
- The defense ran a lot of man coverage during the scrimmage. During team period I saw a lot of 2 under and cover 1 defense. 2 under is a coverage concept where man coverage is played underneath with 2 high free safeties. Their reads are usually the quarterback or the #2 receiver. Tramon Williams looked especially comfortable on the boundary playing the X receiver. Mike Pettine likes to use inside leverage and force the receivers towards the boundary. From what I saw there definitely seemed to be a lot of man coverage called as opposed to zone.
- JK Scott really is as good as people have been saying. He got some serious hang time on some punts. A good punter can pay big dividends. It makes a big difference if the opposing teams offense starts their drive inside of their own 20 or outside. Depending on where the drive starts it can change play calling drastically for Mike Pettine and the defensive staff.
- Oren Burks had what looked like a tough practice to me. He’s young and has a lot of room to grow. He got some reps with the starters and he held his own when it came to run fits but was out of position at other times. That comes with practice and repetition. Burks’ physical appearance is impressive for an inside linebacker. He could be a solid Buck (weakside) inside linebacker. The buck linebacker position still seems to be up in the air after the injury to Jake Ryan.
- The fireworks was a cool way to cap off the night. The Packer faithful always love the Family Night fireworks show!
The Packers return to practice Monday, August the 6th. I plan on having more practice recap articles as my week at Packers training camp goes on.
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