7

August

Wednesday 8/7 Packers practice: Must be a game week

Packers defensive end Datone Jones has been dominant in one-on-one drills.

Packers defensive end Datone Jones has been dominant in one-on-one drills.

During the team run period of Wednesday morning’s practice at Ray Nitschke Field, a handful of scuffles broke out between the offense and defense.

Johnny Jolly was involved in at least a couple scrums, Kevin Greene and Josh Sitton were yapping at one another and Jermichael Finley was throwing haymakers at Jarvis Reed. Needless to say, it was pretty obvious that the Packers were preparing for their first (preseason) game of the 2013 season.

Players are ready to strap on their helmets and, you know, hit somebody.

Datone Jones impressive in drills:

If there was one player that caught my eye on Wednesday morning’s practice, it was rookie defensive end Datone Jones. During a one-on-one period between the defensive and offensive lines, Jones was dominant. And frankly, that’s nothing new.

On Jones’s first rep of the period, he went right through offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, almost putting the 320-pound tackle on his backside. At 6’4″ 295, Jones is exactly what you want a 3-4 defensive end to look like. But what makes Jones such an intriguing prospect is the fact that he has the skill set of a 4-3 defensive end.

During practice, I was talking to Jacob Westendorf of PackersTalk.com. Jacob suggested that had Jones been drafted by a team that uses a 4-3 scheme, he may be a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt just won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year as a 3-4 defensive end, but that’s obviously a rarity. Expecting Jones to rack up double-digit sacks as a rookie may be unrealistic.

But either way, Jones appears poised to make a serious impact in his first NFL season, one way or another.

Vince Young’s early-camp struggles:

It’s pretty clear that Vince Young is not currently ready for game action. Unless he can pull a Tebow and make plays on game day despite being underwhelming at practice, it’s hard to see Young suiting up against the Arizona Cardinals on Friday.

Getting the snaps as the No. 3 quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell, Young made a couple erratic throws in team period. With a wide open D.J. Williams coming across the middle on a deep drag route, Young sailed a ball about eight feet over Williams’ head and into the arms of safety Chaz Powell.

Still, Young was seen working closely with Rodgers, quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo and head coach Mike McCarthy throughout the morning. He’s been a Packer for just two days now, so it’s no surprise that he’s being brought along slowly by the team.

Eddie Lacy sits out:

As players started to file in for practice, No. 27 was one of the first out on the field. The only newsworthy takeaway was that No. 27 was not in pads.

After practice, McCarthy said Lacy was held out as a precaution with a hamstring issue.

All offseason, the Packers had been giving James Starks and Alex Green the majority of the first-ream reps at running back. But yesterday, after an impressive showing on Family Night, Lacy was put into the lineup with the No. 1 offense.

Hamstring injuries tend to linger, so it’s no surprise that the coaching staff wanted to hold Lacy out, especially considering Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL and Jordy Nelson underwent knee surgery this week. Until Lacy misses any sort of game action, please refrain from the “Eddie Lacy is fragile” talk.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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11 Responses to “Wednesday 8/7 Packers practice: Must be a game week”

  1. GBPDAN says:

    Good news about Jones, I hope he’s the real deal. Bummer on Lacey, wanted to see him run against Arizona. I hope this is a minor issue. I haven’t heard much about Perry during TC. This is not a good sign so far. He needs to be a contributer and make impact plays. Good luck to our 4th rd LT

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    • Nick Perry says:

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. Perry’s name never coming up is a little concerning, but we really haven’t heard anything about Matthews or Perry. For now I’m looking at that as a good thing. At least their not injured. I think Nick will be just fine this year, the perfect compliment to Matthews. I wouldn’t be surprised if Capers designs some schemes where he has Perry with his hand down. Kinda like Houston’s

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    • BrianD says:

      Great comment on the day Nick Perry has an interception during practice!

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  2. PatMc says:

    Will be there Friday night. Looking forward to seeing all the players on the field. Hope Lacey at least runs a few plays. Want to see Jones too.

    Go Pack GO!

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  3. Batavia Greg says:

    “Until Lacy misses any sort of game action, please refrain from the “Eddie Lacy is fragile” talk.” Hell, Marques, with the exception of Datone Jones (whom I’ve now probably jinxed), I’m more concerned about the WHOLE TEAM being fragile.

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    • OdinVonTogan says:

      Let Lacy sit this 1st one. Why? 1) It will heal better – he needs to learn stuff, not so much do stuff right now. 2) Irk him so he will run even meaner in SF. :)

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  4. Mojo says:

    It’s no wonder DAT ONE is pushing Newhouse backwards. Look at the pipes on that guy.

    Still can’t figure out the VY signing. The Packers are a passing team and Young can’t pass. They’re not going to change to suit his style.

    Must there be a counter-balance to every good thing that goes on in camp. Bulaga looked good – so he goes out with a knee problem. Lacy has a nice Family Day and now the hammy. Enough yin more yang.

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  5. Icebowler says:

    McCarthy said today that Neal is a DE. I think his practice at OLB is to prepare him to play the Zone Blitz where he drops back into coverage while Perry blitzes. If they both can stay healthy, it could be a great surprisingly effective defensive play resulting in numerous sacks.

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  6. It would be interesting if a team experimented with NO contact In training & just went into the 1st preseason game as their 1st contact. Seems so many key players get hurt before they ever play a game, minds as well get hurt playing, that’s what they’re paid for. I’m sure no one will agree with that, just thinking out loud.

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  7. [...] my practice summary from yesterday, I suggested Young is not currently ready for game action. I came away from Thursday [...]

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