Consider the source. I thought tonight's practice was a step in the right direction tempo-wise. Mike McCarthy did not. Afterwards he said the defense was still playing faster than the offense.
At any rate, the most noteworthy thing about the session was the increased work load of several players who missed most of last season with injuries. One was Jermichael Finley and the extremely gifted tight end made his presence felt with a TD catch during a Red Zone drill. During the same period, second year safety Morgan Burnett prevented a couple touchdowns by deflecting passes. Not a bad start for a pair of players who were seeing their first 11 on 11 action.
Mike Neal is also making his way back from a season-ender, and while he didn't participate in full team drills, he did participate in 1 on 1 pass rush for the first time. Beat Derek Sherrod cold on one rush. Did all right on his others. Neal's progress is important to the Packers defense. You can kind of manufacture a run defender, but the Packers have to replace Cullen Jenkins' pass rush, and Neal qualifies as "most likely to" at this point. He's got those kinds of physical tools.
The team spent a lot of time working in the Red Zone, and that's where Desmond Bishop made the hit of the night, possibly of camp, when he stuffed Ryan Grant on a running play.
Another memorable play was authored by Davon House, the fourth round draft choice out of New Mexico State. The corner broke up a pass intended for Greg Jennings in the end zone, and that's not easy to do. As a matter of fact, the entire secondary has been rather stingy so far. Of course that should come as no surprise. The Packers led the league last season with an opponents' passer rating of 67.2. That's scary good.
From the other guys get paid too file, the practice-ending 2 minute drill. Actually it was a 1:11 drill, with 60 yards to go and the offense needing a touchdown. No problem. Aaron Rodgers lofted a pair of jump balls to Jordy Nelson on the left sideline for big gains. Then he hit Donald Driver with a pass just short of the goal line and the ageless one made a nifty move to get it in. The Packers offense made it look easy, and that was against the starting defense. Bottom line, the Packers are strong on both sides of the ball, and that makes for a competitive training camp. Locker room bragging rights are at stake.