If you are part of the crowd who thinks the players of today are not as tough as the players of yesterday, (and there are a lot of "former" players in said crowd), you may have a change of heart after reading the next paragraph.
Frank Zombo was just an observer at today's practice and it turns out he had good reason to be watching: a fractured scapula. In layman's terms, a broken shoulder blade. It turns out #2 that he broke it during pregame warm-ups - took a shot in the back from John Kuhn's helmet-AND HE PLAYED ANYWAY! Took all his normal snaps. I can't think of too many football-related activities, or any activities for that matter, that don't affect that area of the body. A very gutty and gritty effort by Zombo, and for a preseason game no less. The prognosis is that he'll miss a "significant" amount of time but his playing in the Cardinal game with a broken scapula ranks way up there on the heart meter.
From the show must go on file, Erik Walden presumably opens the season as the Packers starter at ROLB. He, Brad Jones and Zombo have been competing for the job, and although he started the Cardinal game, Walden didn't play all that well. Jones (who also missed practice-knee sprain) has had a nondescript preseason and the Zombo-Walden battle might have gone down to the wire. Not anymore.
Elsewhere in the starting lineup, the Packers have decided to go with T.J. Lang at left guard. There had been an open competition at the position between him and Derek Sherrod but the longer the competition went, the clearer it became that Lang should be #1. He looks more like a guard, plays more like a guard and played better than the team's first round pick. That's not to say Sherrod's been a disappointment. He never used playing two positions (LG & LT, one of them, LG, entirely new) as an excuse, but it's hard for a rookie. Mixing and matching not only assignments but techniques, I've seen the job and wouldn't want it. As we've discussed before, Sherrod has talent and he's a good kid, and he'll eventually be a good player for the Packers - at left tackle I might add. As for Lang, a huge opportunity is knocking and it's up to him to seize it. Becoming a bona fide starter in the NFL is a life changer on a number of different levels (not the least of which is salary), and it's Lang's job to keep or lose. Nothing is ever etched in stone in what may be the ultimate performance based industry.
Today's practice was a change of pace, but in short order, it'll become the rule and not the exception. The session was very similar to a regular season Wednesday practice. Individual rough stuff, like 1 on 1 run block/defense between the O-line and OLB's, was cut out in favor of more team drills. Most of those drills were of the offense / defense working against a future opponent's defense / offense, and not Packers vs. Packers, which is standard fare during a training camp practice. The switch is necessary to prepare for regular season games in which both sides of the ball have to work on their respective game plans(and that's the routine Mike McCarthy is establishing) but it takes some of the competitive edge out of teamwork. You won't see guys knocking the snot out of each other when one of them is serving on the scout team. Not usually anyway. There's less chance to get hurt during a regular season type practice, but there's also less chance to "show up" and catch the coach's eye. That makes game performance all the more important for the players who are fighting for a roster spot.