3. The defensive backs’ familiarity with one another is expected to pay dividends.
The rookie Stokes has been added to the top group, but otherwise, Savage, Adrian Amos, Jaire Alexander, Chandon Sullivan and Kevin King (currently not practicing) are entering their third year together in the Packers’ secondary.
Even though it’s the first season in new defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s system, all the games and snaps the veterans have under their belts have helped keep the communication simple and effective during the transition.
“We’re to the point where the communication is really clear, so it’s like we kind of anticipate what each other is thinking and what each other is going to do,” Savage said. “When we’re out there, everything is pretty chill. It’s never a time or point where we feel like a panic or anything like that.”
Regarding communication, Savage also uttered what’s becoming a familiar phrase with Barry’s defense.
“If you’re on the same page, there is no wrong page,” he said.
4. Dennis Kelly has lived every offensive lineman’s dream, twice.
The veteran offensive lineman whom the Packers signed this week has caught a touchdown pass on a tackle-eligible play in both the regular season and postseason.
He chalked up the two scores in 2019 playing for Tennessee. First, he caught a 1-yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill against Jacksonville in late November. Then two months later, the Titans dialed up the play again in the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City, and the 6-foot-8, 321-pound Kelly scored again from 1-yard out.
“Cool moment. I kept the balls,” he said. “I’m a record-holder for being the fattest guy to catch a touchdown in an NFL playoff game, so you take that for what it’s worth.”
The playoff touchdown gave the Titans a surprising 17-7 lead over the Chiefs midway through the second quarter, but Kansas City would rally to win, 35-24. So Kelly knows the late-season disappointment many of his new Green Bay teammates have dealt with in recent seasons.
“Obviously the whole goal is to win the last game of the year in February,” he said. “The last couple years in Tennessee, they were pretty successful and we got pretty close. It’s definitely on the radar, in my mind, and you prepare to be playing in winning, competitive football games late into the year, early into next year. That’s the approach every day.”
5. Saturday’s practice will be the longest of camp thus far.
Friday’s shorter workout preceded what will be a more extensive session on Saturday before the players’ first day off on Sunday.
“I think we’re always pretty mindful of the third day in a row and then we’ll crank up the intensity level a little bit more tomorrow,” Head Coach Matt LaFleur said.