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|Aaron Rodgers' no-look touchdown pass is still the talk of Green Bay Packers training camp. The defense was called for offsides to give Rodgers a free play during a two-minute drill in practice Thursday. The play was going left. Rodgers was looking left. But he threw the ball to his right.
Touchdown Jim McMahon Jersey , Geronimo Allison.
The play looks even better on film to coach Mike McCarthy.
"I think you appreciate it more when you watch the video. I know I did, because he spoils you," McCarthy said Friday. "You don't have too many practices around here where he doesn't make that throw where you're just like, 'OK, file that onto the library. That's the way you want to teach it.'"
Packers fans who dared to worry about Rodgers' seven interceptions during the first five days of camp can breathe easy. The two-time NFL MVP likes how the offense has worked in the first week.
"Well, I'm working on things in training camp. I'm working on throws, whether it's looking or no-looking. Trying different plays that we we're working in," Rodgers said.
A 7-9 finish last season ended a streak of eight straight playoff appearances for the Packers. The offense struggled while Rodgers was out with broken collarbone, and the defense had familiar problems against the pass.
McCarthy overhauled the coaching staff after the season, which included bringing back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator. Philbin was the coordinator when the Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.
"We've done a medium overhaul of some offensive concepts, so working on some new stuff and trying to get on the same page with receivers," Rodgers added.
An added wrinkle for Rodgers is the new looks in practice from coordinator Mike Pettine's defense. His units have finished in the top 10 in the league when he's been in charge.
"Well, they're just so multiple. They have a lot of different pressures and types of pressures," Rodgers said. "They're giving you pressures where they can actually get home. We haven't had that issue in a while Bobby Massie Jersey , where they scheme pressures to have a free guy on the play."
It gives the linemen good practice for the regular season, too, since the NFC North-rival Minnesota Vikings are among teams that run pressures similar to what the Packers' defense is doing now.
"So the protection elements for offense are really challenged by his defense, which is great for us," Rodgers said.
Getting Bryan Bulaga back will help too. The veteran right tackle was activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Friday and returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since tearing his right ACL in Week 9 last year.
"I am very optimistic about Week 1, I really am," Bulaga said. "I still have some work to do to get to it but it's definitely looking better than it did, say, four months ago, even though I thought I'd still get to that point."
His return would solidify a right side of the line that will already have a new starter at guard. Bulaga is a steady, reliable presence up front who has played in big spots with Rodgers.
"He's a pro's pro. He knows how to play the game," Rodgers said. "Unfortunately, he's sustained a couple of tough injuries. But when he's out there, he's a rock."
At its best Carlos Hyde Jersey , a starting five with Bulaga gives Rodgers just enough time to get out of trouble and outside the pocket, where the quarterback might be most dangerous.
As he showed with his no-look TD throw to Allison.
NOTES: WR Jake Kumerow, an undrafted free agent in his second year out of Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, continues to impress with his hands and route-running ability. He could be a long shot to make the roster, especially after the Packers drafted three receivers this year. But the 6-foot-4 Kumerow has earned some reps with the first-string offense and caught Rodgers' attention. "So there's going to be some tough decisions when the cutdown happens," Rodgers said. "We drafted three guys, so. If you're playing today, you'd like him on the field."
As the only general manager holding three first-round picks in Thursday night’s NBA draft, including No. 3 overall, Atlanta’s Travis Schlenk has been a popular target for trade talk. Overall, the Hawks have four picks in the top 34. That’s more than enough depth to attract interest, but the rebuilding Hawks are even more attractive trade targets because they also have about $20 million in salary cap space. That creates more attractive options for a team needing to unload a contract in a trade.
Schlenk says he is answering every call and considering all options – including the possibility of trading up or down from the No. 3 spot.
It’s an exciting time for Schlenk, who never held such a high draft pick in his previous job as assistant GM with the Golden State Warriors.
”This is the highest pick that I’ve been a part of,” Schlenk said last week. ”At Golden State Tony Dorsett Jersey , the highest pick we had was six. So it’s exciting. Having the four picks, along with the third pick, we get a lot of phone calls, which is exciting as well, and we’re going to go through all the options that are presented to us and make the best decision, hopefully.”
He says he’s comfortable with the idea of opening the 2018-19 season with four rookies.
Schlenk is planning the Hawks’ future with a new coach. Former Philadelphia assistant Lloyd Pierce was hired on May 11 to replace Mike Budenholzer, now the Bucks coach.
Schlenk might use his first pick to select a forward-center to pair with 2017-18 rookie John Collins. Among players who could be available are Duke’s Marvin Bagley III , Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson and Mo Bamba of Texas.
Guards Luka Doncic of Slovenia, Trae Young of Oklahoma and forward Michael Porter of Missouri could be alternatives for Schlenk.
Pierce stressed defense in his first news conference in Atlanta. Schlenk said it’s important to land players with balanced offensive and defensive skills.
”Obviously when you look at the best teams in the league, the majority of the time they’re good defensive teams,” Schlenk said. ”But at the end of the day, if you’re not scoring 100 points you’re probably not winning, so we’re going to look for guys that are two-way players, who can play defensively Randy Bullock Jersey , but also we’ve got to be able to score the ball on the other end.”
Bagley qualifies as that two-way talent, but he could be drafted at the No. 2 spot by Sacramento.
”I put a lot of work into this and I think I’m the best player in the draft,” Bagley said after his draft workout in Atlanta last week. ”I mean that in the most humble way possible, not to be cocky.”
Phoenix is projected to select Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the top pick.
Jackson is an accomplished shot blocker with less polish on the offensive end. He is regarded by many to have the potential shooting skills to develop into a well-rounded NBA big man.
With point guard Dennis Schroder’s future in Atlanta uncertain, the Hawks can look for talent at any position. Their wealth of picks could make it easier to take a chance on Doncic, who has the skills to play multiple positions even though his ability to create space in the NBA has been questioned by some critics.
”I’ve maintained all along, and I honestly believe this, we’re going to take the best player,” Schlenk said. ”We’re in a situation where we’re looking to add the most talent we can, and we’re going to get a good player at the third pick.”
The No. 3 spot is the Hawks’ highest since 2007, when they selected Al Horford at No. 3.
Atlanta also has the No. 19 and No. 30 picks in the first round and No. 34 early in the second round. Those selections give Schlenk a wealth of options, including a deal for a higher pick next year.
Schlenk said he has considered if the possibility to ”trade back to collect more assets would be advantageous.”
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