Packers: Datone Jones, Johnathan Franklin have strong practice


Packers rookie defensive lineman Datone Jones powers through the pads during Saturday’s practice in Green Bay.

Jim Oxley photograph

The Green Bay Packers opened their first padded training camp practice today under cloudy and cool conditions with the stands about 80 percent full.

According to the beat writers in attendance and tweeting their thoughts, there was a buzz in the air and an excitement among the players, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Standout performances today from rookies Datone Jones (DL) and running back Johnathan Franklin (RB) was noted throughout today’s practice. While it’s only the first padded practice of training camp, it’s good to hear the names of these rookies and to note that the defense is already playing at a high level.

Of course, it’s always the case that the defense is ahead of offenses at this time of the season, the Packers’ defense needs to get off on a strong start and carry it through the preseason games and into the regular season.

There were no serious injuries to note today other than a knee issue that Tramon Williams was having (doesn’t sound like it’s serious), cramping by LB Jamari Lattimore, and good news from the wide receiver front – seventh round draft choices Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey don’t seem to be serious and coach McCarthy expects them back soon.

On another note, McCarthy said that former Packer running back Ahman Green is completing a coaching internship with the team, working with the running backs under Alex Van Pelt.

So, with the third practice, and the first padded practice, history, it looks like the Packers have had a strong first three days of camp. Injuries have been minor and the rookies have had strong showings.

Here’s a blow-by-blow of today’s practice from the beat writers covering the morning’s session … thanks to all these guys for letting us out in the world follow along with all they see.

Those not practicing:

Full pads, high energy to start

Jeremy Ross starts with the kick return, then Cobb

Ross gets drilled by Sam Barrington – Coach McCarthy lights him up because this is not full tackling drill

  Johnathan Franklin gets shot at returning kicks and is an instant like.

  Order for KO returners was this: Ross, Cobb, Shields, Nixon and Franklin   TE Bostic from afar

You might be seeing more of this – Rodgers handing off to Franklin:

  Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac tells his vets to give the rookies everything  Johnny Jolly gets the praise of Trgovac:

Followed by rookie Datone Jones:

  One of the pleasant surprises in camp so far has been how good James Starks has looked:

B.J.Raji and Gren Van Roten get into the camp’s first shoving match.

Franklin runs hard as you can hear LB coach Kevin Greene in the background:

  Both Datone Jones and Brad Jones were active in practice today. Shoutouts from all the tweeters more than once.   First musical interlude during timeout today = U2 Vertigo   Alex Green, James Starks, and Cobb get action. Cobb drops pass, Green has 20 yard run and Starks looking determined.   Even B.J. Coleman gets into the act today:  

And the rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin catch the eyes of the sportswriters for different reasons:

Jamari Lattimore was having a great day until this happened:

  Mike Vandermause’s take on James Starks:

Tyrone Walker, a Saturday practice standout without pads, had this happen:

  The first scrum of the camp:

Here’s the result of the two backup quarterbacks:

Second “TV timeout; music is Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” No Mariano Rivera sightings.

Rookie Micah Hyde takes Tramon Williams spot with the number one defense.

Maybe we’ll see a lot of Rodgers to Finley this year? Like this?

  And how about this for a rookie lineman?

Packers fans are great …

  The kickers get into the act.

This is why they practice …

  They call this competition …

Last break features @davematthewsbnd “Funny the way it is.”

Cobb, Franklin, and Rodgers get in the act:

  And a nice way to end the practice.

Mike McCarthy’s initial comments following practice:

  MM on Datone Jones:

The new padding rule will be in effect at all practices:

  MM on Latimore:

MM on the rookie RBs:

  MM says Ahman Green is serving an internship with the team, working under Alex Van Pelt   MM on Johnny Jolly:

Here is the after-practice review by Mike Vandermause and Pete Dougherty oof the Green Bay Press Gazette …