GREEN BAY – Taking a closer look at the Green Bay Packers’ 14th practice of training camp from Monday:
Thumbs up: The backup quarterback race is at full boil, and right now, it would certainly appear that both Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien are very much worthy of a roster spot. Each was on the mark throughout practice. Tolzien’s best play was probably his marvelous pinpoint throw on a 30-yard gain on a catch by an outstretched Justin Perillo, although that was just one of many terrific completions he had. Flynn, who was first in the rotation behind Aaron Rodgers, went throw-for-throw with Tolzien, with his best pass likely his best pass being a touchdown to a leaping Jarrett Boykin down the left sideline just inside the end zone pylon.
Thumbs down: For the first time in camp, practice was moved inside the Don Hutson Center because of rain. While the Green Bay area ended up getting soaked by rain during the late afternoon, it appeared sunny during the noon practice when reporters looked outside. That was one disappointment. The other was on the offensive side of the ball, where both the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses saw their 2-minute drives end in interceptions, which contributed to the 89-minute practice being the shortest of camp.
Play of the day: What makes Rodgers great is that his unique talent is on display even on the simplest of passing plays. On a rudimentary crossing pattern to Jordy Nelson, Rodgers got the ball out so ridiculously quick to Nelson, who’d found an open are behind rookie cornerback Ryan White, that White was genuinely helpless to stop the play. At the same time, the defense had a handful of plays, including two interceptions by rookie first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Camp confidential: Jayrone Elliott’s three sacks in a four-snap span Saturday against St. Louis got him a promotion.
"I heard he's starting this weekend in front of me," four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews joked.
OK, not really. But the undrafted rookie free agent from Toledo did impress his coaches with his eight-snap performance – he now leads the NFL in preseason sacks with three – and as a result will get more opportunities on Friday against Oakland.
He’s also earned another honor: His teammates – like Matthews and fellow outside linebacker Julius Peppers – now know his name.
"Usually you walk around, and they'd be like, "What's up 91?' or something like that," said Elliott, who wears No. 91. “Then they started calling me by name and calling me 'Sackmaster.' So it's just fun to joke around with Clay and Pep, because you know Peppers never really talks to anybody, so it's fun to hear him talk."
Elliott was on the Packers’ radar before the draft, coming to Green Bay on his only preseason visit. He ended up signing with them despite interest from the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints and received a $5,000 signing bonus.
“He's just a young man that's really taken advantage of pretty much every opportunity he’s been given," McCarthy said. “I was excited to see him have success.”
Packers Playlist: "Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash, "Small Town Throwdown" by Brantley Gilbert with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett, and "Funny The Way It Is" by Dave Matthews Band were the three songs played during regeneration periods. Among the songs played during 11-on-11 periods as in-game noise were "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC, "King Nothing" by Metallica, "Machinehead" by Bush, "Cochise" by Audioslave, "On Top Of The World" by Imagine Dragons, "Down" by 311 and "Fever” by The Black Keys.
Injury report: TE Brandon Bostick, who suffered a lower leg injury in Saturday’s game at St. Louis, did not practice and will be out for “a couple weeks,” according to McCarthy. The first tight end snap with the Packers' No. 1 offense went to rookie third-round pick Richard Rodgers, and Jake Stoneburner lined up with him for the first snap with two tight ends.
Still sidelined were RB Rajion Neal (knee), TE Colt Lyerla (knee), LB Joe Thomas (knee), T Don Barclay (knee) and WR Jared Abbrederis (knee). DT Letroy Guion (hamstring) remained on the Non-Football Injury list although he had what seemed to be an intense workout at the Edward Jones Dome on Saturday.
They said it: “The sky’s not falling. We have two more weeks to get ready for the season. Derek Sherrod did a lot of good things. He had a couple plays that he obviously wished he could have back but I think we’re progressing fine there.” – McCarthy on the backup tackle position, where Sherrod, the former first-round pick, gave up a sack and two quarterback hits Saturday.
Practice schedule: The Packers practice at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in pads. Practice is open to the public, weather permitting.
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