The Packers wrapped up day two of training camp on Sunday, but day three is circled in the players calendars as the team's first padded practice.
“I just can't wait to hit them! I just can't wait to get the pads on, really get after it. And the best part about it, you see an attitude shift. Defensive guys are like yeah let's go! We can't wait for the pads to come on, we can't wait to hit, likewise offense guys are saying bring it! Cause we're going to bring it to you. That's what camp's all about,” Mike Daniels said.
“When you put the pads on man, you gotta embrace it, that's the first time in forever, half a year so just to be able to come up and tackle somebody,” said Datone Jones.
Mike Daniels says when he looks across the line tomorrow he won't see green and gold, instead he'll imagine the bears, vikings and lions. Yes he'll be hitting his teammates, but it’s about giving 100% to make each other better.
“I don't know if you have any siblings, I have a brother. And growing up my brother and I, we've gotten into some arguments that sometimes they turn physical. But God forbid anyone try to come up against my brother, that isn't my brother. So I guess what I'm saying with football is that you're going to fight with your brother, that's all there is to it. I think that builds a stronger bond, cause that way when an outsider comes in we all gang up on him,” Daniels explained.
Clay Matthews sat out the entire offseason recovering from his second thumb surgery so tomorrow's padded practice will be the first real glimpse at the Matthews-Julius Peppers tandem. The thought of two proven playmakers teaming up certainly isn't exciting for opposing offenses, but within the organization players are giddy thinking about the possibilities.
“It's a dream come true. You know you always hope for guys like that in front of you. We haven't had that type of tandem,” Tramon Williams said.
“Oh man I can't wait, the ball's going to come out fast. That definitely helps out the secondary. Just having guys up front that can get to the quarterback you know the ball's going to come out, the route's going to be quicker and I'm not saying you can sit on it or cheat but on some plays that's exactly what you can do,” Micah Hyde weighed in.
“Pretty dynamic guys you have coming off the edge there. I'm sure Coach Capers feels good about the multiple options you have when you have guys like that in and a bunch of guys even behind him that can play too. So I couldn't think of a better duo you'd want to put on the edge to rush the passer and make a guy uncomfortable than those two,” said A.J. Hawk.
“Clay has obviously been a force here and Julius is obviously a 100+ sack guy, 8+ pro bowls so just having those guys together on the same page and I think it's going to be real exciting,” said B.J. Raji.
Opposing offenses have always keyed in on Matthews, worried about his whereabouts at all times. Now with another dominant presence on the other side, offensive coordinators won't know where to focus their attention.
“You look around the league and you look at the tandems of pass rushers who have one on the left and one on the right and they definitely help increase their numbers, as well as the effectiveness of their defense. We're hoping this year's no different. There's a reason that we brought him in here to help create pressure on the quarterback, along with myself and the guys in the middle. You look at a lot of defenses that are pretty good in this league that have pass rushers that can get after the quarterback and get him off the spot and I think that was clearly evident in the Super Bowl this past year,” said Clay Matthews.