(WFRV) – The Packers should have one preseason game at Lambeau Field in the books. The key word, should.
With preseason games cancelled, the first chance for Matt LaFleur and his coaches to get a look at the new crop on the grass of Lambeau came on Thursday. That’s as the team held their first practice of training camp inside the stadium.
At the end of the day though, it’s still football.
“Our guys have got to understand and adapt to new environments. Whether we’re out at Nitschke or inside Lambeau, it’s still football,” said Matt LaFleur.
The game remains the same, but the atmosphere and intensity was different. Pumping in crowd noise and music gave it more of a game day feel for the players, and especially the rookies during their first chance to get on the field.
“You know, it was awesome. Just coming out of the tunnel, seeing it, it’s a lot bigger than I thought it was. Finally getting the first practice in there, it was a crazy feeling,” said quarterback Jordan Love.
“I mean I was excited, I was ready to go, but I’ve also never played at Lambeau. For me it was surreal being down there, padded up,” said running back AJ Dillon.
“Definitely a different feel. So, being comfortable and being able to get out there and make plays, earn the respect of my teammates, and make a name for myself, that’s really what I’m trying to do,” said tight end Josiah Deguara.
There was plenty of outside noise during the offseason to contend with, especially for first round pick Jordan Love. The rookie out of Utah State blocked out that noise in the lead up to camp. Then on Thursday he there was a different kind of noise to contend with, ambient crowd noise while running the two-minute drill.
“Been practicing them in the walk-thrus. Just practicing calling the plays in the no-huddle kind of tempo. So, that was kind of my first live go at it. Went pretty good. We were able to get into field goal range. Definitely felt comfortable in there,” said Love.
That experience on the field is valuable right now, but learning the playbook is a more important task at this point for a rookie quarterback.
“Trying to prepare myself to the best of my ability, because the more you understand the playbook, the plays, and what’s happening on the field, the more the game slows down,” said Love.
Whether you’re learning from Aaron Rodgers, or Aaron Jones, the key for rookies during camp is to continue that trend upward.
“Every practice can be kind of a roller coaster. There’s going to be some good and some bad. The biggest thing that these guys have to understand is they have to keep making strides and get better each day,” said LaFleur.
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