Sunday, August 4, 2013
Packers: Lacy impresses, Crosby struggles
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It’s one thing to gain yards when there are yards to be had. It’s another to get yards when running room is nonexistent.
Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy did both in Saturday Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field. The latter is why general manager Ted Thompson used a second-round pick (No. 61 overall) to take Lacy.
Unofficially, Lacy carried seven times for 62 yards during the scrimmage. Some of the loudest cheers of the night from the crowd of 63,047 (a Family Night record) came when the 5-foot-11, 230-pound Lacy had gains of 16 and 20 yards.
“The offensive line did a great job, and I pressed the block the way I was coached to press it and stretch the defense,” Lacy said. “The linemen made their blocks, and I was able to cut up field and get big yards.”
More impressive, however, were a couple of shorter runs later in the scrimmage because Lacy made the yards on his own. For example, on an 8-yard gain, he made defensive tackle Jordan Miller miss and then carried linebacker Sam Barrington for an extra couple of yards. On the next play, a second-and-2, he pushed the pile for a 4-yard gain.
To be sure, most of Lacy’s yardage came against a collection of second- and third-string players, but he ran with the kind of power and elusiveness the Packers have been missing from their running game the past few years.
Kicking woes: Mason Crosby’s struggles from last season have not gone away. The seventh-year kicker made just 2-of-6 field goals in a head-to-head kicking period (and was just 3-of-8 for the night) against challenger Giorgio Tavecchio (who went 5-6 in that period and 6-of-7 overall).
Crosby, the NFL’s worst kicker last season at 63.6 percent, missed from 33, 36, 43, 48 and 53 yards. He converted from 40, 47 and 51.
When asked if last year entered his mind, Crosby said: “No, I’m way past that” but added that his performance was “unacceptable, and I’ve got to do better.”
Said coach Mike McCarthy: “He definitely didn’t take a step in the right direction with his performance. That’s what the Family Night scrimmage is for. It’ll be evaluated. He’s definitely got to do better than that, because that’s not going to cut it.”
While Tavecchio’s accuracy was good, his leg strength appeared to be an issue. He narrowly made a 51-yarder, and his 53-yarder went through only after it hit the crossbar. His lone miss came on a 47-yarder.
“I’d like to think I have a little bit more than 53,” Tavecchio said when asked about his range. “I felt like I got a little bit under the ball and lifted it up. I got a good trajectory, but on a 53 yarder you’ve got to get it there first.”
Quarterback competition: Graham Harrell got the better of the backup quarterback competition in large part because of B.J. Coleman’s turnovers.
Coleman threw a pair of interceptions, one that cornerback James Nixon returned 66-yards for a touchdown. Coleman tried to throw an out to Jeremy Ross, and Nixon jumped it. He probably would have picked it off even if Ross hadn’t slipped on his route.
Then Coleman committed one of the cardinal sins of quarterbacking -- he threw an interception in the end zone when cornerback Brandon Smith played inside leverage against Ross and was in perfect position.
Unofficially, Coleman was 9-of-18 passing for 100 yards and the two interceptions.
Meanwhile, Harrell led one touchdown drive that he capped with a 16-yard pass to running back Angelo Pease, and unofficially finished 9-for-12 for 88 yards with no interceptions.
Odds and ends: In his only series of the night, starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers led a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in which he completed 4-of-6 passes for 63 yards. He threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end D.J. Williams… Ross took the first reps as both the punt returner and kickoff returner. … First-round pick Datone Jones would have had a sack had players been allowed to tackle the quarterback … Marshall Newhouse started at right tackle, but rookie David Bakhtiari replaced him midway through the first series.
Medical report: Cornerback Tramon Williams said he’s still awaiting word on all the medical opinions on his injured knee, but doesn’t believe surgery will be necessary. He said tests showed bruising but no tears, but he wasn’t certain whether he would play in any of the preseason games.
Tight end Ryan Taylor (leg) was the only injury McCarthy reported from the scrimmage.
Others who did not dress for the scrimmage were WRs Jordy Nelson (knee), Sederrik Cunningham (wrist), Kevin Dorsey (leg), Charles Johnson (knee); RB DuJuan Harris (knee); S Sean Richardson (neck); CB Casey Hayward (hamstring); CB Tramon Williams (knee); S David Fulton (knee); OLB Dezman Moses (toe); LB Jamari Lattimore (illness); OL JC Tretter (ankle); DE Mike Neal (abdominal); T Derek Sherrod (leg); TE Andrew Quarless; and DE Jerel Worthy (knee).
What’s next: Sunday is an off day followed by a practice on Monday that is closed to the public.