Watson gets more work as Packers prepare for joint practices

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -On Sunday three key guys came off the PUP list, but Monday, for the first time this training camp, Elgton Jenkins, Robert Tonyan and Christian Watson were out there participating in 11 on 11 drills.

Yes, it was just a jog-through, but right away Aaron Rodgers targeting both Tonyan and Watson. A lot of balls were going to Watson, trying to build that chemistry with him and get him up to speed.

“He’s been telling me, he’s going to be hard on me. Make mistake now so they don’t happen in the season,” the rookie receiver who is back from knee surgery said. “To be able to go out there and learn from those things but also have the positive things as well.”

“A lot of talent, can play ball, big dude, can run, which is very rare,” veteran receiver Sammy Watkins said. “Just to see him out there now, he’s starting to see himself back. I’m pretty sure he’s going to catch on quick and be the guy he was in OTAs.”

“It’s been killing him to be out. He talks about it all the time. He’s always locked in, taking mental reps, always at all the meetings, so he’s been around,” fellow rookie receiver Samori Toure said. “He’s really happy to be back out there and we’re really happy to see him back out there.”

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READY FOR JOINT PRACTICES

Monday’s practice was the calm before the storm that is to come this week: joint practices with the Saints. There’s varying opinions on this, but it’s a chance for these guys, especially the veterans who don’t play in preseason, to go up against other teams.

“Sometimes I’ve been around and there has been craziness going on, and I’m not all with that. But if you’re competing and we’re getting in good work, and playing within the rules of football, then I like it, I love it,” Watkins said. “I’ve been a part of two of them and they’ve been fun. You kind of know every camp, something stupid is going to happen.”

While Watkins wasn’t in Green Bay the last two times the Packers held joint practices, he’s right. They can get chippy, like 2019 with the Texans. Or they can be injury-filled, like 2021 when several Jets went down.

Still, it’s an exciting, new experience for the rookies.

“I’m looking forward to it. I obviously kept up with the NFL so I’ve seen videos of it. I always thought it was cool so I’m excited for it,” Toure said.

“I’ve heard a lot about joint practice. I’m going into my first one, I’m not worried about what they have to show us,” rookie Romeo Doubs said. “I mean all it is is just preparation throughout the week.”

“We’ve done this the last couple years, so you kind of have like a format and we tweak it every time,” LaFleur said. “Certainly if there are things that Dennis (Allen) wants then we accommodate, and vice versa. It should be good work the next two days.”

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NEW JUGS MACHINE

But really the star of the show Monday was the shiny, brand new JUGS machine. Matt LaFleur said a few weeks back that he was not happy with with what he had, so now it’s a new toy.

The Packers are the first NFL team to try out what they’re calling “The Seeker”. It’s a one month trial, but so far it’s been very impressive. The computer in this machine can release balls exactly how different quarterbacks throw them so receivers can not only practice catches but also the routes.

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ROSTER CUTS STARTING

The first of the roster cuts are happening. By Tuesday, the Packers have to get down to 85 players. They’ve already released OLB Randy Ramsey, C Cole Schneider and CB Donte Vaughn.

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