Five benefits of the Packers’ decision to train with the New York Jets during training camp
The Green Bay Packers have announced they will host two joint practices with the New York Jets on August 18.e and 19e during training camp this year. Both teams have a pre-season game scheduled at Lambeau Field on August 21st.
NFL teams hold joint workouts almost every year during training camp, although none have taken place in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last time the Packers hosted joint practices with another team was in 2019 when they had joint sessions with the Houston Texans. There was some tension there as Packers rookie tight end Jace Sternberger suffered a concussion after a vicious blow from Houston DB Lonnie Johnson. After that, tensions between the two teams were high.
There are obvious connections between the Packers and the Jets this season. Robert Saleh, the Jets ‘new head coach, worked at Central Michigan with the Packers’ Matt LaFleur and Saleh helped LaFleur find a job with the Texans in 2008.
In addition, Mike LaFleur, the brother of the head coach of the Packers, is the offensive coordinator of the Jets.
Here are five benefits of holding joint practices with the Jets at training camp this year:
- He breaks the monotony of training camp
Let’s start with the basics. Training camp can be very monotonous. Day after day you face the same players, your own teammates, and perform mostly the same drills.
It is hot in July and August and after a few days the routine becomes repetitive.
By bringing in another team, you break the routine, hit the reset button and give players a different experience. This will usually help make players a bit more mindful as they are dealing with something a little different for a change.
- It provides different matches for players and coaches
During training camp, players face the same group of players match after match. For example, Jaire Alexander, the Packers’ top cornerback, will line up against the first string attack and occasionally against the second or third group of strings. But even so, Alexander will face the same half-dozen receivers in training day after day.
He could face Davante Adams and that would be the biggest challenge. He will also occasionally line up against an undrafted free agent who may be a less difficult opponent. But when you go up against the same players day in and day out, you can’t learn a lot about a player.
Calling in a different team gives each Packers player a chance to see what they can do against a different group of opponents. Players are less familiar with the guys they line up against. Players and coaches can now compete against another group of players and see how they fare against them. This forces players to make certain adjustments and gives the coaching staff a new look at how their players are performing.
- The intensity of the practice increases
Football is a physical game and an intense game. However, there can be a little less intensity when you go up against teammates day after day in training. Sure, occasional fights can break out, but for the most part players aren’t trying to hurt their teammates.
It changes a bit when you bring another team into the mix. The level of practice intensity tends to increase when you present players who are no longer working towards the same goals as you.
Inevitably, a player on the opposing team does something you don’t like and grudges are born. The level of intensity of the practice increases. If it’s a particularly hot day, temperaments can falter and teams can get a little too emotional.
Increasing the intensity halfway through training camp is usually a positive thing and helps keep things fresh for the players.
- The intensity of the game will be higher
While we missed them last year, let’s face it, most preseason games aren’t exactly football at its all-time high. However, by meeting the opposing team in training twice a few days before the game, you increase the level of rivalry between the two teams that face off in August.
Anytime you can make preseason games (the league hates the term exhibition games) more entertaining, that’s a good thing.
- Not giving much to an AFC team
While teams usually stick to the basics in joint practices, they give coaches and players a chance to see how certain formations and play calls work against another team.
The fact that the Jets are an AFC team that the Packers won’t face in the 2021 season (unless they meet in the Super Bowl, don’t laugh) means they can play. those games against the Jets without giving anything to opposing coaches. This gives coaches more of what they can try to measure and note than a typical practice would.
This may be a minor advantage, but it’s still a positive.