5 things learned at Packers training camp – July 27

2. The offense’s good first day was somewhat unexpected, given the injuries on that side of the ball.

The Packers are without their two best offensive linemen (David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins), a top tight end (Robert Tonyan), and two receivers with big aspirations (Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson), yet functioned just fine, which Rodgers took as a good sign.

“I like what we did Day 1, and you look around and you realize at some point 85’s going to be back and 69 will back and 74 will be back … there’s a lot of guys that’s going to add to this mix, so we’re going to build,” Rodgers said. “I felt coming into camp, to be honest, we were going to get our butts kicked most days because our defense is talented and deep and athletic. It’s one of the best defenses on paper that we’ve had, but I told those chumps, ‘1-0 offense.'”

Rodgers cautioned the offense’s success will be difficult to replicate on a daily basis against defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s unit, but any upcoming struggles will be valuable to battle through as well.

“The offense is going to take some lumps – especially when the pads go on, I think,” Rodgers said. “Because our defensive line is pretty stout. And I think we need that. We need to go against a top-notch defense every single day and kind of get it handed to us.

“Today was definitely an offensive day, but we’re going to take our lumps, and I look forward to that because it’s going to build some character I think, through the adversity we have to face as an offense after some of the pieces that we don’t have right now.”

3. Bakhtiari is making no promises, but he’s doing better than at this time last year.

Bakhtiari’s long rehab and recovery, which has included multiple surgeries since the original ACL injury in late 2020, has been “a nightmare” for the five-time All-Pro left tackle.

Little has gone according to plan, and he’s had to manage a lot of frustrations in his efforts to get healthy again. He told reporters he’s no longer dealing with the ACL but other issues in his knee, though he’s optimistic everything may finally be on the right track.

“Everyone loves timelines. When I’m ready, I’ll be out there, and what I can say is I do feel really good,” he said. “I feel normal. My knee feels normal and that’s the biggest plus. Now it’s just getting that normal feeling again when I play football, so that’s what it is – the load, stress, strength.”

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