Notebook: Defense puts heat on offense

The playbook is installed; injury list is lengthy; tickets are available for preseason opener; veteran treatment and much more from Friday night.

The bad news was the offense had a rough practice on Friday night.

The good news was, well, the offense had a rough practice on Friday night.

"Frankly, it's kind of good for them to get punched in the mouth," coach Mike McCarthy said. "They had three or four good practices in a row."

The Packers finished their offensive and defensive installations — meaning the playbook is in place and the team is "ready to play a game," as McCarthy put it. The offense focused on the red zone and the defense turned loose its pressure packages. Not surprisingly, the offense sputtered.

"I think it's great film," McCarthy said. "I thought defensively, it was outstanding. I really liked the way they were disguising their pressures. We were probably 80 or 85 percent in pressure in the team snaps. Offensively, it put us in a ton of bad spots. It's really great film, because we saw everything tonight."

The defense threw several exotic blitzes at Aaron Rodgers and the quarterbacks — including one so off the wall that we're not allowed to report it. Because it was the first time the offense had worked against so much pressure, the offense moved the ball in fits and starts. That was expected, McCarthy said, although it didn't excuse the number of dropped passes, pre-snap penalties and a fumbled snap by Rodgers.

"Game plan-wise, you probably wouldn't have ran a number of these things against those defenses," McCarthy said. "Not making excuses for the offense because, once again, it's quality film of being in a bad spot, how to handle hots (hot reads against blitzes), how to handle your protection adjustments. Performance was not very good by the offense, no doubt about that."

Role call

The injury list was lengthy for the night practice. Out were offensive linemen Scott Wells (trunk), Orrin Thompson (ankle) and Junius Coston (back), the usual list of defensive linemen Kabeer Gbaja-Biamlia (knee), Justin Harrell (back) and Ryan Pickett (hamstring) now includes rookie end Jeremy Thompson (slight stinger) and Johnny Jolly (hip flexor), safeties Charlie Peprah (hamstring) and Aaron Rouse (hip flexor), running back Vernand Morency (groin), receivers Jake Allen (groin) and Greg Jennings (knee soreness) and running back Ryan Grant (hamstring).

Veteran treatment

It's good to be a veteran. Early in practice, Tramon Williams drilled Chris Francies as Francies caught a pass from Rodgers. Later, Atari Bigby could have lit up Donald Driver on a skinny post from Rodgers.

Tickets available

The Packers announced Friday evening that there are tickets available for Monday's preseason opener against Cincinnati. A few hundred tickets were returned to the Packers by the Bengals. To get a seat, go to

Quick hits

— Rookie cornerback Patrick Lee intercepted two passes and almost had a third. Both of the interceptions were thrown by Rodgers. The second was the play of the night, with Lee breaking up a pass to rookie Brett Swain, the ball bouncing off of a falling Swain and up to the waiting hands of Lee.

— Rodgers also was intercepted by Will Blackmon. Defensive tackle Alfred Malone batted the ball at the line of scrimmage.

— Malone has a knack for battling down balls. He might be in a roster battle with Conrad Bolston, who went 3-for-3 in one-on-one pass-rushing drills. Defensive tackle Colin Cole, a run stopper, went 2-for-2, as did offensive tackle Tony Moll. Guard Ryan Considine, on the other hand, went 0-for-3, including getting whipped on a swim move by Daniel Muir.

— There were a ton of dropped passes, including two by Jordy Nelson and one each by DeShawn Wynn (he had a drop in the morning, too), Ruvell Martin, Johnny Quinn, Kregg Lumpkin and Swain. Jarrett Bush dropped a couple of interceptions.

Mason Crosby made all four field-goal attempts, including a 48-yarder. Punter Jon Ryan threw two passes on field goals — presumably fire (bad snap) drills — completing one.

— Just an observation: At least twice, Rodgers telegraphed his slant routes. He completed both, but that's dangerous. On the other side of the coin, Rodgers used a great pump fake to get tight end Donald Lee open.

— The No. 1 kickoff return tandem was Tramon Williams and Blackmon, with a wedge of Jason Hunter, Allen Barbre and Michael Montgomery. The No. 2 return tandem of Nelson and Brandon Jackson had a wedge of Malone, Daryn Colledge and Jermichael Finley.

— A source with access to the NFL's transaction wire said cornerback Condrew Allen was released. He had been placed on injured reserved, but was released with an injury settlement.

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at

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