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, at the end of the day the Green Bay Packers will have conducted seven open practices so far in their 2018 training camp. Not counting Family Night tomorrow, the team has 14 such practices this summer, meaning that the unofficial halfway point of camp is already here.Of course, preseason games have not yet begun, but when they do — less than one week from now — the Packers begin to practice privately inside the Don Hutson Center to install gameplans. It is for that reason that the next four weeks feature just seven open practices compared to seven over the last week and a half.In those open sessions, Packers fans will hope to see more plays like the one Aaron Rodgers made on Thursday. With just seconds remaining in a two-minute drill period and facing a fourth down from the 26-yard line, Rodgers drew a defensive player offside before unleashing an absurd touchdown pass to Geronimo Allison while still looking to the opposite side of the field. Based on media descriptions of the play, it’s the kind of snap that would be talked about for decades if it happened in a game. Here’s hoping that the team eventually releases video of it sometime.For now, however, we’ll have to remain content with updates from Packers media as the team takes the field at 11:15 AM. Follow below and discuss in the comments!Practice Updates from Packers MediaTweets from https://twitter.com/TexWestern/lists/packers-newsInstant
classic may be just the start of a Packers-Bears rivalry reawakening Dating back to 2011, the Green Bay Packers have won 15 of their last 17 games against the Chicago Bears. In a decade in which the Minnesota Vikings have played the Packers competitively, even winning four of the last five meetings, it’s easy to forget sometimes that the Bears are considered Green Bay’s biggest rival. But after an improbable 24-23 Packers win last Sunday, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the NFL’s most-played rivalry is close to being competitive and reawakened.For starters, the hype around the Bears from their fan base is as strong as it’s been in quite a long time. Throughout Lambeau Field Jaire Alexander Jersey
, there were more “Let’s go Bears” chants heard through television Sunday night than this author can remember. Combined with a chorus of “Go Pack Gos” that would not be outdone during an intense comeback, Bears-Packers football was must-see TV. Changes undergone by both franchises may help ensure that trait continues for years to come.The Packers, no longer content with just making the playoffs, made widespread coaching changes in the offseason and hired a new General Manager in Brian Gutekunst. They signed Aaron Rodgers to a “lifetime deal” while revamping a porous defense. To the south, Chicago has pretty much gone all-in over the past two offseasons, sacrificing draft collateral to grab key pieces in Mitch Trubisky and Khalil Mack. With these moves comes excitement and increased expectations. The Bears also tabbed Matt Nagy as the leader of their new movement.A season of growth a year ago in Chicago received an unexpected lift in the form of Mack earlier this month, who is set to create havoc for Aaron Rodgers and irritation for Packers fans through at least the 2024 season. The league’s highest-paid players squaring off against each other directly for the considerable future is sure to heighten the bad blood and affect outcomes, as Mack almost single-handedly did last week. But a once-feared Bears defense that dropped significantly back in the pack after the departures of players like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Charles Tillman has more reasons for optimism than just Mack. Second-year safety Eddie Jackson stepped into the starting lineup a year ago after falling in the draft and is a blooming star in the secondary. With the athletic but inconsistent Leonard Floyd on the opposite edge from Mack and Akiem Hicks destroying interior offensive lines (ask Justin McCray), the defensive front is one of the strongest in the league. Oh yeah, and first round pick Roquan Smith recorded a sack on his first professional snap after a long rookie holdout. Adding to the defense and rivalry is Kyle Fuller, a cornerback the Packers clearly valued after briefly signing him to an offer sheet this summer. Though he had a rocky game against Green Bay in week one, he has become a Pro Bowl-caliber defender and is paid like one after Packer management forced the Bears’ hand in giving Fuller a long-term deal. Whether purposefully or not, Brian Gutekunst wasted little time in competing with a divisional rival for talent.Offensively Authentic Josh Jackson Jersey
, the Bears are a work in progress but have shown flashes of development. Trubisky had an eye-popping first half with the help of Nagy, a creative playcaller. Though the second-year quarterback dropped off in the second half, his first series of the game was the kind of statement drive that made Packers fans collective let out a “whoa.” Even as a glorified game manager, Trubisky has the talent around him to succeed that other former Bears quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton have not.With a true thunder-lightning tandem in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, Chicago also has a 1-2 punch on the ground that it hasn’t really had since the 2006 days of Cedric Benson and Thomas Jones that gave Green Bay fits. With a Brandon Marshall-like weapon at receiver in Allen Robinson, the Bears are close to becoming a balanced, efficient offense not seen since the 2010 season that ended at the hands of the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.While the Bears still will not be favored to make the playoffs in 2018, the possibility is becoming more realistic for the very near future. Like the Milwaukee Brewers knocked on the Chicago Cubs’ door last season before walking in this year, the Bears are beginning to even out the talent level in a similar timeline and fashion. As a Packers fan, one finds this trend rather frightening yet entertaining. A rise from the Bears makes the road to the Super Bowl tougher and filled with more drama and misery than needed. But the emotional ties to this border battle game that were once felt in a childhood with troublesome Bears players like Urlacher, the A-Train, and Marty Booker have subsided. As a more experienced Packers fan mentioned privately:Packers-Bears should never be just another game on the schedule. And with another exhilarating chapter in the series last week and a talented crop of newcomers on both sides, the twice-a-year meeting is on its way to becoming a true rivalry once more.
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