Running back Brandon Jackson learned a few lessons from the school of hard knocks, compliments of the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
The Jaguars, ranked fourth in the league against the run last season, held Jackson to 20 yards on 11 carries for a 1.8-yard average per carry. After averaging just over three yards a carry in his first two preseason games, Jackson hit a wall in the form of a tough Jacksonville front seven.
“I can learn from this,” said Jackson. “I have to have a better pad level and learn off the film. Learn things I can do better when they’re coming for the tackle.
“Tomorrow we put the film on, clean it up, then Tuesday, Wednesday we get back out there and get better.”
Though Jackson struggled running the ball, he did catch an 11-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to set up his own 1-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter. Jackson finished the game with four catches for 28 yards.
“I just try to help the team out in every way I can as far as catching and running and passing and blocking,” Jackson said. “Anything I can do to help the team win the ballgame.”
The Packers had 84 yards rushing against the Jaguars.
“They’re a physical football team in all three phases, particularly their run defense,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “We didn’t run the ball very well at all. They did some things to us early where we made some adjustments with the second group that panned out. We were able to run the ball at the end, but we need to do a better job.”
Bishop's hit stick
If middle linebacker Desmond Bishop is on the bubble of making the team, he may not be anymore. The rookie hit wide receiver Reggie Williams so hard during a play in the second quarter that Williams’ helmet flew off. Remarkably, Williams managed to hold onto the pass from quarterback Byron Leftwich for a four-yard gain to the Packers’ 37.
The hit provided a snapshot of Bishop’s progress thus far this preseason. Bishop has played behind starter Nick Barnett and has fended off Abdul Hodge, who also is in the running for the backup spot behind Barnett.
“I saw the receiver coming across and just timed it up,” said Bishop. “Instinct just took over. I came downhill, he threw it, and I made the play.”
Bishop took Williams helmet off again in the second half with another rough tackle after a 5-yard completion near the goal line.
Bishop played with the second team defense alongside between linebackers Tracy White and Spencer Havner and finished with a team-high five tackles.
Aside from Donald Driver’s foot injury, guard Jason Spitz left the game in the second quarter with a calf injury. Spitz’s injury is not serious, according to McCarthy.
Did not suit up
The following players did not suit up for the Packers due to injuries: wide receiver Shaun Bodiford (knee); running backs P.J. Pope (knee), Vernand Morency (knee) and DeShawn Wynn (knee); guard Tony Palmer (hamstring); offensive tackles Orrin Thompson (knee) and Tony Moll (stinger); and defensive ends DeVon Hicks (groin), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), and Mike Montgomery (knee).
Jacksonville did not play the following players due to injuries: defensive ends Jeremy Mincey, Brian Smith, and Paul Spicer; defensive tackle Tony McDaniel; center Brad Meester; guard Chris Naeole; safety Reggie Nelson; and linebackers Clint Ingram, Pat Thomas and Jorge Cordova.
Bishop’s Charities Game
The Packers hosted the 47th Bishop’s Charities game against the Jaguars, dating back to 1961. The event has raised about $3.25 million.
The Packers slipped to 24-22-1 all-time in the series and have lost five straight in the annual game.
? Coach Mike McCarthy said afterward that Will Blackmon will be the team’s punt return specialist, beginning Sept. 9 against Philadelphia. Blackmon likely will return kickoffs as well.
? The second offensive line included Junius Coston (left tackle), Allen Barbre (left guard), Tyson Walter (center), Adam Stenavich (right guard), and Travis Leffew (right tackle).
? Cornerback Jarrett Bush was the first cornerback off the bench for the team’s nickel defense package in the first quarter. Blackmon and Bush were the cornerbacks with the second-team defense.