The three rookie receivers of the Green Bay Packers had a mixed debut.
J'Mon Moore Jonathan Quick Jersey , Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown had their moments, but also showed room for improvement in the Green Bay Packers' 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
Valdes-Scantling, a fifth-round pick from South Florida, had the best game of the three, catching five passes for 101 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown from No. 4 quarterback Tim Boyle.
Brown, a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame, had four catches for 61 yards, including a slick 28-yard catch-and-run to help set up Valdes-Scantling's touchdown.
Moore, a fourth-round pick from Missouri, had the toughest game of the three, catching three passes for 27 yards and dropping what would have likely been a long touchdown pass. Valdes-Scantling also dropped a pass.
"I thought they did a really good job getting off the line of scrimmage," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday.
"I thought their releases and attacking leverage, the young guys, frankly John Miller Jersey , did better than some of the veterans (after watching) the video. But what do we do at the end of the route? Those are things that you just need live reps. Getting out of the cut, getting to the right breaking point, catching the ball."
As has been the case throughout camp, the young receiver who stole the show was Jake Kumerow.
He isn't a rookie. He's in his fourth training camp after two years on the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad and after spending time on the Packers' practice squad at the end of last season.
Kumerow, who has drawn praise from star quarterback Aaron Rodgers throughout camp, put an exclamation point on the game with a 52-yard touchdown catch from Boyle.
But while the 26-year-old Kumerow came from Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, he's had the advantage of NFL camp experience and has avoided the inconsistency the three rookie draft picks have exhibited.
That inconsistency drew Rodgers' ire late in the week after a particularly sloppy practice on Tuesday that McCarthy called "our worst practice of the year."
After that practice, Rodgers, who ran the scout-team offense because he wasn't going to play against the Titans, listed players who were doing things the right way, but left the three rookie receivers off that list.
While he never mentioned them by name, he left little doubt which players he was referring to for making repeated mistakes.
Valdes-Scantling had a leaping 51-yard catch on a deep pass by DeShone Kizer in the third quarter. He also made a nice in-the-air adjustment to pull down Boyle's pass on the touchdown, which gave the Packers a 24-10 lead with under four minutes left.
"Definitely. That's our leader," Valdes-Scantling said when asked if he took Rodgers' criticism to heart. "You've got a Hall of Fame quarterback over there, and if he's telling you that you're not doing it right Dwight Clark Jersey , you've got to change what you're doing. It's just that we've got to be pros all the time. Can't be pros for just three-fourths of practice, you've got to be it all the time. That was the only thing."
Moore's biggest disappointment came in the second half, on a deep ball from Boyle on third-and-8 from the Green Bay 35-yard line. While Moore did a terrific job of getting open on the go-route, he dropped the ball at the Titans 29-yard line. Had he caught it, it likely would have been a 65-yard touchdown.
"I'm going to move forward for sure," Moore said. "But it's definitely going to put a fire up underneath me and definitely have me dig deeper."
Salvador Perez started his fifth straight All-Star Game, though it was more for his reputation than what he’s done offensively this season.
That could be changing.
Perez homered, reliever Brian Flynn picked up the win with three scoreless innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 on Saturday night.
The Royals won back-to-back games for the first time since May 29-30.
Perez belted his 14th homer with Mike Moustakas aboard in the first. Perez hit a 2-2 pitch from Lance Lynn out to right, only his third opposite-field homer this season.
”That’s a sign,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”His bats tonight were fantastic. He was taking pitches, seeing the ball really well, getting in good hitter’s counts. That’s when he is starting to come out of it. He gets just a little less anxious and starts seeing the ball better, like he did tonight.
”I turned to (hitting coach) Terry Bradshaw and Pedro (Grifol, catching coach) and said, `He’s coming now. He’s going to get hot.’ “
Perez has 11 RBIs in his past seven games and is batting .303 in an eight-game hitting streak.
”I hit it good Geronimo Allison Jersey ,” Perez said. ”I’m closer to doing my best every day. It makes me feel better for the next day.”
Lynn (7-8) walked Alcides Escobar, Moustakas and Perez in the third to load the bases for Lucas Duda, who laced a run-producing single to left.
Joe Mauer led off the game with his 415th double, breaking a tie with Kirby Puckett to move into first place on the Twins’ career list. He scored on Eddie Rosario’s single.
”It means a lot to me, obviously, growing up in Minnesota,” Mauer said. ”The guy I passed I idolized as a kid. I told the guys in here after Molly (Paul Molitor) gave me the ball, that it was pretty special to see the boys acknowledge that on the top step of the dugout. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come.”
Lynn matched his career high with six walks and the Royals fouled off a plethora of pitches to hike his pitch count to 118 for five innings.
”It’s a little bit annoying, especially when everybody knows what you’re throwing and they can’t put it in play,” Lynn said. ”You’re like, `Let’s go.’ When I did make a pitch, they got a couple of runs on balls out of the zone that weren’t bad pitches.”
Jakob Junis, who was making his first start in 19 days after a stint on the disabled list with a bad back, held the Twins to one run and four hits while striking out six over four innings. He had lost his seven previous starts, one shy of the club record.
Flynn (2-1) replaced Junis and limited the Twins to one hit while striking out four.
Wily Peralta worked a spotless ninth for his third save in three chances.
Twins: DH-1B Logan Morrison (hip impingement) was activated from the disabled list after the game. The Twins optioned IF Willians Astudillo to Triple-A Rochester.
Royals: LHP Enny Romero was designated for assignment to make roster room for Junis. In four relief appearances with the Royals Womens Kareem Hunt Jersey , Romero had a 20.25 ERA.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (surgery, right middle finger) had his velocity top out at 90 mph and was working in the upper 80s in his Friday rehab start with Triple-A Rochester. ”A lot of emphasis is made about velocity, probably too much so,” Molitor said. ”The command was the highlight, the strike-throwing, getting the ball where he wanted.” Santana will throw a bullpen session Sunday with Rochester and a decision will be made on whether to give him another minor league start or have him start Wednesday in Toronto.
Royals: RHP Blaine Boyer (right lower back strain) threw a 26-pitch simulated game Saturday. ”He had life on his pitches, a good cutter,” Yost said. ”He’s making progress.” Boyer has not pitched since May 28. ”I felt free and loose,” Boyer said. Boyer said he hopes to begin a minor league rehab assignment soon. ”I need to get in a game and go,” he said. ”I’m getting anxious.”
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in six career starts against the Royals.
Royals: RHP Brad Keller, a Rule 5 pick from Arizona, will make his ninth start.
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