Rookie Damarious Randall makes immediate impact on Packers' defense

Cornerback Damarious Randall is showing in preseason why the Packers selected him at No. 30 overall. Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Another game, another impressive performance for the Green Bay Packers' young cornerbacks.

This time, first-round pick Damarious Randall got into the act. After missing the preseason opener because of a groin injury, Randall made his preseason debut Sunday at Pittsburgh and wasted little time showing why the Packers picked him at No. 30 overall.

On the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Randall made a leaping interception on an underthrown deep ball from Steelers third-string quarterback Landry Jones for Martavis Bryan. It was the highlight of a 34-snap stint for Randall that could have been even longer had he not needed a break for IV fluids to treat cramping.

"It was very, very exciting," Randall said. "Once I [saw] the ball, I knew the receiver was 6-5, I was like, 'I need to go up and go get this ball.' Either I was going to go up or he was going to go up and get it. I just went up, and I made the play."

Randall also was credited with three tackles, although he did appear to get caught out of position on the Steelers' first touchdown, a 5-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Markus Wheaton.

Undrafted rookie LaDarius Gunter turned in his second straight strong showing. He broke up three passes a week after he picked off a pass in his preseason debut against the Patriots.

"He's competitive; he's always scrapping for the ball," coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. "I thought he had a fine pass defense down there in the end zone. I think he's one of those guys you look for to take step from week one to week two, and I think he, by initial reaction, took a step today."

Here are the defensive snap counts from Sunday's 24-19 loss to the Steelers (see of the offensive breakdown here):

Total defensive plays (74)

Defensive line

Notes: Gaston and Jones recorded two of the Packers' three sacks. Gaston could be the beneficiary of pending suspension for Jones (one game) and Guion (possibly three games). He was credited with two QB hits. Without starting defensive tackle Mike Daniels (ankle), Pennel started along with Raji and Boyd.


Notes: Without Clay Matthews (knee, elbow) and Nick Perry (groin), Palmer and Barrington started at inside linebacker with Peppers and Neal (who made his preseason debut) on the outside. Peppers was credited with a sack, but it appeared he should have shared it with Neal. Ryan was the first sub at inside linebacker with Elliott and Mulumba as the No. 2 outside combination.

Defensive backs

Notes: With Morgan Burnett (personal reasons) out, Hyde started at safety along with Clinton-Dix, while Hayward and Shields opened at the cornerback spots. Randall and Rollins then alternated series after Shields' day was done. Rollins also played in the slot in the nickel package.