Crowd Leaves Its Mark
For the newcomers to the Packers roster, Saturday night's Family Night festivities marked their first chance to take to the field at Lambeau in front of the home crowd.
By all accounts, the 60,000-plus fans in the stands for the intra-squad scrimmage left a big impression on the men down on the field.
The following is a sample of the Packers' reactions to the crowd, both from those hearing it for the first time and those who have been here for years.
Cornerback Ahmad Carroll: "It was good to get out there with my teammates and have the game feeling. To be out there and see all those fans was a wonderful feeling. I've never been at anything that wasn't a regular season game that was sold out. It's crazy."
Safety Marques Anderson: "The energy was flowing. With all those people, you couldn't help but get excited. The fans here are great. They just love this football team. Any time we get a chance to get out there and give them a taste, it feels great to me."
Quarterback Tim Couch: "It was like a game. There were fans tailgating when I got here at 1:00, and this was just a practice. The fans here are unbelievable. I expected that coming in, but they're just awesome to play for."
Wide receiver Javon Walker: "As far as the support, you can't describe it. Everybody can get 70,000 for games, but when you can get a crowd like this for a scrimmage, it's great. It makes the practice go by better. It makes the scrimmage go by better. Obviously it's something for the fans so we went out and played to the best of our ability to give them something they wanted to see."
Defensive coordinator Bob Slowik: "There's nowhere else in the NFL where someone could go to a scrimmage and wind up getting a feel like they're at a regular season game. These guys are a step ahead in that regard."
Big Playmakers Making Big Plays
Fans in attendance Saturday night caught a glimpse of the offensive firepower the 2004 Packers possess.
Brett Favre connected on passes of more than 30 yards with each of his top three receivers (37-yarder to Donald Driver, 33-yard pass to Javon Walker, 41-yarder to Robert Ferguson) during the intra-squad scrimmage, and the plan is for a lot more of the same when there are guys with different colored uniforms on the other side of the ball.
"This year's going to be a great year," Walker said. "Everyone knows we go up for the ball, that's our game. We've got three receivers who can run deep, and we've got three receivers who can make short plays happen. We've got three receivers who can turn 5 yard gains into big ones. It's real exciting to go into this season knowing what we can do and Brett knows he can go deep to us."
Walker knows that the hard work that he and the rest of the receiving corps are putting in during training camp will bear itself out on the field come September.
"It's just taking everything from practice and bringing it to the field," he said. We love to make plays. At any given time, a big play can change the game and that's what we're all about."
Boys & Girls Clubs Out In Force
20 buses full of members of local Boys & Girls Clubs converged on Lambeau Field from all over the state of Wisconsin Saturday carrying young Packers fans to see their heroes up close.
The Packers provided tickets to their 'Family Night' scrimmage, and with the assistance of the Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay, more than 1,000 children -- 1,200 including chaperones -- came from as far away as Superior to take part in the festivities.
More than 270 of the out-of-towners stayed in Green Bay overnight following the scrimmage and fireworks display, due to their great distance traveled to get to Lambeau.