The Green Bay Packers held their last public practice before their Monday night preseason opener Saturday, and it was one of the better attended workouts of the summer, both outside the fence at Clarke Hinkle Field and in terms of player participation.
Approximately 1,800 spectators turned out under the blue skies to see nearly every eligible Packer take part in the two-hour practice, wearing helmets and shorts. Linebackers Na'il Diggs and Tyreo Harrison returned to the practice field after a few days out of action.
Cornerback Al Harris and quarterback Tim Couch took part in some aspects of the workout, but GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman held them back from full activity to rest their sore hip and arm, respectively.
Linebacker Marcus Wilkins and safety Curtis Fuller were back on the field after being shaken up during Friday morning's practice.
Harris made the most of his limited time on the field Saturday, as he jumped a Scottie Vines out route during 1-on-1 WR/DB drills and caught the ball as he dragged his feet just inside the sideline for an interception.
Ahman Green was moving at full speed during the 9-on-7 run exercise, as he took a toss to the left, sprinted around the corner and raced up the sideline past the defense.
Brett Favre opened up a full team drill with a long 40-plus yard pass to Javon Walker down the middle of the field. The two nearly connected again on a long ball two plays later, but the ball fell just out of Walker's grasp.
Doug Pederson was at the helm of the second offensive unit, as Couch rested and Craig Nall is still getting up to speed after missing a week of practice.
Safety Darren Sharper continued his stellar training camp performance as he proved to be a thorn in the side of quarterback Scott McBrien on consecutive plays. Sharper first reached in to swat away a pass that McBrien had intended for Vines. The veteran defender cut in front of Steve Bush and intercepted a pass that the left-hander threw while rolling to his right.
Najeh Davenport broke a run for a big gain on a counter play through the left side of the line.
Offensive coordinator Tom Rossley opened up his bag of tricks again and Walker threw a perfect strike to Donald Driver 30 yards down the field on a reverse pass.
Fullback Kris Briggs found himself matched up with linebacker Jermaine Taylor one-on-one, and took advantage of the situation. Briggs beat the defender down the sideline and Pederson lofted a pass that landed squarely in his hands.
During the 7-on-7 portion of the practice, Michael Hawthorne got in between Nall and Carl Ford to knock down a pass.
Wide receiver Shockmain Davis owned the drill, as he scored three touchdowns. The first came as he ran a fade pattern and was wide open following a Nall pump-fake that fooled the defense. Davis then caught another scoring pass on the right side of the field, and another on a slant route.
Hawthorne made his presence felt again as he jumped a slant route being run by Reggie Love to snare an interception.
Favre hit tight end Bubba Franks for a score in a goal line drill, but the defense soon countered with a play of their own. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and Hannibal Navies broke into the backfield and stopped Dahrran Diedrick for a three-yard loss.
Back in the full-team session that would bring the practice to a close, Favre again threw deep to Walker, this time for a 30-yard TD as the receiver juggled the ball before hauling it in at the goal line. The 14-year veteran then hit Donald Driver on a TD pass on the opposite side of the field, drawing a cheer from the audience.
Linebacker Paris Lenon was not fooled by a screen pass later in the drill, as he swooped into the backfield to stop Briggs for a loss.
Newly-converted cornerback Chris Day seems to be acclimating himself to his new position nicely, and he made a nice play to break up a pass that Pederson had intended for Sam Breeden.
Pederson later put a little too much air under a pass toward the sideline, and Jason Horton jumped in the air and sprinted in the other direction after picking off the ball.
Davis closed out the day's activities with a big gain as Pederson hit him down the middle of the field on about a 40-yard pass.
In injury news, Sherman said that receiver Robert Ferguson strained his hamstring during practice and would be evaluated later in the day. Offensive lineman Scott Wells sat out with a biceps injury, but the coach thinks he'll be ready to play Monday.
The Packers will hold a closed practice Sunday inside of Lambeau Field in preparation for Monday's contest.
The next public practice is scheduled for Wednesday at Clarke Hinkle Field, running from 1:45-3:45 p.m. (pads).
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 77°, sunny
Did Not Participate: Ja'Dae McGuire (abdominal strain), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Joey Thomas (knee), Donnell Washington (arch), and Chris Watson (hamstring).
Physically Unable to Perform List: Mike Flanagan (knee tendinitis), Chris Johnson (stress fracture), Mike Wahle (knee contusion),
Non-Football Injury List: Brennan Curtin (boil)
Reserve/Did Not Report List: Mike McKenzie