Crowds continue to grow at Packers practices leading up to Saturday's Family Night, where an expected 60,000-plus fans will fill Lambeau Field.
Over 2,000 spectators turned out for Friday's double session standing as many as five deep in some sections along the fences at Clarke Hinkle Field.
The morning session got underway and the 9-on-7 drill started the popping of the pads along the line of scrimmage. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said following the workout that you can usually tell what the mood of the practice will be based on the 9-on-7, and Friday's drill set the tone for a sharp session.
Linebacker Torrance Marshall broke into the backfield to stop Najeh Davenport, drawing a reaction from his position coach Mark Duffner.
Middle backer Nick Barnett showed good speed, making plays sideline-to-sideline. Second year defensive tackle Kenny Peterson topped off the defensive highlights of the drill, stopping Ahman Green for a loss of three yards.
Toward the other end of the field, Darren Sharper continued his fine camp performance in 1-on-1 coverage drills. The safety drew a cheer from the crowd as he picked off a Doug Pederson pass, stepping in front of Chris Day much to the audience's approval.
A period of special teams followed, with Sharper, Antonio Chatman, Carl Ford and Robert Ferguson taking turns fielding punts. Rookie defensive lineman Ja'Dae McGuire broke through the middle of the line to block a kick off the right foot of Nathan Chapman.
Sherman called the team to the middle of the field mid-way through practice and subsequently the team broke into a period of simulated game situations.
Safety Mark Roman returned after missing Thursday's practice with an ankle injury and worked with the first-team defense. Rookie Ahmad Carroll worked at left cornerback opposite Al Harris, with Michael Hawthorne out with an ankle injury of his own.
Brett Favre led the first-team offense down the field against the first defense, hitting Javon Walker with consecutive passes for first downs. Robert Ferguson was on the receiving end of a Favre bullet for a touchdown on a slant pattern. Ryan Longwell came on and kicked the extra point through the uprights, over the fence and across Packer Drive.
Pederson captained the second-team offense to a TD on the next possession. A corner blitz didn't reach the 12-year veteran and Chatman slipped behind the secondary to outrun the defense for a 55-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline.
Tim Couch sat out the full-team activities with soreness in his arm, and rookie southpaw Scott McBrien joined the third-team offense to try to continue the touchdown streak. He completed a first down pass to Sam Breeden, with the lanky receiver making a leaping catch in front of Carroll on a 12-yard out. The defense quelled the drive at the 30-yard line, and Longwell's 48-yard field goal try hit the crossbar and fell short.
Highlights of the 1-on-1 lineman drills included Aaron Kampman using a speed rush to get the better of Mark Tauscher, while first-year man Cullen Jenkins fought past Mitch White on consecutive occasions.
The Packers returned to full-team activity toward the end of the morning, and Ahman Green delivered a blow to cornerback Chris Watson, giving him a taste of what the rest of the league faces on a weekly basis. Watson wasn't down long, though, as he came to the line and tackled Green on the very next play.
The final touchdown of the session was vintage Favre as he scrambled to his right and hit Walker for a 56-yard score. Defenders on the sideline were pleading for a holding call, but none of the four members of referee Jeff Triplette's crew obliged with a flag.
Players left their shoulder pads in the locker room for the afternoon practice, and Favre was given a rest, joining Couch and Craig Nall (hamstring) on the sidelines.
Pederson led the first-team offense for the first time in camp and completed a series of short passes. He also faced some pressure as Barnett and Larry Smith got a good pass rush up the middle on a play.
In a goal line set, McBrien raced around the left end on a bootleg and outran fellow rookie Corey Williams to the pylon for a touchdown.
Carroll showed a burst of speed in a kickoff return drill, blowing by the coverage along the right side and drawing a cheer from the onlookers.
Practice ended with a run-through of the two-minute drill. Linebacker Na'il Diggs and defensive end Kampman gave the defense a victory when they met Tony Fisher in the backfield on fourth-and-one to stop the drive.
In injury news, cornerback Jason Horton missed the afternoon workout after suffering a blow to the head in the morning session. Defensive end Chukie Nwokorie sat out the day's second practice with a hamstring injury.
The Packers will practice once on Saturday, heading under the lights of Lambeau Field for Family Night at 7:00 p.m. The team will return to Clarke Hinkle Field Sunday afternoon, donning pads for the day's lone workout, scheduled to run from 2:45-4:40 p.m.
Where: Clarke Hinkle Field
Weather: 79 degrees, sunny
Did Not Participate: Brennan Curtin (groin boil), Mike Flanagan (knee tendonitis), Bubba Franks (illness), Michael Hawthorne (ankle), Grady Jackson (swollen knee), Chris Johnson (stress fracture), Mike McKenzie (reserve/did not report list), Craig Nall (hamstring), Joey Thomas (knee sprain), Forest Vance (knee), Mike Wahle (knee contusion), and James Whitley (blow to head).