The Green Bay Packers stepped out under the lights and took to the turf at Lambeau Field, holding their annual intra-squad scrimmage Saturday night.
'Family Night, Presented by Fox 11' returned after a two-year pause during the redevelopment of Lambeau Field and was a hit with players and fans alike. A record 60,216 turned out for the event, many getting their first look around Lambeau Field since the renovation of the stadium.
The action on the field was highlighted by the play of the offense, as is usually the case just one week into training camp. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman put more of an emphasis on the passing game for the practice following Friday's run-game dominated workout.
Quarterback Brett Favre was the star of the show as he has been so many times in this stadium, firing passes all over the field and connecting on 21-of-27 passes for 249 yards over the course of the practice.
The scrimmage began with the first team offense taking the field against the second-string defense. Favre and company took possession at their own 30-yard line and were in the end zone a mere four plays later.
The first play of the night saw Donald Driver streak down the left sideline and climb over cornerback Jason Horton for a 37-yard catch. Two plays later, Favre hit Javon Walker on a post pattern for 33-yards down to the one. William Henderson capped the drive catching a dart from Favre in traffic in the middle of the end zone for a one-yard score.
Tim Couch then led the second team offense out against the starting defense, and the defense showed early signs of the aggressive style that has been their theme of camp so far.
Linebacker Na'il Diggs stopped Najeh Davenport after a minimal gain and then broke into the backfield to touch Couch down for a "sack" and a loss of five yards. Defensive tackle Larry Smith batted down Couch's third down pass attempt and the starters on defense forced a three-and-out in their first action of the night.
Cornerback Chris Watson highlighted the next series for the No. 2 defense as he made a few nice tackles, including one in the open field to stop Walker just shy of the first down marker on a third down attempt.
Receiver Antonio Chatman made a fine diving catch of a bullet out of the right hand of Favre for a 17-yard gain during the possession.
The Couch-led second team scratched the scoreboard in their second possession of the scrimmage. A 26-yard pass to Carl Ford and another 16-yarder to Scottie Vines moved the squad down the field. Linebacker Nick Barnett held the running game in check, dropping Tony Fisher for a two-yard loss.
Pressure from Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila forced a Couch incompletion on third down and Ryan Longwell stepped out and drilled a 45-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare.
As Favre re-took the field, he set up another touchdown with another long pass play. This time it was Robert Ferguson speeding up the left side as he ran under a 41-yard pass before being nudged out of bounds at the two-yard line. Fisher ran it in behind a Tony Donald block out of the full house backfield for another score.
Couch provided the longest play of the night on the next series. Proving he can throw well on the move, he rolled right and zipped a pass to Shockmain Davis along the sideline that just eluded the reach of safety Darren Sharper. Davis grabbed the ball out of the air and took it 71 yards for a score.
The next period of the night's practice was a red zone drill, giving the crowd what they always love to see -- plenty of touchdowns.
The first score came on a pass from Favre to Walker, who then proceeded to give the fans the first Lambeau Leap of the night. Perhaps those in the front row weren't quite prepared for him, as the receiver briefly disappeared into the seats.
Running backs Fisher, Davenport and Henderson all then scored in the south end zone, with Leap after Leap gaining the crowd's approval.
The starters on defense were stingier around their end zone, though, and Barnett and Smith teamed up to sack Couch at the other end of the field.
Running back Dahrran Diedrick was met going over the left side by a big hit by Barnett and Marques Anderson. Aaron Kampman delivered another "sack", catching up with QB Doug Pederson as he rolled out.
Diedrick did reach the end zone during the drill, going in on a five-yard pass from Couch, and fellow running back Walter Williams scored on a two-yard run.
Sherman then put the teams into their last game-like situation of the night, the two-minute drill.
Favre's offense was given the ball on the 35 with 1:40 on the clock and needing a touchdown to win. The veteran led his team down the field with a series of short passes, and like so many times before, got the Packers into the end zone. The scoring strike came on a 1-yard toss to tight end David Martin with :22 left on the clock.
Couch's squad was given the task of taking the ball with 1:05 and a field goal necessary to take the game. After three incompletions, Couch connected with Vines on a 34-yard pass play. Longwell came back out and drilled a 48-yarder to cap another successful run by the two-minute offense.
With rookie Scott McBrien at quarterback, a mix of the younger players got their first chances in front of the Lambeau faithful at the end of the scrimmage. Defensive end Tyrone Rogers was disruptive, getting to the left-hander for a seven-yard sack.
Rogers then tipped a pass, but McBrien plucked it out of the air to run for a six-yard gain. Linebacker Steve Josue knocked down McBrien's final effort and Sherman called his team to the middle of the field as the session concluded.
The Packers will not practice Sunday morning, but are scheduled to hit the grass at Clarke Hinkle Field for a 2:45 p.m. session Sunday afternoon.
Where: Lambeau Field
Weather: 69 degrees, cloudy
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), Chukie Nwokorie (hamstring), Frank Rice (knee), Joey Thomas (knee), Forest Vance (knee), Mike Wahle (knee contusion), and James Whitley (blow to head)