A record crowd of 63,047 poured into Lambeau Field Saturday night for the annual Family Night. The weather was just about perfect, the new south end zone upper deck took in fans for the first time and the fireworks were grand.
But the bottom line is this was just one of 20 training camp practices. There were good plays, bad plays and the overriding storyline from this night was the curious case of one Mason Crosby. The veteran kicker drew gasps when his first field goal try at the end of an offensive posession missed from 48 yards. His first competitor in camp since his rookie year, free agent Giorgio Tavecchio, knocked his first try through from 33 yards out. Crosby would hit a 40 yarder but the pressure mounted in the final exercise of the night. A field goal competition had both players attempt four kicks to the south end zone, and three more to the north. It didn't go well for Mason and here's what Mike McCarthy and the kickers had to say about their evening.
There were a total of five offensive/defensive 11 on 11 series. A couple of no huddle drives, two move the ball series and a two minute drill. Aaron Rodgers worked only the first series, but it was a good one, a 10 play, 80 yard drive that culminated with a textbook Rodgers touchdown. He broke from the pocket to his right and found D.J. Williams for a seven yard score. He connected twice with Randall Cobb on the drive for gains of 14 and 27 yards. James Starks got the reps with the number one offense at running back. From there, the backups played the rest of the night, with mixed results for B.J. Coleman and Graham Harrell. Coleman threw a pair of interceptions, one was returned 66 yards for a touchdown by James Nixon after receiver Jeremy Ross slipped down. Nixon still made a solid jump on the ball and raced up up the left sideline untouched. The second pick was also intended for Ross on a fade route in the end zone but Brandon Smith had tight coverage and reached up for the ball. Coleman did make a couple of nice throws in a series that moved the ball to first and goal from the one but three straight incompletions stalled the drive. Harrell's highlight was a 16 yard touchdown pass to Angelo Pease who caught the flare on the right sideline and outmaneuvered Nate Palmer into the end zone.
Other notable performances were by Eddie Lacy. He looks like a pile mover and with a little crack, can be dangerous. Lacy had runs of 7, 8, 16 and 19 yards on the night.
The only injury of the night was to backup tight end Ryan Taylor. He was carted off the field but McCarthy did not have an update on his staus. 16 players did not take part because of injury. They were Sederrick Cunningham, Kevin Dorsey, Charles Johnson, DuJuan Harris, Sean Richardson, Casey Hayward, Tramon Williams, David Fulton, Dezman Moses, Jamari Lattimore, J.C.Tretter, Derek Sherrod, Andrew Quarless, Jordy Nelson, Mike Neal and Jerel Worthy.
The team gets Sunday off and they're back at it Monday afternoon, starting to gear up for Pre-Season test number one next Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau.