Saturday, August 7, 2010
Packers camp Day 3: Family Night success!
By Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Herewith are my observations and thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' annual Family Night scrimmage, which unlike last year actually took place as planned. The big stories were place-kicker Mason Crosby and two nice plays by some young defensive backs.
- Crosby's first kickoff went nine yards deep in the end zone and he converted seven of eight field goal attempts. His only miss was from 44 yards on a hold that might have left something to be desired. The makes were from 26, 31, 36, 41, 47, 51 and 53 yards. There was some early-camp concern about Crosby's accuracy, but Saturday night he was pretty much lights-out. "It was definitely a good way to start," Crosby said. "I felt good. I thought I hit the ball well, and the whole operation did great."
- Cornerback Brandon Underwood, working with the first team in place of a resting Charles Woodson, intercepted a Graham Harrell pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. As I'll also note in my upcoming Packers Camp Confidential, Underwood has caught just about everyone's eyes this summer. "I feel a lot more comfortable with what I'm doing," he said. "I feel a lot more comfortable that when they line up, I'm going to know what to look for and can try to decipher everything they're doing."
- Rookie Sam Shields, meanwhile, stepped in front of a Matt Flynn pass and unofficially took it back 97 yards for a touchdown. I'm telling you, Shields looks much more comfortable as a defensive back than as kick returner. He also displayed some flair by high-stepping the final 10 yards before crossing into the end zone. "Just a little showboating," he said.
- Jordy Nelson worked with the first team in place of a resting Donald Driver and caught Aaron Rodgers' first pass, a bullet down the seam for 27 yards. Nelson held on to the ball after a nasty collision with safety Charlie Peprah but suffered a bruise that prevented him from returning to the scrimmage. The only other injury was a sprained knee for receiver Brett Swain.
- Tight end Jermichael Finley bowled over Underwood after a 14-yard reception. After the play, Finley stood over Underwood to talk some (presumably) good-natured trash.
- Brandon Jackson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score. The Packers were also using him on kickoff coverage and McCarthy continued his effusive praise of the reserve running back. "Brandon Jackson, I think he has arrived," McCarthy said.
- I really didn't see much separation between punters Tim Masthay and Chris Bryan. Both had long punts of 62 yards Saturday night. "We're so much further ahead [in the punting game] than we've been in the last two years," McCarthy said.
- In addition to Driver and Woodson, other veterans who sat out were linebacker Nick Barnett (rest), linebacker Brady Poppinga (concussion) and safety Will Blackmon (knee).
- Actual turnstile attendance was 47, 844. For a practice with live tackling. Amazing.
- I'm probably jinxing us, but Sunday should be a relatively quiet day on the NFC North blog. Look for the Packers Camp Confidential on Monday morning.