GREEN BAY — Sunday’s Family Night practice will be the first opportunity for the youngest Packers to step onto Lambeau Field in front of a full house, and even though the Packers have scaled things back in recent years from a scrimmage to more of a regular practice, Head Coach Mike McCarthy still sees tremendous value in it.
“We go through our introductions and pre-game, so it’s really is our first live action as far as getting our players ready for a preseason game,” McCarthy said prior to Saturday morning’s workout at Ray Nitschke Field. “It’s a game atmosphere, but it’s a practice and clearly it’s one of our better practices every year.”
The practice will cover a number of situations in all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — and will include more work on punting and punt return, as punters Tim Masthay and Peter Mortell battle for the job.
“You can’t handle the football enough under the lights in a game environment,” McCarthy said. “It’s a great opportunity to get out there under the lights in front of our fans. It really prepares us for what we have to do seven days later in Canton.”
That first preseason game against the Colts in Canton, Ohio, will be here soon enough, and McCarthy said there’s plenty of work to do after seeing the film of the first full-pads practice on Thursday.
“It brings back memories of most padded first practices,” McCarthy said. “It shows you why you have to practice in pads. You simply watch the run drills, particularly the half line, the team run and play-action pass, you talk about the fits of the run defense and run-blocking unit, it just takes reps, it takes time. I’m glad we have an extra week.”
Packers.com will have more following practice and locker room interviews.