The Green Bay Packers held their annual Family Night practice at Lambeau Field yesterday with over 63,000 fans in attendance.
The passion of Packers fans never ceases to amaze. To paraphrase Allen Iverson, "We talkin' about PRACTICE."
The evening started off with a delay as fans were evacuated from the stadium Bowl due to a storm that rolled in but after roughly 20 minutes, practice got underway at roughly 7:50 pm central time.
Here are a few takeaways from last night's event:
Justin Vogel has a solid hold on the punter job
Vogel landed four of four punts inside the 20 and two were downed inside the five. Add in average hang time around 4.5 seconds and the job is officially his to lose.
Dean Lowry could be a force to be reckoned with
In the first rep of 11-on-11, Lowry forced Bryan Bulaga into the backfield. Later on, his pressure on Brett Hundley helped create a Jake Ryan interception.
So far it seems like Lowry has been living up to the hype from the offseason.
Ty Montgomery may be a matchup nightmare
Motioning Montgomery out of the backfield could create nightmares for opposing defenses.
For example, Montgomery motioned out wide forcing linebackers to cover him.
Good luck with that. It was an easy pitch and catch for Rodgers and the receiver-turned-running back.
LaDarius Gunter had some problems
Gunter got smoked by rookie Malachi Dupre on a deep throw by Aaron Rodgers.
He has struggled throughout camp, which might not bode well for his chances on making the roster despite a solid effort last season when he was forced into action due to injuries.
Mason Crosby had a miserable night
Crosby went 4-10 last night, with his six misses coming from 50 (four times), 48, 42 and 40.
It's not time to panic quite yet, as Crosby is dealing with a new holder (Vogel) and a new long snapper (Derek Hart). Head coach Mike McCarthy also mentioned in his press conference after practice that the "operation wasn't as clean as it should be."
Hopefully they clean it up sooner than later.
Aaron Ripkowski fumbled again in a crucial situation
Needing a touchdown, Ripkowski fumbled at the end of the two minute drill thanks to a strip by Kenny Clark.
It was the fumble by the fullback in last season's NFC Championship that started the chain reaction of the game getting out of hand.
Ripkowski has the makings of a Pro Bowl fullback, but ball security issues can derail that fairly quickly. You simply cannot turn the ball over in two minute scenarios.
Remember, it was a practice. Things will not always be pretty. Still, trends are emerging from the first two weeks of training camp and with the first preseason game fast approaching it’s time to see what some of these younger players can do in game conditions.
The evening concluded with a Lambeau Leap by Rodgers and the offense as well as a fireworks display.
The Packers are hoping that is just the first of many explosive demonstrations by the team at Lambeau Field this year.