Family Night Key Tool For McCarthy

Also from Friday night: Mason Crosby has a rough training camp debut; a new dad gets a hard time from his teammates; injury updates; Nick Barnett talks; and more.

Outside of the lack of live tackling, Saturday's Family Night will look a lot like scrimmages of past seasons.

After four padded practices and with so many new faces trying to find their way through the voluminous playbooks, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn't think it was safe to put his players through a full-go practice this early in camp.

For McCarthy, his emphasis is personnel evaluation and the operation — getting the right people onto the field for each personnel group, whether it's a four-receiver set, nickel defense or the No. 3 kickoff team.

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"That's why I don't call the offensive plays, and even more so tomorrow," said McCarthy, who will leave the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Joe Philbin. "Without the spring, it's important that you get an up-close look at your new players in live action. You always have the ability to study the film, no doubt, but there's definitely things you can pick up and see on the field."

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Rough start for Crosby

Kicker Mason Crosby, who as a free agent was not allowed to practice until Thursday, kicked field goals for the first time during camp on Friday. The results were not good.

Crosby made his first three attempts, from 33, 36 and 43 yards, but missed his next four, from 45, 51, 49 and 53 yards. Moved up for his last kick, he put a 45-yarder down the middle.

(Note: Those results are not official. The NFL official standing under the upright never made a signal on any of the eight kicks.)

"That's to be expected," McCarthy said. "Those guys have been kicking in town for awhile and working out at St. Norbert. I know what the numbers are and it's a little bit of a rough day from a statistics standpoint. That's why we practice. I'm not really concerned about him."

Bouncing baby boy

T.J. Lang, fighting fatigue, turned the corner, saw his locker and laughed.

It was sealed with pink wrapping paper and a few pink balloons. Inside were more pink balloons.

Naturally, of course, he had a baby ... boy.

"These guys are a bunch of jokers," Lang said.

Lang, a third-year lineman from Eastern Michigan, is battling first-round pick Derek Sherrod to be the starting left guard. Lang, however, was absent from Wednesday's practice. He took off for Detroit at 6 a.m. to be with his girlfriend, Laura Ford, at a hospital in Pontiac, Mich. Finally, at 8:34 p.m., John Joseph Lang was born, checking in at 20 inches and 8 pounds, 10 ounces.

"He's a pretty big boy," Lang said. "Looks like he's going to be a football player."

Lang, going on about 5 hours of sleep, hoped to take a nap before Friday's practice.

Barnett not bitter

Nick Barnett, who was released last month and has signed with Buffalo, harbors no ill feelings toward the Packers — even though he was intrigued by the idea of playing for rival Detroit.

"Those are my friends and it would be awesome to go out and terrorize them," he told the Jim Rome Show on Friday, adding that talent wasn't the issue as the Packers decided to go with A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop as the inside linebackers.

Taking his wife's advice, Barnett said he will cherish the Super Bowl ring, even though he started just four games last season.

"I'm going to wear it like a Super Bowl champion," he said. "My left hand is jealous."

Injury updates

New injuries: Davon House (hamstring), Greg Jennings (hip flexor) and Bryan Bulaga (knee tendonitis).

Out: cornerback Tramon Williams (hip tightness), tight end Tom Crabtree (hip flexor), defensive end Lawrence Guy (concussion), receiver Kerry Taylor (concussion), offensive linemen Adrian Battles (Achilles) and Theo Sherman (sprained ankle), linebacker Diyral Briggs (hamstring) and nose tackle Eli Joseph (hamstring and hip flexor).

Four-point stance

— Field judge Craig Wrolstad, umpire Carl Paganelli, back judge Bill Smith and head linesman Greg Bradley worked Thursday's and Friday's practices and will be on the field for Family Night. They are in town to officiate the practices and provide details of the rules changes.

— Before camp, McCarthy said it'd take more than a few practices to judge the conditioning of his team. Now that it's been six practices? "We feel our football team is in good workout shape but we're not in football shape. I think that's to be expected at this point in camp. (Saturday) night under the lights and in front of our crowd will be a good exercise for us. That'll give us a pretty good gauge."

— Finally, some fisticuffs. During a one-on-one run-blocking drill, linebacker Erik Walden and rookie tight end Ryan Taylor exchanged a couple of shoves. Outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene intervened, the drill was ended and calm was restored.

Tim Masthay blasted punts of 55, 57, 58, 51 and 60 yards.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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