Favre shines brightest under the lights

Was this a practice or was this a video game?

Sure, he was facing the second-string defense. And sure, that second-string defense had a bunch of third-string defensive backs playing because of injuries. But Brett Favre's statistics look like something off a Madden 2005 video game. By going 21-of-27 passing for 249 yards and five touchdowns during Saturday night's Family Night scrimmage, Favre served notice that he may be another year older but he's not necessarily another year closer to being over the hill.

But Packers coach Mike Sherman urged caution about getting too high or too low on any of the performances in what was, in essence, just another practice.

"I wouldn't put too much stock in a practice, other than the fact that some guys made some nice plays," Sherman said.

Still, some players shined and some wilted under the lights of Lambeau Field and the glare of 60,216 fans who turned out to watch Saturday night.


— Favre. On the first play Saturday, Favre went deep up the left side for a 37-yard completion to Donald Driver. James Horton was in position but Driver jumped over him to make the play. After a running play, Favre hooked up with Javon Walker down the right side for 33 yards to the 1-yard line. On the next play, Favre hit fullback William Henderson for the touchdown.

On the next series, Favre went deep to Robert Ferguson for 41 yards to the 2-yard line to set up another touchdown. Later, he completed a 30-yard aerial to Walker. In a two-minute drill, Favre led the offense to a touchdown by completing his first six passes. All told, he went 9-of-11, with the touchdown coming on another short pass to Henderson. His only bad pass of the night came a few plays before the touchdown, with Favre overthrowing an open Ferguson on what would have been a 10-yard touchdown.

— Henderson. Along with his two touchdown catches, he obliterated a blitzing defensive back to spring Najeh Davenport's 4-yard scoring run. Henderson was in a battle with Nick Luchey for his starting job last training camp, but it's no contest this year.

Nick Barnett. Sherman wouldn't list the players who impressed him. He did mention two players, however: Favre and middle linebacker Barnett. Early in the scrimmage, Barnett blitzed into the backfield to drop Tony Fisher for a loss.

Torrance Marshall. Defensive coordinator Bob Slowik cited Marshall's play afterward. The linebacker was a big reason why Ahman Green gained zero yards on three rushes.

— Walker. The Packers' third receiver continued his stellar training camp with scrimmage highs of five catches and 78 yards. As has been the case since late last season, if the ball is in Walker's ZIP code, he's coming down with it.

Antonio Chatman. Sherman has said Chatman could play a larger role in the passing game this season. On Saturday, he caught two passes for 23 yards. He didn't turn around quickly enough to catch a Favre pass, however. On his only punt return, he broke a long one that was flagged at the end on a hold by Ahmad Carroll. There appears to be no serious competition for the punt-return job, so the sure-handed Chatman likely will keep that role despite the lack of big plays he turned in last season.

Scottie Vines. On fourth-and-10 in the second-team offense's two-minute drill, Vines bobbled an out pattern but recovered. The juggle appeared to disrupt the timing of starting corner Al Harris, with Vines turning the catch into a 34-yard gain. Earlier, Vines slipped on another out pattern but recovered and made a leaping catch for a 16-yard gain.

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. In consecutive plays, KGB posted a sack and then batted the ball from behind just as Tim Couch was making a throw.


B.J. Sander. Sherman received plenty of criticism from fans for trading a fourth- and fifth-round pick to select the punter in the third round of April's draft. That criticism only will increase after Sander's atrocious opening act. In a pooch punt situation from the opponent's 45-yard line, Sander's punt went 16 yards. Given a mulligan, Sander's next effort went only 26 yards. Later, when punting from the back of his end zone, Sander hit a low liner that went only 36 yards. Making matters worse, Australian Nathan Chapman's only punt was low but sailed 53 yards.

"I just tried to do a little bit too much," Sander said. "I was just trying to hit the ball just perfect when I was pooching the ball or trying to really kill it when I got out of the end zone. If I just relax and hit my normal ball, I'll be fine."

— Horton and Chris Watson. The "starting" corners for the No. 2 defense were torched by the Packers' standout trio of wide receivers. Both made a couple of good plays, but for the most part they couldn't stop Ferguson, Driver or Walker. Of course, secondaries throughout the league are going to have a hard time stopping that threesome.

Scott McBrien. In a mopup role, with reserves facing reserves, McBrien went 2 of 6 for 20 yards. Wide receiver Sam Breeden badly beat his man with a great move to the sideline that should have resulted in a big gain, but McBrien's pass landed about three yards short. Of his two completions, one was to himself when he caught a batted ball and ran for 9 yards.

— Offensive tackle Jason Jimenez had a terrible series. He was flagged for holding Hannibal Navies on a run play. The hold was so egregious that the two ended up in a brief tussle. A couple plays later, Jimenez was whistled for a false start.

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