Packers-Saints game notes

The Packer-Saints game was the 55th annual Upper Midwest Shrine Game, one of the NFL's oldest team traditions. The Packers donate money to Shriners' Hospitals for children. This series is so old that three stadiums have hosted a Shrine game, including two that are no longer standing: Milwaukee's State Fair Park (1950-51) and Milwaukee County Stadium (1952-82, 1984-94).<p>

In 1959, Packer head coach Vince Lombardi and Bears head coach George Halas agreed to play the game annually. The Packers are now (27-25-3) all-time in the series.

Did you notice?

Ahman Green ripped off a 24-yard run in the second quarter and, as he neared the Packer sideline with a Saints' tackler bearing down on him, Green switched the ball from his left arm to his right and to protect it as he went out of bounds – a move he was reluctant to make in past seasons.

"I ran out and got to the outside, got up the field and was running in the open field, switched the ball to my other hand to protect myself and just tried to get more yardage," said Green.

Darren Sharper's 90-yard TD interception return in the second quarter off Todd Bauman was a real thing of beauty. While team historian Lee Remmel said the Packers don't keep preseason statistical records, the return was undoubtedly one of the longest in Packer preseason history.

Coach Mike Sherman was asked to evaluate the Packer receivers after the starting trio of Donald Driver, Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson. Said Sherman, "I think tonight that Chatman jumped out there and made two key third down catches. That third down catch (with less than 2 minutes to go in the first half) before we fumbled the ball away was just one heck of a catch." Chatman, who had two receptions for 61 yards, including a 31-yarder, said, "(Coach) Ray (Sherman) told me everyday that I'd get opportunities and once you actually get out there, it's just all about making plays. That's just what I try to do."

Defensive tackle Grady Jackson on playing his old team: "It's just the preseason, you can't put too much on the preseason, but it was still a good game. The defensive effort and the offense played well – we played great as a team and that's a good thing."

Lamar Smith and Ki-Jana Carter, a pair of veteran running backs who weren't able to make the Packer roster the past two years, both made appearances for New Orleans against Green Bay. Carter had three carries for two yards and scored on a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Smith rushed three times for -4 yards.

Injury Update

Tackle Brennan Curtin and wide receiver/kick returner Antonio Chatman were at the top of the injury list after the game with Curtain's injury apparently more serious. Coach Mike Sherman said that Curtin may have a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Sherman said the team will likely know more on Sunday.

Chatman limped off the field after suffering a right ankle injury in the third quarter, but X-Rays were negative and he says he'll be back on the practice field Monday. Other nicks and bruises included cornerback Joey Thomas (ankle), fullback Nick Luchey (quad strain), nose tackle Larry Smith (quad strain), defensive tackle Kenny Peterson (blow to the head), tight end Tony Donald (turf toe) and linebacker Torrance Marshall (strained hamstring).

Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks made his 2004 preseason debut at Lambeau Field, having missed New Orleans' opener the week before. Brooks was the Packers' first of two fourth-round picks in the 1999 NFL draft. Ron Wolf traded Brooks, along with tight end Lamont Hall, to the Saints in 2000 for linebacker K.D. Williams and a third-round pick in 2001. Brooks left the game abruptly in the second quarter after aggravating his right quad.

The Saints' All-Pro television broadcast crew featured two former NFL quarterbacks with ties to Brett Favre – Archie Manning and Ron Jaworski. Manning, who played for the Saints, was Favre's favorite quarterback as he was growing up in Kiln, Mississippi, just outside of New Orleans. Jaworski held the NFL record for consecutive starts by a quarterback (116) before Favre broke the mark in 1999. Did you know?

Saturday, Aug. 21 also marked a special occasion for Packer team historian Lee Remmel. He and his wife, Noreen, celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

Paid attendance: 69,666


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