Focus is on receivers in scrimmage

If the Green Bay Packers intrasquad scrimmage is an indicator, look for them to throw the ball often during their four upcoming preseason games. Brett Favre and his new cast of wideouts will need the time to improve their timing.<p>

The Packers ran 81 plays in their annual scrimmage, which was held on Clarke Hinkle Field across from Lambeau Field. The team was forced to postpone its annual Family Night this year because of the stadium renovation. But about 2,000 people watched the team as it conducted its most intense practice since full-squad practices began on July 27.

"I wish we scored all of our touchdowns and shut everybody out at the same time," said Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman. "I don't know if you're ever going to be totally happy when you're playing against yourself. We did some good things and some not-so-good things."

The Packers went to the air 50 times in the 81-play scrimmage that lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

Favre and the first-team offense were a little shaky early on against the second-team defense. In one series, the offense moved to the 23 yard line, but Favre threw incomplete twice to wide receiver Terry Glenn, forcing Ryan Longwell to boot a 38-yard field goal.

But Favre threw three touchdowns in the team's red-zone offense drill, including two to Glenn and one to Javon Walker, the team's first-round draft pick this year.

Glenn had four catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Walker finished with four catches for 49 yards and one touchdown.

Favre completed 12 of 23 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns. In the scrimmage, as in practices, the quarterback cannot be tackled. If the defense tags the quarterback, it is automatically ruled a sack.

Rookie Craig Nall was impressive. He directed a two-play touchdown drive against the first-team defense. Nall completed a 35-yard pass to tight end David Martin. He followed with a 25-yard touchdown pass to free agent Karsten Bailey, who beat cornerback Tyrone Williams in the back of the end zone.

"Overall, the offensive line, backs and receivers blocked great," said Nall. "The defense made plays whenever they needed to. I think it was a good scrimmage for the whole team."

Herbert "Whisper" Goodman, who led NFL Europe in rushing this past spring, led the Packers running backs with 33 yards on 8 carries. Free agent rooking running back Tony Fisher continued to shine. Fisher, who played collegiately at Notre Dame, had 27 yards on nine carries.

"He certainly exhibits an element of toughness the way he plays," said Sherman. "He's a hard runner. He's catching onto the offense, doesn't make many mistakes. Does what we asked him to do, so he's headed in the right direction."

A handful of players did not play in the scrimmage. They included defensive end Vonnie Holliday (ribs), linebacker Nate Wayne (knee), defensive back Bhawoh Jue (groin/abdomin), center Mike Flanagan (broken thumb), fullback Najeh Davenport (foot) and offensive tackle Earl Dotson (knee).

The Packers resume practice Sunday with a special teams practice from 1 to 1:45 p.m. and a night practice inside Lambeau Field beginning at 7 p.m. The night practice is closed to the public and will be used to test the lights and sound system.

Green Bay's first preseason game is this Saturday at Philadephia against the Eagles.


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