Players primed for energy of scrimmage

The thrill has not left defensive end Aaron Kampman and other players. While it will be a fun night, there is plenty of work to be done for a growing offense and what could be a powerful defense.

The thrill of Family Night hasn't been lost on stalwart defensive end Aaron Kampman.

"Our Family Night is different. It's tremendous," Kampman told an NFL Network reporter after Saturday's training camp practice. "We get 60,000 fans here. It's almost a game atmosphere the way we go about it. Even though it is against each other, there's still an extra air of excitement in the place."

Once the glare of the national cameras — and their all-Brett Favre, all-the-time emphasis — left, the seventh-year pro was asked if Sunday night's scrimmage still gets the juices flowing.

"How can you not? We haven't played football in that stadium for however many months," he said. "The fans are there, the music's playing, we get fireworks afterward. My boys get to come. My wife's there. We get to lay on the field afterward and watch the fireworks. It's nice."

Cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson are looking forward to tonight's showcase, as well. This will Harris' sixth Family Night.

"It's going to be fun," Harris said. "It's going to be a game-type atmosphere. It'll be something to see."

For Woodson, this will be his third Family Night. As usual, the event is sold out, which is something that surprised Woodson for his first scrimmage.

"When I first came here, I didn't understand that it would be sold out," he recalled. "A lot of players who haven't played here will see what it's all about."

While the Packers organization has had its eyes blackened because of the Favre controversy, Woodson noted how important Family Night is for the fans.

"It's a good deal for a lot of the fans that otherwise wouldn't get the chance to come, with home games sold out for the next thousand years," he said. "It's a good time for those guys to come out and see what we've been working on. It's good to get the young guys some reps for the first time in Lambeau Field, a storied, historical place. It'll be fun for the fans and for a lot of these young guys, as well."

One of those young guys is quarterback Brian Brohm, a rookie second-round pick. This will be his first time playing in Lambeau, though he said he's watched a game here.

"It'll be my first time on Lambeau Field. It's going to be a lot of fun to get out there in front of the fans," he said.

While Sunday will be a fun night for the fans, it's also a work day for the Packers. The offense has had its moments with new starter Aaron Rodgers but is a long way from being consistent.

"I think we're moving along the way we need to," Jennings said. "We definitely still have some things to improve upon. But I think we're moving in the right direction. We've got til Monday night to fine-tune everything."

The defense, meanwhile, has been strong, especially during Saturday's practice.

"It's never as good as you think and it's never as bad as you think. We'll find things," Kampman said. "But you call it like it is. I feel like we're farther along than we've been, particularly in the back end. I think our guys in the back, linebackers included, are covering as well as I know I've seen them since I've been here. The linebackers are coming down hill. All things considered, that equates to us being a better defense — at this point of the season — then we have been in the past."

The 2008 Packers will debut on Sunday, and maybe for a few hours, the fans can cheer for the Green and Gold rather than engage in a Favre vs. Ted Thompson debate.

"Just the fans," Jennings said when asked what he's looking forward to. "Just going out there and giving the fans something to cheer about. Just trying to showcase the new Green Bay look."

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at

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