More than 55,000 fans showed up at Lambeau Field for the Packers’ annual Family Night intrasquad scrimmage. They were treated to a pregame display by the Army Parachute Team, known as the “Golden Knights,” who plunged from a jet and landed directly on the field. There was also a tribute to the Oneida Nation tribe, who performed an authentic dance. There was a sterling rendition of the national anthem, performed by the daughter of Green Bay native and former NFL RB Aaron Stecker, followed by the customary Air Force plane flyover. There was music blaring throughout the game, a post-scrimmage FG-kicking competition among the offensive and defensive linemen and, finally, a fireworks display.

What the fans weren’t treated to was a particularly eventful game. There were few big plays on either offense or defense and penalties aplenty. Here are a few notes and observations from the Family Night scrimmage.

Déjà vu: For the second day in a row, flags littered the field in Green Bay. And for the second day in a row, coach Mike McCarthy called the epidemic of presnap penalties “unacceptable.” On Thursday, it was the defense that was the culprit, repeatedly getting called for offsides and earning McCarthy’s ire. In Friday’s scrimmage, it was the offense’s turn to commit the mental errors, and the replacement referees were more than happy to call them. Said McCarthy, “There were seven pre-snap penalties. I’m obviously not happy about that, especially on back to back nights. It was a problem yesterday and we’ve now had 14 in two days.” It’s still very early in camp, but the Packers were the least penalized team in 2011 and discipline is paramount to McCarthy.

Harrell up and down: Graham Harrell got his first opportunity as the backup QB and was uneven. He showed nice accuracy and sound decision-making on a few plays when he had time. But under pressure, he was erratic and indecisive. McCarthy said afterward there was a headset malfunction, but Harrell handled it well and did a nice job against the No. 1 defense. Harrell, who’s been the third-string QB the past two seasons, said “It’s hard to get in a rhythm sometimes because you’re on and you’re off” in a scrimmage setting. He wasn’t sure what went wrong with his headset. “The helmets were just being a little choppy,” he said. “We’ve gone to a new system, so we were sort of working the kinks out.” Third-string rookie B.J. Coleman led an impressive drive early, completing a few nice passes against the No. 1 defense but was inconsistent and shaky overall.

Perry shows flashes: First-round pick Nick Perry, who’s very low-key off the field, had been relatively quiet on the field, as well, early in camp. The rookie who’s making the transition from DE at Southern California to OLB in Green Bay hadn’t made a huge impact as a pass-rusher. Until Friday night. Under the lights at Lambeau, Perry repeatedly got pressure on the QBs. He showed power and even a nifty spin move to get around rookie OT Andrew Datko, who was eaten alive throughout the scrimmage. Afterward, Perry said it felt good to get pressure and he had “goose bumps” being on Lambeau Field in front of so many fans. He was going against weak tackles who probably won’t make the team, but Perry beat them regularly. He needs to build on it.

Crosby inconsistent: K Mason Crosby entered the scrimmage having not missed a FG in training camp. He continued that success early Friday night, making his first four FG attempts, all from 30-45 yards. Then he ran into a mild slump. He missed a couple of clutch, two-minute situation attempts, then missed 4 of 6 from 50-plus yards at the end of the scrimmage. According to McCarthy, Crosby wanted to try some longer FGs, including a 62-yarder and a 65-yarder (both missed). McCarthy said, “Our stadium is different this year. He wanted to test out the wind and conditions.” Lambeau Field added new seating and a gigantic video board that McCarthy and punter Tim Masthay insisted have changed the kicking dynamic.

Rodgers on song: Earlier in the week, McCarthy said of reigning MVP QB Aaron Rodgers, “We’re doing a lot more with him, if you can believe that. He’s on top of his game.” On Friday, it sure appeared that way. Rodgers didn’t play much in the Family Night scrimmage, but when he was in he was sharp and in command. On one play, he connected with WR Donald Driver on a perfectly thrown 37-yard completion down the left sideline. Then, a couple minutes later, he threw a 33-yard strike to WR Greg Jennings for one of the few highlight-reel plays of the night. Also, after he led the No. 1 offense to a score on the opening drive, he led the offensive line into the stands for a mass Lambeau Leap, a fun moment for the fans.

Same old Shields: It would have been an otherwise solid performance for embattled CB Sam Shields. The third-year player, who lost his job as the No. 2 CB when camp began and hasn’t done anything to win it back, actually did a couple of nice things Friday night. An unwilling tackler last year, he made a stout, textbook tackle on a receiver in the flat that showed he may be more inclined to hit now. Later, he was in with the No. 1 defense against the No. 1 offense, if only briefly. He also got a chance as a KR and had a nice, 28-yard return, which is important because special teams could be his ticket onto the roster. But, as he did far too many times last year, he also made a big-play mistake. He gambled on an early Aaron Rodgers pass, trying to intercept it, but missed. Jordy Nelson caught it for 21 yards. Shields is a speedy playmaker but he needs to learn when to play it safe.

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