Packers’ Family Night 2016: Takeaways

-Brady VanDeurzen

Boasting around 66,000 people, Packers Family Night is arguably the largest practice league-wide. Many players have claimed that the immense amounts of fans that are in attendance give the glorified practice more of a game feel. Blake Martinez, the Packers’ fourth-round draft pick out of Stanford, stated that the participation of fans and their attendance was “unbelievable,” and that he couldn’t recall a college practice of his that had more than 30 people.

The event has sold out frequently throughout its 16 year history, 10 times to be more specific. Family night has always given fans the first look at new players, schemes, etc. Which primarily justifies the large attendance that the event receives.

2016 marked as the 10th sold out Packer Family Night and although the event has slowed to more of a fast-paced practice than a scrimmage, many takeaways can still be made from last night’s event.

Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb looked in sync, connecting on several passes including a TD over LaDarius Gunter. The two had been shaky throughout training camp, oftentimes Cobb would read the defense incorrectly, or be out of position to make a catch. Both Cobb’s and Rodgers’ performance at Family Night was a breath of fresh air for Packer fans who were skeptical about the duos lack of choreography. Perhaps Cobb’s performance at the event will help Cobb return to form, which would be a great help for the Packers’ offensive struggles.

On the defensive side of the 11 vs. 11 drill, Pass-rushing Jayrone Elliott played very well. Elliott was a consistent nuisance in the backfield. Elliott, although unable to sack the QB, would’ve recorded numerous sacks if given the chance, which is always a very promising sign for young talent. Elliott showed a lot of potential, and could be a potential replacement for the aging Julius Peppers.

The 16th Packers’ Family Night was capped off with a dazzling firework display, lighting up the sky.  A perfect way for the night to go out with a bang.

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