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Seven Players to Watch on Packers Family Night

The main event of Green Bay Packers training camp is Family Night, with 50,000-plus fans inside Lambeau Field bringing a game-like intensity to the ninth practice of the summer.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – In the grand scheme of Green Bay Packers training camp, Friday’s Family Night will be the ninth practice of the summer.

Really, the atmosphere makes it something a bit bigger than just another practice.

“I think they all weigh equally,” coach Matt LaFleur said. “I do think that you’re changing the environment and, for a lot of the young guys, it’s their first exposure, obviously, in Lambeau (and) with our fans. And there’s a natural excitement and potentially an anxiety that goes along with that, knowing that there’s a lot of eyes on you. But, at the end of the day, it’s still football and we’ve got to train our guys to have that mindset that you go out there and you compete just like you would any other day.”

LaFleur said there might be some live tackling, which will help with evaluation but also increase the risk of injuries.

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“How Matt structures the practice, that’s kind of all Matt and what we’re trying to see,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “As we get closer into the preseason games, we’ll start having some conversations about, ‘Hey, maybe we need to see a little bit more of this and maybe we don’t need to see as much of this.’

“I’ve got a lot of Ted Thompson in me. I’m seeing some of these guys out there who are really eager and playing really well right now and you want to bubble wrap them until September and stock them away and we’ll let a bunch of these other guys get some more opportunities because we know what some of these guys can do. At the same time, I think you really need this time to come together as a team, as a unit.”

Here are seven players to watch, with an assortment of locks to make the roster and those fighting for jobs.