Insider Inbox

Print
RSS

Every player has his own journey

Posted May 17, 2018

The 2017 draft class is primed for a second-year jump


Doug from Sussex, Canada

With regard to Wes's response to Anthony from Baraboo, "When was last time the Pack controlled another team's first-round pick for a full calendar year?" In 1991, the Pack traded back in the first round with Philly for their first in 1991 and 1992. The 1992 pick was part of the deal for Favre.

So I guess Gutekunst has history on his side then. Good morning!

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

Yanny or Laurel? The correct answer is Laurel, obviously.

Yanny. This is not up for debate.

Charlie from Catawba, WI

Why have our running backs not been talked about, other than graduating college? Is it a given they will produce? Who will be the workhorse this year?

The Packers haven’t signed a running back since Joel Bouagnon on Jan. 10. What does that tell you? It says they feel good about where they stand. Nothing is ever a given in this league, but running back clearly is a position of strength.

Ethan from El Dorado Springs, MO

I was looking back on some older Ask Vic questions. From May 23, 2015. Somebody asked why there has been no talk about moving Ty Montgomery to running back due to the stacked receiver position. Vic said he blames it on sanity, or thinking in a normal manner. Why do you guys never entertain the idea of position changes when in actuality it can happen?

Because for every Ty Montgomery suggestion, there are three dozen different Jeff Janis and Michael Clark theories.

Ethan from El Dorado Springs, MO

I have always wondered how players fall into their positions. I really want to know about said positioning for receivers and corners, since they have similar physical profiles. Is it just how well they catch?

The simple answer is yes. It’s been my experience most NFL receivers/defensive backs played both ways in high school and their colleges slot them at their current position. Occasionally, players find their position (or even sport) later than others (i.e. Jimmy Graham, Ty Montgomery and Sam Shields). Every player has his own journey.

Noah from Lacrosse, WI

How can Mike Pettine help the Packers, defense-wise?

Likable and learnable have been used to describe Pettine’s scheme, but I offer two more important components – simplicity and communication. This defense has the potential to be a championship-caliber unit when healthy. It’s Pettine’s task to get 11 defenders to play as one. He’s done it in the past and the Packers are looking for him to do it again in Green Bay.

John from Crivitz, WI

Insiders, what are you most excited to see, what a retooled Packers offense looks like, or what a Mike Pettine defense looks like?

Pettine’s defense. I’d say that against anything this offseason because I’m so intrigued about what it will look like on the field. I’ve covered only one defensive coordinator. Now, we see what’s behind Door No. 2.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

With all the excitement about the rookies, it seems last year’s draft class is being overlooked. Given that most players take time to settle into the game and the emphasis on the “second-year leap,” who in your mind from the 2017 draft makes the biggest impact this season – King, J. Jones, A. Jones, Williams or other?

I see King making the biggest impact in relation to his rookie season. As I’ve stated before in this space, the sky is the limit for him if the shoulder is healthy. He has the size and speed to excel as a boundary cornerback and he doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. Really, that entire 2017 draft class looks primed for a second-year jump.

Daniel from Milwaukee, WI

I had dinner at the table next to Kenny Clark and others last week in Milwaukee. We were all amazed at what great shape Clark was in. We were very surprised and not only how thin he was but how strong and powerful he looked. Did he lose weight and gain muscle? Seems like an amazing transformation over the winter.

Clark is a big dude, but he doesn’t carry much fat on his 6-foot-3, 315-pound body. He’s only 22 years old and still maturing physically, too. I bet he plays around that weight this season. It worked for him in 2017. If it’s not broken…

Ric from Longmont, CO

I did some digging, and if Rodgers makes it to 40,000 yards passing, 400 TDs and 4,000 yards rushing he will stand alone. John Elway (51,475/300/3407) and Fran Tarkenton (47,003/342/3674) are already in the "three" trifecta.

Now a decade into Rodgers’ tenure as a starting quarterback, we’re getting to the point where he’s going to start rewriting the NFL career record books. The one you mention would put him in a league of his own.

Jacklyn from Minocqua, WI

My friend and I are having a friendly disagreement. He thinks A-Rod should continue try to escape the pocket and turn into a RB, but I think, after his injury last year, he should cool it a bit and not make himself as vulnerable to re-injury.

Rodgers takes chances outside the pocket, but I wouldn’t say either of his collarbone injuries were a product of him being a running back. He was looking to pass both times, so I wouldn’t change Aaron Rodgers. He’s not 27 anymore, but he’s not 47, either.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

Last year, the common agreement amongst the Insiders community was that a simple shove down would have sufficed, and that Barr is dirty or at least committed a dirty play. To your credit, Wes, I think I remember you alluding more to a rule change than attacking Barr. My question is, with Rodgers being pretty outspoken and publicly critical towards a player over a legal hit, do you think that will only encourage Barr to do it again if in the same position?

I suppose there’s nothing to deter him from it other than making sure his helmet is in the right place. Whether the hit was dirty is up to interpretation and perspective. I believe it was unnecessary and counterproductive to what’s best for the league. Like I said in the fall – no one benefits from Rodgers being on injured reserve.

Euan from Aberdeen, UK

Is it likely DeShone Kizer and Brett Hundley see the same amount of snaps in preseason, or will one get more than the other? If so, who do you think would get the most?

It’ll start even, especially during the offseason program. As training camp moves along, the coaching staff will fluctuate reps as they see fit to create opportunities for both quarterbacks. At least, that’s how they’ve done it in the past when it comes to the No. 2 quarterback competition.

Tanner from Seattle, WA

I'd like to see the NFL stay with the current playoff seeding and 16-game season. The only thing I'd change is have the teams start with all four cross-conference games. This would allow teams to find their identity before the more impactful conference games begin. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the suggestion. Thanks for all the great work you guys produce.

It’s an interesting thought, but I don’t think the NFL would ever go for it. Look at the Patriots and Packers game this year. That’s a marquee matchup that happens only once every four years. The league and network want that game in primetime in November, not Week 3. I also like having conference and division matchups that mean something in Week 1. Starting in Jacksonville in 2016 felt off to me.

Chris from Marshfield, WI

The 2010 Seahawks went 7-9 and won the division. Always Seattle catching the breaks.

And I still have no issue whatsoever with the Seahawks making the playoffs. If division titles aren’t worth anything, then why do we care about rivalries? Nostalgia? This isn’t standing in line and wondering when the store is going to close. Everyone knows the criteria for making the playoffs.

Tom from Birmingham, MI

What's the difference between retooling and rebuilding? Asking for a friend.

Did you play with Legos as a kid? To me, rebuilding is disassembling everything and starting over. Retooling, on the other hand, is changing out a few pieces to improve the pre-established structure.

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

To answer Trevor from Seattle’s point, JK Scott (probably) keeps his foot on the ground as it helps deliver the highest ratio of mass to acceleration (accelerated by the long levers that are his legs). Thai kickboxers kick harder when their plant leg is on the ground than when they are in the air, hence you do not see them jump and kick.

As Spoff also pointed out on “Unscripted,” Scott can eliminate a possible variable by keeping his foot on the ground through the punt, too. In turn, it generates a stronger, more consistent strike of the ball.

Ross from Hudson, WI

For anyone lamenting the fact a punter was drafted in the fifth round, remind them Ron Wolf said the free agent he most regretted letting go was Craig Hentrich.

Punters are people, too.

Gerry from New Berlin, WI

One facet concerning eliminating the kickoff is what happens to the kickoff specialists. Do you think they will maintain the roster size, or expand the practice squad? Also, is this now or will this affect drafting, even though rule changes are not yet in place?

Roster sizes would stay the same. Any changes must be collectively bargained. It definitely would take away snaps from special-teamers and coverage players, though. From that perspective, I wonder what the impact would be on how general managers build their 90- and 53-man rosters.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Wes, out of all the “fringe” players on the defensive side of the ball, who do you think will have the best camp? My vote is for Herb Waters. I really like this guy and from what was said last year it sounds like the coaches do too. Any word on his recovery?

Waters has potential, but he needs to get healthy. We’ll see where he’s at in a week or so. I’d keep an eye on Ahmad Thomas. He’s the safety-turned-linebacker out of Oklahoma who spent the end of last season on the practice squad.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

New rule for those who insist on perseveration on Thompson not re-signing some past Packers free agents. Feel free to complain, but then provide what corresponding cap move should have been made to keep them. And no, asking other players to take a pay cut is not an option.

Or point out the times Thompson passed on re-signing a veteran fans were clamoring for and then forgot about after they didn’t work out on another NFL roster? That’s how it works, folks. Nobody bats 1.000 in this league.

Jared from Reno, NV

Why is gambling looked upon in such a dark light around this country? I bet everyone who reads this has gambled at some point in their life, most probably with a friend along the line of "I bet you $5 Team A will beat Team B." How is that any different than going up to a person in a sports book and doing the same? I am from Nevada, please help me understand the hesitation other states have with legal gambling. Love the column, read it every morning before work.

Because you and your friend (probably) don’t have the checkered past sports books and sports betting do in this country. I’m not against the Supreme Court overturning the ruling. I’m watching this situation carefully and forming my opinion on the matter. I’m skeptical.

Tony from Green Bay, WI

Can we now say Pete Rose was ahead of his time? Is forgiveness possible?

Yeah, I’m not there yet.

Derrick from Rockaway, NJ

What number will Montgomery switch to when the Packers sign Dez? I'd like to thank Witten for allowing us to extend the number questions another offseason.

Yes. I’m sooooooooooooooooo grateful to Jason Witten.

Craig from Laramie, WY

I'll just say this: Wes Hodkiewicz is to present-day background stories what Cliff Christl is to historical background stories. GB attracts/produces/develops some pretty fine writers.

That’s some high praise, Craig. I can’t say it’s warranted, but I appreciate you following along with our coverage. Cliff truly is in his own stratosphere. He’s the best to ever do it in my humble opinion. He set the standard.

Fred from La Crosse, WI

All this talk about OC and DC. I think I saw them in Milwaukee at Summerfest. They played some music from “Back in Black.” Great event. The season will unfold, players play, coaches coach and fans, well, they fan. Do you have a favorite Summerfest memory like mine?

I attended a Dispatch concert in 2013 with a double ear infection. It was greeeeeeeeeeat.

Dale from Sylacauga, AL

I loved the piece on Hunter Bradley. Any game of football holds my attention, but the human stories of the players inspire me to excel in my own little life. What is the most compelling player story for you?

I love telling untold stories that help fans better understand who these players are behind the facemask. Bradley has quite a story and silenced a lot of naysayers to make it to this level. My favorite story I’ve written probably is the piece I did on Mason Crosby and his sister-in-law Brittany last fall because it reminded me of how fragile life is and to make sure I count my blessings every day.

Aric from Warsaw, NY

If you're asking the questions, and we're answering them, would that make it the "Insider Outbox" or the "Outsider Inbox"?

Definitely “Outsider Inbox.” Or “Outsider Outhouse”?

Paul from Middleton, WI

I second the Carnac idea!

Sure, but do I have to wear the outfit?

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Interesting idea with you submitting questions and readers answering. May I suggest at the end of the Inbox on July 2, you submit five questions and then on July 3 print the best/most interesting answers to each question? I promise we won't tell Spoff.

I’m going to ask the questions on July 3 – I like your suggestion of five – and give it an extra day for answers to come in since we’re in kind of uncharted territory here. Plus, it will make my July 4/5 turnaround easier. 

Adam from Wausau, WI

Wes, did the card that accompanied the gas card to your wife read, "To a wonderful girl, a great pal, and more"?

Complete with box and wrapping paper. To be fair, I also got her a pair of heels she wanted. I made a mental note of it. Oh yes, I’m very sensitive about that. I mean Mother’s Day comes up, I keep my ears open.


HAVE A QUESTION?

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Inbox

Join Packers.com writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox.

Do you have a question? Your question could be posted on packers.com.

* Required Field