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He earned this

Posted Dec 30, 2017

The Packers found a gem in Justin McCray


Ryan from Santee, CA

Not a question, but with Davante Adams being ruled out I really hope we haven't seen the last of him in green and gold. Just saying.

There were several of these comments prior to the announcement on Friday evening that Adams had signed an extension. The Packers once again taking care of their own.

Dan from Houston, TX

How happy is Aaron?

I’d have to imagine he and the rest of the Packers’ locker room are thrilled. Davante Adams is what draft-and-develop is all about. He made an early impact, weathered adversity during his second year and developed into one of the league’s top pass-catchers over the past two seasons. What stands out to me about Adams is how even-keeled he’s been through it all. I don’t know if I’ve covered an athlete more confident in his abilities. Adams is consistent and the same guy every time he steps onto the field. He earned this.



Anton from Green Bay, WI

Good old Ted actually knows how to give us a happy ending on a disappointing season. There was no way to let Adams walk away.

Adams, who turned 25 on Christmas Eve, would have been one of the top receivers on the market. Instead, the Packers hold onto one of Rodgers’ favorite targets. Nobody has more touchdown catches than Adams’ 22 over the past two seasons. This move ensures he’ll continue to be on the receiving end of Rodgers’ passes for years to come.

Rob from Buckinghamshire, UK

When the dust settles in March this may well go down as a bargain. We've effectively set the bar with Adams' deal and now the likes of Watkins and Landry will be looking for at least as much if not more. Good job, Ted.

Green Bay has a great track record getting deals done with its upcoming free agents before the season is over (Aaron Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, Jordy Nelson, Mike Daniels and Lane Taylor just to name a recent few). Getting Adams’ deal done now also allows the Packers to spread out the signing bonus longer and better absorb the contract. It’s a win-win situation. It’s a smart move for the Packers and rewards Adams for another productive campaign.

Eric from Greenville, WI

I see the Rodgers' "all in" comments are starting to be recirculated again. Before everyone focuses their attention on Ted Thompson and the front office, there's a large part of me that senses Rodgers was talking to his teammates more than anyone. Nobody prepares his body or his mind like Rodgers does. I think he leads by example.

Maybe it depends on an individual’s definition of “all in,” but I think the Packers have been “all-in.” Players, coaches and the personnel department approach every season with the Super Bowl in mind. They’re fully aware of the opportunity they have with Rodgers at QB. To me, the only thing that matters at this moment is Adams is in the fold. Now, let’s see who joins him in 2018.

Robert from Pflugerville, TX

Not a question but an observation. I'm not sure if the Packers award a team MVP or not but in my mind it is Justin McCray – hands down. This guy stepped in, did everything asked of him and performed.

Talk about seizing an opportunity. McCray signed with the Packers as a street free agent last summer, facing long odds to make it to practice squad. The coaches put him on the second-team offensive line and he held onto the job with a death grip. What McCray has accomplished this season is astounding. He spent the entire offseason as the backup center and it’s the one position he hasn’t played this year. The Packers found a gem in Justin McCray.

Jerry from Kansas City, MO

Outside the obvious of slowing down Stafford, what are the keys to pulling off a win against Detroit?

Marvin Jones Jr. The Packers cannot let him get rolling like he has over the past two seasons. With Davon House gutting through his shoulder and back injuries, Green Bay’s secondary should have its best chance to limit the Lions’ perimeter weapons, especially if Damarious Randall can play Sunday. The Lions feature the league’s 32nd rushing offense, but they can chuck the football with the best of them.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Loved the article on Davon House. I love hearing how they see and feel within the Packers organization. It makes me that much more appreciative as a fan that this is the team I cheer for. I know as a business it's about the win-loss ratio, but really these men’s lives matter and that means much more to me and what helps get you through the bumps in the road.

Thanks Jessi. I’d been working on the story since September, but House’s injuries made it difficult to find the right time to run it. I think his background, battle with dyslexia and the friendships he forged in the Packers’ locker room help explain why he felt so compelled to return to Green Bay this year. House always has been a pleasant and easygoing personality, but you can see how much he’s grown since he left after the 2014 season.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Great article on Lucas Patrick. Getting a glimpse of his journey makes it very easy to root for him. We'll all be watching Sunday!

Patrick is a great story. The guy didn’t just go undrafted – he didn’t even get a rookie contract from an NFL team. Green Bay was the only team to offer Patrick a tryout spot at its rookie orientation camp. Even then, he had to wait another two weeks before signing a non-guaranteed deal. Everything Patrick has done over the past year put him in this position.

Michael from Farragut, TN

In building around Aaron Rodgers, everyone of course thinks he needs better pass protection. If he had the No. 1 offensive line, would he be that much better? He seems to make his biggest plays under pressure.

Truthfully, I think the Packers’ offensive line played pretty well this year all things considered. They lost Bryan Bulaga, David Bakhtiari, Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy for extended periods of time, and still survived thanks to Lane Taylor, McCray and Patrick.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, it's no secret that the Packers need edge rushers. In the various Packer defenses edge rusher can be a defensive end, outside linebacker or a defensive back. If “edge rusher” refers to defensive end or outside linebacker, which of the two is more useful in the various Packer schemes?

The lines have blurred a little with the surge of sub-packages, but I still believe in impactful 6-foot-4, 260-pound outside linebackers crashing off the edge. They’re nimble enough to defend the run, drop in coverage and still powerful enough to pressure. Their job isn’t easy, but the production is valuable.

Fletcher from Fall River, WI

Already almost two weeks later, Adams is still in the concussion protocol. What level of concern is there that Adams will not recover his next cheap shot and have to retire like Shields?

Every concussion is different. Many things factor into a player progressing out of the protocol. I don’t think there’s a cause for concern.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Wes, let's put it in perspective a bit. Your answer as to how many other NFC teams have won a SB in the past 25 years combined needs a bit more clarification. If you were to ask how many NFC teams with QBs the caliber of Favre and Rodgers have won SBs in the past 25 years, your answer would be totally different. Montana and Young had many SBs under their belt and even guys like Aikman, Elway and Bradshaw saw multiple championships during their tenure. Not to undermine what you wrote, but I think fans see the Favre/Rodgers legacy being under-utilized in this system and time is running short. If Rodgers were to retire in five years and all we had to show for 30 years in great QB play was two Super Bowls, wouldn't that be seen as a waste of talent or just unlucky circumstances?

I disagree. The Packers have won two Super Bowls in the last 25 years and the rest of the NFC playoff field has combined for two. That’s a fact. Super Bowls are like everlasting gobstoppers. You want as many as you can get your hands on, but never lose sight of the fact one is still more than what most ever get. Do multiple Super Bowls put you in a different stratosphere? Of course, but there are only a handful of those guys out there. It’s building on a legacy – not justifying it.

Matt from Dyersville, IA

Which replay review from this season stands out most to you? The John Fox challenge versus the Packers is my favorite.

Boy, that’s an all-timer and probably taught us a valuable lesson – don’t mess with the pylon.

Collin from Grand Junction, MI

Does a team have the opportunity to activate a player off the practice squad if another team is attempting to sign him, and does that information become public? Let’s say Team X were trying to sign Michael Clark and that's why Green Bay put him on the 53. Would we, as fans, ever know that the Team X attempted to sign him?

No. Not unless the player or someone else discloses that information. The only transaction submitted to the league would be Clark signing to the 53-man roster. I will add Clark has told reporters his promotion was more a reward of a job well done this season.

Jake from Greenville, NC

I’m sure there’s a good reason, but why rule out six players for the last game of the season instead of just putting them on IR and calling up some practice-squad guys?

I’m not sure what the salary-cap implications would be for that, but it’s not entirely out of the question. The Packers could still make a roster move or two if they deem it necessary.

Marjorie from Roseville, CA

I know there is a salary cap for players. Is there also one for coaching and management staff? If not, seems like rich owners have a terrific advantage. Thanks. Happy New Year!

There is no cap on coaching and personnel staffs, but that works both ways with owners. They have to be willing to cut the check. One of the advantages Mike McCarthy has talked about in the past is the organization’s willingness to upgrade resources and keep the facilities state-of-the-art.

John from Florissant, MO

What is the contract status of Jeff Janis?

He’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Jon from Fontana, CA

When picking teams out on the playground, we would have the individual picking last in the round get to pick first in the next round. If that were the NFL Draft, would you want to pick first and 64th or 32nd and 33rd?

The draft-value chart would say first and 64th. Not even close.

Gary from Albion, MI

Good work guys, but if the NFL and PA are so concerned about CTE and player safety, they should ban head butts and celebrative head slaps. Both probably contribute to CTE. Back when I was in the military, we were taught that if you sit a guy in a chair and beat his head long enough with a rolled up newspaper, you can turn his brain to mush (CTE) without leaving a mark on him. Point made! Thanks. Keep up the good work.

I won’t argue with you. Those type of celebrations are kind of woven into the fabric of the league, but guys need to be mindful of it. Thank you for your service.

Tony from River Falls, WI

Spoff and Wes, what will your jobs look like during the NFL playoffs since the Packers are not in it this year?

One of the biggest misconceptions of our jobs is we just go on vacation for six months once the season ends. The job is pretty much the same. The only difference is I occasionally get to see my family rather than seeing what everyone is up to on Facebook while I write Inbox at odd hours of the night and morning.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Wes, we're about the same age, meaning I got to grow up with Brett Favre. While Brett was playing with the Vikings, did you want him to win a Super Bowl if the Packers couldn't? I did. I wanted to see him succeed. But, if you don't feel like answering that please answer me this because I've always wondered this. How different would fans’ opinions, appreciations, and perspectives be if Brett had won a Super Bowl with the Vikings? It would be no different for me, but I came from a Packer family so I've been bred.

Excellent question, albeit hypothetical. I was kind of indifferent to the Favre era in Minnesota. If he’d won a Super Bowl, I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it. However, I do think it would’ve made the healing process a little more difficult for some Packers fans. There are others who’ll love Favre regardless given what he meant to the franchise rising from the ashes.

James from Durango, CO

Hey Wes, it’s the first round of the draft and the Packers’ pick is next. If you had a choice between the next Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, Barry Sanders, or Randy Moss, who does GM Wes pick and why?

I would’ve loved to watch Deion Sanders play in today’s NFL against spread offenses. Since Charles Woodson isn’t an option, I’ll go with Sanders.

Jim from Houston, TX

You summed up the pain nicely and succinctly. I mean fourth-and-26? April helps me turn the page from melancholy to hope again. We’ve had to turn that page quite a few times as you listed, but I’ll keep turning, we all will. I mean, it’s the Green Bay Packers. They’re like a Scorsese film, whether you get “Shutter Island” or “Taxi Driver,” they’re always entertaining.

I’m a big fan of “The Departed,” myself.

John from Crivitz, WI

No question today, just a thank you to both of you guys for keeping me informed and entertained during my lunch break every day, a welcome respite in a hectic day. You guys are good for at least one good laugh a day, and that's appreciated more than you know. Happy New Year to everyone at packers.com!

We try. We may not always succeed. But we try.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, besides the birth of Cillian, what were the highlights of 2017? Thanks so much to you and Mike for all your hard work and for letting us be part of it. Happy New Year.

Too many blessings to count. I’m thankful to have amazing, talented co-workers and an unbelievably understanding wife who lets me live my dream. I also appreciate everyone who spends a portion of their day here in this space. I wish you all a Happy New Year. See you on the other side.


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