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It takes more than one player

Posted May 7, 2018

They've all got stories to tell, and they tell them well


Kevin from Virginia Beach, VA

Insiders, just wondering, when the rookies first come to Green Bay, are they given the “tour”? By that, I mean, are they taken around the stadium and taken through the GBP Hall of Fame? I feel this would help instill in them where they are and in what company they are now in.

They watch a short film on the history of the franchise as part of their orientation, and there’s enough décor in the team facility – the Super Bowl trophies, Pro Football Hall of Famer murals, big-game murals, retired jerseys in glass cases – I don’t think it’s difficult for any of them to appreciate where they are.

Larry from Carney, MI

Will Reggie Gilbert have to change his number if he plays tight end?

Outstanding.

Jesse from Marquette, MI

Was Scott the placeholder while at Alabama or is that a new skill he's going to have to learn?

He was the holder for the Crimson Tide.

Patricia from Pickerington, OH

Apologies for the stupid question, but why does the punter hold for Crosby and not the long snapper?

Um …

Rod from Middleton, NJ

I noted the question about long-snapper measurables the other day and wondered about orientation of the ball as it arrives to the holder of the extra point or field goal. Specifically, I noticed during pregame practice a few years back that Brett Goode’s snaps hit the hands of the holder laces up, every time! I had heard this is something he could do and watched specifically for that during his practice sessions. I was astonished by this and have wondered is this ability common or expected for all long snappers? I remember not that long ago noting the holders would spin the laces away from the kicker’s foot before impact. If this is an expected behavior now in the LS position, when did this transition happen and why is more not made of this ability?

Goode honed his release and rotation perfectly, and most long snappers have a consistent delivery, which is the biggest key. Whether or not a snapper can get the laces in the perfect place when the ball hits the holder’s hand likely depends, in part, on whether he needs to grip the laces himself when he snaps, or if he can rotate the ball wherever he needs to and still snap it with the same rotation and velocity. Either way, as long as the holder is catching it the same way every time, the routine can stay smooth.

Will from Julian, CA

When was the last time the Packers not only did not draft a RB but also did not sign one as an undrafted FA? It seems we are a bit lacking in competition at that position.

Joel Bouagnon from Northern Illinois was signed back on Jan. 10. He was placed on injured reserve early in training camp last year by the Bears. He’s the offseason addition to the position group.

Christow from Abilene, TX

Hey y’all! In the pictures of first day of rookie orientation I noticed that Robert Tonyan was there along with the rookies. How does that work since technically he isn’t a rookie?

Any player who has been on the practice squad only, or not on the active roster beyond a certain number of games (I think the limit is three, but I’m not totally sure) is eligible to participate in rookie orientation. This year the non-rookies were DeAngelo Yancey, Colby Pearson, Ahmad Thomas, Zach Triner, Kofi Amichia, Emanuel Byrd, Reggie Gilbert, Tonyan and Bouagnon.

John from Fox Crossing, WI

Equinameouses or Equinimei as the plural form?

We may never find out. I think that was the intent.

David from Danville, CA

This narrative that Ted Thompson whiffed on the 2015 draft is becoming irritating. What lazy analysts fail to mention is that the 2015 draft was a bust for just about EVERY GM. Only eight players picked in the first round before the Packers have made the Pro Bowl. Winston, Cooper, Gurley and Peters being the best, but all have had up-and-down careers thus far. After the Packers took Randall, 23 other cornerbacks were drafted, including Rollins. Not a single one has anywhere close to the combination of career tackles, pass break-ups, or interceptions as Randall and only two others match Rollins’ production. Of the 226 players picked after Randall, a total of six players have made a Pro Bowl and none are currently upper-tier impact players today. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. 2015 was simply a weak year for talent. Why the anti-Ted narrative?

Because it’s an easy, hot take. Your analysis and perspective are appreciated.

Tony from Colorado Springs, CO

I can't help but ask – was the high school track star/crazy fast football player you covered Derek Abney from D.C. Everest?

You and a few central Wisconsin folks knew exactly who I was talking about, which says the impression wasn’t limited to me. He was faster than pretty much every kid on the track. In pads, it became patently unfair.

Jared from East Granby, CT

What do you think about Greg Schiano’s potential solution to the kickoff? “Kickoffs are stupid and bad” on YouTube.

Thanks for the morning entertainment. I don’t see the league going to a punt/fourth-and-whatever replacement for the kickoff unless the proposed attempts to make the traditional kickoff safer prove fruitless. If the kickoff can’t be made safer, or if the changes to it radically alter the impact on the game, then we may be headed down the Schiano road. But not yet.

Warren from Lutz, FL

The real question is if Jimmy doesn't do all those things will George get upset?

A George divided against itself cannot stand.

Dan from Jimboomba, Australia

I understand it’s a fast-paced business but do you ever find nostalgia in rookies wearing past players’ numbers? Even watching unknown teams I just associate power with the 12s, 52s and 99s in the team. Do the numbers themselves hold any weight to industry professionals like yourselves?

Not after you’ve been through enough turnover, but I do find it funny the Packers currently have a player with the last name Gilbert wearing No. 93.

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

Oh, my. I just watched Jaire Alexander answer the fan questions on Twitter. I'm thinking you guys are going to have a lot of fun covering him. What an engaging young man.

My early impression of this draft class is that it includes several engaging personalities. Whether it’s listening to JK Scott talk about his family of Packers fans, Cole Madison reminisce about draining 3s, or James Looney do Disney impersonations, they’ve all got stories to tell, and they tell them well.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

Mike McCarthy is not a fan of the CBA. I get a kick out of his frustration. You can see how badly he wants to teach. Good coach. Always has been.

He’d love to get to work with the players more during the offseason. Every coach would. His first five years as a head coach were under the old rules with fewer limitations, and he was an NFL assistant for more than a dozen years before that. Coaches are teachers first.

Anders from Kinna, Sweden

Hi Insiders! MM spoke about a place referred to as “the krick” or “the crick.” What goes on there? It sounded as you couldn’t have too many of ’em.

The CRIC is the Conditioning, Rehab and Instructional Center, which is a fancy name for a miniature, indoor artificial surface field, about 30 yards long, with a big wall at one end that can have film/images projected on it. It’s adjacent to the weight room on one end of the team facility. The Packers use it for a number of different activities.

Jesse from Anaconda, Montana

“I saw Clay Matthews and he was bigger than I expected, but that’s cool.” I loved listening to J’Mon Moore. Thank you for posting the interviews of those we drafted. Anyone stand out to you on Day 1 during the practice?

I saw Oren Burks and he was bigger than I expected, but that’s cool.

Ryan from Eau Claire, WI

Mike, you have mentioned once or twice in this column that you are a racquetball player. As an avid, lifelong competitive racquetball player myself, I understand that the sport can be humbling to even the best athlete. Size and strength does not often translate onto the racquetball court. Which Packer player would you be most interested in challenging on the racquetball court?

Anyone willing to let me write a story about it, I suppose.

Nick from Garner, IA

Which question do you get asked a lot that annoys you the most?

This one.

Dave from Savage, MN

Now is the time for hope and projections. I know everyone is interested in the DBs and the pass rushers this season, but the guy I'm most interested to see is Oren Burks. Our defense in the middle has been a safe haven for opposing offenses and we need our safeties and ILBs to make it tougher for them. Coach McCarthy always talks about attacking the middle of the defense. You don't think the other teams don't think the same way? I hope No. 42's athleticism is joined by smarts and toughness and tackling ability.

It takes more than one player. Offenses can scheme to get a coverage linebacker out of the middle. But better cover corners on the outside can allow the safeties to stay in the middle more. It all works together.

Joe from Asbury, IA

Pretty sure MM already made his big-letter promise with the "defense needs to be better than the offense" comment, don't you agree?

Was he talking about his own offense, or the one his defense is facing on the field? I’m still not sure.

Brandon from Orlando, FL

I'm even more excited about our two new cornerbacks, and their different personalities, after listening to their interviews. You can feel Jaire's confidence radiating off of him, and Josh Jackson seems like he's ready to get down to business and just play football. Obviously Daniels is going to love playing with Jackson, as both are Hawkeyes, but something tells me he's really going to love lining up with Jaire as well. What were your thoughts on the interviews?

A lot of these guys were team captains in college, including Alexander, and that leadership comes across quickly. They strike me as self-aware enough that they won’t have trouble deferring to the veteran leaders on the team while finding the right moments to be themselves, too.

Travis from Fresno, CA

So, when do things get exciting again?

Happy Monday, everybody.


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