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It's a game of snaps, not starts

Posted May 17, 2017

Is anyone a full-time anything anymore?


Joe from Asbury, IA

Vic, Spoff, and Biff all suffer non-football-related injuries. What is each injury and how did it happen?

Spoff hit it on the head in Tuesday’s Inbox. While it wasn’t a 3, I had one incident this past season where I threw my arms up near the head-and-neck area of a guy cutting wildly across the court. He got all mad about it. “Hey Seven, settle down.” But he also was an illegal player not listed on their roster. Eat or be eaten. If I’m going down, it won’t be without a fight.

Ken from Wolcott, CT

Reading that story about Devante Mays, how can anyone not want this young man to do well and have many years in the NFL? All he went through and being a late pick, what a story that would be. With that being said, if he does play out of his mind and another back we picked up looks like a solid No. 2, would Mike McCarthy put Ty back at WR full-time or do you think Ty is now a running back and nothing will change that?

Mike did a terrific job on that story. If you haven’t read it already, it’s definitely worth your time. I don’t see Montgomery moving back to receiver. He’s been with Ben Sirmans in the running backs room since September. The Packers will have the freedom to move him around, but his home base will be in the backfield regardless of how the rookies perform.

Mike from Stillwater, MN

Heck of a topic to discuss as far as teams revoking season tickets for consistently reselling them. I take my son to a Packer game every year. There is no way we can do that without season-ticket holders reselling their tickets. But at the same time I don't think it's right for someone to profit from selling all their tickets and deny a future season-ticket holder their opportunity. I think there should be a reasonable balance there.

There’s zero, there’s 60, and there’s somewhere in between. I don’t know what the answer is to prevent price-gouging, but there has to be transparency. If you’re forking out the cash and abiding by all game-day rules, I don’t think it’s right to penalize people without warning for putting tickets on the secondary market.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

As a non-season-ticket holder, I am thankful that there are always many tickets available on the secondary market. If every season-ticket holder went to every game, then I would never get to go to a game. As it currently stands, I can attend essentially any game I want as long as I am willing to pay for it. If they gave you the ultimate decision on how to handle ticket distribution, what would you do?

I think the Packers handle it as well as any NFL organization, especially with the demand for tickets in Green Bay. They’ve expanded the stadium to nearly 80,000 seats and Brown County tickets were a brilliant idea in 2003. My family didn’t have season tickets. If it wasn’t for those seats, I wouldn’t have seen nearly as many games in-person as I did in my formative years.

Bob from Lexington, SC

Many people seem concerned that Ty Montgomery might not start. If he isn't starting, it's because someone beat him out for the position. That guy must be really good. Be happy for the team that Ty got beat out for the position.

I want to play as much as possible. You could be listed as the starter or the third guy on the depth chart, but if you’re playing on Sunday, that’s all that matters. It’s a game of snaps, not starts. I’d rather be on the field for the last play than the first any day. I don’t know how many games Montgomery will start, but he will play.

David from Chestertown, MD

Just a comment on Paul from Farnborough, UK, who says he's "bored of whipping Chicago every season..." I'm not sure if he remembers the barn-burning catch Jordy had last year in the final seconds to set-up Mason's winning field goal? That was one of the most exciting plays and finishes I've seen in a game of football in 40 years of watching the game. It still gives me goosebumps.

As Spoff said, I’m pretty sure those who followed the Packers in the 1980s haven’t grown tired of beating the Bears over the last 25 years. That’s what makes moments such as the 2010 NFC Championship Game and 2013 regular-season finale that much sweeter.

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

Anything going on with that 6-6 undrafted receiver?

Michael Clark is a great story. He played basketball at St. Francis (Pa). before transferring to play football at Marshall. It was his first time playing organized football since his freshman year of high school. It kind of reminds me of former UW-Milwaukee forward Demetrius Harris, now a tight end with the Chiefs.

John from Yakima, WA

Insiders, what do you see as the difference in traits/skills that has Janis for kickoff and Cobb for punt returns?

Cobb has proven he can do both duties, but Janis’ speed and explosiveness translate well to the return game. I’m not sure many people realize Janis has averaged 26.3 yards per return on 20 career kickoff-return attempts. Returning punts requires more finesse and experience. Speed helps, but you also need the moxie to field the punt and foresight to set up blocks. Cobb does that exceptionally well. 

Tom from Westfield, MA

I just want to add (concerning season tickets) it serves two purposes to stop season-ticket holders from selling their tickets. More Packer fans in the stands. Many sold tickets wind up being sold to the opposing teams. Denver is brilliant for doing this.

Two sides to every coin.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

Any thoughts as to Josh Jones becoming a full-time linebacker? I remember the Bears drafting a safety a few years ago and he became a pretty good middle linebacker.

Is anyone a full-time anything anymore? Jones is a Swiss Army Knife. Swiss Army Knives are used in a variety of ways. Nobody just uses the corkscrew.

Cameron from Springville, UT

What game do you think will be the hardest for us? I could see it being the Falcons, with the two losses last year. What about you?

I’ll also say Atlanta because of the Falcons opening Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Words cannot describe how loud it was in Minnesota last year for that Week 2 opener.

Malte from Odense, Denmark

Would a player like Jaylon Smith be considered eligible as Comeback Player of the Year, next season, given that he doesn't really come back, but is really just getting started?

I don’t believe the AP considers rookies for comeback player of the year, but the PFWA bestowed its version of the award on Willis McGahee in 2004 after he rebounded from major knee surgery to rush for 1,128 yards as a rookie.

Travis from Bremerton, WA

What happens to unsigned rookies who get hurt? Do they generally just go away? Are the Packers compensated in some way with draft picks, or do they just have to chalk it up as a loss and sign a FA?

Rookies sign an agreement to participate in rookie orientation and the offseason program, ensuring they’ll receive their full contract should something arise. The Packers do not receive any form of compensation if something occurs to a draft pick, though.

Nicholas from Asheville, NC

Do you really think Tom Brady plays until 45, or do you see Father Time remaining undefeated? Plus he's got the Madden curse to contend with.

Brady and Aaron Rodgers are doing whatever it takes to play as long as possible. Barring the unforeseen, I think both have a shot to do it. Brady has never been known for his speed, but he can chuck the pigskin. That gives a veteran quarterback the chance to stick around for a while.

Rick from Austin, TX

Biff, everyone is hollering for Elvis Dumervil, especially with Vince Biegel’s situation. However, Erik Walden could be a better fit with his familiarity, past production, and lack of serious injury concerns. Going into the offseason, Vic and others espoused increased pass-rush heat as a key to defensive development, but I just don't see it with the current crop of OLBs. To what extent does this need to be addressed?

I’m not sure what Walden’s situation is or what exactly he’s looking for, but I was surprised when I realized last week he was still a free agent after a career-high 11 sacks. He’ll be 32 in August, which could make teams hesitant to pay him a premium contract.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

If Matthews played through a shoulder injury last season, that implies the decision-makers believed an injured Matthews is better than a healthy backup. Doesn't that say something about his "eliteness”?

If Matthews is cleared to play, you have to get him on the field. Clay Matthews at 50 percent is still better than most pass-rushers in the NFL. Dom Capers knows this. Even if he’s limited, there’s still a chance he’ll produce a game-changing play.

Toby from Wells, MN

Why is Jason Spriggs not being mentioned much as a potential replacement for T.J. Lang? We invested a fair amount to move up and draft him and it seems as though he should be given a chance to win the position battle to get him on the field.

The current plan is for Spriggs to serve as the swing tackle. It’s always subject to change, but right now he’s staying outside like he did during his time at Indiana.

Timothy from New York, NY

Jake Schum is totally jacked. Why do punters need to hit the weights so hard? Seems like the little guys can boot it just as far.

That’s a good question. If I get a chance, I’ll ask Jake about his regimen this offseason or during camp. Every punter has a different process, but I agree with your point. He’s built like a running back.

Kyle from Los Angeles, CA

Out of all of the rookies, I feel the one who has attempted to engage the fan base most is clearly Jamaal Williams. Do you think that this is his genuine personality showing, or is he doing his best to market himself at a competitive position given that MM evaluates seemingly everything when making roster decisions (down to how they interact with the cafeteria staff)? And in the end, will it even matter?

What has impressed me with this year’s rookie class is how genuine the players have been. It was that way last year, as well. What you see is what you get. It’s easy to stand at a podium during the NFL Scouting Combine and say the right things, but how you deal with the day-to-day aspect of this business is the real question.

Paul from Minneapolis, MN

I'll give Paul from Farnborough, UK, a pass for not fully understanding the strength of the Packers/Bears rivalry. We love Packers fans no matter where they reside. But Paul, it goes something like this: Bears, Cowboys, Vikings, Lions. Everyone else is just another opponent, right?

I’d argue Seattle is working its way onto that list.

Kurt from Everett, MA

Hey Mike, I auditioned and was selected to be an extra in the remake of "Fever Pitch." I went back to Connecticut that weekend for a date instead. I also regret not staying and being in a movie.

I would have gone on the date. Even if it didn’t work out, I would have been thankful for not being in “Fever Pitch.”

Nate from Torrington, CT

So I saw a headline today that said Brett Favre wanted to come back and play in the NFL. Obviously, it was a hoax, but it got me thinking, legally speaking. Can he come back and play again? I would think there is some sort of time limit to return.

You thought wrong. There’s no time (or age) limit for someone to play in the NFL. That being said, the 47-year-old Favre seems pretty content in retirement.

Dylan from Stevens Point, WI

Greg asked a question about the biggest difference between coaching college and pros. In my opinion I think the biggest difference is that in college, you have your system and you try to get the best players that fit your system. In the pros, you have to use the best players in the system that allows those players to succeed.

You also have to search the country for players in college. I’ve talked to a few college coaches since the NFL Draft concluded and each of them has been scattered throughout the country on recruiting trips. Those duties are divided in the pros. Some coaches scout, but most are concentrated on developing the players on the roster.

Tim from Walbridge, OH

I noticed Bill from Iowa City had two questions answered in Tuesday's column. I assume those came from the same person. If so, were there other times when the same person had two questions published on the same day? Do those people get some type of recognition?

To the best of my knowledge, there’s only been one time I published two questions from one individual. I did so because the questions interested me. I believe I made a point to mention that in my response, as well.

Nick from St. Louis, MO

Wes, what would you say are Vic's and Mike's spirit animals? What member of the animal kingdom best represents their wild souls?

I wouldn’t go that far. I’ll leave Vic’s representation up to Michael’s imagination, but Spoff’s spirit animal is definitely an owl – wise and prophetic.

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