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Let's sit back and see what happens

Posted May 8, 2018

If enough defenders make plays, the end justifies the means


Jason from Valrico, FL

A lot of frustration from Packer fans in not addressing the edge-rusher position. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised by the defensive interior and its ability to provide pressure and our revamped secondary with its mix of emerging second-year players King and Jones, veterans Williams, House and Ha-Ha, and newly acquired rookies Alexander and Jackson.

Playmakers over positions. If enough defenders make plays, the end justifies the means. Good morning!

Blake from Orlando, FL

It’s obvious the Packers are expecting big things from Reggie Gilbert. What attributes make him an intriguing player to watch? Is it strength? Pass-rush moves? Quickness?

I like his size, explosiveness off the edge and ability to beat the guy in front of him. The Packers have given Gilbert a two-year education on the edge-rushing position and he really seems to have taken to it. I remember Jayrone Elliott telling him two years ago Gilbert was going to be a player. He’s not there yet, but last year was promising.

Kyle from Lewiston, ID

Looks like there will be an exciting competition at the WR position. Who catches your eye the most out of the rookies that we currently have, and who might have the best chance to making an impact at some point during the 2018 season?

All three are unique and bring different elements to the table. J’Mon Moore is a guy who intrigues me based on how effective he was in the SEC. You don’t see many receivers who post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in that conference very often.

Chris from Fairfax, VA

Is Equanimeous a Greek name or a Latin name? If it's Greek, then I think the plural would be Equanimedes. Or instead of origin of name, does it depend where the person whose name it is comes from? Maybe it's Equanimeousen after his German side.

It’s Latin for calm and composed in difficult situations. I could occasionally use some equanimity writing this column.

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

Wes, his initials, “NinjaCheese125” was his name. He played on Madden as Cleveland, and I beat him. I was fantasizing the entire time I was beating Wes Hodkiewicz at Madden. Please tell me I am right. As for my question, where does all of this leave Michael Clark? All these WR draft picks leaves a UDFA, where, exactly?

Unfortunately, that was not the real Wes Hodkiewicz. I haven’t played Madden in years and I never played online. Clark was going to be competing for a job regardless of what the Packers did in the draft. He’s still very much in the running. I expect those incoming receivers will bring out the best in Clark, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey and all of the Packers’ returning veterans.

Edward from Canton, SD

Can JK Scott and Hunter Bradley choose to work out on their own snapping and holding for placekicks as long as a Packer coach is not present?

Yes, because ’Merica.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Is Jake Ryan's job in jeopardy if Burks works out at ILB or do they keep him for run downs?

There have been enough snaps available for that position the past two years despite four players (Blake Martinez, Ryan, Joe Thomas and Morgan Burnett) playing inside.

Matt from Hartford, WI

What does Oren Burks mean to our defense? Is he in a position to be a four-down player?

He definitely has that capability. However, one thing I learned from covering Martinez in 2016 is not to rush guys up the depth chart too early. Burks is a very intelligent individual, but it’s a jump going from the NCAA to the NFL. It can take time for a prospect to reach his potential. It doesn’t happen overnight. Everyone likes to prognosticate. Let’s sit back and see what happens.

Ben from Petal, MS

After Graham and Kendricks, there isn't a familiar TE on the roster. Can you give me/us a primer on the potential TE3 prospects?

Check back in a few hours. We’ll have a pretty cool feature on Emanuel Byrd, a late-season call-up who made a few plays last year in Detroit.

Glen from Mount Waverley, Australia

Patrick Clayborn of the NFL Network suggested that bringing players closer to the line on kickoffs actually encourages more kicks to be kept in play to pin the returner deep, yet the focus should be on encouraging kicks out the back of the end zone. His proposal: kickoffs through the uprights are worth one point, encouraging more deep kicks, adding to excitement and reducing the number of overtime games and therefore injury opportunities. What are your thoughts on that as a possible solution?

I agree with Patrick’s assessment, but I still prefer the “Crosby Rule” I outlined recently, where the ball is placed at the 20-yard line if the kickoff goes through the uprights. Otherwise, possession starts at the 25 for touchbacks.

James from Grover Beach, CA

Good morning Packers Nation! My question is a follow-up to Patricia's question. If we have a long snapper on the roster with the speed, power and "quick twitch" to both snap and hold, why is this not news? And don’t you think he should play tight end? Oh and change his number of course.

Hunter Bradley actually played tight end before tearing his ACL three times. Wait, I just opened up a can of asparagus again, didn’t I?

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

After the draft, I searched through various highlight clips of Packer picks and was only able to find a short clip on Hunter Bradley. The one thing that stood out was the velocity on his snaps. Was that apparent in rookie orientation and were the holder-kicker able to adjust?

They didn’t do much snapping or punting on Friday, so I haven’t seen Bradley work in real time yet. However, I watched the videos. There is some serious snap to his, uh, well, snaps. He also is a natural athlete who can get downfield and cover. He’s a specialist who didn’t specialize. I like that.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Do you think Ty Montgomery will have more rushing attempts or receptions this season?

Rushing attempts.

Fritz from Stevens Point, WI

I’ve often wondered, do FA rookies ever get discovered and signed due to recommendations by rookies who played with or against them in college? The most recent that made me wonder was LB Greer Martini, the Notre Dame teammate of Equanimeous St. Brown.

You’ll see players stump for former teammates on Twitter every now and then (Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Quinton Dial last season), but scouts scout. Maybe they ask for the two cents of a former teammate on a potential signee, but most personnel men will have a pretty firm grasp on prospects before they sign on the dotted line.

Raj from Newtown, PA

Lifetime Packers fan. Sold hot dogs at Lambeau when I was 14. Did the Packers get what they needed in the draft to shore up the offensive line?

I think so. They have Bryan Bulaga, Kyle Murphy and Jason Spriggs all coming back at some point. Cole Madison and Justin McCray give them some positional versatility. Depending on what happens with Jahri Evans, the Packers have interior options with McCray, Madison, Lucas Patrick and others.

Dan from Denham Springs, LA

I just saw a photo of the new DC and he looks mean, nasty and scary. I suddenly felt a major bit of optimism for the defense this year, and a slight bit of sorrow for the teams the Packers will face. Really enjoy reading the updates, thanks.

It’s not by design. Mike Pettine said back in January it’s just his natural gaze. Hey, if it helps light a fire under guys, whatever works, I suppose.

Fabrizio from Cuneo, Italia

Desmond Howard's kickoff return during Super Bowl XXXI was the very first football play I watched on TV. Then I even didn't know what "American" football looked like. That play made me fall in love with the game and with that team in green and gold. That's the reason why I hope the league never gets rid of kickoff returns. Do you remember when you fell in love with the game? Was it a play, a player, something different?

The Howard touchdown return is one of the first plays I can remember. However, I’d say Michael Vick is the guy who sold me on the NFL. I was a huge baseball/Brewers fan growing up. Vick got my attention because he was such an electric football player. I still have my ESPN the Magazine with him on the cover before the 2001 NFL Draft.

Solomon from Pomona, CA

Can we the fans please have more #AskJaire? I love it, and it gives me the opportunity to get to know him.

Speaking of electric. Wow.

Lawrence from Milwaukee, WI

Has there ever been a punter who looked more like a punter than JK Scott?

Or a high-jumper. With all due respect to Jacob Schum, it’s something to go from a punter who’s on my eye level to one who puts a kink in my neck. The young man possesses a lot of natural leverage and power. That’s for sure.

Justin from Janesville, WI

The 2018 draft is over. What do the GM and team scouts do with their 2018 reports?

They hold onto them. As Brian Gutekunst said, the personnel department does three-year retrospectives every offseason to revisit previous drafts to re-analyze prospects based on how their NFL careers have played out. Nothing is forgotten. Past experience has incredible value.

Min Shik from Seoul, South Korea

“Because I know for a long time (former Packers general manager) Ted (Thompson) was scared to death to bring one into the building” was a quote from Coach McCarthy regarding Wisconsin Badger football players. What am I to make of this? Did they grade Badgers on a curve?

It was a joke, people. Sarcasm. McCarthy was being funny because everyone constantly asked why Thompson didn’t sign or draft more Badgers.

John from Mukwonago, WI

Don't be so hard on Patricia from Pickerington. I heard Jim Thorpe once caught his own long snap. It was the same play he caught his own punt. Truly amazing.

And ran it in for the 20-yard touchdown. It’s a shame they didn’t have cameras back in 1911.

Jordan from Sturgeon Bay, WI

I expect a breakout of WR fever in Green Bay this summer far worse than we have ever seen before. Is there any known cure other than Week 1?!? What other known side effects are there besides wanting to convert them all to tight ends?

It’s just important for fans to wish for these three rookies to be the best versions of themselves and not anyone else whose name rhymes with Morty Selfson.

Brett from Madison, WI

With all these former basketball players on our roster, who would win in a 3-on-3 game? Goodson, Madison, and M. Clark vs. Rollins, Graham, and EQ?

I’m not sure, but I’d pay to see it. Graham, Rollins and Goodson could ball.

Jim from Baraboo, WI

What's the current rough estimate for the Pack to get compensatory picks in the 2019 draft?

Possibly none at the moment. The Packers lost only two qualified free agents (Morgan Burnett and Jeff Janis) and signed Jimmy Graham and Tramon Williams.

Eric from Elkhorn, WI

What is the date we are only allowed a 90-man roster? How many players do we typically take a look at before we reach the start of training camp? Please enlighten with the process of UDFAs making it onto the field for training camp. Are they paid to try out?

Teams may begin building their offseason 90-man roster as soon as the regular season is over. Since last year, they’re now allowed to carry 90 players all the way until the final cut-down day. Players without workout bonuses get stipends to participate in the offseason program and training camp. Their contracts kick in once they make the team.

Arnie from Ventura, CA

OK, what’s up the CRIC? What type of practice is held there? Thanks for all you guys do.

Mostly walk-throughs and rehab exercises. It’s a valuable tool because it doesn’t require the entire team and coaching staff to transport over to the Hutson Center for everything.

Josh from Black Earth, WI

Is it CRIC? I always thought it was creek.

Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Instructional Center.

Joe from Saint Paul, MN

Please thank Mark Murphy for taking the time to write that Murphy Takes Five article. His elegant and genuine candor, especially to such antagonism as Jason's comments, reveal the character of this organization and the trust he has in his "war room" team. Much has been written about the legacies of Wolf and Thompson but, in my opinion, Murphy's dedication to building this team the right way and putting faith in the men he hires sets the entire franchise up to be successful. Any good personal or professional stories to share about Murphy and his impact on the Packers?

He’s a man of very little ego, a trait that binds him to his predecessor. A few years ago, I misspoke and accidentally called Murphy “Mike” at the NFL Owners Meetings. I imagine quite a few owners would have used that moment to put the newspaper hack in his place. He accepted my apology and we went on with the interview. I think his authenticity came through in his reply to Jason. Also, I wish I had a nickel for every time a comment like that slid into my submissions. I would’ve retired a year ago.

Joachim from Kassel, Germany

Shakespeare now, huh? Wes is upping his game early this year.

Keepin’ up with the Spoffords.


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