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The preseason games are getting closer

Posted Aug 7, 2017

Competition isn't always wearing the same uniform


Dan from Herriman, UT

Mike or Wes, give us one takeaway that stood out for you at Family Night.

I’ll give you a couple. Neither Randall Cobb nor Richard Rodgers should be forgotten in this offense, and no, I’m not worried about Crosby.

Caleb from Shawano, WI

So what, from a fan's perspective, should we be excited for following Family Night?

That we’re getting closer to the preseason games, when we’ll start seeing the young talent truly separate itself and provide more legitimacy to the roster bids.

Simon from Mountain View, CA

Wes got it wrong for Matt from Greensboro, NC. If the defender walks the receiver out of bounds it's not a catch. It used to be when we had the force-out rule, but that one came off the books a few years ago. Mike don't let Wes drag your name through the mud like that.

No, Wes got it right. The language of the adjusted force-out rule stipulates that if a receiver is “caught” and “walked” out of bounds (which were the words used by the questioner), rather than simply hit or pushed, it’s a catch. Rule 8, Section 1, Article 4, Item 6 addresses being “carried out of bounds.”

Carrie from San Jose, CA

Playing all future Super Bowls indoors to create “perfect conditions” sounds like a great plan to me. After all, it's not like an indoor stadium has ever had a 34-minute break in the third quarter because of a power outage or anything.

Nicely done.

Michael from Waukesha, WI

Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis are the latest inductees for the Hall of Fame. These players didn't fill up the stat sheet over their careers, but when they were at their peak, they were unstoppable. Sterling Sharpe comes to mind in that regard. He accumulated over 8,000 receiving yards and 65 touchdowns over the span of seven seasons. He had five Pro Bowl appearances and was a three-time All-Pro. He even won the Triple Crown in 1992 by leading in every statistical category for wide receivers that year. Jerry Rice and Steve Smith Sr. are the only modern receivers to accomplish that feat. Although his career was brief, he was absolutely dominant. So what exactly is holding him back from being a finalist?

It’s still the shortened career. Gale Sayers used to be the gold (jacket) standard for players with relatively short but impressive careers. I don’t put Warner in the same category, because I think his body of work changed when he led a second team to a Super Bowl for a third career appearance. But Davis’ induction is the proverbial can of worms that will lead to more reconsiderations, including Sharpe. What I think differentiates Davis, though, is his postseason dominance, which Sharpe doesn’t have. Davis was, hands down, the biggest reason the Broncos won two Super Bowls. His playoff stats are outrageous. Without those, I don’t think Davis would ever have been a serious candidate. Others trying to piggyback off of him to get in will still have a hard time, I believe, without the postseason accomplishments.

Scott from Palatine, IL

Loved Morten Andersen's Hall of Fame speech. Any that particularly struck you, from this year or years past?

Last year I was in Canton covering Favre. According to those with far more exposure to the ceremony over the years, his speech was one for the ages, so I consider myself lucky.

Travis from Fort Walton Beach, FL

Insiders, has the CBA ever considered initiating a max salary in addition to the minimum salary? Just as a thought experiment, I considered if the next CBA declared no player shall be paid more than 20 percent of the team salary cap. I imagine owners would be happy with it, since QB salaries are running away, and most non-HOF QB players would in turn see a rise in their expected salary as a result, and therefore would vote for it. I still can't decide – would an altered salary distribution affect the NFL's quality of product?

I don’t see a need for a cap within the cap, and I don’t see the union agreeing to it, because top salaries at all positions set the market for everyone else. No player is going to want his market artificially deflated. Moreover, if some team wants to spend gonzo money, percentage-wise, on a quarterback and try to make it work, why stop it? A regulation would limit the advantage better-managed teams possess.

Johnny from Oakdale, MN

The team seems as deep as it has been in years. On that, was wondering where you think our least amount of depth is? At least so far in camp.

It’s still pass rusher, but hopefully Biegel will be out there soon.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Outside of the obvious answer of Jerry Kramer, who do you believe is the most glaring omission from the Hall of Fame? I go with Kenny Anderson. If he wins that Super Bowl against Montana, I think he's already in.

I agree. Vic and I talked about this a lot, because Super Bowl XVI took place when I was really starting to get into football. Another reader, Tom from AZ, wrote in earlier this week about the 1981 49ers defense, how it was filled with young guys in the secondary and put up that momentous goal-line stand in the Super Bowl. Vic still maintains if Pete Johnson gains six more inches, Anderson is a Hall of Famer. Hard to argue.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

A couple weeks ago, Brett from Kiln, MS, sent in a question about participating in the Inbox. Did nobody else notice that? Was that just bologna (but I don't mean bologna)?

I don’t know. Haven’t heard from him since. You tell me.

Derrick from Randolph, NJ

Happy to see I'm not the only person who has such admiration for Joe Whitt in the Insider Inbox. He gives the most straightforward answers out of any coach when asked a question during interviews. No tip-toeing or side-stepping. That's why I have the most trust and respect in his responses. Sounds like “Q” really went to work this offseason and that makes me excited for what our corners can bring to the table this year. It also sounds like all the corners buy into what he's saying. What kind of coach is Joe on the field? Is he calm, cool and collected, or in the face of the players?

He’s a stickler for details. That’s the best way I can put it. When he’s doing fundamental drills with the players, he points out the slightest flaw in their footwork, body posture, head position, eye angle, anything. The players know he’s demanding, but they also appreciate a straight shooter. He’s as up front with his players as he is with the media.

Tyler from Stratford, WI

We've heard a lot about the en vogue S/ILB hybrid position this camp and how well Burnett and Jones have looked so far in that role. Lost in all of that is the play of our traditional ILBs. Martinez was a big talking point of camp last season and this year we've hardly heard anything about him. Does he appear to have made that second-year leap at all? How has the rest of the room (Ryan, Thomas) looked?

The inside linebackers look fine, but I’m not passing judgment on anyone’s second-year jump until the real games start. Here’s something I think got lost last year. Jake Ryan went down on the opening punt of the Titans game, and that day and the following week without him the Packers gave up 305 total rushing yards, their two worst performances of the season against the run aside from Dallas in Week 5.

Mike from Kenosha, WI

At their new stadium, the Falcons have opted to price their concessions between $2-$5, far below other entertainment venues and making it much more affordable for families. Would the Packers ever consider adopting a concession-pricing model similar to the Falcons?

I don’t know if it’s ever been discussed. I read that non-club seats in Atlanta’s new stadium went up, depending on location, by percentages of 10, 29, 33, 34, 43 and 58, not including PSLs. Given that, the concession change is a nice gesture.

Ralph from Bethany, OK

Interesting, Ted Thompson signed a tight end and not a punter, for a little more competition. Any reason why?

Beau Sandland’s knee injury may have been a factor. But trust me, Justin Vogel has plenty of competition. It’s just not wearing the same uniform.

Tinger from Red Wing, MN

Why don't the Packers wear the all-green ’50s style for a throwback uniform? I grow tired of "Green Bay" wearing blue.

I like the tribute to the Lambeau era, but once per season is enough.

Jeremy from Redding, CA

Would you guys please do me a favor and stop having so much fun with the “Three Things” videos and at least pretend to be professionals? In all seriousness though, love them and keep up the good work. How much would it cost to get a third microphone for you guys? Maybe it’s better to keep it at two just for the increased awkwardness it brings.

We like awkward, as well as giving people something to complain about.

Aaron from Seattle, WA

David Bakhtiari walking in front of you guys in the “Three Things” video was gold.

He photo-bombed us once last year from behind. This year was classic Dave. You never know.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Where was Larry on Family Night?

Working on the WTMJ broadcast. He’ll be back on the sidelines at practice with us today.

JD from Evansville, IN

Mike, tell me about Brent Hundley. I've always thought of him as a very interesting pick. How good can he be?

I think Hundley has a bright future in the NFL. I really like the zip I’ve seen on his passes, and he’s improved leaps and bounds with back-shoulder throws and with his accuracy when rolling to his left.

Josh from Salem, OR

I haven't heard a whole lot yet on the play of Clay Matthews at camp/practice. I'm really pulling for Clay to have a breakthrough season as compared to last. I hate seeing people say he is overrated. How has he looked coming from someone who sees him at practice? How do you think he will do this year?

Matthews has looked fine. He’s a veteran pacing himself to prepare for the season, like all veterans do. No disrespect to Daniels and Perry, but if Matthews stays healthy, he’s this defense’s biggest difference-maker in the front seven.

Bart from Point Roberts, WA

Many promising comments about our DBs so far. Haven't really heard too much about Kevin King. Is he making the transition to the pro game in your opinion, and has Rodgers thrown his way more to see what he has?

The physical tools are obvious. He’s a different body type at corner than the Packers have had in my time here. All I can say is I want to see more. He got a taste of what he’ll have to prepare for weekly in the NFL on Thursday night, matched up against Nelson for an entire two-minute drill. That’s invaluable for a player in his position. He’s just getting started.

Adam from Rochester, NY

Wait, so they want to quicken the pace of game but then add 20 seconds to every TV timeout? Having their cake and eating it too?

They’re not really quickening the pace of the game. They’re changing the flow of the commercials. There will be fewer breaks, but each one will be a tad longer. I think it’s a good move. The best move is eliminating the TD-ad-kickoff-ad sequence. Finally.

Scott from Boring, OR

I think the Pack is ready to take what it wants.

That’s a nice-sounding Vic-ism, but I’ve covered McCarthy’s entire head-coaching career, and his offense has never operated that way. It’s a best-available-play, find-the-best-matchup mentality. At times, Rodgers is the guy who tries to take what he wants, but he picks his spots.

Nathan from Oconomowoc, WI

I understand that everyone in a decision-making position in this league knows more than me about the NFL and the sport. However, I can't help but think I know that I'd rather watch the snap from the camera behind the QB. Watching from the sideline, you see runs and the OL vs DL. This made sense when the league was run-first, but now it's pass-first. I want to be able to see the receivers getting separation and know who's open. What's stopping the broadcast from showing us some plays from the QB's perspective on the floating camera behind the QB instead of only being used for replays?

As someone who watches all-22 film, that floating camera behind the QB would have to be back quite a ways to be able to show the receivers and DBs who are split wide. But maybe it’s worth more experimenting.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Spoff, how come Wes answers more questions than you?

Because he’s young, and a show-off.


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