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There's nothing like a good camp competition

Posted Jun 14, 2017

Inside pass-rushers make life easier on the entire defense


Monty from Hazen, ND

I agree with the response on why football is more popular than the other sports. My other take on it involves why the Super Bowl is more popular. The best team doesn't always win in a one game, winner-takes-all battle. Don't you think that adds to it? Also, fantasy football is much more enjoyable than fantasy baseball or basketball. Keeping up with those is exhausting.

That’s why I’ve always loved football at every level. You could be the best team for 364 days out of the year, but all that matters is that Sunday. The difference between winning and losing is so small at the highest level. I think Sunday games have solidified the league’s lasting popularity, as well. The game is a true slice of Americana. The best 17 Sundays of the year guaranteed and sometimes more.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Vic wrote about why football is so popular. My opinion is football is the only sport that mirrors life perfectly. Everything you need to know as an adult can be learned from a game of football. I turn to my football playing days constantly for help in working as a team, overcoming adversity, and fighting to win even when I don't feel like it. Basically...football is magical!

I didn’t play football past the sixth grade, but it taught me the importance of teamwork and discipline in my formative years. I also learned at a young age I would not be the next Barry Sanders. Sometimes it’s good to be humbled.

Maxwell from Troy, MO

I know there's a supposed moratorium on questions about Ty's number, but I think I have a different take. I know he's reluctant to change his branding, but do you think a number change would help quell the questions over his legitimacy as a RB?

Semantics. Montgomery is a running back. It doesn’t matter whether his number is 88 or 38. Sure, it might quiet the questions here about what position he’s playing, but nobody inside the locker room is thinking about it.

Parveet from Newmarket, Ontario

Just wondering when Ty Montgomery’s new number will be announced. Does he have to pick it before camp, or before the preseason?

When the Angels win the pennant.

Ben from Menomonee Falls, WI

I have heard and read a lot of talk about whether or not Montgomery has what it takes to be a three-down back. With a full offseason training at RB, do you think he has what it takes to take on that amount of workload, or do you see him splitting time with one of the three rookies, and possibly even “Rip”?

It’s the Packers’ preference to have running backs who play all three downs. It helps with the no-huddle offense and maximizes Rodgers’ pre-snap abilities. Mike McCarthy has said in the past it’s up to the running backs to decide whether they feature one back or use a committee. It’s entirely up to them and what they do on the field. 

Aaron from Chippewa Falls, WI

If Mike Daniels moved to ILB, would he change his number?

I was waiting for this question. Based on the letter of the law Montgomery cited earlier this offseason, I don’t think he’d have to change his number. My understanding is a player doesn’t have to make a switch if he’s making it from an ineligible position to another ineligible position.

Tony from Rochester, IN

A few friends and I were speculating on who is the key defensive player that needs to step up to help the unit as a whole. Our conclusion has been mentioned on here before. If Clark can apply consistent pressure and breaks through to the quarterback 2-3 times a game, everyone's job becomes easier. With the trial-by-fire position they were put in last year, this unit could be something special. And it all starts with Clark.

Inside pass-rush – more specifically, a four-man rush – makes life easier on the entire defense. It drives the quarterback to the outside backers. It forces the running back to stay in protection and not leak out. The Packers have one of the best in Mike Daniels, whose second-year jump is the prototype for all young players. Their hope is Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry can follow that path.

Jerry from Flat Rock, NC

Do you guys think that Amichia will be a backup center/guard? And will Murphy make a move to G from T?

If you’re not a starter, you have to be able to play multiple positions. That’s how it works in Green Bay and most NFL cities. Amichia is working up and down the offensive front right now. Talking with Murphy Tuesday, he estimated he’s done about 65 percent of his work at tackle and 35 at guard this offseason.

Erik from Balsam Lake, WI

I think it's nice that Coach McCarthy gives the veterans a break, but I'm wondering why he does it during mandatory minicamp rather than optional training. I'm sure there must be a reason (difference in what is taught or the speed at which they move, maybe?).

The Packers used their eight practices during organized team activities to install the offense, defense and most of special teams. Last Friday’s OTA practice and this week’s minicamp serve as a review session for the younger players.

Tony from River Falls, WI

What can the NFL do to fix the preseason games? It's momentarily exciting to finally see football on TV again, but it's hard to stomach how bad the preseason games are. I usually ignore the games and pray for no Packers injuries.

I might be in the minority here, but I love the preseason. It doesn’t get much better than the drama of position battles and trying to figure out which undrafted rookie is going to be the next Tramon Williams, Sam Shields or Lane Taylor. I’m with you on the injuries, but the preseason provides undrafted and unheralded players a once-in-a-lifetime chance to achieve a lifelong dream. There’s nothing like a good camp competition.

Alan from Honea Path, SC

You answer all the questions. What question do you wish someone would answer for you? Keep up the good work.

How many players are the Packers going to keep at (Insert position here)? Because I honestly don’t know. The Packers never cease to amaze me with how they go about developing their 53-man roster. Some years they keep an extra receiver. Others they load up at tight end or safety.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I just got back from attending Coach McCarthy's charity event in Madison benefitting University of Wisconsin Children's Hospital. Each year, you can hear the emotion in Mike's voice as he supports this worthy cause. It's cool to know that our coach, with a huge job to do, also has a huge heart for the kids. Your readers should think about that before they jump on him for a play call that didn't work.

I had my first opportunity to cover the golf invitational this year. What a great event at a beautiful golf course for a tremendous cause. You can easily tell this is more than a charity to McCarthy. It’s something he carries close to his heart.

Jed from Fargo, ND

Facing an obvious passing situation, I envision Capers running a defense with four pass-rushers, three safeties and four corners on the field.

It’s not unheard of in Green Bay. I remember they had a seven-DB “dollar” package with Jarrett Bush as a pseudo-linebacker during my first two years on the beat. They also used their dime-plus package with Quinten Rollins as the extra DB in 2015.

Ben from Radford, VA

So, no David Bakhtiari in the “Top 100”?

Not so far. Unless your name is Joe Thomas, offensive linemen typically don’t get a whole lot of love on the list. That’s unfortunate, too, because I believe Bakhtiari is one of the top 100 players in the NFL. He’s as good as left tackles get in pass protection and he’s entering the prime of his career. There’s still time.

Paul from London, England

Tom Brady is known as the GOAT by some but Aaron Rodgers has a 104.1 career passer rating which is statistically the "BEST" and highest in NFL history. Can we call him the BOAT?

People love to rank things from best restaurant and music to best quarterback and kicker. I’ve never quite understood this mindset. It makes for great talk radio, but it holds no bearing on the big picture. Why can’t two great players just be great? Why does one individual always have to be better than another?

Chris from Copenhagen, Denmark

Historically who was the person that you were most disappointed to see cut in the transition to 53 players? As a casual fan I used to believe the battle started in September, now I understand for many it's every day of the year.

Giorgio Tavecchio. The Crosby vs. Tavecchio battle was a no-win situation from a human standpoint. Both are solid guys. I’m still holding out hope Tavecchio will eventually kick in a regular-season game. He’s wrapping up his sixth NFL offseason program this spring in Oakland.

Grant from Milwaukee, WI

In looking at the potential for the Packers’ offense to be both balanced and dominant, I think the 35/35 expectation is doable. To win a championship, this offense needs to score 35 and possess the ball for 35:00. Why not? That’s the best form of defense and the money being spent on the offensive side of the ball only validates this expectation.

I’m going to crunch some numbers, but I’d be curious which Super Bowl champion had the best time of regular-season possession. Thirty-five minutes seems like a rather lofty goal at first glance. Anything over 32 is pretty good.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Recently I had a question that referenced SB LI and SB LII. I was in high school for SB I and SB II and I thought the Roman numeral thing was cool at the time. It worked for about 25 years, but since then it's just become confusing and annoying. Don't you think it's time we just start calling them 51 or 52?

I could see a day where it just becomes “The Super Bowl,” but it won’t be anytime soon.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Wes, who was your favorite XXXI Packer besides Favre and Reggie? Mine was Freeman.

LeRoy Butler.

Michael from Wausau, WI

While traveling to another state on vacation, I always saw at least a few Packers or Brewers fans every day. Do you guys have bonding moments with fellow Sconnies on vacation/travel as well?

Too many to name them all. My favorite is probably every time a “Spoff” chant breaks out at our Packers pep rallies.

Matt from Lansing, MI

Would one of you be able to tell me how anyone gets any enjoyment out of watching the NBA? The continuation rule, knowing which team is going to win the Finals before the season starts, and the players acting like babies has completely destroyed the game. Watching college hoops is the only way to get exposed to actual basketball anymore.

I love college basketball, but I’m not a big NBA guy. There isn’t enough parity for my liking. Rosters are small. If you get three or four of the league’s top players, you’re golden. If you’re a have-not, it’s a long wait to find a franchise player. The last NBA game I watched on TV start-to-finish was Kobe’s farewell last year.

Jesse from Bismarck, ND

Football fans expect first-round picks to make an immediate impact on our respective team. In baseball, the top three picks were high school kids that, if they pan out, will not make an impact for at least five years. In short, that's why fans don't get fired up for the baseball draft.

College football’s popularity gives a lot of these players a following well before they make it to the NFL (See: Tebow, Tim), which in turn, feeds into the draft’s growth and attention. The structure of the MLB and NHL drafts makes it so difficult for the casual fan to follow top draft prospects. The NBA is somewhere in between.

Alen from Tilburg, Netherlands

What will be the biggest changes in football 20 years from now?

I don’t know what the exact change will be, but I’m going to guess there will be some type of overhaul to overtime. Be sure to follow-up with me on this in 2037.

Matt from Fort Collins, CO

As a member of the golf course maintenance crew at the local country club, I loved all the grass talk last summer with Vic. Mike and Wes, do you share a similar fondness for turf? There's not much that beats the vibrant green grass and sharp mow lines on a freshly cut fairway or football field.

I’m a fan of a well-maintained lawn.

Brian from Monroe, CT

Are we gonna talk about the fact that Mark from Cape Coral gave you a multiple choice question with the options A, 2, 3, and D? And then you chose B (which did not exist). What kind of world are we living in?

All of the above.


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