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Things can go several different directions

Posted Aug 14, 2017

Some moments are as good as they get


Eric from Kenosha, WI

So, Mike, what word will you ever so subtly slide into each of your responses today?

I focus less on words and more on truth, which would be a great line if I actually took myself that seriously.

Justin from Powhatan Point, OH

I think we could see Crosby do a Lambeau Leap with a game-winning field goal as time expires! No 40-second clock. That would be a spectacular sight to see.

His teammates would have to let him get down there. A scene like the one in Dallas last January would make it difficult. But as long as he wouldn’t pull a Gramatica, I’m all for it.

Otis from St. Cloud, MN

Mike/Wes, I was 9 years old when I first moved to this country. Like most immigrant students, during recess I went to the wrong football station. My question is, why didn't Marwin Evans try to score after his pick? I don't think he was down by contact. The ref even delayed his whistle a bit to give him a chance to run.

I thought he was ruled down by contact, having collided with the receiver in midair as he was intercepting the pass. But no worries, you’ve found the right football station now.

Matt from Dixon, IL

Watching the PGA Championship I just couldn't get into it like I used to. Is golf missing a relevant Tiger Woods?

Having to work Sunday took me out of any chance to view the PGA, unfortunately. I normally enjoy watching the final rounds of the majors, but duty called.

Isaac from Springfield, MO

If Elliott appeals do you think that they will shorten it? And if they do, do you think that it will be to four games instead of six? Because the Packers play the Cowboys in Week 5.

I’m not ruling it out.

Josh from Lexington, KY

Nancy from NY wins the award for best use of “Dead Poets Society” in a football setting. If you were to stand up on a desk and say, "O captain, my captain," to whom would you be speaking?

I don’t know, but I’d pay to see someone try it at a press conference sometime.

Eric from Cincinnati, OH

With the cuts possible all right at the end of training camp, how many players would you say to yourself “not surprised?” if they are on the 53? 55? 60? With good coaching, I feel that player 70 isn't much less promising than player 53. No proof needed, just a number.

In my experience, outside of something completely unexpected (like the Sitton release last year), I would say the last 3-4 roster spots are very hard to get a read on at final cutdown time. Those last few, I usually can see them going several different directions.

Matthew from High Point, NC

Why the long layoff for Brett Goode? I cannot think of a miscue being made by him directly. I'm assuming he makes the veteran minimum. Is the salary gap between him and a rookie so wide that it's worth risking a costly mistake?

It’s not about salary. There’s a cap exemption for a minimum-salary vet. This is about trying to find the next Goode. Nothing wrong with that. The Packers aren’t sure they’ve found him, so now they’re hedging their bets. Let’s see how it shakes out.

Jacob from Salatiga, Indonesia

Is the preseason more dangerous? It seems that players on the bubble might be playing with more reckless abandon. The league doesn't seem to want to hand out fines for ugly hits, because a lot of these guys don't have 10-20K to throw around. And everybody is a bit rusty on form. It all seems a recipe for increased injury. Or is it just in my head?

You make a valid point, and I won’t discount it. But I don’t think the league is going to hold back fines. I also believe what you describe is one reason teams generally pull their starters/regulars from a preseason game at the same time, or at least close to it. I remember it being a big deal – labeled both an insult and a danger to his players – when (then) Chiefs coach Todd Haley left his starters in almost the whole game against the Packers in the 2012 preseason finale when it wasn’t going well for Kansas City.

Jeff from Appleton, WI

Hello, Mike and Wes. Can you explain the answer about the officials using preseason games for the emphases during the regular season? Why are there rules that get more attention than others? Shouldn't they focus on all the rules of the game?

An officiating crew visits each training camp to go over rule changes and points of emphasis with players and coaches for the coming season. The Packers had officials here from Aug. 3-5. Officials across the league also use the preseason games to continue communicating with players about those points of emphasis, so they understand how some things might be called differently than they’re used to.

Cory from Janesville, WI

Hundley has never really impressed me. I know he hasn't seen a tremendous amount of action, but it didn't seem like he played very well. Callahan has always impressed me and he did again this last game. I thought he out-performed Hundley last preseason and I know a lot of others thought the same, but Hundley got the spot over him. I was also really impressed with Hill's short performance this game. Do you thinks it’s possible for Callahan to overtake that second spot?

In a word, no, but that’s not a slight to Callahan, whose arm looks stronger to me and whose escape artistry and improv ability remain impressive. For the most part, Hundley has gone against the higher “string” defenses, in terms of depth charts, than Callahan in preseason games. Thursday was also Hundley’s first extended action since his rookie year because of his ankle injury last summer. Hundley is the No. 2 as long as he’s in Green Bay, the way I see it.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

When a player is in the concussion protocol does that mean he has been diagnosed with a concussion or not necessarily? Do you know if Randall and/or Dupre has been officially diagnosed with a concussion?

If they’re in the protocol, a concussion was the diagnosis.

John from New York, NY

Hey Insiders, I was listening to Adam Schein discuss his thoughts on this year’s upcoming season and he said he thinks the Packers’ defense is in trouble and hardly any upgrades were made. I thought the D looked solid on Thursday, but it's only preseason. What's the key to our defense making a statement this upcoming season?

No need to make any statements. Just win. Take the ball away. Get a stop late with the game on the line and build from there. The defense was the reason the Packers were 4-2 after six games last year when the offense was scuffling. Then it went sour. Get back to that level and stay there with some level of consistency. The proof will be in the pudding, not in the first quarter against the Eagles.

David from Port Washington, WI

In response to the question of the Packers holding a roster spot specifically for a return specialist, does the name Desmond Howard ring a bell with anyone?

Even Howard had 13 catches for 95 yards in the 1996 regular season. You still have to be able to fill in somewhere if called upon.

Mac from Whiteland, IN

Are the Packers looking for a veteran running back to back up Montgomery?

I doubt it. A draft-and-develop team doesn’t draft three players at one position without giving them a chance.

Marty from Cuenca, Ecuador

Did you see T.J. Watt's debut with the Steelers against the Giants? Wow, in a five-minute span I saw two sacks, him standing up the left tackle to set the edge before submarining into the line to stop the runner for no gain, and blanketing a tight end on a play that resulted in a coverage sack. I really like the way Ted got value out of this draft, but I have to imagine others have commented about Watt. Yes?

Of course, but I won’t be casting my vote in the referendum on the 2017 draft (Watt vs. King/Biegel) after one season is over, let alone one preseason game.

Dave from Graham, WA

Mike, are you going to get some preseason reps in on WYMM?

Sorry, it’s only for the games that count.

Jake from Sheridan, WY

In watching a replay of the game, three things stood out to me, two good, one bad: 1) The play of the secondary still seems to be a problem. Great players and athleticism but it seems there is too much cushion and wide-open receivers. 2) Williams looks like a great running back. Any way he comes out as the starter or splits time with Ty? 3) Brett Hundley's enthusiasm is awesome. He is having fun and looks like guys have fun playing with him. Thoughts?

1) I think King got caught thinking Matthews had Wentz for the sack. So the contrarian view is the Eagles might have been shut out for nearly three quarters had Clay not whiffed. Either way, it’s one preseason game. 2) I’d advise Montgomery not to fumble again, not that anyone needs to tell him. 3) McCarthy said Hundley made a check on the TD pass, so to call the audible, have Janis on the same page, and execute it perfectly for a TD is as good as it gets and his reaction spoke to that.

Dave from Sister Bay, WI

Great job, guys. So, keep it coming. About the Dupre hit. How about the hitter in a situation like that exiting the game if the hittee exits the game due to injury? Just bench the hitter!

I see this suggestion a lot, and I hope those suggesting it realize how impractical and ridiculous it is.

Stephen from Seattle, WA

Has McCarthy gotten funnier in the last two or three years or is it just me? I'm specifically thinking about his response to Jason Wilde's headset question: "I encourage the people in charge to fix it quickly." Great line. Is some of the rough Pittsburgh edge wearing off in press conferences?

McCarthy has been making us laugh quite a bit lately, and I give him credit for keeping things light when they should be. There’s far less intensity in the spring and summer than during the regular season, and he’s naturally grown more expressive and relaxed at the podium over the years. I think we’ve seen an entertaining blend of that recently, but his edge is there when he needs it.

Richard from Madison, WI

Wes writes, "King stands out in all the areas you can’t coach – height, length, speed and fearlessness." I understand three of those, but what's "length"? To me it's the horizontal distance that a guy takes up when he's been laid out flat on the ground, which doesn't sound all that desirable.

Length means reach. Horizontally, vertically, you name it.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

The Bucs have released Roberto Aguayo, a kicker they took in the second round (59th overall) of last year’s draft. After investing such a high pick on this guy, did they release him too soon? This is a guy who set the all-time record for field-goal percentage in the ACC and third highest in the NCAA. It's clearly a mental block for him because the talent is there. In terms of NFL patience, it shows just how much faith the Packers had in Crosby a few years ago and I'm sure glad they did.

Tampa Bay traded up to make that pick, too, I might add. But kicker is a tricky one, because as you said, it’s mental. Teams can’t wait around for a player who hasn’t gotten over the mental hurdle of being in the NFL when that player is counted on to score points and win games in pressure situations. In 2012, Crosby was in his sixth season. He had proven himself on this level many times over. Apples and oranges. The Bears claimed Aguayo on waivers. Maybe a change of scenery will help him.

Karl from Albuquerque, NM

Do you think Nancy might have a crush on Wes?

I am so not going there.

Joe from Clio, MI

What are your thoughts on UCLA QB Josh Rosen's comments on football and school?

The groups aren’t mutually exclusive, but college football is filled with players who are playing it as a path to the NFL, and those who are playing it to pay for an education. Football and school are two jobs, I agree. Life is all about establishing personal priorities, and college football players have to establish theirs. I don’t begrudge anyone his choice.

Gar from Virginia Beach, VA

Watching a replay of the game and noticed that it didn't appear that Gunter re-established himself in bounds as he recovered that fumble in the second quarter. Was there a rule change, or were my eyes playing tricks on me?

I thought he did re-establish, but it was close. Since all turnovers are automatically reviewed, I assume the replay official looked specifically at it and confirmed it.

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

I believe people are not being patient with our rookies. You can’t learn the speed of the NFL in a book. Preseason games will help all rookies get a feel for how fast this game really is. I've been to many college games but the first time I attended a Packers game I could hardly follow the ball.

I’ve told the Cory Raymer story about the elevator before. Very few don’t need the elevator.

James from Pewaukee, WI

I actually thought the hit on Dupree was legal, and actually Dupre's fault for not slipping the full brunt of the hit. He appeared to be able to see the guy coming and did nothing to avoid the hit. Has anyone else expressed this opinion to you? Do you think I am wrong?

Lots of debate on the Dupre hit. It was illegal. The defender led with the crown of his helmet. Lowered his head and used the helmet as a weapon. You could even argue he violated the point of emphasis on launching, though that’s a borderline claim. Defenseless receiver or not, the crown of the helmet makes it an illegal hit.

Jon from Eden Prairie, MN

Never tell an Insider how to do his Inbox.

Indeed.

Harold from Milwaukee, WI

Hi, have you ever considered constructing a concaved rigid airship the shape of the Packer stadium with engines and tie-downs that can be placed over the field and stadium on bad-weathers days? It could be placed over the parking area on good-weather days for crowds to party under.

Is training camp over yet?


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