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BAP worked for Packers in 2008


Jason from Madisonville, KY

Why did Ricky Elmore go so late in the draft when his stats have been so much better than Brooks Reed's for the past three seasons?

His 40 time dropped him in the draft. What we don't know is if his instincts and determination for the game can make him a faster player. I think the Packers believe that can happen. Outside Linebackers Coach Kevin Greene spoke passionately on Saturday, following the selection, of the importance that a player has the heart to play the game. Greene believes Elmore has the heart to be successful.

Jim from Waverly, NY

Forty-plus years as a Packers fan and it's getting better every day. I can only imagine what kind of chaos McCarthy can create using double tight end offenses with multiple wide receivers with this team.

It's just a matter of time before somebody lines up with two tight ends in the backfield, a true tight end, a tight end wide and one in the slot. Some coaches are just crazy about tight ends. The first coach I ever covered, Chuck Noll, believed tight ends are first and foremost blockers. He would say that every wide receiver I have can run faster, jump higher, catch better and do more with the ball after he catches it than the tight end. Nowadays, however, tight ends aren't true tight ends. They're slow wide receivers that can block a little. Hey, whatever it takes, but I still have a special reverence for true tight ends, which is to say guys that can block as well or better than they can catch.

Brian from Little Rock, AR

Thank you for posting my questions. It's a thrill.

How was "Toad Suck Daze?" I hate having missed it.

Andrew from Appleton, WI

I really appreciate all that you do on this website. Please explain to some media members and anyone else doubting the last five or six picks about how important men like these are for competition in camp.

You're right, but it's more than that, Andrew. When a player is drafted, immediately he is judged by his potential to become a starter. When teams get to the late rounds, however, in many cases they're drafting players specifically for their ability to play special teams. More players will play on special teams on game day than will play on either offense or defense. You gotta have guys that can play special teams or you're gonna lose. Ask the San Diego Chargers.

Michael from Newcastle, CA

We have heard some news about other teams (Jets and Saints, to name a few) that have been doing some offseason workout programs with some of the players during this lockout. How beneficial do you think these private workouts are and do you know if Rodgers or any other Packers player is leading some type of similar activity for GB?

Drew Brees says they are very beneficial, but I'm skeptical. If I'm a coach, I'd prefer that I do the coaching. I don't want any cliques, personality clashes or bad habits forming, and I especially don't want someone blowing out a knee in an unsupervised workout. The potential for the last one happening would really worry me. As for the Packers, I know of no such player workouts.

Andy from Green Bay, WI

Green's one problem in college was his inability to hold onto the football. I know he said he has addressed this issue but he also is going to be coming from always-nice Hawaii to the coldest outdoor stadium in the NFL. What is your opinion on how much the weather goes into a back's ability to hold onto the ball?

Playing in the cold makes a runner acutely aware of the ball. Maybe that'll be a good thing for Alex Green. The best thing for Green, however, will be proper technique. Once a fumbler, always a fumbler is not true. Tom Coughlin proved that with Tiki Barber. Fumbling is the result of bad technique. When you see a guy carry the ball low, you know it's just a matter of time before he fumbles. The proper technique is to hold the ball high and tight, point up. Mike McCarthy is manic about not fumbling and not one of his running backs lost a fumble last year. That's an incredible piece of trivia. Green will be taught proper technique by Running Backs Coach Jerry Fontenot; you can count on that. It's real simple: If you don't hold onto the ball, you won't play.

David from Seattle, WA

I have an opportunity to go to a couple of games this year. I can either go to the home opener against the Saints and travel to San Diego, or come into town for the holidays and watch the Christmas and New Year's games. Which do you think I should do in terms of football only?

I prefer late-season games. You're talking about two late-season games against what I believe will be the Packers' top challengers in the NFC North. Those games could be for all the marbles. They would be my choice.

Bob from Huntsville, AL

I heard jersey numbers are already being assigned to the rookies. How is that done? Do the new players have a say in the number they wear?

When the player is drafted, Ted Thompson tells them what their jersey number will be. Done! Any haggling or politicking for jersey numbers has been instantly avoided.

Joe from Dunnellon, FL

Your answer to the roster question confuses me. The Packers are now over the 80-man roster, at 85, without any undrafted free agents.

The draft choices aren't signed to contracts. In a normal year, the Packers would've signed undrafted free agents immediately following the conclusion of the draft and they would've signed as many as allowed by the 80-man limit for players under contract. Then, as they came to terms with their draft picks, they would release players from their roster. Sign a guy, release a guy.

Tom from Seattle, WA

I always hear it takes three years to evaluate a team's draft. With that in mind, how do you think the Packers did in 2008?

I'm glad you asked because there's a great example of the value of BAP drafting in the Packers' 2008 draft class. In the second round, the Packers picked Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm. He did not stick with the team. In the seventh round, the Packers picked LSU quarterback Matt Flynn. He has stuck with the team, is now Aaron Rodgers' valued backup and believed to have significant trade value. OK, fess up. How many of you reacted to the drafting of Flynn by asking, "Why did they pick another quarterback? What are they gonna do with all of those quarterbacks?" Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Josh Sitton came out of that class. It's a good class.

Tou from Fresno, CA

Is the practice squad only for rookies or can it be for non-rookie players, too?

Eligibility for the practice squad has nothing to do with being a rookie. You can't be on the practice squad for more than three years and to be eligible for the practice squad you can't have been on the game-day 45-man roster nine times in any one season.

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