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Competition breeds excellence

The Packers' preseason schedule has a fresh feel to it


Scott from Las Vegas, NV

It appears that as the Packers roster currently stands, they have lost more than they have gained since last season. You keep telling us that draft picks take several years to develop. Should we be concerned?

I'd be more concerned if the Packers didn't re-sign Nick Perry or make the moves they did at tight end. As I've stated before, tight end and outside linebacker are two positions where it's difficult for a rookie to come in and light the world on fire. The Packers have unquestioned starters at both posts now. At positions where the Packers have a perceived need, they'd had rookies contribute on Day 1 in recent years (running back, offensive guard and cornerback). Once training camp rolls around, the Packers should have the ample competition at each major position.

Justin from Corvallis, OR

What is the most intriguing preseason matchup of the 2017 season and why? How come da Pack ain't playin da Chiefs?

I'm excited to go back to Mile High Stadium again. If not for the preseason, the Packers wouldn't be playing in Denver again until 2023. I'm also interested to see what form the Broncos take under Vance Joseph and which quarterback distinguishes himself. Why aren't the Packers playing the Chiefs? There are many factors involved with scheduling preseason games. While teams like to stay in the same region for the most part, it doesn't always work out that way. They played Tennessee for a number of years before the past two seasons. Overall, I like this schedule. It has a fresh feel to it.

Gus from Rhinelander, WI

Ray Scott was the announcer for the Packers for many years on TV. I would put him in the top tier too. I still can hear his voice after all these many years.

What I enjoyed the most about Mr. Scott's style is its simplicity. "Starr. Dowler. Touchdown." Classic. Timeless.

Morgan from Minneapolis, MN

Vic says Jim Brown is football's Babe Ruth. Culturally, maybe. But as a player who was head-and-shoulders above his peers, I submit Don Hutson. In 1942, Hutson had 74 receptions, 1,211 yards, 17 TDs. The second-place numbers in those categories were 27-571-8. In 1920, Babe had 54 HRs while second place was just 19. Was Hutson (and Cecil Isbell) just too far ahead of their time?

Jim Brown was a transcendent player who broke down so many barriers in professional football. He's unequivocally one of the greatest to ever play the game of football. Vic has far more experience and knowledge to draw comparisons, but what Hutson and Isbell accomplished in the early 1940s has always fascinated me. You want to talk about innovation? Those two were so far ahead of their time. I still maintain if Isbell kept playing he would've wound up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Green Bay may have another championship to show for it, too.

Andrew from West Allis, WI

Ty Montgomery was only a few carries from leading the league in YPC. Why is everyone hating on his abilities? I think he's going to be special with a full off-season of training. He may not be as shifty as Barry Sanders... but is probably a better pass catcher. Is there anyone else that Ty reminds you of as a player?

No and that's the most exciting part.

Kelly from Ellsworth, WI

How about Antuan Edwards, Fred Vinson and Mike McKenzie for using the first three picks on one position. It was a reaction to the sudden appearance and impact of Randy Moss. Edwards was a bust, Vinson netted us Ahman Green in a trade and McKenzie was an excellent member of the secondary for years. You never know what you have until the games count.

The decision to use the Packers' first three picks in 1999 on cornerback was quintessential Ron Wolf. Green Bay had a major need at cornerback and the Pro Football Hall of Famer took three strong swings at filling it. Competition breeds excellence. McKenzie turned out to be the best of the bunch, but don't forget Vinson's role in securing the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

If the league were to increase the roster size, say by 5 (game-day roster and regular season), I'm sure each team would have their own theory on how to make use of those additional spots. How do you think the Packers would handle it? Would we bulk up and add a few more linemen on both sides of the ball, or get some more skill positions to try to create more mismatches?

It's a highly unlikely scenario, but I don't expect you'd see anything too out of the ordinary from the Packers. They'd probably use those extra spots in similar fashion to how they currently utilize their practice squad, which usually includes a few more offensive linemen, receivers and defensive backs than maybe the norm.

Tom from Oxford, MI

Who are the Packer representatives that we see seated at the draft? Do they report back to the Packers "main" draft room if they see one teams' representatives talking to other teams? What are their responsibilities?

The Packers' two on-site representatives at the NFL Draft each year are video director Chris Kirby and assistant equipment manager Bryan Nehring. Mike Sherman originally selected both men to relay the Packers' decisions to the NFL. They've since been chosen by Ted Thompson to continue handling the duties every year of his 12-year tenure.

Luke from Madison, WI

"Sure Thing." Why so many people are convinced that free agents are a "sure thing?" In 2015 most people would have called Jordy Nelson a "sure thing." Then he blew his ACL in a preseason game and missed the whole season. And he wasn't even a free agent acquisition! Imagine if the Pack trades a couple picks for someone like Sherman and he doesn't play a single game. I'd rather have the two kids (from the picks you didn't trade) to develop than the "sure thing" vet who is an injury away from being dead money.

I think it has to do with players establishing track records you can find on and see exactly how a player has performed. If he did it before, he'll do it again next year, right? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. When teams bet the farm, they have to occasionally lose. That's the risk and reward of free agency.

Ted from Boston, MA

How likely is it that Aaron gets a new contract considering the big contracts for relatively untested QBs (See Mike Glennon). I see this as one of the main reasons TT has still left us with quite a bit of cap space at the moment.

I don't know about any of you, but I prefer to have a little extra cash sitting in my bank account. The underrated aspect of managing the cap is staying in the black, especially with another extension with Rodgers coming down the line.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Desmond Trufant just signed a huge deal with the Falcons. How does any team determine how much any player is worth? I am curious to know if "he is the best option we have" plays into the decision to resign.

It gets complicated, but here's what I can tell you in the simplest form: NFL agents have access to every contract. They do their research, determine what the market is for a player at their client's position and start negotiating. Many will find a veteran their client compares favorably to and aim for a comparable contract.

Jerry from Wausau, WI

Guys, Al from GB's question to Vic about a left handed QB got me thinking along those lines. Has there ever been an ambidextrous QB as a starter for an NFL team? It seems that would REALLY put defenses at a disadvantage. Is this realistic or baloney?

I wouldn't say baloney, especially after seeing Pat Venditte crack the big leagues two years ago. I'm sure it would have its advantages, but the quarterback probably would favor one arm to the other depending on the release, power and accuracy. If there has been an ambidextrous QB, I have yet to read about him.

Paul from Port Charlotte, FL

I am curious to know how the other owners treat Mark Murphy at league meetings because he is not the "owner" but does represent the Packers as its highest ranking official.

I don't want to speak for Murphy, but everything I've gathered suggests he's highly regarded by owners and the league executives alike. He has worked on both sides of the equation and holds a prestigious place on the NFL Competition Committee.

Donald from Green Bay, WI

I think people are overlooking the coolest venue to host the draft for Green Bay. Lambeau Field! Open it up just like Brett Favre induction into the Packers HOF. That will easily be full for the draft.

That was in the middle of summer and only part of Favre's ceremony was outside. Green Bay has been known to have a few snow showers in late April and early May. In the best case scenario, you'd still need the weather to cooperate for countless hours over three days.

Corey from Kings Park, NY

I know it will never happen but I would love to see Richard Sherman come to Green Bay. I feel we never had that swag or bad boy element which isn't our brand of football but wouldn't you think it would be entertaining to have the hero AR12 and the "villain" Sherman on the same team?

I don't know the definition of "bad boy," but Mike Daniels brings plenty of attitude and aggression to the defense. That's not an issue.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

Although all are difficult what do you think is the toughest? Being a pitcher Game 7 of the World Series, two outs bases-loaded with a slight lead. Being a QB in the NFL down five in the fourth quarter with one play left. Being a golfer in the Masters one hole left with a 1 stroke lead. Also feel free to add in any other sport situations.

I don't want any part of that situation Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia were in Sunday afternoon. Rose's first and second shot in playoff reminded me of what I tend to do on the golf course when the pressure is turned up. Fore!

Steve from New Britain, CT

While Callahan may be capable of becoming a good QB, no way do I think that he is as capable as Hundley to be the primary back up should Rodgers ever become injured. Hundley is not a flash in the pan. Is it me or do those who bleed Green & Gold not love their No. 1 backup QB?

Packer fans have a lot of confidence in Hundley as the primary backup to Rodgers. The questions I've answered relate more to whether Callahan could be that guy if Hundley is ever traded. I say yes because of the measures the Packers took to keep Callahan on the 53 at the end of camp and re-signing him late in the year. They would've have kept three quarterbacks if Callahan wasn't worth developing.

Will from Rochester, MN

Martellus Bennett has a legitimate opportunity to acquire back to back rings with two different teams. Who else other than Deion Sanders, I believe, can boast such a feat? I love the column. It brings a smile to my soul every day.

I couldn't find anyone else who won Super Bowl titles with two different teams in back-to-back seasons other than 'Prime Time.'

Larry from Chouteau, OK

I check out the live cameras every day. What are they building on the East side, out by the street?

That would be the Johnsonville Tailgate Village that's being built off Oneida Street. It will replace the Tundra Tailgate Zone, which wasn't a permanent structure. This will be.

Cody from Chetek, WI

Do the players get competitive over any particular board games?

I know a few guys in the locker room are pretty competitive with Settlers of Catan.

Ryan from Somerset, WI

In response to Mark from Indianapolis on Monday's Inbox. Roughly 260 weekdays in the year with about 15 to 20 questions answered every day. If this Inbox was only Packers related that would be 3900 to 5200 questions a year on the Packers only! Honestly at this point in the NFL season the only actual football questions being asked are still about overtime changes, our running backs, and our new tight ends. Insiders, I love the format. Keep it going!

Wow. Kudos on figuring out the math. All three of us try to keep it topical in our own way.

Brian from Urbana, IL

How can someone consume so much football that they have a football related question every day, and want to hear nothing else in this column? I love football. Played it. Coach it. Watch all the Packers games. Talk about it with friends. But at the end of the day, even I get a little weary of it in March for goodness sake.

Hey, variety is the spice of life.

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