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Everyone is on the roster for a reason

It's time to ready your final kick with two weeks left in camp


Joff from Asheville, NC

I really like McCarthy's take on his roster. Good players, good players with great moments, and great players. He reinforced the fact there are no fillers in his 90-man roster and he respects all the players in his locker room. His track record shows great moments in the preseason can land a spot on the final 53. Elliott and Gunter are good examples of that. I think Green Bay is really fortunate to have such a good head coach.

There was so much truth in McCarthy's words. There's so much conjecture and hyperbole out there. We're quick to draw conclusions about players and pontificate about how Player A is the best-ever or the worst-ever. However, what we rarely think about is what those players have done to make it to this level. Everyone is on the roster for a reason. They earned it.

Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA

If anyone wants the definition of north-and-south runner watch McCaffrey return that punt! Max makes this team, and deservedly so.

I don't know how the situation is going to play out at receiver, but McCaffrey has done nothing but help his cause over the last month. While it's no secret he's a good route-runner, the punt return opened my eyes. He catches the ball naturally and showed some elusiveness. For McCaffrey and all these receivers, it's time to ready your final kick with only two weeks left in camp.

Richard from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Insiders, I have been wondering why the NFL went to one cut day (90 to 53 in one day). Seemed to me that the preliminary cut to 75 gave those guys more time to find other opportunities. And, seemed like the two-step method would make things less hectic for the team.

Except it rarely worked out that way. Many agents I've spoken to feel it put an unnecessary label on players of, "Well, this guy wasn't good enough to make it to this team's cut to 75." This gives them one more opportunity to prove themselves in a game, where the starters traditionally sit out anyway.

Doug from Burlington, WI

Do you think having one cut-down day of almost 40 players by every team will increase the chances of Ted finding a cut-down gem slipping through another team's cracks vs. the more deliberate two cut-downs? Maybe he could steal a potential above-average OLB or OT? Thanks for answering.

I don't think it'll result in a drastic change during final cuts. My guess is the number of claims will remain on par with previous years. I'm more interested to see what impact it could have on the construction of 10-man practice squads.

Patrick from Minneapolis, MN

I look at the 12-men-on-the-field play, specifically how Aaron was able to recognize an illegality by the opposing team in addition to lining up his offense, pre-snap reads, etc., where an official whose sole responsibility to keep track of those things could not. I understand full-speed plays and subjective calls, but for a basic pre-snap call like that, do you think the officials could do a better job?

Referees have numerous boxes to check per snap, but it's a shame they missed it. I'm not sure you how you miss a defensive tackle several steps from the sideline. I wonder how many times NFL teams have had to challenge 12-men calls. I'd bet Green Bay makes up most of them.

Brian from Yakima, WA

Josh Hawkins has deservedly gotten a lot of publicity after the Washington game. Do you think he has a real shot at a top-three corner position?

Nothing is set in stone yet, but the Packers have quite a few options at cornerback with Davon House, Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter all possessing previous starting experience. Right now, Hawkins is putting his best foot forward in trying to earn a roster spot. Once that happens, we can start talking about all the other possibilities.

Kyle from Kronenwetter, WI

What do you think Josh Hawkins and LaDarius Gunter's chances of making the roster are at this point? Does one have a leg up on the other? Gunter reminds me of a Jarrett Bush-type player at times. Agree?

They're both in the hunt for a spot. Gunter is working again inside like he did early in camp last year. I think they're both on the same plane right now. Gunter doesn't really remind me of Bush. I've always used House as more of a comparison based on their press-man style and length.

Jeffrey from Farmington, NM

Love the frame-by-frame of Taysom Hill's TD. Great grin as he crossed the goal line.

That series was fun and Evan Siegle's photo of the touchdown was phenomenal. Hill is an exciting player. I'm glad he got the opportunity to play almost the entire fourth quarter. The competition between him and Joe Callahan is competition at its finest.

Corey from Mason City, IA

Every year we hear about scouting players. Do the Packers, and other teams, have scouts for coaches? How do they pick coaches? McCarthy has some quality people around him. Just wondering how he is able to do this.

There isn't a scouting department for coaches. McCarthy handles his staff. He'll also bounce ideas off his current assistants about potential hires.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

To the point JD from Hendersonville, TN, made about removing the facemasks to solve to concussion problem, there's always a tradeoff. The new consequence would be all of the broken/bloody noses and loose teeth that would result. Though one can argue that the concussion issue is significantly more acute, the effects of what the fans can (versus cannot) see has to be considered as well.

I'm not a scientist, but I have a hard time understanding how removing facemasks would help player safety. Pulling guys out for facial lacerations and broken teeth also wouldn't help speed up games.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Another great outing for Brett Hundley, and I really don't expect the Packers to try to trade him before the season's over. If you're a GM on another team and in the next two weeks, either because of injury or just bad play, you realize your team doesn't have the "answer" at QB on the roster, do you seriously think about making a legitimate (at least a second-round pick) for Hundley? Or would you think it's too late to make a difference this year?

I wouldn't move Hundley this summer. If he has two more solid games, you once again have a top-of-the-line backup to Rodgers. Hundley's value isn't going to diminish in-season, especially if Rodgers ends up playing in every game again this season. Quarterback is the most important position. So what's the rush?

Chris from Greensboro, NC

The showing so far from our running backs has been pedestrian at best, and while these games don't count for much in terms of wins/losses, anything jumping out on game film that tells you something good bad or otherwise here. I know we are a pass-first, run-second team, but I can't feel good when quarterbacks are leading the stats in yards gained. Come January and February we will need someone to carry the rock and close out close games.

*Well, they were trying to work four different ball-carriers in. I thought the game was different when Jamaal Williams was running behind the starting line. Aaron Jones and Devante Mays also have had their moments. I'm not concerned. Not yet. Not with all this upside.  *

Jerry from Hewitt, WI

I know that Trevor Davis has speed, but I am not sure I trust his hands. Other than reps, what else can he do to improve his ability to field punts cleanly and not give the ball back to the other team?

Spoff and I had a good discussion about this topic towards the end of today's "Unscripted." I think it's a case of a young player trying to do too much. I don't see it as much an issue with his hands. We haven't had a chance to talk with Ron Zook about it, but my thought was he should've called for the fair catch with that much traffic around him. You're right, though. You can't have that during the regular season. Each possession is too important.

Jeff from Oxnard, CA

Thanks for quashing the "McCarthy needs to go if no Super Bowl" talk. I grew up with the '60s Packers but then had to endure the '70s and '80s versions. I feel like I've earned the seat that allows me to tell anyone who wants to get rid of McCarthy or Thompson that I feel sorry for them. I say this because they clearly cannot fully appreciate what they have been witnessing for the past quarter century.

When I think of organizations run by ultimatums, they traditionally haven't fared very well in the long run. Marty Schottenheimer in San Diego and George Karl in Seattle come to mind. You can never guarantee a Super Bowl, but you can put yourself in a position to compete for it each year. That's what the Packers have done under McCarthy and Thompson.

Brandon from Appleton, WI

I personally get so frustrated with Packer fans wanting Mike McCarthy to be fired because he "only has one Super Bowl victory." I have to tell Packer fans my opinion all of the time. There is only ONE coach in the NFL that is head and shoulders above MM and that guy resides in New England. The Packers are very lucky to have MM as their HC. No, the man is not perfect, but he is a very steady and organized man who knows what he is talking about. I for one hope he stays at least as long as No. 12 is here.

A bird in the hand, my friends. That's all I'm going to say. Look at what happened in Philadelphia (Andy Reid), Tampa Bay (Jon Gruden), and Jacksonville (Jack Del Rio) after they rushed a long-tenured coach out the door.

Larry from Green Bay, WI

Have you watched T.J. Watt play so far this year? Seems like TT has made another colossal first-pick blunder. He has got to go. What do you say?

I say you put a lot of stock in the preseason. I wish Watt well. I hope he succeeds in the NFL, but it's a little early to make such an overzealous statement unless you're simply pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Ben from Brookings, SD

Are there any effective three-safety schemes? Or would a team just assign a cornerback to defend the opposing position?

I don't have any specific examples, but aren't defenses that use a hybrid linebacker technically a three-safety scheme?

Freddie from West Valley City, WI

Wes, not to take anything away from the King of The North, but maybe A-Rod has more in common with the Night King; did you see that spiral?

Carter from Oconomowoc, WI

This is a comment: I risk the wrath of Favre fans here. But I think the Pack would have won at least one more Super Bowl with Brunell. I think he was a better QB overall. How? He did NOT put the ball in the other team's hands!

I'm just going to leave this right here.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

For all of the amazing things Rodgers has done, his touchdown-to-interception ratio in the red zone is incredible.


William from Rogers, AR

Have you ever seen someone use a FG unit to essentially punt? Couldn't a FG unit kick the ball farther, even if the hang time might be lower?

*Maybe in arenafootball2. The ball would travel farther, but it would be moved back to the spot of the kick if the opponent chooses not to return it. *

Don from Cedar Rapids, IA

If a player is out for the season due to an injury, can the team impose certain requirements in order for the player to get paid (e.g., go through a specific rehab program)?

They can lay out a rehab schedule for him but can't mandate it with the threat of lost wages. The player has the freedom to have the surgery (if needed) and rehab performed wherever he desires.

Lex Luther from Saint Paul, MN

Wes, we in the super villain community are on to you. Are you or are you not a superhero by night and a Packer website reporter by day? No one can actually be as innocent and pure as you. No beer, no coffee, pumpkin-spiced brats, mom does laundry...come clean so we can meet for one final confrontation.

Coffee is my vice. I drink way too much of it. Anyone who has seen me try to be athletic would assure you I'm no superhero. I'm not even a hero.

Lee from Marshfield, WI

What relocated NFL team will have the best game-day attendance once they are in there new stadium(s)? I think the Raiders by a long shot.

Agreed. I think Vegas is a sleeping giant.

Paul from Bay View, WI

More of a comment here and sorry for the length. I appreciate any response to my questions that have been submitted. And I have asked a lot of great questions; many of which have not been answered and I get it, you can't possibly answer all of them and that's fine. I have complained only once before and that was only a few weeks ago when I asked you to "share the wisdom." This was only because several great questions of mine were overlooked for weeks in lieu of Lori's question that had been addressed a few times before. But I was willing to move on. If your latest comment in Saturday's post where you proudly stated how Lori has the best QPR ratio, etc., was in any way directed at me personally, there's no need for that. I mean that ratio to begin with is something you three writers have the ability to control.

I hope you understand I couldn't publish your whole question for the sake of brevity. Not directed at you, Paul. You're still in the circle of trust, as John Schneider likes to say.

Garrett from Cameron, WI

How did you get your start to what you are doing today for your job?

Mike Vandermause agreed to hire an 18-year-old college freshman to write part-time and take prep scores at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. I'll never be able to repay him for taking a chance on me.

Mark from West Bend, WI

Spoff, as long as it's the preseason and we're continually looking for four-down players, how about letting Wes take a crack at "taking care of some sponsorship business" in the "Unscripted" segment?

I'm not allowed. Spoff is the talent. I know my place. He keeps the lights on here.

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