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Go out there and let it fly in the preseason

There's nothing wrong with a long drive


Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Is the question from Harold at the end of yesterday's column the most bizarre one you've ever gotten? I imagine not. Did he want to know if you guys specifically ever thought of doing that, or just the Packers in general? He seemed so honest and genuine in his question, I'm not sure there was any sarcasm there. I'm worried about the readers of this column, more so than I ever have been.

That question left me speechless. So speechless.

Nathan from San Diego, CA

I'm selling these fine leather concave stadium covers. On special today is our deluxe airship and tie-downs package.

There are a lot of technological advancements I hope to see before my time on earth is over. A concaved airship (rigid version) in the shape of Lambeau Field rather than a field tarp isn't one of them.

John from Crivitz, WI

Love the column guys, great way for those of us in other media markets to stay in touch with the team. Could Brett Hundley be someone's No. 1 today?

With one more year in this offense, I think Hundley will have what it takes to be a starter. You look at the NFL and how many teams are struggling to find a franchise quarterback. I think we're all starting to see why his stock was so high after his sophomore year at UCLA. Hundley has all the tools and they continue to be refined in Green Bay.

Jeff from Kenosha, WI

Can you give us some insight into the competition between Aaron Jones and Devante Mays? Who do you like and why?

*I like both, but for different reasons. Jones has shown such terrific burst between the tackles. He's an explosive runner. Mays packs a punch with his style and showed good lateral quickness on that 5-yard catch against the Eagles. *

Steve from Beaver Dam, WI

I can understand the Packers' decision not to sign Brett Goode right away and give a younger guy a chance to take the long-snapper job. But, I am curious why he is always available when they decide they need him on the roster. Are veteran long snappers just not in demand?

Specialists are a rare breed. For the most part, they tend to stay put. Once teams have a kicker, punter and long snapper they're comfortable with, they tend to stand by those guys. As Spoff said, I think the Packers were looking to find the next Goode. Now, they have the original in camp, too. May the best man win.

Marc from San Antonio, TX

Certainly a shame about Don Barclay's injury given his versatility, veteran leadership, and strong offseason. What have you seen from our other options at backup center (Patrick, Amichia)? Is it time to bring back Garth Gerhart again?

Even when Barclay was taking No. 2 reps at center, the Packers did a lot of cross-training with Lucas Patrick, Kofi Amichia and Justin McCray at center. Depending on how long Barclay is out – Mike McCarthy didn't have any timetables – it's going to be a big opportunity for one of these young offensive linemen to prove themselves.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

How do the rookie running backs get a fair look during preseason games? Ty runs with the No. 1s, then slowly the offensive line starters are taken out until it's backups and practice-squad guys playing. How does the say No. 4 or 5 running back get a fair chance to show his skills if he doesn't get to run behind a line that's in sync and blocking correctly?

Go out there and let it fly in the preseason regardless of position. Look at what Hundley did leading the two-minute offense during Family Night despite working with several rookies with limited experience. The same rules apply for running backs – you make plays when they're presented and make something happen when they aren't. That's how you distinguish yourself.

Ted from Crystal Falls, MI

Is it just me or was our defense really fast? They also looked quick and hard-hitting. I enjoyed that quality.

*I like the sideline-to-sideline speed and multiplicity of this defense. Youth and athleticism are the way NFL defenses are going. The Packers have both.   *

Derek from Los Gatos, CA

Haven't heard a ton about them, but I really like Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez as our inside linebackers. I bet one of them leads the team in tackles this year. What say you?

Ryan is steady as they come. He's the guy on early downs. I also liked what I saw from Martinez against the Eagles. His forced fumble was exactly how the coaches teach it. The Packers have an abundance of options at inside linebacker.

Tim from Menomonie, WI

For the first time, I viewed the leading with the crown of the head as cowardly. In football, the cornerback is hardly ever in a position to be hit themselves. In other sports such as hockey, it is more equal as the players switch back from offense to defense constantly. It just doesn't seem right.

It's the fastest game on the planet and I know things happen – just be smart. While you're correct that cornerbacks are less likely to be hit, they're also vulnerable when they lead with the head and crown of the helmet into another player.

Nick from Chicago, IL

I don't understand so maybe you guys can help. There is a lot of competition around WR. So much that the entire first game was who can throw and catch the ball. With trying to find out who's the next set of WRs and QBs, how will MM find time to test the RB committee? Will he dedicate a whole game or at least a couple quarters per game to see what those guys are made of?

The opportunities are coming. The Packers want to get a look at the three rookie draft picks. There are limitations with five rookies vying for snaps, but games are where you get the best indication of what a back can do. I'd imagine you'll see the snaps take a jump in Washington.

Ryan from Franklin, WI

I just watched the interview from Jamaal Williams after the game on Thursday. The guy seems to thoroughly enjoy contact and really like the game of football. I think he will be around here for a while.

I love Williams' running style. Although it's a small sample size, you can see what the Packers like about him. Williams reminds me a little of James Starks, but he seems to run lower. I look forward to seeing more of him.

Matt from Greensboro, NC

You're Ted Thompson and a team with a top-10 draft pick offers their entire draft for Rodgers. Is it a flat-out, instant "no," or do you do due diligence and study the possibilities before responding?

No. We did an exercise at the Press-Gazette where we explored whether trading Rodgers would be worth 30 first-round picks. The answer is no. There is only one Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are lucky enough to have him.

Sean from Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I know it's the preseason, but what is with Justin Vogel wearing Paul Hornung's No. 5?

That's not uncommon for the preseason. If Vogel wins the job, I'll be interested to see if he still wears it during the regular season. The Packers adjust a number here or there almost every year going into the regular season.

Adam from Racine, WI

What do you think about SEC players like Leonard Fournette calling the NFL easy? Is this just a product of being in a competitive division, or has the NFL become that soft with player-safety emphasis and the CBA reducing practices? Do you think he will be in for a rude awakening when the season starts?

I'm not a big fan of it. If Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers wants to go that route – I doubt they ever would – there's at least some equity built there. They would know given their experience and performance. I think rookies have to be careful with their words until the games begin.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, I had a discussion with a friend on the merits of a long, rhythm-and-tone-setting touchdown drive, i.e. 10-12 plays, seven minutes, 80 yards vs. a quick, explosive 4-5 plays, 80 yards, 2-3 minutes. I prefer the long drives for the benefits over the course of a game and a season. He likes the short, explosive ones for how they lift the offense and demoralize the defense. Generally, do you think one is more beneficial than the other in the long run?

There's nothing wrong with a long drive. It wears down a defense, cools an opposing offense and helps a team control the tempo of a game. Short, explosive series are important since they can demoralize a defense, but those long drives indicate sustained dominance.

Ana from Brasilia, Brasil

It's one hell of a battle for a spot in the Packers' wide receivers corps, isn't it? I say this because although Nelson, Adams and Cobb have my uttermost respect, the guys behind them also seem very capable of answering the call if they have to. Geronimo Allison looked great, Janis had a great play, and Travis Davis with that return? WR coaches are doing something right, I tell you.

I like the approach Luke Getsy has taken with the receivers. Whether it's catching bricks or doing the "man-hands" drill inches away from the JUGS machine, Getsy has brought fresh ideas and concepts to the room. The proof is there considering how Nelson and Adams bounced back, and Allison developing into a contributor as an undrafted rookie.

Nick from Sturtevant, WI

I was flipping through the photos of the equipment staff setting up the locker room. How many lockers are in the Packers' locker room? Are there enough lockers for all 90 players? During these training-camp days, does the team utilize the visiting locker room for player overflow?

I believe there are 62 lockers in the main area. The Packers also have an auxiliary locker room to accommodate the players on the 90-man roster. The only time they'll use the visiting locker room is during rookie orientation to house tryout players.

Ken from Wolcott, CT

I must say watching King play the other night there were many things to be happy about. Yes, a few times the receiver he had got free a little bit, but the thing that made me happy was how he attacked the player. I saw many nice open-field tackles. That is very hard to teach. Covering will come along with time. I feel the hardest think to teach is hitting a man in the open. Do you agree?

Welcome back, Ken. I'm glad you're starting to see the glass half full. There are questions the cornerbacks must answer in 2017, but it would be foolish to think they don't have their best days ahead of them considering how young they are. I was very impressed by King's physicality against the Eagles. He showed good fundamentals in open space.

Keo from Mililani, HI

The way I see it, punters get robbed of extra yardage (between point of kick and line of scrimmage) and kickers get to count the yards from point of kick. Why not punters?

Punters are measured against punters. Kickers are measured against kickers. As long as specialists are measured against their peers, I don't think it matters.

Chris from Ft. Bragg, NC

Could you please provide some more detail on the cap exemption for league-minimum veterans?

It's a provision written into the most recent collective bargaining agreement to not price veterans out of the league. In the simplest terms, a veteran player making the league minimum will only count as a second-year player.

Sam from Janesville, WI

How did Eddie Lacy look?

I didn't see the game. All I know is he carried the ball four times for 10 yards.

Conard from Washington

"The creative adult is the child who survived." Good one, Wes! My wife is an artist, and that statement is more accurate than most people could ever appreciate. You are wise beyond your years. Just make sure your body does not catch up with your mind anytime soon.

The credit goes to Ursula K. Le Guin, but it's a phrase I hold close to my heart. I marked out a little when Martellus Bennett referenced it during one of his early interviews with Green Bay media.

Todd from Menominee, MI

Here's an unlikely scenario for Mason Crosby to do a Lambeau Leap – all he has to do is pull a Chester Marcol. FG attempt gets blocked. Ball somehow falls in Crosby's hands. And Crosby somehow scampers around the end for the touchdown.

If that were to happen, I don't think Crosby has any choice but to do a Leap.

Jeremy from York, UK

Well, Wes, looks like The Snarky Seven are going north of the Wall zombie-hunting. If you were in Jonno's shoes, which six Packers do you take with you?

Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews, Morgan Burnett, Dean Lowry and Richard Rodgers.

Jesse from Anaconda, MT

I so loved the edge and consistency in Wes's (or is it Wes'?) answers on Saturday, so thank you!

Wow. I didn't even realize it.

NY Packer Fan from Bedford, NY

I'm sure Wes "so" enjoyed writing the Aug. 12 Insiders responses, but truthfully, it was distracting to the point of being unreadable to this longtime reader (back to Vic's arrival in GB). I'm sure your point was received by the editor from Mt. Kisco, but next time leave the rest of us out of it, if you would. Thanks.


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