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He will end up the closest

It's rare for an 8-8 team to make the playoffs as a wild card


Gabriel from Rosemount, MN

I think Jason Witten owes you guys an apology.

Just when the Dez emails had slowed to a trickle of just one or two per day. Witten!

Jeff from Farmington, UT

There has been a lot of speculation as to how many players the Packers will keep at each position. Last year, I heard the GM of the Rams describe how they cut down the roster to 53. He said they build the 46 man game-day roster and then choose the seven best players out of who is remaining. Do you think most GMs take a similar approach?

More or less. There are minimum numbers needed at every position (though they can vary from team to team based on scheme), so no one can just keep the 53 best players, period. Decisions also can be based on which players a team projects will or won't clear waivers in order to come back to the practice squad. External and internal perceptions of players can differ.

Ben from De Pere, WI

With the recent ruling on gambling, do you think we will see betting options and lines rolling across the bottom of our screens? That sure would be annoying.


I agree. I hope it doesn't come to that. I have nothing against gambling, just as I don't have anything against fantasy football, but neither is my cup of tea. I hope the media coverage of gambling follows that of fantasy football, with the finer points expounded upon and debated within their own shows and avenues and not force-fed into the mainstream coverage of the game.**

Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ

Mike, can you please remind us how the cut-down from 90 works? Are there specific cut-down days or can the team release players at any time?

Players can be released at any time, and it often happens if a team is at the 90-man limit and wants to take a look at another player during camp. The deadline to reduce the roster to 53 is the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. There used to be a cut-down to 75 after the third preseason game, but that no longer exists.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

On April 21, 1991, GB traded the No. 8 pick to Philadelphia for No. 19 and a 1992 first-round pick. The 1992 first-round pick was in turn traded to Atlanta during the 1992 draft for a backup QB. In related news, Ron Wolf excoriated on Twitter for "reaching" and failing to get good "value" for that pick. Oh, wait...

And there you have it.

Terry from Springfield, MO

The question of how many yards has AR rushed for got me thinking. 50K passing, 500 TDs, 5K rushing. Has any other QB come close to that trifecta? Thank you for keeping us entertained during the offseason, guys.

In a word, no. Of the nine QBs with 50,000 passing yards, only Peyton Manning and Brett Favre have 500 TDs, and Favre's 1,844 rushing yards are almost triple Manning's. Brees and Brady are closing in on 500 TDs, but neither has rushed for even 1,000 yards in his career. Of the nine, Elway has the most rushing yards at 3,407, but he finished with 300 TDs. Health permitting, Rodgers (currently 38,502 passing yards, 313 TDs, 2,670 rushing yards) almost certainly will end up the closest to the trifecta when it's all said and done.

Jerry from Kansas City, MO

Mike, do you think there will be a spike in the use of the RPO this fall given the Eagles' success? If so, could this be a season featuring bigger offensive output while defenses adjust?


Let's not misrepresent. As I mentioned Monday, there are pre-snap RPOs and post-snap ones. The Eagles did more of the post-snap variety than many teams, but everyone has pre-snap RPOs in their scheme. They're an offensive staple in this league, while post-snap ones are more of a wrinkle. I don't see them going much beyond that because, while they don't expose the QB as much as read-option runs, there is additional risk to the most important player. **

Dillon from Minneapolis, MN

If you get a question posted to the Insider Inbox, would it be a lie to put on your resume, "Published author on"?

Dillon, just remember…It's not a lie, if you believe it.

Daniel from Castle Rock, CO

Hello Insiders! The in-laws are getting me an all-expenses paid trip to Lambeau as a wedding gift. Coming up on four years now, and I haven't cashed in yet. Of course I want to go in mid-December when it's snowing and freezing to get the full experience, but my wife has no interest in that whatsoever. How can I compromise and what sort of game should I be looking to go to?

If the cold weather is a no-go, my next suggestion would be a night game, because the atmosphere at Lambeau has a little extra juice under the lights (or at the end of a tense 3:25 p.m. game after the sun has gone down). MNF vs. SF is one of the premier games on the home slate this year, in my opinion.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

When the Texans traded up in the 2017 draft they were coming off a playoff appearance and they hoped Watson would be the missing piece to get them to the SB. They gave up their 2018 first-round pick and I'm sure no one in Houston or Cleveland thought that would be the fourth pick in the draft. The Saints think Davenport is their missing link to the SB. The point is ... you don't know till you know.

No one does.

Paul from Farnborough, UK

Dear Wes/Spoff, do you think the upcoming season will deliver even more parity across the league meaning fewer wins could get a team into the playoffs? Perhaps 8-8 or even 7-9 could do it.


The four-team divisions always leave open the possibility of an 8-8 or 7-9 champion, but you have to go all the way back to 2006 to find an 8-8 team that got in as a wild card. That's when the parity is at an extreme.**

Josh from Lexington, KY

I get that there are questions about the offense and whether or not we can be as dominant as in the past, but I feel like there are a lot of people writing us off. Is it just me or are we being treated as underdogs?

A common perception of the top of the NFC North is that the Vikings are progressing toward the ultimate goal while the Packers are retooling. After Week 2, we'll know if that perception will continue to possess any merit.

William from Scranton, PA

Mark from Austin put forth a very interesting topic to discuss. While reading your response, you stated that you would like more to see more "cross-conference" games scheduled. What about taking the extra two "in-conference games" to "cross-conference games"?

If the playoffs were to be seeded across the entire league as proposed, that would almost be a given.

Richard from Bursa, Turkey

"Can a scheduling formula be created that allows for more cross-conference games but still keeps the schedules for division opponents rather similar, so division championships are decided fairly? That's the question I'd need the computers to answer." This question would be a lot easier to answer if we had an 18-game season.

Certainly, but that's a long-dead issue as far as I can tell.

Adam from Wausau, WI

So instead of whipping out her credit card she gets to whip out her gas card. You should have just given her cash.

Cash? You gotta be kidding. What kind of gift is that? That's like something her uncle would give her.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

I can't say I've ever watched a punter's highlight reel. What I found interesting is how Scott keeps his plant leg on the ground. I feel like you typically see punters leave the ground entirely, either from the upward force of the kicking leg or as a little jump to get some extra oomph. Getting the plant foot off the ground may also help prevent injury should a defender lay out for a block and roll up on the punter's leg. Do you see Scott developing this technique for the sake of safety, or could it mess too much with his power/accuracy?


I asked him during rookie orientation if he had any thoughts about changing, and he's sticking with what got him here. As I said a few episodes ago on "Unscripted," I remember as a kid Reggie Roby being one of the first NFL punters whose plant foot never left the ground. It was a big deal at the time.**

Ron from Waukesha, WI

Guys, think about this. Three of the four punters were taken in the fifth round and they were all drafted by GMs from the Ron Wolf/Ted Thompson GM tree. The first one by John Schneider (Seahawks), the second by Brian Gutekunst (Packers) and the third by Reggie McKenzie (Raiders). Coincidence? I think not. There must be a "grassy knoll" in this story somewhere. Thoughts?

That is one magic draft board.

Chad from La Crosse, WI

It's fun to watch the rookies, but I'm really excited to see which players coming back from injury will have the biggest impact. Besides the obvious, who of those players do you see having the largest impact this season?

Bulaga, Brice, King and Montgomery are the next four that come to mind.

Zach from Virginia Beach, VA

Tim from Van Nuys and Spoff. This is a league of no excuses. Baloney. This is a league that still debates instant replay because of nothing but constant whining and excuses.

Are you talking about the league or its fans?

Dean from Orlando, FL

Gambling on sports? Say it ain't so, Joe.

There's a lot to sort out here, not the least of which is the NFL asking Congress for some sort of legislative guidance when the Supreme Court ruling essentially turned the issue over to individual states. It's not the first conflict or paradox we're going to encounter. It's difficult for me to process what all this means and where it's going right now.

Robert from Phoenix, AZ

Do you think the Pack could have the best offense in the NFL in 2018?

Could they? Of course, but ideally they won't need to.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, it's the time of year to observe the new talent in an effort to create accurate judgments. What have you learned over the years that helps you to filter out the irrelevant observations and home in on the tangibles and intangibles that make a difference? In short, what do you notice when you watch the rookies?


When the players are in shorts and helmets, you get a sense of whether they belong athletically and how quickly they can process information. But it's all a prelude to when the pads go on, which is when you find out if they can actually beat the guy across from them.**

Joe from Asbury, IA

Mike, please pass along my vote to Wes that the first week of July would be fun for us to answer his questions. My question for you is will you read the column on your week off just for entertainment purposes?

Sure, I suppose.

Sam from Dallas, WI

Wes, rather than giving readers already-made questions to answer during Spoff's vacation, do it "Carnac, the Magnificent" style by having readers submit the answers and then writing the questions.

Now that I would definitely read.

Erik from Sisters, OR

I think the success of this forum was built on an old crusty football nut who had some grit but absolute love for this game as a whole. Regardless of his opinion we all knew it came from an undying love to which we can all can relate. It took me a while to get a sense of your love of this game and questioned whether or not you like baseball more, but I get you two more and more. Your personalities have come out on these pages and we have forged new bonds. I challenge myself and all the readers to think of the game in different ways to gain a deeper insight just as we have gained in both Wes and Mike. The human articles have been amazing. Keep up the good work, fellas!

Thanks, we will do our best.

Clint from Hales Corners, WI

Mike, you just have to remember to shout "serenity now" whenever you read a question about Dez signing in Green Bay. If only Witten didn't have to get that fire going again.

And with that, I believe we've set the record for the most "Seinfeld" references in one edition of the Inbox, which officially makes this the column about nothing. Thanks for indulging me. Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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