Powered by

Here are some players to watch in training camp

Packers must get rolling during early stretch of home games


Dan from Seattle, WA

Hi Mike. A big question on fans' minds is whether you will keep the eggs and coffee on Insider Inbox Saturday.

Sorry, I'm not an eggs and coffee guy.

Ron from Pekin, IL

Hey Mike, what do you predict the Pack's record to be after the first month (assuming we have a somewhat healthy team)?

Those who know me know I don't delve into predictions like that, but I've already discussed the first two games on the slate. Regardless of those results, the Packers have to get on a roll after that with five of their next six at home. Last season, the Packers lost three homes games with a healthy Aaron Rodgers for the first time since 2008, and they were all against division foes. That can't happen again.

Ben from Columbus, WI

How will you replace Vic's edge in this column?

Let's start by banning you.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Who is your player to watch in training camp? Mine is Jake Ryan.

Perfect timing, Brett. Ryan is a good choice. Not counting rookies, my list includes Davante Adams, Aaron Ripkowski, Don Barclay and LaDarius Gunter.

Michael from Citrus Heights, CA

On a weekend drive we pulled into Platteville to see the Bears training. As Walter Payton walked past us in a pair of shorts and tee we were impressed by how he looked. No wonder it was so hard to tackle him.

Walter was my childhood hero. As I stood by the ropes near the edge of the field one day during practice, he threw me a pass. I caught it and fired it back, and he hollered at one of the scouts and playfully pointed at me. Walter knew how to make any kid feel like a million bucks.

Mitch from Hazel Green, WI

Please tell us some things about Brett Favre's favorite player, Roger Staubach.

Staubach's career was just wrapping up as I started watching football, but I know he coined the term "Hail Mary."

Tom from Fort Myers, FL

I also remember the December 1984 Bears game. Rich Campbell's game winning pass "went up like a wounded bird and came down like the Hindenburg" in the immortal words of Howard Cosell. I can't shake a feeling that we need one more good defensive lineman than we have. Am I still back in 1984 in defensive scheming or is that a real question this year?

Can you imagine Cosell in the current age of social media? Wow. It's a real question, but it all hinges on how ready Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry are from the get-go, and if Mike Pennel returns from his suspension a month in no worse for wear. If Christian Ringo or Brian Price makes a move in camp, that'll help, too. But that's a lot of ifs. The Packers will play mostly nickel with only two down linemen, though, and Julius Peppers and Datone Jones can take one of those inside spots at times. It'll be a work in progress.

Scott from Greensburg, IN

Are teams allowed to cut suspended players (e.g. Goodson?) or is there some roster obligation until their suspension is served?

There's no roster obligation, and Goodson and Pennel won't count against the 53-man roster at final cuts. If the Packers wish to keep them, they'll go on the reserve/suspended list. After their suspensions are served, room on the roster will be needed to activate them.

Kerry from Margate, NJ

Hey Mike, if you go into Vic's office and find any of those thingies that he left behind, can I have one?

The obsession with these things is beyond my imagination. It's like the minor-league ballgame I went to in Appleton last night. As soon as someone comes out and starts tossing cheap, plastic Frisbees into the crowd, uncontrollable mania takes over.

Tal from Ascot, UK

Everyone's talking about linebackers and defensive line, am I the only one worried about the offensive line? I don't think it has the consistency that is needed.

I don't share your concern, Tal. You can't plan for injuries, and that's what produced the inconsistency last season. This starting five is the Packers' best since the 2003 group, and they proved it in 2014 when they were all healthy. Backups JC Tretter and Lane Taylor got valuable starts under their belts last year, Don Barclay is another year removed from his knee injury, and Ted Thompson traded three picks for one to get Jason Spriggs in the second round, a tackle with a first-round grade. I'll spare you Vic's "full consistency" rant.

Aaron from Denver, CO

Hey Mike, I lived in Wausau growing up and graduated from Wausau East in '02. Any quality high school football memories you have from covering the sport there?

Tons. The best one was a D.C. Everest game at Wisconsin Rapids for the Valley title. The final score was 70-63, in regulation, which stood as a state record for total points until just a few years ago. Almost 1,300 total yards, with only one of the 19 TDs coming on defense/special teams. Never seen anything like it before or since. I'll never forget the quote from the Everest star after. He told me, "I thought they might have to add a '1' to the scoreboard."

Blake from Orlando, FL

I'm not convinced yet that we have the WR talent to beat man coverage this year. We can't rely on Jordy to fix it all. Janis or Adams will have to win consistently on the perimeter for us to be improved. See yuh in Jacksonville.

Mike McCarthy has called out the receivers to win their one-on-ones this year, and he's noted it's a big year for Janis. He also restructured to give the group a full-time position coach again. I think Cobb and Adams were playing hurt last year more than they let on. I'm not indicting anybody in 2016 for the sins of 2015, yet.

Matt from Minocqua, WI

Line 'em up, who ya got as the fastest guy in camp? Shields, Janis, Davis or another?

Tough call, but I'll take Shields.

Kyle from Carlisle, IA

Hey guys, please provide any insight you have on why the Bears, and also the Chiefs, used to hold their training camps in Wisconsin. Was this to 'steal' fans?

Ha, no. To my recollection, the Bears came to P-ville to get the players away from the distractions of the big city. Then other teams started moving their camps to Wisconsin (the Chiefs in River Falls, the Saints in La Crosse and the Jaguars in Stevens Point, for differing lengths of time) to escape the brutal summer heat of their locales, and to take advantage of having other teams close by, including the Vikings in Mankato, MN, to schedule joint practices and scrimmages. All the Wisconsin teams were affectionately dubbed "The Cheese League," and I'm not making that up. There were T-shirts and everything.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Mike, yesterday Wes pointed out Ha Ha as player to watch on the defense. If he could play the regular season as well as the playoffs I believe it could raise this defense to an elite level.

Couldn't agree more. The other one I put in a similar category is Nick Perry, even though he's not technically a starter.

Hansen from Waukesha, WI

Thoughts on the passing of former Vikings and Cardinals head coach Dennis Green?

Very sad to hear. I think the football world missed out on one of the potential epic Super Bowl matchups when Green's 15-1 Vikings team in '98 blew it in the NFC title game. Broncos-Falcons turned out a little dull. It wasn't what we thought it'd be.

Matt from Appleton, WI

Vic must not be proofreading these, because there's no way he lets the word "'nother" in there. I do appreciate the touch of Wisconsin vernacular though.

Yinz never grew on me.

Eric from Greenville, WI

Could Vic still be in his office?

Congratulations, Eric. I'm making you the inaugural member of the Insider Inbox hall of fame.HAVE A QUESTION?

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Action Needed: Update your Packers Mobile App!

Fans attending any games during the 2023 season should update their Packers mobile app due to important upgrades and enhancements.