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Hold on, no roster spots decided yet

The Packers have a great season if...


Joe from Bloomington, IN

And then there were six?

Not necessarily. A ton of questions about Jeff Janis and his injury, but I'm not jumping to any conclusions here. All Mike McCarthy said Sunday morning was that Janis would not practice this week, and he needed to speak to Dr. McKenzie about more specifics. There are a number of different directions this could go over the next several weeks. I'm just going to stay tuned.

Hilmi from Ankara, Turkey

Do you think the league will investigate Justin Perillo for possible use of stickum?

The guy's amazing, isn't he? Every day at practice, I find myself saying, "He just catches everything." In that vein, I need to tell a bunch of you to hold on. Everyone wants to know who locked down a spot on the 53 Friday night. Thomas? Bradford? Gilbert? Ringo? Perillo? It was one preseason game. There are three to go. The coaches and personnel staff didn't hand out any roster spots when they graded the film on Saturday. I know everyone's excited, but let's allow the process to play out.

Nathan from Palmdale, CA

Why do players not pull their jerseys all the way down? Half the time you can't read their numbers and their pads are hanging out. Please tell them my OCD does not approve of this practice. Thank you.

Sorry, there are no uniform police for practices. Only games.

Scott from Fairfax, VT

Anyone know a Packer bar in Vermont? I'd love to see the games this fall. I've been a Packer fan for 60 years. I grew up in Green Bay, played football at Green Bay East, and in the fall of 1973 played against West and Southwest at Lambeau.

That must have been a blast as a high school kid. Have you ever tried our**Packers Everywhere site**? Shameless plug here, but if there's a Packers bar in Vermont, it should be on there.

Chris from Bloomington, MN

Since there are two games on Christmas Day, a Sunday, does that mean the Christmas Eve game times are locked in? Could the Packers-Vikings game be flexed into a prime-time slot Christmas Eve night?

The NFL is not using flex scheduling for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day games. Packers-Vikings is at noon on Dec. 24 and isn't changing. Cincinnati at Houston and Denver at Kansas City are the night games on Dec. 24 and 25, respectively.

Brian from Yakima, WA

The Packers have a great season if ... they avoid any big injuries, their pass rush is consistent, and the young DBs take another step. What's your take?

That's a pretty good summary. I would change the pass rush part to say "is effective in the fourth quarter" and add young WRs to your third item.

Josh from Seattle, WA

Hey Spoff, I didn't know you're a Ronnie Milsap fan.

More Willy Wonka, actually.

Eric from Amherst Junction, WI

Burnett is a good player but what we're missing here is that he is allowed to play at the line is because of the over-performance of our defensive backfield. How important does the success of Clinton-Dix determine how much Burnett is allowed to play at the line?

You answered your own question. Vic likes to say players, not plays. A corollary to that is the players build the playbook for any given season.

Jay from Phoenix, AZ

One of the reasons McCarthy gave up play-calling was to be more involved with defense and special teams after the 2014 meltdown. What has changed that gives him the confidence to go back to being more focused on offense?

I think what changed with the offense forced his hand, don't you?

John from Stevens Point, WI

Your comment about a future statue for Brett Favre made me think. Why not three – Starr, Favre and Rodgers? They'd look great outside the stadium on the opposite side of the Lambeau and Lombardi statues.

I could see a depiction or sculpture of all three being built at some point, once all three numbers are retired. Hey, for those who thought I was dissing Starr with my Favre statue comment, let me clarify. I look at the individual statues as representing eras, championship ones. Lambeau and Lombardi represent themselves as well as their eras. The next statue to represent an era would have to be Favre's. That's all.

John from Milwaukee, WI

When fans criticize Mike McCarthy's playoff record, do they realize that 12 teams make the playoffs, and typically 10 go home with one win or none? This isn't NCAA basketball where 16 teams win two games.

I'm with you. Another way I look at it is this – McCarthy has coached 15 postseason games, and even though all the walk-off, last-play, overtime-type losses are tough to swallow, the Packers have been soundly beaten only twice in those 15 games (divisional rounds in '11 and '13 vs. Giants and 49ers, respectively). In the most ultra-competitive games, to have either won or been on the precipice of winning 13 out of 15 times says something about how McCarthy prepares his team in the crapshoot world of playoff football. And for those who say playoff games are always close, I'll posit this: Since 2007, when McCarthy coached the first of his 15, there have been 47 NFL postseason games with a double-digit scoring margin, an average of five per year. A playoff qualifier in eight of those nine years, the Packers have been on the losing end of only two of those double-digit decisions and on the winning end four times.

Gary from Davenport, IA

I felt bad for the quarterback who ran out of the back of the end zone. There is usually a wide white border back there and the lines that were painted didn't make the back line very distinguishable. According to the rule book the back border must be at least 6 feet wide, but it can be two 4-inch lines signifying the back and front of the border in a preseason game if the game overlaps with another sport. Did that have anything to do with the upcoming Badger game?

It's possible. It's funny, though, as soon as Kessler pulled an Orlovsky and ran out the back, I immediately said to Wes, "I think the lack of paint messed him up." I've never discussed field paint this much in my entire life.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

After watching several preseason games this weekend, I have to ask. Why would anyone run the kickoff out of the end zone unless it's a "desperate situation"? I don't think I saw a team get beyond the 25 more than three times total in all of the games I watched.

I think in the preseason teams are testing out their return units because they want the work. In the regular season, I expect more touchbacks. But I'm also wondering how many teams will try to kick it high and short, to about the 5-yard line, to avoid the touchback and tackle returners short of the 25. That strategy would lead to more returns and have the opposite effect the NFL is aiming for with these new rules. I guess we'll wait and see, but in the meantime, I have to ask. Why are you watching several preseason games in one weekend?

Luke from Ellendale

Yo, Mike, we all love underdog stories, so what underdog at this year's training camp do you think stands the best chance of making the 53-man roster and actually making an impact in a regular-season game?

This is strictly my own conjecture, but I like Brian Price's chances because he seems both stout and powerful from what I've seen, and there's a huge opportunity on the defensive line.

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

If the low man always wins, why is height so important when it comes to drafting linemen?

Low man can plug a hole, but long arms help shed blocks and win on the edge.

Sam from Janesville, WI

How about Peter Mortell! Could we have an actual punting competition on our hands?

Oh, it's on. Mortell announced himself a bit on Friday night, but unfortunately he didn't follow up his solid showing in practice on Monday. Masthay was better, but not overwhelmingly so in a punting period that left a lot to be desired. This will be decided by consistency.

Vincent from Seattle, WA

Hello, with the good punter position battle in camp, has a team ever put a punter on the practice squad?

It's easy to forget that Craig Hentrich spent his 1993 rookie season on the Packers' practice squad. It was the first of his 17 years in the NFL.

Tom from Elk Grove Village, IL

One of the things I like best about the Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, and James Brown team is their friendly bantering back and forth. I would love to see that same kind of camaraderie develop between Biff, Spoff and Larry.

I hear Curt Menefee gets a kick out of it, too. We're working on it. Give us some more time.

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