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Inbox: A day game there would be nice

It’s still plenty early for the young receivers


Dave from Gainesville, VA

Wes/Mike, which Packer uniform is your favorite from the past, pre-Lombardi? I think the 1935-36 (early green and gold) jersey or the yellow/white 1946 jersey look for the eras.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite. I like a lot of the combinations from the '40s and '50s, with the different shades of green and gold that were used and the additional white at times. Something about the white jersey with the brighter green numbers and trim really pops. Kudos to Casey Ausloos, HOF and stadium tours sales exec, on his modeling. He looks like he truly could have played in any era.

Logan from Delran, NJ

I'm one to have faith that a young star will arise this year at WR opposite Davante. I really like Allison, but I am also very curious to see if one of these other young guys can fight for that spot and push their peers to perform at an even higher level. Are you guys starting to see that flash of brilliance in OTAs from anyone in the WR group yet that makes you feel the same?

Not exactly, but I should qualify we've only been allowed to watch one OTA per week, or three of the 10 total sessions. Plus, it's still plenty early. That said, what I have seen from the three receiver draft picks is a physical presence (Moore), impressive hands (Valdes-Scantling) and an inviting catch radius (St. Brown). The thing to watch in training camp is when one of them gets a chance to run with the first team and Rodgers, and if he takes advantage.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

We have heard about the chemistry, size and fit of the remodeled team members, but I would like to know how our team speed looks via the eye test. Is there any noticeable change?

I won't be able to answer that until there's an actual opponent on the other side.

Nick from Lancaster, PA

So I'm starting to get really excited about our secondary's chances of making a dramatic turnaround this season, based on our draft picks this year and last, and the acquisition of Tramon. Repeatedly hearing how Tramon surged last year, I decided to investigate his stats. He had more INTs, passes defended, and tackles than Patrick Peterson, who started all 16 games last year to Tramon's nine. Is this a fair comparison? Or did enough teams game plan to avoid Peterson that the stats are skewed?

I don't think I saw a single game of Arizona's last year when Williams was starting, but with Peterson on one side and Williams on the other, it stands to reason Williams was going to get tested more. By all accounts, he answered the bell.

Tyler from Dixon, CA

Mike, a few years back the Packers got a win at Philly, first time since 1962. I believe we also got a win at KC in 2007. Buffalo seems to be a pain every time the Packers go there. What other city would you like to see the Packers get a win streak going? I'd say the obvious Seattle, but also New Orleans has usually been a nightmare.

In my 12 seasons with, I've covered two games at New Orleans, both ear-splitting prime-time affairs, and both became second-half disasters for the Packers. I did a piece before the 2014 game about the Saints' home record at night, and it's remarkable. A day game there would be nice at some point. But the good thing to come out of the '14 loss was the switch of Matthews to inside linebacker to save the run defense and turn things around that year.

Daniel from Delta, PA

First off, thank you for the kind words, it really means a lot. I saw a video the other day with the NFL talking heads asking about who they think the most unstoppable players are once they get going. Four different answers emerged: Rodgers, Gurley, Julio Jones and Gronk. Arguably the four best players at the four most important positions on the offensive side. If they were all on the same team, what four defensive players do you think could stop them?

Give me J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Deion Jones for those matchups. If you'd prefer a linebacker over a lineman for run defense, I'll take Luke Kuechly.

Thomas from Dunkerton, IA

I always hear the Packers play press coverage. I see our corners line up within a couple yards of the line but rarely do I see them make contact or knock a receiver off his route. Exactly how much contact, other than the obvious holding, can a corner do within five yards? Will we see more aggressive, physical edge play in Pettine's defense? I'd love to see opposing receivers struggle to get off the line or worry about getting popped at the snap. In my mind, that's what will turn this defense.

Critiques like this make me chuckle, because if aggressive pressing at the line were the perfect answer, everyone would employ it all the time. It's not as easy to play as people assume. Often outside receivers line up a yard or more off the ball, giving them room to maneuver (many formations are designed this way, specifically for this purpose), so a press defender must decide if he's going to sell out to try knocking his opponent back at the snap and risk getting beat by a sidestep or shake. Once the defender commits to forward momentum, he'd better make it work, and formations can prevent being nose-to-nose for ideal (and less risky) execution.

Bob from Rome, NY

2005 preseason game at Buffalo. I have great seats on the 20 and two rows from the field. Brett Favre plays the first series or two and then is taken out. He then takes out a candy bar (I think it was a Milky Way) and starts eating it. Every time Coach Sherman gets close to him he hides it behind his back. An assistant coach comes over to ask a question and he chucks it to the bench. So much for nutrition on the sideline. True story!

I've earned another level of respect for Favre based on his choice of candy bar.

Craigly from Grand Rapids, MI

I thought Mark Sanchez made the quick hot dog on the sideline famous. He sure wasn't famous for being a good quarterback or running a quality offense for that matter, yet his Jets team made two AFC Championship games (beating the Patriots in the divisional round once). Everyone must know it was a Pettine-led defense with Wilkerson and Darrelle Revis that got the Jets there. Knowing our offense will outdo anything Sanchez coulda dreamed of doing, how talented is our D compared to Pettine's of 2008-10?

Well, no jab at anyone on the current roster, but the Packers don't have a Revis in his prime. Not many teams do. If King can approach that level of play on the boundary, it's a game-changer. Everywhere else, the Packers have comparable pieces for Pettine to work with. Never underestimate the value of a true shutdown corner. Just look what happened to the Vikings' defense in its last six quarters of the playoffs in January when Xavier Rhodes was out or trying to play hurt.

Tina from Brooklyn, NY

I think the most fascinating part of training camp will be seeing how Gutekunst handles the cut down to 53. Most new GMs get rid of a lot of the busts from the old regime. But since it was a promotion from within, that may not be the case. What say you?

I'm not going to make any roster decisions in early June or put young, developing players on notice. But my curiosity with the 53, as I've said before, will lie in how much experience Gutekunst keeps on the depth chart, behind the starters, versus the number of young, unproven players who make the team. Who will the Packers be counting on when injuries hit? Yes, I said when. It's still the NFL. Players will get hurt.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

Spoff, apparently you're a Millennial.

I caught that, too. Not sure how I feel about it.

Dave from Liverpool, England

In your opinion, what is your favorite quote from Vince Lombardi?

Aside from, "What the hell's going on out here?" I'd probably say, "The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender."

Jim from McLean, VA

Which current player is the NFL equivalent of The Great 8 - phenomenal talent and major face of the sport that hasn't won one yet?

Maybe J.J. Watt? I don't think there's a quarterback who qualifies. The most accomplished QBs to not have won a Super Bowl are probably Rivers, Ryan and Newton, but I wouldn't call any of them the football equivalent of Ovechkin.

Henrik from Hartford, WI

Who was the greatest drafted Packers wide receiver in team history?

James Lofton.

Ross from Hudson, WI

The inability of teams to use a running start on kickoffs will in my opinion create a shift to faster players on special teams (WR, DB, RB over LB or DL) to facilitate getting downfield sooner. Do you see this new rule creating a great, moderate, or negligible impact on final roster spots?

A popular question. Moderate to negligible. The same types of players are still needed for punts and placekicks on special teams. The new kickoff rule might impact one or two final roster decisions, but I don't see it going beyond that.

Packers players, coaches and alumni participated in the event, with proceeds benefitting the College Comeback Program at NWTC.

Jim from Traverse City, MI

What are the chances the Packers ever go with a sponsored stadium like most other teams in the league and other sports? Bellin Health Lambeau Field? I enjoy the way things are, but would the team ever entertain the money associated with that? The sponsored gates may be enough.

As team president, Bob Harlan was staunchly opposed to selling the naming rights to Lambeau Field. It was a bold stance to take when the Packers were asking for taxpayer money to renovate the stadium at the turn of the century, because a naming rights deal would have reduced the taxpayer burden considerably. The referendum passed 53-47, the county-wide sales tax has since expired, and Lambeau Field is still Lambeau Field, and always will be I believe.

Scott from Little Rock, AR

I love watching a game when teams have uniforms that really look good together on the field. Two that come to mind are Cowboys vs. Steelers and Packers vs. Raiders. I also like the simpleness of Super Bowl III with the Colts/Jets, even though I wasn't alive. Do you guys have any favorites?

A few years back when the Lions and Saints met in the playoffs, I was impressed by the display of color the matchup created.

Yoop from Florence, WI

With the addition of Alexander, Jackson, Williams and House, who out of the group behind them has best chance of staying on the team?

I couldn't begin to predict, but two prospects at corner who intrigue me this summer are Waters and Pipkins.

Ralph from Oklahoma City, OK

I've never thought highly of TO, but this is the ultimate insult to the HOF class IMO. He's stealing the light from his own classmates! My only hope is that his bust is the "he's my quarterback" crocodile tears. I think we all need to know that he WILL show up in a bring-your-popcorn moment. And all his classmates are going to feel the tarnish of his selfishness. My question is, who swatted the ball from him on the star?

I can't understand Owens' decision here so I'm not going to try. I'd love for the media to boycott whatever he's doing on enshrinement night, out of respect for the rest of the HOF class, and just check in with him the next day. But it'll never happen. I'll be in Canton covering Kramer, and rest assured Owens will get nothing from me but a mention in the list of the members of the class. That's it. As for his celebration on the Texas Stadium midfield star, the second time he did it, it was former Packers safety George Teague who leveled him with a pretty good hit.

Hanly from Bozeman, MT

Do coaches in the booth have access to video? Wouldn't that too make it easier to implement in-game adjustments?

They have access only to the TV replays as far as video goes.

Barton from Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico

Who was the last Packers player to be named All-Pro? Who picks All-Pro players each year? It's not a popularity contest like Pro Bowl, is it?

An Associated Press panel, comprised of football writers from around the league, selects the All-Pro teams. David Bakhtiari was a second-team choice last year, the second straight year he's received the honor. The Packers' most recent first-team selection was Aaron Rodgers in 2014.

David from Capitol Heights, MD

Hey Insiders, what's the funniest question each of you has ever received? Which one stands out the most?

Neither of those.

Jason from Lake View, NY

I am trying to keep my expectations for this coming season in check. While I am excited about the recent additions to the team, I really think it will take a season or two to really "bring it together." Plus two new coordinators and new schemes, I just don't see them going all the way this year. Am I being too negative?

Make the playoffs and take your chances. It's what I always say. That's how this works. Have a good weekend, everybody.