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Inbox: A lot will go into the decision

Every once in a great while … 

QB Kurt Benkert

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

I know it's the preseason and wins don't really matter. But are you at all concerned that the Packers have lost to the Texans and the Jets, two of the worst teams in the NFL last year?

Not in the slightest.

Tom from Walker,

Who helped themselves the most in the Jets game?

Aside from Kurt Benkert, I would say Malik Taylor. He's had two solid preseason performances in a row, which helps check both the availability and reliability boxes.

Jim from McLean, VA

I didn't see the game, but it seems that in addition to running well and scoring two TDs so far, Kylin Hill may have helped cement his hold on the No. 3 back spot with his heads-up recovery of the deflected snap. Was that a tough play?

It was just a reaction, but a very heady, surehanded one. I think Hill is clearly the front-runner for RB3 and I would expect him to win that job now. The question is whether they keep a fourth back on the 53 or have one or two on the practice squad instead.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Hi Spoff, good morning. Though Kylin Hill got the accolades, I thought Dexter Williams looked great (especially as a [lone?] bright spot on special teams) – you could almost see him switch into high gear on his carries. Question, what did ML mean when he said the RBs were "running behind their pads"?

He means they're dishing out the contact as much as absorbing it, which keeps them balanced and moving/falling forward as that contact occurs.

John from Livermore, CA

What is your assessment of our division foes? Anything standing out for you?

I haven't seen much. Don't have time to pay attention, frankly. But there are certainly a lot of questions swirling around about Chicago's offensive line.

Joe from Swansea, IL

If JL10 is ready to go, do you expect him to play most of the way next weekend? Given his need for in-game reps, can you quantify how much his development was delayed by his absence Saturday? And what did you see as the most impressive aspect of Benkert's play?

When Love is medically cleared, he's going to play. It doesn't help for him to miss an entire week of this developmental time. Nobody wanted that. But as the No. 2 QB, he's going to get a lot more work in regular-season practices than he did last year.

Steve from Las Vegas, NV

I really enjoyed watching the game Saturday. In the postgame interview Kurt was answering a question about changing plays at the line of scrimmage and he mentioned cans. What is he talking about?

It's the terminology LaFleur uses for audibles, when a play call gives the QB two possibilities. Based on the defensive look, the QB is allowed to "can" the primary play (as in, throw it in the trash can, I think) and go to the alternative.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Four years ago Taysom Hill showed real ability but we lost him on the waiver wire because we did not have positional need at QB. It's a fair statement to say Benkert's performance was much more than average and should he stack performances would be considered a legitimate QB option. With the team's publicly acknowledged year-to-year situation with AR12 can we walk away from a legitimate QB3 if they present themselves?

That's the question the personnel department has to answer by next Tuesday. I'm sure they'll study other teams' QB situations around the league and try to gauge their potential needs and evaluations. It's not quite Taysom Hill redux, because Benkert isn't going to play special teams or wide receiver, but I hear where you're coming from. Atlanta, where Benkert was previously, just lost backup QB AJ McCarron to a torn ACL, so that could be taken into consideration. The other factor is the investment required in a QB2 for next year if this ends up being Aaron Rodgers' last season here. They'd have to use a draft pick or pluck one off the market if they lose Benkert. A lot will go into the decision.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

Saturday John from Rockland told you to order a Philly cheesesteak with cheese wiz in Philly. Why does he hate you so? There is no such thing as a Philly cheesesteak in Philly, or cheese wiz. It is a cheesesteak wit wiz. No one makes that mistake twice.

But when I visited a lifelong friend 25-plus years ago during his college stint in Philly, he told me before going up to the window at Pat's that all I had to say was "wiz wit" or "wiz wit-out," meaning I was ordering the cheesesteak with whiz, and either with or without onions. If you uttered anything else, they'd know you were from out of town.

Scott from Hiawatha, IA

With the new taunting rule can we retroactively flag the Vikings for Randy Moss mooning the crowd?

If the new taunting rule means players can get flagged for taunting the crowd, I'm gonna lose it.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

With Charles Woodson in the HOF I wish the Packers would go back to the handshake celebration.

I was always a big fan of that one, too.

Frank from Cedar Falls, IA

Do you think we could see Kylin Hill get some opportunities in the jet sweep/motion role this year? Or will that mostly be the Amari Rodgers/Randall Cobb show?

I think that's mostly the domain of the latter two, but Hill could provide another option. LaFleur and Hackett love to get creative.

Highlights from the moments leading up to the preseason matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets at Lambeau Field.

Susan from Oak Creek, WI

I was excited to see the new throwback uniforms. Are the players excited when they get to wear the throwback uniforms, or it doesn't matter to them?

They generally enjoy the change of pace. Rodgers always commented on how comfortable the tan pants were with that one throwback version. It sounds like the guys are pretty fired up about this new look.

Greg from Chelsea, MI

Regarding possible Jumbotron announcements about crowd noise when on offense, how about a classic Aaron Rodgers "Shhhh"?

It would be a start.

Ashley from Durand, IL

I was there on Saturday. I told them to stop. I really tried, but somehow the wave still kept going. How do we make it end?

You can't. The wave is like Cousin Eddie. He just shows up wherever and whenever he wants to, oblivious to how others react to him.

Randy from Bayfield, WI

I know it's still early, but do you think Eric Stokes is doing enough to start over Kevin King at cornerback to start the season?

My gut says if King is healthy and he's a full participant in practice in the two weeks leading up to Week 1, he'll start. It sounds like King will be getting his workload ramped up this week. Either way, I believe Stokes is going to play plenty this season.

Ian from Sherman Oaks, CA

How important do you think this year is for JK Scott? Is this a make-or-break year for him with the Packers?

It's the final year of his rookie contract, so yes.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Mike, you won't have to go to a barber all season if the special teams keep playing as they have the first two preseason games. You will have it all torn out by Game 4.

At least the preseason is not presenting some sort of illusion the issues have been fixed. Mo Drayton said it himself Sunday: "If everything is hunky-dory in the preseason and it's nothing to correct, then you better probably watch out." As I said before, they're finding the players who can do the job and those who can't, and the weak links won't be out there Week 1.

Jeff from Washington, IL

I am asking this prior to Game 2 of the preseason in which I'm hoping that Christian Uphoff gets significant playing time in. Do you see him having a shot at this 53, or is he playing for a practice-squad spot?

I think he's still very much in the running for the 53, especially after making that impressive tackle on the punt in the fourth quarter against the Jets. I think a couple of roster spots could be won (or lost) based almost solely on special teams, given the way these first two games have gone.

Clayton from Slinger, WI

Could you see MVS reaching superstar status by the end of the '21 season? It would be a helluva leap for him but I believe he's gonna have a big season.

It's a stretch for any non-No. 1 receiver to become a true superstar, but I'm with you on how things appear lined up for him to have a big year. It's there for the taking.

Matty from Troy, MO

With the cut-down coming I was wondering what real chance late signings like Damon Hazelton have to make the team? I presume that the Packers would not be looking at a player unless they had genuine interest, but it just seems like it would be nearly impossible to learn the playbook and catch the eye of the team at this late time. Am I missing something? We are already stacked at WR.

It's a tough row to hoe, for sure, and it doesn't happen often. But every once in a great while a late arrival to camp does enough to surprise everyone, land a roster spot, and carve out a nice career. Chris Banjo is the guy who always comes to mind for me, though he did arrive in time to play the full preseason slate in 2013.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Hi Mike, I know it was one drive, but I cannot wait for our Thunder and Lightning run game this year based on Dillon's performance. Also, did Taylor lock up a spot on the 53 with his performance as well?

A player in Malik Taylor's position can never feel like anything's locked up, but I share your enthusiasm for the running game and the way it improved from last week. AJ Dillon looked like one tough dude to bring down on that opening series. He had creases and made good decisions.

Lambeau Field hosted a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021.

T from Cedar Falls, IA

Good morning, Spiffinator/HotHod! The preseason is chock full of unknown names and faces. In your opinion, whose name should we really get to know well?

Royce Newman. Nothing's locked up yet, but there's a decent chance the rookie fourth-round pick will be the Packers' starting right guard in New Orleans, which no one would have predicted at the start of camp.

Dave from Cudahy, WI

In your opinion, were the trips a problem with the QB, the OL, or a combination of the two? What will it take to fix the problem?

After reviewing the film, LaFleur put those on Newman, saying his left foot crossed behind Josh Myers' foot and stepped on Benkert's. It shouldn't happen, especially not twice in a row, but it doesn't sound difficult to correct.

Sean from San Diego, CA

With an extra week between the last preseason game and first regular season game, is it treated like a bye week with players off or an extra week of practice?

Some of both. The players will practice and be given time off.

Dylan from Cary, NC

Are final cutdowns the day after preseason games like they usually are or one week before the regular season like they usually are?

There will be a cut from 85 players to 80 tomorrow, and then the cut to 53 is the following Tuesday, Aug. 31, four days earlier than in previous years, when it was always on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Mark from Westminster, CO

I definitely enjoy the "ask the players a question" videos. It seems the players are also having a good time with those, plus it offers the fans just a little insight into player personalities. I think this idea is a keeper whoever thought of it. Thanks for the morning laughs.

Hats off to the video and social media segments of our team for that one, and definitely a keeper.

Mike from Rhinelander, WI

Good morning II. Damn right Davante Adams doesn't say stuff just to say it. He may have even predicted the future with "wash your hands and your butt" before the pandemic took over.

A line that will live in infamy.

Brandon from Atlanta, GA

Second rule of Inbox: Don't question the rules of Inbox!

Happy Monday.


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