Jason from Lake View, NY
So how was practice?
Christopher from Frederick, MD
Four more years of Kenny Clark! I had a feeling he wouldn't escape, but it makes me happy he's still going to be getting his paychecks here.
I never felt Clark's new contract was a question of if, only when and how much. I think it worked out well for both sides.
George form North Mankato, MN
Well, the first chip has fallen into place with the extension granted to Kenny Clark. While the rest of the league may not have recognized his worth, the Packers obviously did. Who else would you like to see extended before the season?
I have to believe the next priority is David Bakhtiari. That's just my own conjecture.
Chris from Clive, IA
Packers football is back! Didn't think I'd be this excited about a practice. Who caught your eye in the first session? Any surprises seeing some of the new guys in action?
This comes with the caveat that it was the first day, with no pads, and I admittedly didn't get a look at all the new guys yet. But here are my quick hitters: AJ Dillon is an imposing presence, as advertised; Josiah Deguara's physique is thicker than I expected; Reggie Begelton looks like he can fit in. Also, Pettine clearly has plans for Rashan Gary.
Scotty from Lombard, IL
Insiders, If Dexter Williams continues to impress, would it be possible to keep five running backs? My thought is that Jamaal Williams and the new running back could play H-back/fullback. Aaron Jones could line up in the slot. No. 32 could be used in any number of ways. This could be a very versatile group, in addition to running the ball out of the backfield.
Five running backs would be a big stretch for me, but with the expanded practice squad, I could certainly see a fifth, at minimum, being kept there. For the record, Tyler Ervin practiced with the wide receivers on Saturday, so we'll keep an eye on that.
Doug from Westford, MA
Hi, I am little behind in my Reading, but the saRcasm font idea Reminded me: What is up with the loweRcase "R"? Please have the poweRs that be Read "Row Row YouR Boat" using the answeR font. Maybe then they will change it. (LoweRcase R's Replaced to pRotect the innocent.)
It's weird. I don't get it either. It's like the font designer has something against the letter R.
Henry from Brown Deer, WI
Don't you think the mandating of face shields over leaving it up to players makes the most sense? The droplet spray from the line alone would be enough to infect both teams plus refs. The shield could also protect the eyes as well. Call me selfish but I want to see a full season.
It's tricky. If I were a player, I would definitely lean toward as much protection as possible. But this is a performance business, and if the players are not comfortable and feel in any way their performance could be hindered by equipment modifications, I totally get their reluctance. I think the team's approach is the prudent one.
Iker from Ameca, Mexico
If everyone on the team is being tested and presumably tested negative, why are they wearing masks around each other? Similarly, I still don't understand how you can't swap jerseys after a full contact game with those same players. Reducing the spread of COVID would require it to be present.
Because of the lag time in testing. The results aren't immediate. While a 24-hour turnaround is immensely helpful, when a player enters the facility on a given day, he only knows that his test the prior day was negative. There's no telling if he might have contracted the virus in the meantime, and if so, how long it might take for a test to show a positive result. So you take the best precautions possible at all times.
Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI
I think you should inform us how the pandemic should have been handled. Please inform us.
I am not a scientist, nor a doctor, nor an economist, nor a public health expert, nor an elected official, nor anything but a sports writer. As such, I also have no at-the-ready sources in those other realms, and I have not stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in a very long time. If the chocolate souffle tastes awful, I'm not saying I can whip up a better one, and heaven help us if I were asked to. But to expect better when it's evident elsewhere is reasonable.
Dave from Comer, GA
Do you have to wear one of those proximity trackers?
Now that the players have started practicing, yes.
Dennis from Parrish, FL
No, not the French Canadian Mel Blount? The turk is cruel!
It's a tough business. I wanted to see the "underdog of underdogs" (his line, not mine, and one of the best quotes I've ever heard from a young player) make a go of it. He was chosen 14th overall in the CFL draft, so he should still have an opportunity to play pro football. Imagine being James Looney, and dropping all that weight to convert from defensive lineman to tight end, and then not making it to the first practice. Fair is often absent from the equation.
The Green Bay Packers held their first practice of training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020.
Darrel from Pueblo, CO
II, surprised to see Dequoy released after one practice. Was it a roster numbers game or something else?
It was actually before the first practice, but yes, it was a numbers game. With Mason Crosby coming off the COVID list and the waiver claim of Travis Fulgham, the Packers wanted to keep the roster at 80 to avoid having to practice as a split-squad. The league is mandating all teams be down to 80 before the first padded practice anyway, which will be in a few days.
Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN
Love the answer about the defensive line having the best chance to be in sync to start off the season. With that being said, it seems offenses typically start slower at the beginning of the season in general. Does the continuity of that unit give the Packers the best chance to have a positive record through the first quarter of the season?
All they have to figure out is the right side of the offensive line, and all three guys in the mix are veteran players. Barring injury, the rest of the decisions on offense are further down the depth chart.
Jake from Lake Mills, WI
Which combo of RG and RT has resembled anything close to crispness thus far? Also, regardless of how it shakes out, do you think Gutey may want to trade or release the odd man out to save cap space in order to more easily re-sign another one of the key free agents? Or is the depth too invaluable to give up?
They've practiced one day without pads. The competition has barely begun. NFL experience is the biggest strength of that trio on the right side, so whoever is not a starter would be a valuable backup, and I don't think the Packers would be itching to move on right away. The only other reserve offensive lineman with any significant regular-season experience is Lucas Patrick.
Chris from New Canaan, CT
"The Thighsman Trophy ..." I wish I'd thought of that; very clever. While seldom accurate, social media/Twitter can at times be entertaining ...
I have plenty of misgivings about social media, but I agree it is good for a laugh here and there.
Don from Riverton, UT
Nice to see Mason Crosby out there on Day 1! How he'd look?
Like the same ol' Mason.
Christopher from Frederick, MD
Well Mike, based on Aaron Rodgers' reactions to reporters' names when being called for questions, I would venture a guess to say you might be his favorite.
Ha, I doubt that's the case. He was just having some fun with me because on his last Zoom call he couldn't hear me and I never got to ask my question.
Brian from Schertz, TX
If the QB attempts a backwards pass to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage and it is caught by a defender, is it an interception or fumble recovery?
Gabor from Budapest, Hungary
Mike, long-term record-setting contracts became team friendly in a few years lately. I think the growth of the salary cap made it possible. Will this trend change if the salary cap drops?
Assuming by fall 2021 the sports world has returned to something closer to normal, next year will be the big cap challenge across the NFL. A lot of contracts will have to be restructured, or players will be released. I think once teams effectively navigate the cap situation next year, the remaining three years of the economic hit will be fairly manageable.
Cal from Chattanooga, TN
Hey guys, first off, thank you for being a steady form of much-needed distraction in the world right now. I haven't followed opponents' players as much this year as I usually do, for obvious reasons. My question is, what new acquisition for an NFC North opponent are you most worried about?
I probably would have said Michael Pierce for the Vikings before he opted out. So now I'll say either Robert Quinn in Chicago or Justin Jefferson in Minnesota.
Doc from Sheboygan, WI
When are Mike and Wes going to get real jobs?
No plans. Happy Monday.