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Inbox: Experience is a factor

But it’s a team game

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields

Jeffrey from Eau Claire, WI

Are we ready for some football?

It's officially Week 1, and the baloney is running out of time.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hey guys I noticed all four North teams participated in the international program this year – Kenneth Odumegwu, DL, Nigeria: Green Bay Packers; Junior Aho, DT, France: Minnesota Vikings; Patrick Murtagh, TE, Australia: Detroit Lions; Roy Mbateteka, OL, Nigeria: Chicago Bears. Does the NFL give each division a chance to do this or is it just a coincidence all four teams did it this year?

The league has been rotating divisions.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Mike, while one game does not a season make, if Colorado can upset TCU, the Packers can win the division. But for this week, just beat the Bears. Understanding in rivalry games it makes no matter sometimes, on paper I would say the Packers are the better team. Would that be an accurate assessment? Jordan Love has been in the NFL longer than Justin Fields, so how does "experience" factor into QB1 performance in this matchup?

Experience is a factor because Fields has started 25 NFL games to Love's one. He's dealt with the ebbs and flows of games, all the unscouted looks in the first month of the season, and a ton of other things Love hasn't. But it's a team game. I agree the Packers are the better team on paper, but they have to go out and play like it, Love included.

Reed from Kansas City, MO

I am not very familiar with DJ Moore. Is he worthy of Jaire Alexander's special attention, aka The Griddy Treatment?

Moore is the most accomplished offensive weapon the Bears have, and it's not particularly close. He had three 1,100-yard receiving seasons in Carolina, and more than 5,000 yards over five years. I couldn't care less about celebrations and dances, but if the Packers are going to match up on D, Alexander on Moore certainly makes sense.

Ron from Long Beach, CA

Hi guys, as much as I appreciate the Packers' "clean slate" approach and no offense to Brenton Cox Jr., but it seems a little out of character for this organization to go after players with this type of past behavior. The talent is usually not an issue with these types of guys as most of the time they are already established, so what was it about Cox to make the Packers willing to take a chance on HIM?

I'm not privy to the team's investigation, but they thoroughly check out all the background info and decide whether or not they're comfortable bringing the player in. It could be they found extenuating circumstances that were not public knowledge, or they feel confident the player is maturing and moving beyond his mistakes. I really don't know. What I do know is they don't just read a couple of internet clips about a player's past and decide whether or not he's on the draft board.

Jim from Sioux Falls, SD

With the flurry of activity surrounding kickers this preseason, I'm a little surprised Mason Crosby wasn't signed by anyone. Thoughts?

A little surprised is an understatement to me.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. Everyone who considers themselves to be a true Packers fan should take the time to watch to recent Hall of Fame speeches by Josh Sitton and Jordy Nelson on your website. Didn't you find it interesting that the name most commonly brought up and profusely thanked was trainer Bryan "Flea" Engel?

Charles Woodson had Flea as his presenter for his Packers HOF induction two years ago. He, along with pretty much the entire athletic training staff, develops relationships with players that go way beyond taping ankles and rehabbing injuries.

John from Livermore, CA

So ready for the regular season to start. Unexpectedly for me my anticipation is much higher than it has been in the past few years. I think the youthful makeup of this year's team has more build-up for me than in years past, when it was much more of a how many games do we win to make the playoffs. How about you, how different is the lead-in this year to the recent past?

There's just so much more unknown. It's refreshing, exciting, a little scary, and several other emotions rolled into one. I think the lack of traditional expectations surrounding the team leaves a void that both lifts a burden and raises all sorts of questions everyone is eager to see answered. I've been asked countless times over the last six months what the vibe of the fan base is with regard to the upcoming season. The one word I keep coming back to more than any other is curiosity.

John from Jupiter, FL

Morning. I know an opening day win or loss does not make or break a season, but is there any added pressure this year due to the recent dominance over the Bears? Thanks.

If you want me to put it on a scale, I'd say there's more pressure on the Bears. They're at home, they haven't beaten the Packers under LaFleur, and Fields has never beaten Green Bay. The Packers rightly face their own pressures here, but a strong start that puts the Chicago crowd on edge could go a long way for Green Bay in this one.

Larry from Carney, MI

Hello. Excluding the NFC North (because we already know the answer) what is your educated guess for division winners? We can revisit your analysis in about four months.

I normally despise the prediction game but for some reason today I'm in a mood, so here goes: Eagles, Niners, Bills, Chiefs, Bengals, Jaguars, and I have absolutely no idea who's winning the NFC South. Not very imaginative I realize, but you asked.

Ferdie from Galt, CA

Hi II, Wes wishes "there were fewer holiday games." I understand where he's coming from but wonder, do fans share the same view or is he in the minority? Go Pack Go!

I suspect a lot of fans enjoy watching the Packers play on the holidays. It's just different for us because gameday is the longest workday of the week, by a pretty good margin.

Avida from Vienna, VA

When do the Packers name their team captains? And given the number of young players and departed veterans, is this the most wide-open team captain vote in recent memory? A lot of the longtime stalwart team captains have since moved onto other teams.

The players will vote sometime this week and as soon as we know we'll post a story. And you're right, three of last year's six captains (Rodgers, Lewis, Amos) are gone, four of the six from 2021 (add Adams) are gone, and Crosby was a prior captain as well. I believe the only players on the current team who have been voted season-long captains before are Kenny Clark, De'Vondre Campbell and Jaire Alexander.

Terry from Rothschild, WI

I am also impressed by the number of undrafted free agents that have made the roster over the years, but wonder how many really made an impact as a starter?

Working from Wes's list of undrafted rookies making the 53 during the 19-year streak (which is on his Twitter/X account and doesn't include undrafted players such as Tramon Williams and Robert Tonyan who were on a practice squad first), I'd say those who had the most lasting impact on offense or defense were cornerback Sam Shields and offensive linemen Lane Taylor, Don Barclay and Evan Smith. On special teams, Chris Banjo and Jayrone Elliott were multi-year impact players. Those who had notable individual seasons but didn't stick around long were Frank Zombo, Jarrett Boykin, and Krys Barnes.

TJ from Taylorville, IL

Will Lukas Van Ness rush from the inside in passing situations?

He might. We'll see.

Todd from Long Lake, WI

The Packers having the last 30 years of Hall of Fame QB play gets referenced daily. Has anyone considered that starting in 1919 with Lambeau, Herber, Starr, Favre, and Rodgers they have had 65 of those 104 years with a Hall of Fame QB? And even good QB play by others such as Rote, Dickey and Majkowski? Some franchises haven't had one guy as good as Dickey.

Don't forget Isbell or Wes will hang you from a yardarm, even if the Navy doesn't do that anymore. It's interesting to study for sure, but it's only been about the last 20 years when HOF-level QB play has become a near-prerequisite for success. As recently as 2000, the QB matchup in the Super Bowl was Trent Dilfer vs. Kerry Collins. Two years later, it was Brad Johnson vs. Rich Gannon (though Gannon won the MVP that year). Since then, it's very difficult to find Super Bowls that didn't include at least one QB (and often both) on a HOF track or having won an MVP. The 2012 season (Joe Flacco vs. Colin Kaepernick) is the only real outlier.

Bart from Bellingham, WA

Good morning. Just curious as to why we can listen to Packers broadcasts on a desktop but not on an iPhone or iPad, except in the GB area. What difference does it make? Is this a Packers decision or NFL? I assume $$ would have something to do with it. Thanks guys.

It's an NFL rule based on the league's broadcast restrictions.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Hello Mike. Wes stated that all salaries count against the cap. It is my understanding, which may be wrong, that only the top 51 count on the cap. I know there are different rules regarding team salaries. Can you clarify the different salary categories?

Only the top 51 salaries count against the cap, for compliance purposes, during the offseason when the roster is at 90 players. Once rosters are reduced, everything counts.

Joseph from Sioux Falls, SD

A few days behind, but is it possible Mike did, in fact, interpret Matt LaFleur's comments correctly at that point in the preseason? Wilson just kept stacking days, as they say, and put too much on tape. By cutdown day, I have to imagine the Packers still might've liked Taylor's pass protection and special-teams skills more but felt a lot more confident in getting Taylor back on the squad than risking Wilson getting claimed.

Entirely possible.

The 2023 Green Bay Packers took their official team photo inside Lambeau Field on Sept. 4, 2023.

Ryan from Lewisburg, PA

Regarding your response about how personnel packages used for the opening snap factor into how many "starts" a player has, can you clarify if that means personnel can change a player's stats – e.g., a "starting" OLB/rusher doesn't get counted with a start because the defense's first play was in dime package?

Correct, though in your specific example it's usually an interior defensive lineman who is replaced by the dime DB.

Terry from Cary, IL

C'mon, man (and you will get 100 emails on this), left footed punter … Donny Anderson. Long before Bucky.

C'mon, man, I wasn't alive when Donny A. was punting for the Packers. The first Packers punter I remember as a kid was David Beverly.

Joe from Dells, WI

Mike, you didn't miss much. County Stadium was truly an awful place to watch football. And it contributed to the only parenting mistake my dad ever made. After my grandpa died, my grandma offered my dad the season tickets. Both he and my uncle declined. I remember my dad saying, "Why would I go there to watch the game when I can see the game better on TV? At least on TV I can see the score and how much time is left in the game." If only he knew then what we know now.

If that's the only, or even the worst, mistake I ever make as a parent, I'd sleep better at night.

Bil from Stateline, NV

One man's cinnamon roll dipped in chili is another man's asparagus on a brat.

What exactly happened while I was gone over the weekend? I already need another beer.

Matt from Burlington, WI

"Well, we're waiting." – Judge Smails

We are so close yet so far. This is gonna be a long week! Thank you for the offseason coverage.

T-minus five days and counting. Happy Tuesday.

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