Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: Finally, it's time for Packers football again

The depth in the defensive front can be a strength of this team


Bruce from Jackson, WI

Thank heaven, Wes. It's finally "25 or 6 to 4" for the season to start. I know "Everybody Needs a Little Time Away," but 207 days without football? I'm praying our receivers are "Feelin' Stronger Every Day" and ready to play. I'm thinking beating the Bears will be a "Hard Habit to Break" on Sunday. "Color My World" Green and Gold because when the Pack gets the W, it will be "Hard To Say I'm Sorry." Thanks Chicago.

It hasn't felt a day shorter than 206, Bruce. Football, please don't go. "If You Leave Me Now," you'll take away the very heart of me. Good morning!

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

It's time! As Mike Spofford would say, "Roll It!"

Roll out all the barrels because finally…FINALLY, it's time for Packers football again. OK, let's take a few questions.

Scott from Noblesville, IN

High hopes, but low (hopefully reasonable) expectations, as this old fan is braced to be very patient. If I could see one team aspect vastly improved upon, and one player to reach, maybe overachieve, his potential, I would be very happy, if as a team, by December, we are noticeably more stout stopping the run, and Devonte Wyatt has a breakout year. I honestly believe a whole lot of "other things" would take care of themselves if this were to happen. Any thoughts along these lines?

That was one of the first things Joe Barry touched on during his Thursday news conference. The Packers must be better against the run this year, particularly when Kenny Clark isn't on the field. NFL Next Gen Stats had quite the stat this week. Green Bay allowed 1.2 fewer yards before contact/carry when Clark was on the field (1.6 yards) than when he wasn't (2.8) last year. Their pressure rate also was 11% higher when Clark was out there. That's a credit to Clark but also a reminder of how the Packers need others to step up alongside him. Wyatt's insertion into the starting lineup is a big part of that.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

Will the defense be better with rotating defensive players? There was time when Kenny was not on the field, we'd get gouged in the run game. What kind of stamina does T.J. Slaton display and who and how qualified is his backup? Can't wait to see Kenny play in space!

I think Slaton has plenty of stamina to last as the base nose tackle. With Jonathan Ford on the practice squad, Clark can always lend a hand there, too, in a pinch. As far as rotations, Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks are gonna be Green Bay's "Bash Brothers." I don't know how often the rookies will be out there, but the Packers are looking for them to add juice whenever Clark, Slaton or Devonte Wyatt isn't on the field. I'm eager to see the defensive-front rotations in play. I feel like the depth there can be a strength of this football team.

Patrick from Burlington, IL

When I look at the Packers' and Bears' rosters, I see a lot of equality in the secondary (our cornerbacks are better; their safeties are better), in the skilled position players, the LBs and even the QBs. The big difference is the line of scrimmage. On paper, the Packers should dominate both lines of scrimmage. Could that be the key to beating the Bears?

I wholeheartedly agree. The Packers have to win this game up front. The best part is they have the pieces to get the job done.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

Our receivers are a little gimpy and we have a young tight end room. I feel the Packers can play multiple ways. Wouldn't mind Emanuel Wilson active for the game and running the ball down the Bears' throat using a sixth lineman. It's a new year but how was the Bears' run D last year? And did they do anything to overtly help against the run?

Chicago was 31st against the run in 2022 (157.3 yards per game), but like you said, it is a new year with a lot of new faces in the Bears' defensive front seven. I would be serving Chicago a healthy dose of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon early. Those are your two veterans who have seen it and done it. Let the offensive line and young skill guys get comfortable, while the thunder-and-lightning rattle the ground. If the Packers also want to sprinkle in Wilson, go for it. We'll see what gameplan the coaches concoct.

Kevin from Westminster, CO

With both top WR battling soft-tissue issues, do you see any upside for Jayden Reed on the outside this week?

I think he'll be inside mainly in "11" personnel, but I could see Reed getting work outside if the Packers are in "12" or "21."

Al from Green Bay, WI

Many glowing words have been written about Luke Musgrave and his camp/preseason. Given the difficulty for rookie TEs to make a significant impact, what are realistic expectations for Luke Musgrave in Game 1 and through this season? It seems the Packers will really need him, with Christian Watson out on Sunday.

It's a salient point you raise and certainly Musgrave will have hurdles to scale while learning on the job this season. However, Musgrave is a smart dude who's attacked it the right way. He's improved with the reps he received this summer. If Musgrave can stay healthy, I can't wait to see the tight end he develops into four months from now.

Gary from Chicago, IL

After selecting two tight ends in this year's draft, which of them has initially emerged as the top tight end after the preseason?

Tucker Kraft is going to have a role in the offense, but Musgrave has been thrown in with the starters since Day 1. The Packers had a very deliberate plan for the former Oregon State tight end, and it has brought him to this point. Now, it's time to play.

John from Grand Forks, ND

Of all the storylines for Sunday, Big Dog wearing Bears' stuff has me the most bummed. He was so much fun to have on the team. He was such a rock that I am not excited to see him blocking our guys and catching some balls down the seam. Yelling "Hey Big Dog" at Family Night two years ago and his head snap around, smile, and wave is still something my son and I talk about. I'll probably cheer a little when gets a TD this season.

I made my stance pretty clear on Marcedes Lewis this offseason. Admittedly biased, I wanted to see Lewis play his record-breaking 18th NFL season for a tight end in Green Bay, but I'm just thrilled he's getting that chance in Chicago. Lewis deserves it. He has the total respect of the Packers' roster. Several veterans, including Rasul Douglas and Darnell Savage, discussed this week the lasting impact Lewis has had on this locker room. They're looking forward to competing against Big Dog, in the most respectful way possible. Funniest of all to me is how three of my all-time favorites in Green Bay – Lewis, Robert Tonyan and Lucas Patrick – are all now in Chicago. I'm wishing them all good health on Sunday.

William from Fairhope, AL

What's your early take on the most recent acquisitions, safety Zayne Anderson and tight end Ben Sims? Do they appear to be special-team guys, or do you see some positional upside?

Special teams will be the starting point for both, especially Anderson who cut his teeth in the third phase the past two years in Kansas City (110 snaps on special teams, zero on defense). He has good size (6-2, 205) for a safety, though. As an undrafted rookie, Sims needs more time to figure out where he fits for Green Bay.

Chase from Citrus Heights, CA

Have any sports-related eras ever aligned with eras of your own? Brett Favre was my childhood, Aaron Rodgers was my early adulthood, and Jordan Love will mark the start of my first football season as a father.

I've never equated points of my life to sports other than the birth of my son. We welcomed him into the world on the same Sunday that Rodgers returned against Carolina from the collarbone injury. It's the only Packers game I haven't watched live over the past 15 years…and well worth it.

Bob from Ocean View, DE

So, will the "tradition" of photobombing the captains' pregame picture also depart with AR12?

I don't know if y'all have been paying attention, but that tradition ended some time ago.

Jeff from Puyallup, WA

Wes, one game does not a season make, true, but that was an impressive feat for the Lions to go into Arrowhead and get the win. Do you think that games like that can have any lasting effects on a team's mentality going forward?

That's up to the Lions how they handle success. If I'm Dan Campbell, I congratulate my team on the win and remind them Kansas City played without Travis Kelce on very short notice. As Mike said, respect to Detroit for finding a way to win but that was a Week 1 NFL game if I've ever seen one.

Ben from Guffey, CO

Well, this isn't the same old Lions. It's the brand-new Lions.

This certainly isn't the three-win Lions, but I'm gonna hold off on crowning them until I see a few more Kelces on the field and a few less pick-sixes off otherwise perfect passes.

Wayne from Stevens Point, WI

Congratulations to the Lions, a very entertaining game. If an offensive lineman habitually lines up illegally, let's say too far back from the line of scrimmage, and it is not called by the refs, what options exist for the opposing coach to call this to the attention of the refs? Similarly, if an offensive lineman habitually jumps the snap and the refs don't call it, is there anything the opposing coach can do? I am not calling out the RT of KC or anything like that.

Then, the opposing coach needs to bring it to the refs' attention. If the officials still don't do anything about it, that's a conversation that needs to be had this week.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. It's finally here! The first game of the first week was quite a surprise: 21-20 made for a down-to-the-wire game and a surprise winner, at least for me. Does the Lions' win add more pressure on the Pack on Sunday? They don't want to fall behind in the NFC North and have to play catchup right from the get-go.

That win is a big deal for Detroit because it's a cross-conference opponent the Packers will also have to face this season. That said, it's a long season. They don't hand out medals for fastest runner out of the chute in a marathon.

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Just curious. Has punter Pat O'Donnell signed with another NFL team? Can't wait for Sunday. Go Pack Go!

No, O'Donnell is still a free agent. That's par for the course with specialists, though. You just have to wait for the next call and be ready when it comes.

Mike from Mercer, WI

This is for Wes. I watch "Pack Attack" on the Wausau station on Tuesday nights and I am excited to hear that Weston will be one of the co-hosts. Are you excited to be on local TV and talking about the Packers? Do you know the other co-host, or will this be your first interaction with him? Hope everything goes well for both of you. See you on Tuesday!

I am super excited for the opportunity and appreciative of the Packers for allowing me to pursue it. I have been chatting it up with WAOW sports director Keegan Hewitt and pumped to work with him this season. Those in the Wausau market can check it out every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Joseph from Sioux Falls, SD

For many reasons, this season's outlook feels different. Personally, my grandfather's personality is fading due to Parkinson's. The games this year will be intentional time to spend with him each week. Reading II, hearing other readers' stories, and your articles highlighting players' stories over the years, have taught me that football has always been about family, so that's what I'm making it about this year. We'll just be cheering for some excitement and wins along the way. It is time!

Amen, brother. God bless you and your grandfather. I hope you have a great season with him. He'll be in my thoughts tomorrow afternoon.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, it's been mentioned you might bring in some familiar quotations to supplement our weekly pregame poetry. As we begin this season of change, unknowns, and immense curiosity, I can't think of a more appropriate line than one from the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson: "Buy the ticket. Take the ride."

That is a good one. I'll throw in one of my favorites from the incomparable Jerry Rice: "Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't."

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The zenith of anticipation arrives,

Stage set with rich tradition and stark newness,

Savor and capture the moments and memories,

And for goodness sake, JUST BEAT THE BEARS!

I cannot believe Week 1 is finally here – wait, no I can. Five months of build-up culminates in the game we've all been waiting for. Welcome to the Love Era.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The darkness gives way to the light of a new era

A new chapter with many new identities

A new beginning free from the shadow of expectation

Veterans remain but youth will hold the torch

Youth will have their day and answers will be revealed

The boys of summer become the men of fall

The light never dies in Green Bay

Your path lies straight ahead. Stay the path Green and Gold

A game more than 100 years in the making

In 206 meetings, the ledger reads Green Bay 105-95-6

A new beginning for some, redemption for others

The Packers hoping to extend a four-year, eight-game winning streak

The Bears hoping to start their own

The Bears looking for respect

The Packers looking to dash those hopes

A fitting opponent to begin the new chapter

Wait, so, we are still doing this, Dean? You still 'bout that life? Well, there really is only one thing left to do: Enjoy the living heck out of the game, everyone.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox