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Inbox: He's here to finish what he started

Who is the most underrated leader in the Packers’ locker room?

WR Randall Cobb

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Been out looking for the ant climbing the cold mountain all day, no luck yet. Any suggestions where to look?

That was a new one for Young Wes…who has never felt older.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Mike could not have been more spot on with his reply to Markus from CO. This team is loaded and as full of potential as any of the other top five teams in the league as long as the players face the reality of each week ahead of them. I think everyone is on a high right now due to Aaron Rodgers' return and it's fun to celebrate the moment!

Spoff was spot on. I'm still processing everything, to be honest. Not only because of Rodgers' situation, but also the fact the Packers haven't really been in this position during my time covering the team as far as having a good sum of money pushed into the future. But if the Saints can dig themselves out of the cap mess they were in last season, I'm confident the Packers can find a way in 2022. That being said, this year is a high-risk, high-reward situation. From a pure talent standpoint, this is the best shot Green Bay has had on paper of winning a Super Bowl since 2011. But the puzzle doesn't just put itself together. There's work to be done.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Good morning, Wes. It must have been a relief to get an additional day off Inbox. What a great press conference Cobb gave. Is it OK for me to say I'm as happy to see him back as Aaron? I've always loved him as a player and as a great human being. Welcome back, Randall.

It's more than OK. Cobb is a great human. Personally, I felt like that was his best news conference to date in a Packers uniform. He was thoughtful, reflective, and thorough in his responses. Cobb's line about coming to Green Bay as a 20-year-old kid and now standing at the podium as a 30-year-old man hit me hard.

Vince from Auburn

It was so refreshing reading Randall Cobb's comments the other day. He made it a point to stress that he doesn't care about how much playing time he gets or how many receptions or TDs. He's here to help win a championship. It seems those sentiments have been lost on a lot of professional athletes lately.

Cobb is the right guy for this locker room, especially at this stage of his career. He said it himself – he has no expectations for catches or playing time. He's here to win a championship. I think a lot of folks forget Cobb arrived in Green Bay six months after one of the biggest wins in franchise history. Cobb is still chasing his ring and it's been five years now since he last made the playoffs. He's here to finish what he started.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

I have been trying to digest Randall Cobb's return. First, I am happy. I was hoping the Packers would draft him but thought they would not because they did not need a WR. I was extremely happy when I watched him drafted. I am excited to see what Cobb can do in ML's offense and he can teach Rodgers to play the position. I do not like how it came down. I am afraid this will set a precedent that Rodgers will expect more say in personnel decisions. I guess I will just sit back and enjoy. Your thoughts?

Regardless of how you feel about the trade, this isn't the first time an NFL team has acquired a familiar safety valve for its quarterback. Tampa did it with Tom Brady and Gronk, Denver reunited Peyton Manning with Brandon Stokley, Baltimore had Steve McNair and Derrick Mason, and Dallas had Drew Bledsoe and Terry Glenn. So, it's not like this is some unprecedented move. We'll see how it works out.

Jeffrey from Taylors, SC

Is it me, or was Randall Cobb a favorite target on the scramble drill?

He was. Now Rodgers isn't scrambling as often as he did during Cobb's first stint with the Packers but those two had a telepathic relationship. Cobb did a lot of damage to the opposition in that capacity.

Klay from Great Falls, MT

I was wondering what the possibilities for Cobb in the return game would be. Thanks.

A real one. Dexter Williams and Cobb were the two guys fielding punts on Friday. Even if Rodgers handles both jobs this season, Cobb is a brilliant insurance policy.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I remember reading snippets about David Bakhtiari's rookie training camp performance against Clay Matthews III in one-on-one drills mentioning that he more than held his own. Are there any rookies or second-year players that have really stood out through these first three days of training camp?

That was in pads when Bakhtiari stonewalled Matthews. We haven't gotten that far yet. Kylin Hill has caught my eye, though. I've been impressed by his cutback ability.

Kary from Sheboygan, WI

Wes, you can pick one Packers player for your fantasy team. Do you take Rodgers, Davante Adams, Aaron Jones, Robert Tonyan, or the defense? I hope you're doing better. The struggle is real, but the fight doesn't have to be one on one.

Adams. He's consistently prolific at a position where weekly domination is rare. That's what sets him apart from the rest.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

From the catbird seat you occupy at Lambeau Field that we all envy from nearby and afar, who has been the most underrated leader for the Pack during your time within the building, and why?

Quite honestly, it might be Adrian Amos. The curmudgeon would claim recency bias but I think Amos is a bigger leader on this defense, and team, than the average fan realizes. As a safety, leadership is part of the job description. But Amos also did the defense a big favor with how often he spoke to the media last year, both during the week and after games. He's a steady and accountable leader.

Barbara from Jackson, MS

Having watched the post-practice press conferences, I'm struck with the candor, humor and sheer likability of the guys on this team, from rookies to free-agent signings to returning folks. I also caught a general feeling of ease combined with focus. What's your take? Is it just the contrast to the tense offseason or is it really more so than usual?

Friday was the most fun I've had at a news conference since the pandemic began. All four players were comfortable and spoke from the heart. As a reporter, that's all I'm asking for.

Ronald from Edison, NJ

Who will be the starting center?

Josh Myers has taken pretty much every first-team rep at center since the start of OTAs. As long as he stays healthy, Myers is the guy – especially with Elgton Jenkins taking most of the reps at left tackle in David Bakhtiari's stead.

Chris from Deerfield, IL

Hi II, how much work is Jordan Love getting now that Aaron is back? Hopefully a lot so he can develop.

He's still getting quite a bit with the No. 2 offense, while also taking snaps in the developmental period at the end. Matt LaFleur mentioned on Friday that Love likely will handle most of the QB snaps in the three preseason games, too.

The Green Bay Packers held their third training-camp practice of 2021 at Ray Nitschke Field on Friday, July 30.

Kyle from Eau Claire, WI

In Thursday's photo gallery, it struck me as odd that in the picture of JJ Molson kicking a field goal the long snapper was still looking back between his legs just after the ball was kicked. Wouldn't the coaches be training the snapper to have his head up looking to block someone by then?

Not on a field goal. Since the long snapper's head and neck area is compromised, a defender cannot engage him after he snaps the ball, or it's a penalty. His only job is to deliver the football to the holder.

Garen from Vancouver, BC

Mike and Wes: First-time/longtime, this column is excellent. I read an II question about Dennis Kelly's upcoming role on the OL. Surely, it will include being a doppelgänger for David Bakhtiari. Their resemblance is remarkable.

And here I thought it was just so I had someone to talk wrestling with.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Do you think Dennis Kelly understands that by donning David Bakhtiari's No. 69 jersey he likely has taken on additional beer-chugging responsibilities?

I forgot to ask him that one. Next time. All kidding aside, I really enjoyed our interaction with Kelly. You can tell he's a smart dude. He's also massive at 6-foot-8, 321 pounds.

T Dennis Kelly and T David Bakhtiari
T Dennis Kelly and T David Bakhtiari

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. What was the NFL's reasoning behind the decision to go from only one cut-down date last year to three this year? It looks like the cut dates from 90 to 85 and then to 80 are following preseason games. Thanks.

I haven't seen any reasoning for it, but my guess is it's a compromise between the mandatory cutdown to 80 the league initiated due to COVID-19 at the start of camp last year and this year giving teams a few extra players to utilize during the first two preseason games (when most starters rarely play).

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi II, you guys have mentioned a number of times: "We'll know more when the pads get put on." I was wondering what the coaches (and you) look at differently when the pads are on than say, OTAs? Is it more intensity? More physicality? Can I assume it might have more bearing on grading the rookies and the final roster? Thanks for the insight you provide on training camp. Appreciate you, man.

All the above. Because it's more like watching actual football. You see linemen impose their will on each other in one-on-one drills and team periods. Linebackers square up more on running backs and ball carriers move differently. If OTA practice is like studying, then padded practices are like the quiz before the true preseason test for these young guys.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

The past couple days, Mike has mentioned "when the pads go on." When do the pads go on for the first time this training camp?

The new CBA includes a five-day ramp-up period without pads. So, I believe the first time the Packers could be in pads is Monday or Tuesday (if it's five practices).

Janet from Auburn, WA

Since I live in the Seattle area, I haven't had a chance to attend Family Night. What are the two or three biggest takeaways that you can share regarding this event? Is this something worth investing time/money to attend someday in the future?

I think so. I know it's not a scrimmage anymore but the Packers do a nice job keeping it fun for all ages. It's also only $10 per person. I've covered every Family Night since 2010 and never seen the fireworks. I hear they're cool, though. With Spoff's blessing, I'd like to go to Family Night with my son one of these years.

Travis from Dousman, WI

"...Caveman Wes threw Caveman Mike at the cave bear before running away." Or as Spoff's account might read, "Caveman Mike put a solid block on the cave bear, freeing Caveman Wes for a life-saving first down." Making football the earliest sport, and Packers beating up on the Bears officially the longest rivalry in all sports. Happy to be back!

While I'll be the first to admit Caveman Wes was kind of a prima donna, just remember there is no "I" in cave.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Mike, congratulations to your daughter.

That was a very sweet post. I'm also happy to hear her cap didn't read: "Dad, I know what I have to do but I don't know if I have the strength to do it…will you help me?"

Gary from Horicon, WI