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Inbox: He's raising his hand

How about a favorite play from that game?


Dan from Jurupa Valley, CA

51 points in a preseason game, that's pretty high, which made me wonder what is the record for points in a preseason game? Really it doesn't mean much, but I'm curious though.

In the so-called modern era, the Packers scored 59 against the Colts in 2010. In the way-back machine, they put up 79 on the Iron Mountain All-Stars in 1926 in what was labeled a "non-league" game.

Jeff from Bismarck, ND

Boy if Jake Kumerow doesn't make this team there needs to be an investigation! Have you ever seen a training camp where someone capitalized on every opportunity they were given?

It's reminiscent of Tramon Williams in 2007 to me. At the beginning of camp, you didn't think much of him, but he made it impossible not to notice him. In Williams' case, it wasn't the big plays Kumerow is making, but just the sense of a relative unknown showing he belongs, every single day.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Get in the first hit without injury. Check. Stretch out the legs a little. Check. Throw one to Jimmy. Check. Could it have gone any better?

He even got a 12-man free play.

Scott from Racine, WI

After seeing just how big a target Graham is in the end zone, I'm convinced I could throw a TD to him. And make no mistake about it, I am not a good QB. Can't wait to see the fireworks he and Rodgers make when the games count.

Rodgers can put it where he wants to, and Graham's hands look like they swallow the ball.

Nick from Theresa, WI

Do you guys get along with Rob Demovsky, or is he the Newman to your Jerry?

Both, and he's also a really good friend and highly respected former newspaper colleague of ours.

Jack from Naperville, IL

"The NFL hasn't started allowing teams to place advertisements on their uniforms yet, so I think there's enough room." Keyword: Yet. When, if at all, do you anticipate this happening? How would you feel about it?

I can't say when, but it'll happen, and I don't know if I'll care.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

I always wondered how the Packers could fall into the Dark Ages between Lombardi and Ron Wolf, to go from the pinnacle of success to the basement in such a short time. Cliff's article on Burt Gustafson sure gives some insight into the dysfunction of the front office during those years that surely couldn't have helped the Packers' cause. After reading some of Burt's comments, you kinda wonder why they bothered having a scouting department anyway if they weren't going to utilize the resource.

People in power who struggle to succeed because they only listen to the people they hire when those subordinates agree with them is a tale as old as time.

Aaron from Point Pleasant, MD

Spoff, my favorite breakfast spots are those that don't ask bacon or sausage, they just give you both. I know it's early, but it looks like with Burks and Jackson, we may have gotten the bacon and the sausage.

I love the way Burks goes all-out, all the time. He's got plenty to clean up, but the exposure he's getting and the film on himself in these preseason games are invaluable resources for a rookie in his circumstances. Jackson's progress has been steady, and he showed with that pick-six he didn't leave his ball skills in Iowa City (or Madison, for that matter).

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Thanks for posting the first TD drive of AR12. It brought tears to my eyes to see that it culminated in a rolling left, across-the-body throw. Watching AR12 all these years has been a gift!

My favorite part of that video was seeing referee Bernie Kukar calling penalties again. He always looked like he just wanted to shake his head with every flag, like the grandpa who didn't understand why all the kids can't just behave. Turns out 2005 was Kukar's last season.

Bob from Green Cove Springs, FL

With all the WRs who are looking good, is it possible to trade a rookie prior to the cut day for a pick in next year's draft? That would get something for them rather than hoping to get them on the practice squad and potentially getting nothing.

The college game cranks out wide receivers in greater abundance than any other position. Barring another team in an emergency situation due to injuries, I wouldn't anticipate an offer like that for a rookie receiver.

Kevin from Stallis, WI

Hey guys, definitely more good than bad from last night but the bad was pretty glaring. Help me feel better about the backup tackles. They really struggled against the first-team D.

Coaches will scheme to help backup tackles in regular-season games if they need to. They don't do that in the preseason, as they shouldn't, because you have to see how they handle the challenges, and they have to learn and grow. No one helped Pittsburgh's backup on Reggie Gilbert, either.

Green Bay won its second preseason game of 2018, topping the Steelers, 51-34.

Brock from Boston, MA

I think we all want to hear more about the "bonus room over the garage." I know I do.

And how.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Why has no one mentioned the role of the media in this anthem debate? They have a responsibility to deliver a story, but it's always twisted to report on who stands vs. who doesn't. It was never about kneeling in the first place, and yet that's all we hear about anymore. If people want to be angry at this, be angry at the media, who consistently fail to report the reason the players are kneeling. This is what baffles me the most. Have you any explanation from your media perspective?

This attempt at an explanation does not absolve the media of its responsibility, but here goes … The reason was initially reported, but after that, the reason became old news. What became news then was the reaction, and that narrative received a boost of rocket fuel from a certain someone's reaction, and then the reaction to his reaction became the news, and the threads have spun from there. That's an admittedly gross oversimplification, but now here we are.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Hey Mike, I see the "false equivalency" almost every day. Someone tries to equate his job and work environment with that of a professional athlete. There is ZERO similarity between the average American worker's world and an NFL player's world (or any other professional entertainer's world). Almost every time someone gets all indignant about the players, they mention their own workplaces and the rules they have to obey. A huge logical fallacy, yes?

That's all I was trying to point out the other day, and last week. I find those reductive arguments useless, and I've seen them so often I've felt compelled to call them out. If I took out my frustration on one particular reader amongst many, he probably didn't deserve it, though he did call my words pathetic, so I'm not going to apologize despite multiple pleas to do so. I also find it bass-ackwards that while an effort is being made to get us to look beyond ourselves and broaden our frame of reference, many arguments remain limited to a narrow scope because the only way to "win" is to constrain the discussion. The irony is inescapable.

Tom from Lehi, UT

I am sympathetic to both the players who wish to protest and to those who find it offensive to do so during the national anthem. My suggestion would have been for the NFL and players to work together to find a visible and effective platform to raise awareness that wasn't during the anthem. This way, the NFL could have backed its players and their cause and kept from offending those who feel an extreme sense of patriotism/sacredness for the anthem. We'd unite, not divide.

It's not too late to do just that, is it? I said previously it's incumbent upon the league and the union to work this out. They must turn this mess into something productive. I'm going to hold out hope that will happen and it will be worth the wait and the trouble. Maybe that's naïve on my part, but I'm always going to believe in positive outcomes.

John from Gaylord, MI

"I think emerging improvements to helmet technology and heads-up football will help keep players safe in the long run." While I am in favor of making rational changes to the game in an effort to help players' safety, there's no making football "safe." Football is not and can't ever be a "safe" game. I wonder, are fans truly interested in players' safety, or is it they feel guilty every time someone has their life altered by an injury? If it's the latter, they may need to look for a new game.

But that's exactly what the NFL is trying to avoid – fans looking for a new game to watch, kids looking for a new game to play, parents looking for a new game for their kids to play, etc. It's not about the game being safe from the shoulders down or football would have died long ago. It's about the game being safe from the neck up so that it remains a mainstream sport and doesn't become just a niche one.

Tony from Kaukauna, WI

I played a season of "Madden" and I have the results. The Packers handled the 49ers and the Eagles in the NFC, then topped the Patriots in the Super Bowl. It was 31-17 with Rodgers getting the MVP. Now we just have to play it out.

All righty then.

Take a look inside the locker room at Lambeau Field prior to the Packers-Steelers game

Tony from Plano, TX

I'm very excited for the future. I start to think that maybe we have it this year. But I remind myself not as a Packer fan, but as a football fan, to take a step back and examine the playing field. While the Packers may just have what it takes, in no way shape or form is this going to be an easy road. The road is scary, our division is scary, the whole conference is scary. Excluding the Patriots, what non-division team will be a good game to measure where we are at as a team?

Take your pick – 49ers, Rams, Seahawks, Falcons are all non-division NFC opponents that jump off the schedule page for different reasons. If the Packers do indeed qualify for the playoffs, they will have earned it, and they'll be a tested contender. But we're a long, long way from that point.

Tanner from Tulsa, OK

I think I speak for all of us when I say we would do just about anything for that footage of Hod trying to hop a garbage can.


Dan from Chicago, IL

Fun game last night with lots of positives. But are the lights maybe a little too bright for our new punter? I haven't heard anything about him struggling in practice.

He hasn't. Three of his five punts last night were below his standard, and the kickoff out of bounds was not good, obviously. This is his first little bout of disappointment or adversity to fight through since he arrived. Let's see how he responds.

Max from Sherwood Park, Alberta

Since when is a kickoff out of bounds placed at the kicking team's 45-yard line?

When the kickoff is from the 20 instead of the 35 due to a pre-assessed penalty. A kickoff out of bounds is placed 25 yards from the spot of the kick.

Johnny from Denver, CO

On paper Graham, Kendricks, and Lewis look more like a fantasy lineup than real life. How good can this TE group be for the Pack?

Very good. They can give the offense many different looks, and there's so much experience to lean on. Tonyan could be forcing a difficult roster decision to be made, too. That's how you want it.

Kevin from Des Moines, IA

Last night was amazing. Those fighting for a roster spot laid it all out there. With so many highlights and plays to be excited about, what do you think were the main takeaways from the game?

Other than what's already been mentioned, I like what Reggie Gilbert is doing. He's raising his hand as the next man up at his position, though I still desire to see more from another of the young edge rushers. The tackling on Pittsburgh's first TD drive was clearly poor, so I'd prefer the first-string defense sharpen up in that respect next week. Adams' separation speed and run after the catch on the early slant pass were eye-opening. Strange as it sounds on such a wild night, that might have been my favorite play of the game.

Geoff from Omaha, NE

All of this talk about fundamentals got me thinking. In your experience, do other professional athletes spend as much time on the fundamentals as NFL players? It almost seems like the NFL is unique in its makeup and required skills comparatively to other professional sports.

I couldn't disagree more. Countless big-league ballplayers hit off a tee before taking BP every day. I'm not a huge NBA fan, but I would imagine the ball-handling and free-throw drills are as routine as brushing teeth. I'm sure I could go on and on.

Arnie from Ventura, CA

The question put out there was how many fans will be at the LA game. My wife purchased tickets on the first day they went on sale. BTW, I was at the grandfathered-in first "Super Bowl." I was tasked with purchasing tickets back then for my buddy and myself. Price? $11.00 per.

That might get you a bag of peanuts at the Super Bowl now. Operative word being might.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

The coach and several players appeared to be entertained by something going on during the timeout with 6:31 left in the game. Any idea what was going on?

Some fan ran onto the field and was abruptly tackled by security.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

I couldn't see the game here. Wondering if anyone spun the football with AR before the game began.

Yes, Cobb.

Austin from Caledonia, WI

Three things: 1 Aaron Rodgers to Jimmy Graham will be deadly this season. 2. I have always loved Tramon Williams. 3. Jake Kumerow NEEDS to make this team. P.S. So glad we got Josh Jackson in the second round.

That's four things. You'd fit right in. I think we had about eight things the other day, but no one seemed to complain. Preseason is half over. Happy Friday, everyone.