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Inbox: He's the guy who dictates, or changes, all the matchups

There’s so much information nobody has

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CB Jaire Alexander

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

Hi Mike/Wes, in yesterday's picture, Big Bob Tonyan looks small next to Lewis.

That's like saying I look old next to Wes.

Chili from Muskego, WI

Why is nobody talking about the REAL scandal, here!? LaFleur, in his presser, called it "Paper, rock, scissors." Is that just terminology of a new offense, or is he re-inventing the game as we know it? You get what you emphasize? Different priorities!? I need to know.

Maybe that's a Mount Pleasant, Mich., thing. As long as he doesn't break out a "Rochambeau" I won't be too alarmed.

Bob from Port St. Lucie, FL

Can scouts from other teams attend open practices or do they rely on preseason games to determine who to sign from the cut lists?

Opposing scouts cannot attend practices where admission is not charged. They have their own scouting reports from when the players were first draft-eligible, and then access to any preseason game film.

Jason from Greenwood, WI

Do you think since some college athletes are set to make seven figures on Name, Image and Likeness rules we will see more players stay an extra season in college sports? Instead of taking the gamble and not getting drafted?

Interesting question. I would imagine in most cases, players with NIL deals are headed for pro careers and aren't at risk of going undrafted, so there'd be little reason to wait. But maybe an exception or two will come along.

Jeff from Eveleth, MN

I'm thinking five WRs are roster locks. Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Amari Rodgers, and Randall Cobb (no way they cut him). If Green Bay only keeps five, there is going to be some talent hitting the open market. Thoughts?

I think they'll keep six, with multiple receivers taking up spots on the practice squad when it's all said and done. Young receivers aren't claimed on waivers as often as people like to assume, because the college game churns out a huge crop of prospects every year.

Green Bay Packers team photographer Evan Siegle's best shots from training-camp practice on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

Shaun from Bayside, WI

It is assumed the salary cap will increase significantly for the 2023 season since the new TV money will be coming in and (cross your fingers) fans will be able to attend games all year long going forward. Are there ways that the front office can start projecting how much it will increase? And does that help soften the blow of next year's cap problems?

I'm sure they have estimates and formulas, and they're being factored into the future plans. Again, next year's cap problems don't start until the season ends, and everything that happens in between will impact those decisions. There's so much information nobody has.

Steve from Seven Devils, NC

I guess with this submission I am either going to get your take on my thoughts or be banned as this is my third try. I will word it a different way. I used the word "hypocrisy" to describe Aaron Rodgers position in my last two submissions in that he wants to sign everyone (see his list of players) yet he has NEVER offered to restructure his contract for the greater good. Do either of you see any "hypocrisy" or is it time to just "relax" and give him a pass? He was blunt, why can't we be?

Rodgers spoke of wanting to be part of the conversations. Perhaps if he had been, he might have proffered such a suggestion somewhere along the line. I don't know. I'm just trying to see it from all angles without making assumptions.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

With Kingsley Keke on the NFI list does this grant T.J. Slaton more opportunities in the DL rotation at this time of year, or is his dance card already pretty full just learning how to play in the NFL?

Slaton has been working with the twos mostly, but beyond Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry they're all getting more reps with Keke sidelined.

Christopher from Bidford on Avon, UK

"Panthers waive safety J.T. Ibe after 'unacceptable' practice hit on WR Keith Kirkwood." I haven't seen the incident and I don't know the exact details, but I can't believe that Ibe intended the hit (he says so vehemently). Mistakes happen, but has he totally derailed his hopes of landing a team because of this, or do teams view things differently?

We'll find out over the next 24 hours while he's on waivers. "Unacceptable" is the right word for what he did, though. You have to know how to practice like a pro.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Mike, the fastest four were referenced yesterday and it occurred to me that three of them will potentially be playing together as 75% of our defensive backfield. Is there another team with three blazers like Jaire Alexander, Eric Stokes, and Darnell Savage? How long before opposing QBs figure out that their guys aren't as open as they look?

Careful, that sounds an awful lot like chortling.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Top of the morning to the II! What one area of performance do you believe the Packers must improve on to make that SB run? Have you seen any particular practice tendencies at this point in camp to suggest what that might be?

Generating turnovers on defense. Joe Barry has placed a sincere emphasis on the ball, so much so that after incomplete passes, the defenders are scooping up the ball and running with it the other way.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Mike, besides AR12 is Elgton Jenkins the player we can least afford to lose to injury?

I say no. I'd probably go with Jaire Alexander, because for as much depth as the Packers have at corner, he's the guy who dictates, or changes, all the matchups.

Mike from Woodbury, MN

Good morning gents, longtime reader first-time questioner. I know Woodson goes into the HOF as a player, but in your opinion which team will he be remembered most for playing?

Boy, that's a tough one. I think Woodson bleeds silver and black, but it was his time with the Packers that made him a Hall of Famer. They both make up the man and the career.

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

I like the Preston Smith quote: "I like to call them T-shirt All-Americans, guys who shine better in jerseys than they would in pads, because you have to be a lot more physical in pads." What are the coaches looking for when the pads go on, and what attributes come through that result in making the final roster cuts?

That was a dynamite line from Preston. It's an intense, physical game, and anyone can get dominated on any given snap. What the coaches look for is how a player responds to one of those momentary whippings.

Sean from Chicago, IL

Good morning Mike! Have you seen anything noteworthy in camp from Christian Uphoff? I know he was a high-priority UDFA. I would love to see him in Green and Gold on Sundays!

I haven't seen him get any snaps with the first unit on defense, but that's not a surprise. Uphoff's ticket to a roster spot will be on special teams, and those opportunities are coming for him in the preseason games.

Jeff from Ripon, WI

Is there ever a wide receiver who has won MVP in the regular season or Super Bowl?

A wide receiver has never won the Associated Press NFL MVP award since its inception in 1957. Seven wide receivers have won the Super Bowl MVP (Lynn Swann, Fred Biletnikoff, Jerry Rice, Deion Branch, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Julian Edelman).

Brian from Maple Grove, MN

Minus injury or a guy popping in the preseason, what do you anticipate the starting O-line being for the season opener assuming Bakhitari not playing in the game?

Jenkins at left tackle, Billy Turner at right tackle, Josh Myers at center. The two guard spots are still very much undecided amongst Lucas Patrick, Jon Runyan and Ben Braden.

Bart from Point Roberts, WA

Hey guys, what's your honest assessment of Jordan Love so far?

He's a talented player going through the typical ups and downs of a young quarterback learning the position. He's had some good and some not-so-good, and nothing has surprised me in either realm.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

I'm much more interested in hearing how Love is playing in practice than in preseason games. Sure, I'd like to see Love play well in preseason but I just don't think performance in preseason means much moving ahead, so I won't be excited whether he plays well or not in those games. I don't recall Rodgers playing well in preseason; isn't it just a completely different game?

It matters for any young player who hasn't played in that setting before, especially at quarterback. After one or two preseasons of extensive action, it won't matter much anymore.

Robert from Verona, WI

It's always exciting for fans to read about players who focused on transforming their bodies in the offseason due to the potential impact it could have on their on-field performance. Have you noticed any changes in how Krys Barnes looks on the practice field after losing 10 pounds?

I'll be honest, I didn't notice. My enduring image of his rookie season is him playing in the playoffs with that club on his hand protecting a broken thumb, and still leading the team in tackles.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Hey II, I watch the pressers of the defensive players and they are not too vocal on what changes we will see in this defense. All I hear is they love it and the coaches, and the terminology isn't that far off. Can you give us a bit more insight? When the defense lines up against New Orleans, will it be recognizable or will we, as fans, have to learn a new system too?

I've said all along I don't think it's going to look much different to our naked eyes, so to speak. It doesn't in camp so far. I've seen a wrinkle or two with the dime (six DBs) package. I also anticipate situational calls having a different feel or approach, going back to LaFleur's comments from after last season.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

So the star is Chandon Sullivan. Is that a surprise to you as it is to me? Who's backing him up in that position?

I'm not shocked, but I also think in certain situations the duty could be matchup-based. Rookie Shemar Jean-Charles has been playing a lot of nickel with the twos, but I think there'd be shuffling of guys ahead of him on the depth chart to compensate for a Sullivan absence.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

Who will be the most improved player on the team?

I prefer to answer questions like this within the context of who it needs to be to mean the most for the current team. So right now, my answer would be Krys Barnes or AJ Dillon.

Jeff from Southport, NC

It looks like there will be some big decisions after this season to get under the salary cap. One big one will be whether to commit to Rodgers long term. If not I expect they'll have to trade him. What do you think are other key decisions personnel-wise for the Packers prior to the 2022 season?

Sorry folks, I've said it before and I'll say it one more time: I'm letting the 2021 season play out first.

Col from Ludlow, UK

A tip for Jacob from West Allis yesterday. Treat the season like a 17-chapter book. Hopefully more. You know how you want it to end, though it usually ends differently. Just find the entertainment in each chapter. It's rare there is none. Do that, and it's always time well spent.

I like that.

Josh from Nicholasville, KY

No question, but I think "The Janis" is the best accidental nickname of all time. (Unless it was intentional. Then it's still a great nickname.)

I liked that, too.

Kevin from Hermansville, MI

If Larry isn't there to break up Wes and Spoff, who gets to eat the lunch that is hiding somewhere in the Inbox?

There's a lunch hiding somewhere in the Inbox? Gotta go! Happy Wednesday.

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