Clipton from Pasadena, CA
Is there any chance we can add "schvincter" to the list of forbidden Inbox topics?
Rick from Queen Creek, AZ
Does Spoff descend the mountain carrying three stone tablets with 15 rules and then proceed to drop one? Oy vey!
I can't recall if this is Mel Brooks' debut in the Inbox, but I couldn't be prouder of both you and Colin from Milwaukee. Nicely done.
Michael from Lakewood, CO
You guys are so lucky with the opportunity to prepare such outstanding stories on Rasul Douglas and Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, and Derrick Coleman all within a week. Did you ever think when you started your careers in sports journalism that you would be telling stories like these? If I had ever envisioned these opportunities, I might have stayed in journalism myself. Keep it up please.
Wes certainly has shined with his longform features, which he really enjoys. I did my share earlier in my career, and I'm happy to let him run with those when he wants to. Long or short, we strive to tell the stories not everyone else is telling, when we can. That's a challenge on an oversaturated beat, but when we find a nugget we try to mine it for all it's worth.
Joel from Chalfont, PA
Many a pessimist deludes themselves into believing they're a realist. It may be the most optimistic thing they do.
Dirk from Downers Grove, IL
Following up on Mike's answer to Adam from Rapid City, who is responsible for turning off the communication system between the quarterback and coach as the players line up? It seems a slow finger on the shut off button could be quite beneficial when every second counts.
There's a league official in charge of that for both teams.
Jake from Muncie, IN
Regarding the Big Dog/sixth OL conversation, I wouldn't bet against Elgton Jenkins being able to reliably run routes and catch passes.
Point taken, and he would absolutely love that opportunity. Don't hold your breath, though.
Jim from Tempe, AZ
Regarding the question from Bob in Forest Junction about the time the coaches put in on a daily basis. I heard ML mention in one of his pre-practice pressers, they have the players on site for 11 hours a day. If the players are putting in 11-hour days the coaches must be in the 14-16 hours a day range, which is crazy to imagine doing for 6-7 months a year.
Fredrick from Bluffton, SC
I always wonder about all the moving around of players. You start with your 90, then you release one or two and add one or two back. You're back to 90 players again. Is a team just hoping they find the diamond in the rough? I would think when you have the first 90, I would start whittling down that number so eventually you get closer to the final numbers. I would think there are lost dollars when you add these various players and often times they never make the team.
It's true they often don't, but at this time of year, if you have a roster spot available and aren't using it to take a look at a player, you never know on whom you might miss out. A decade ago the Packers brought in Chris Banjo midway through training camp with what looked like one of those afterthought-type moves. He made the team, ended up playing three-plus years in Green Bay and just retired to go into coaching. The money spent on such look-sees is minimal, and it's not cap dollars.
Mark from Carlsville, WI
With regard to cutting and signing players during training camp, does the personnel dept have all 90/91 players rated just like a draft board and then when they sign someone new, No. 91 gets cut? It seems so often they sign a WR, QB or someone else but the cut comes from another position. It doesn't seem to be too often that they cut from the same position and the new signee.
I doubt they're numbered specifically as such, but players are rated based on their chances of making the team at their position or sticking on the practice squad, and the personnel department acts accordingly. Multiple readers have asked about the sudden influx of centers and what that means. I'm not sure. The Packers could be looking to improve their depth at that spot, or they're just taking a look a promising players they might like to develop, regardless of position.
Doug from Parker, CO
Jaire Alexander vs. Christian Watson. During the season, when a CB prepares for receivers from a different team, does he have access to isolated (close-up) views to see how the receiver runs, cuts, or makes breaks on different routes? What does he use to get an edge?
He's got access to the same film the other guy does – all-22 and TV copies.
Matt from Fitchburg, WI
I understand not wanting to give up big plays, but I think coaches play it too safe sometimes. I've seen on numerous occasions where a defense shut down an offense for most of the game, only to go into soft coverage and give up points fairly quickly. I don't understand the mindset of giving up yards for free to prevent a big play. In my opinion, that's not playing to win, but playing not to lose.
Many believe that and view it that way. I understand the argument and mentality. But I also understand the statistics that show the significantly higher percentage of drives that result in points when one gain of 20-plus yards is allowed, as opposed to the higher frequency of stops when no explosive play occurs.
Evan from Durango, CO
I think Ja confirmed last year he was buckling a seatbelt.
Correct, and the gesture represents being "locked in."
Sean from Bondurant, IA
When the team is competing against itself in 11-on-11 periods and the defense keeps winning, does that say to you the defense is really good and the offense not so much? Or is it more nuanced than that? Would love to get your thoughts after seeing some of the 11-on-11 periods. Thanks guys.
The offense has had its moments. The unit has executed several sharp-looking plays, and been just a hair off on others. So I'd question the accuracy of any narrative that says the defense has dominated day after day. But when it's been a more game-like "move the ball" or two-minute period, which have been the featured competitive segments with calisthenic consequences, the defense has gotten a stop the majority of the time.
Shadta from Decorah, IA
Hi guys. As I follow news from offseason and training camp, because of the no-tackling policy, it appears that the run game practice isn't something that is a "threat" for the defense. Does this allow the defense to simply key on passing more, creating another disadvantage for the offense?
Players still must execute their run-defense responsibilities. The film the coaches are watching doesn't lie.
Mark from Mt. Vernon, VA
If you are a GM for a day, do you pick the guy who checks all of the physical boxes but doesn't love the game, or the guy who has less ability but will run through a wall for you? And what percentage of players do you think match the don't love the game description and are only in for the paycheck?
I'd have no way to put a percentage on it, but I can guarantee you that's one of many factors in the constant roster turnover that exists in this league. This game is physically brutal, and the effort required to play it (and prepare to play it) is incredibly taxing. If you don't love it, you will not last. As a GM looking for long-term upside, the best move is to take the guy who loves the game.
Caleb from Knoxville, TN
What's one 2023 season storyline for each of our North rivals?
Minnesota: Can the division champs repeat despite so many personnel changes? Chicago: Can Justin Fields take the next step? Detroit: Will Jared Goff prove the Lions right? (Alternative: Will Dan Campbell bring a pet lion out of the tunnel anyway?)
Chris from Kennesaw, GA
Hey guys, could you detail what a canned play is for us? I've seen it used often over time and can't tell just from how it's used exactly what it is. Thanks.
When the play call includes a second play, allowing the QB to choose which to run based on the defensive look, the QB might "can" one play in favor of the other, as in throw it in the trash can. Often when the QB raises both hands up to his ears (like he's putting on headphones or something), that's the signal the original play is being "canned" for the optional call.
John from Livermore, CA
Out of all the offseason player moves, what intrigues you the most?
Aside from the draft? It's whether the approach at safety will work. As I noted earlier this week, the Packers are counting on competition and upside to replace a reliable veteran (Amos). They brought in young additions with experience as starters elsewhere ( Tarvarius Moore, Jonathan Owens) to compete with one of their own in the same category (Rudy Ford) to see who makes for Darnell Savage's best partner. It's a bit of a gamble, because nobody's a proven commodity like Amos, and there's curiosity as to whether the competition will truly push someone to play his best football to date. It could also pay off nicely. We'll have to see.
David from Hammonton, NJ
Thoughts about how Bo Melton is doing so far. Really came in late last season but feel he is a great addition and can be used in multiple positions.
He's had a good week and is giving himself a chance. As Wes pointed out in "Three Things," he showed some gumption bouncing back from a bad drop in 11-on-11 and making multiple key catches the rest of practice.
Kirk from Rogers, AR
In "5 things" you quoted Jordan Love commenting on the defense's press coverage and disguising blitzes. With Chicago opening the season, where does training camp reporting cross the line of giving them useful information about how we could be different from last year? Is there anything you see that you drop an asterisk on knowing you can't write about it?
During training camp with fans present, very rarely. In a non-public practice, the team might work on something on the QT, with that message delivered to the media. Cooperation is expected and understood because nobody wants to lose access. In the regular season when prepping for a specific opponent, the media don't get to watch any 11-on-11 anyway.
George from North Mankato, MN
I am super excited for former Badger Joe Thomas to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Can you think of a more dominant player (10 pro bowls and six All-Pro nods in an 11-year career) on such a substandard team?
Thomas' streak of 10,000-plus consecutive snaps still blows me away. I read he's the first offensive lineman since the league merger to be inducted into Canton without having played a single playoff game. Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers are two other first-ballot HOFers to not appear in a postseason game. Small club.
Jerry from Allouez, WI
Not to read too much into it, but the release of Hamilton at OLB gives me good vibes about Rashan Gary being ready for Week 1.
Perhaps. Letting Garvin and Hamilton go in the past week also could be a positive sign for undrafted rookie Brenton Cox Jr. at edge rusher, but there's still a long way to go.
Dan from Leland, NC
Wes was on the money when he said Buffalo was the most similar location to Green Bay. My nephew and I felt right at home when we went to last year's game there. As for teams visiting Lambeau, Steelers fans were the best. One even invited us to stay in his home if we attend a game in Pittsburgh. Sixty minutes of competition on the field, but forever memories off.
In an alternate football universe, it seems like Green Bay, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and maybe Cleveland would make for a good division.
George from Beaverton, OR
Will Family Night be steamed so those of us outside of Wisconsin can see it?
No, but if all goes well I'll be live blogging the practice from the press box. I'm considering it a tune-up for the preseason games.
Andrew from Clearwater, FL
Are there two roster cuts to the 53 this year or just one?
Solamente uno, hombre.
Ethan from La Crosse, WI
See now this I don't get. The journalists, why do you have to stand? I mean look at you, you've gotta be on your feet like that all day? That's brutal. I think I'm gonna say something to BG. Doesn't he care that you have to stand there for the whole practice when you could easily be sitting? Has he ever offered you chair? Would you like a chair? Cause I tell you, frankly, I would like to walk to practice one day and find you sitting down. That would give me a lot of pleasure. Call me crazy.
'Preciate you, George.
Jeff from Janesville, WI
Almost time for training camp.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who loses track of things this time of year. Happy Friday.