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Inbox: His time will come

It just has to carry over to when it counts

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G Elgton Jenkins

Joe from Swansea, IL

Honest to God, I had a dream I got to meet Spoff and Hod and hang with them while they watched a Packers game on tape. Question: Am I spending too much time in the II? Is that even a thing?

I had a dream about a week ago that I was playing ping-pong against Aaron Rodgers. I'll let the psychologists go crazy with that one.

Michael from Los Angeles, CA

It looks like the Packers are going to start with two rookies on their OL, with David Bakhtiari being out and Elgton Jenkins taking the spot. Funnily enough, it's probably my last concern as I couch-analyze this team. With what you've seen from Myers and Newman, is it a concern for you?

It's always a concern to start rookies in the NFL, especially in the trenches, until you've seen them perform in a real game. There are no guarantees here. But LaFleur is going to play his best five, and if they're among the best five, it's because they've earned it.

Noah from El Dorado, KS

I realize that we're looking out for DBak's health and I don't want to rush him onto the field before he's ready. All that being said, I see this also as an endorsement of guys like Royce Newman and Jon Runyan and their ability to hold down the fort until 69 is ready to come back. Who do you see getting the most snaps at guard the first six games?

Based on how the preseason finished, all signs point toward Newman and Lucas Patrick at the guard spots. But we'll see. I don't think the decision on Bakhtiari has anything to do with the rest of the unit, though. It has everything to do with the organization protecting its long-term investment in, and not taking risks with, the best left tackle in the game.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV

Who was the biggest surprise cut? Who was the most surprising player who made the roster?

I was surprised Jake Hanson made the team over Ben Braden, based on how practice reps had been divvied up. Braden took plenty of snaps in camp and during preseason games with the No. 1 offensive line, and it's not often a player goes from running with the ones to getting cut. Jenkins' lack of availability at center due to Bakhtiari's status, with center being Hanson's primary spot, likely played into the decision for depth.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

If a player you think should make the 53 gets cut do you rethink/re-evaluate your own thought processes?

Not necessarily. A lot more goes into these decisions than meets the eye. I never consider my own thoughts anything more than educated guesses anyway. We'll see how the practice squad shakes out.

Matt from Tea, SD

Any surprises with the roster moves? Maybe JK Scott?

When you've been here to witness two other changes at punter on cut-down day (Derrick Frost for Jon Ryan in '08, Jacob Schum for Tim Masthay in '16), nothing surprises you at that position.

Chris from Flower Mound, TX

Do you think the want of Gatorade leading to cramps was the last straw for JK Scott? As professionals you need to be ready to go, cramping and less-than-stellar performance turns potential into a draft miss.

At some point the questions of reliability pile too high. If raw talent were all that mattered, this would be an easy business.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2021 roster

Doug from Lafayette, OH

Good morning, II. What can you tell us about our new punter?

The trade is not yet official, but assuming Corey Bojorquez passes his physical and gets through the COVID protocols, it sounds like the Packers are getting a proven guy. His statistics last year with the Bills are impressive. The numbers aren't as good from 2019, when he punted almost twice as much. His cold-weather experience is a plus. But I don't know much else. Obviously, there are reasons Buffalo decided to move on and he was available as a free agent for more than a month this spring before signing with the Rams, where he had to beat out All-Pro Johnny Hekker in order to stick. I can't speak to those reasons until I learn more.

Tom from Walker, MI

Can you see the Packers being active and signing any veterans that were cut?

Sure.

Paul from Pompano Beach, FL

No big surprises in the 53-man roster. I'm confused by not seeing EQ dress for any preseason games yet not make the roster. Were his practice sessions sub-par? I'm also not yet sold that Marquez Valdes-Scantling is going to be the world beater he's being touted as based on QB1 and receiver coach. Thoughts or comments?

St. Brown did not play in any preseason games because of injuries. As for MVS, skepticism is understandable, but I can tell you as a first-hand observer that he looked different in camp this year before anyone uttered a positive word about him. It's undeniable his game was on a level not seen in previous summers. Now it just has to carry over to when it counts.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

Spoff, much has been made of MVS' physical improvements along with a new demeanor during practice. How much can you attribute those gains to putting on a show of being WR1 with a potential loss of Davante Adams to FA looming? Isn't MVS also in a contract year?

Yes, he is, and contract years can never be ignored in the big picture. But I don't think the strides he's made so far this year have anything to do with Adams' circumstances.

Andy from Walpole, MA

I've been living with multiple myeloma for four years and I'd like to wish the best to Johnny Holland. News reports haven't said exactly what treatment he will undergo, but I expect from the medical history they have published that it will be a bone marrow transplant. He's in for a tough ride over the next year or so as he rebuilds his entire immune system from scratch. He was a great player for the Pack and he's a good man. No question, just a shout-out.

All the best to Holland for sure. I lost an aunt (also my godmother) way too young to multiple myeloma. I'll root like mad for anyone to beat it.

Jake from Eden Prairie, MN

So happy for Jack Heflin! I am wondering how undrafted free agents' contracts change once they make the 53? Do they sign a new one?

No. Their contracts are based on making the 53, and terminated if released. Practice-squad contracts are different. Jack Heflin is the classic out-of-nowhere guy who finds a way to prove he belongs. It's impossible not to be curious where he goes from here.

Chris from Tuscaloosa, AL

Six great Packers players made the Top 100 list. Seven if you want to include Linsley, since he earned it with the green and gold. Who would you presume to be the next Packer to join the list?

Elgton Jenkins. His time will come.

Howie from Saint Ignace, MI

You seldom see quarterbacks used as holders on field-goal attempts anymore. Why do coaches choose punters for this position rather than backup quarterbacks or other skill players who could potentially salvage a botched snap or busted play?

Practice time. The specialists can get a lot more practice working together on the snap-hold-kick operation if they aren't limited to when another position player is available. That becomes all the more important now, assuming the new punter will be the holder, which he was in Buffalo.

Bryce from Elyria, OH

Not that Benkert would've been No. 2, but I'm surprised that he didn't make the roster as No. 3. Do you think the Pack are hoping he'll make it through waivers?

Probably.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Would a Green Bay player who is waived and unclaimed prefer to sign to the Packers' practice squad or would he rather start over somewhere else?

That's up to each individual player, and every case can be different, depending on depth at his position, the type of opportunity elsewhere, etc.

Ty from Jamestown, IN

Pull out your crystal ball and peek into the future. Kylin Hill hit the ground running (pun intended) and proved his ceiling may be higher than many suspected. AJ Dillon had just over 100 snaps in the 2020 season...you think Hill could see a similar usage?

Injuries (or hopefully lack thereof) will be the biggest factor in Hill's offensive snaps from scrimmage. Remember, Dillon's only major contribution last season came when Jamaal Williams missed the Tennessee game. I'm not saying he's going to collect mothballs on the bench, but I'm not expecting him to touch the ball more than 2-3 times on offense in any game the other two are healthy.

Frogger from Marinette, WI

Bob Tonyan had zero drops last year. How many drops did he have in training camp?

None that I recall.

William from Rosedale, IN

Although Robert Tonyan was recruited initially by ISU as a QB before moving to receiver and tight end, do you believe that start helps him understand his role better and where the opening might be in his routes?

It never hurts, but Justin Outten definitely believes Tonyan has benefited tremendously from his receiver background in developing his feel for the game and the way he plays his position.

Chuck from Sun Prairie, WI

Good morning, Wes. If you were designing the preseason championship ring, what would it look like? Mine would be a Ring Pop, as in, for suckers.

This was just too good to let it sit around a whole day for Wes to find later.

Craig from Bonduel, WI

What was the highest number of WRs the Packers have started a season with on the 53-man roster?

Wes did some extensive research from the last dozen years. In 2018, there were actually eight before one was put on IR during that first week.

Denny from Alexandria, VA

Spoff, your five takeaways from the Buffalo game were headed by: QB Jordan Love learned a lesson or two. That's not accurate. He was taught a lesson or two. Only time will tell if learned them, and scouting reports from his college days suggest he has not yet.

That's valid. Now his potential future job, perhaps for the first time, hinges on him learning said lesson(s). Time will tell.

Jim from Waterloo, WI

Who is the Packers' fullback?

Whichever tight end lines up in the backfield. Or maybe it'll be toddler Hod. Someday.

Bill from Oakfield, WI

How does the process for the final cut actually work? Say Team A submits their cuts/roster at 7 p.m. on Monday and Team B waits until just before they are due at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Do the players cut by Team A go through waivers before those cut by Team B, or do they go through waivers at the same time? Do teams play "games" with the timing of sending their cuts to the league office in hopes of getting someone through to the practice squad?

Some teams view the timing of their announcements as an advantage, others don't. Either way, players are available on waivers until the cut-off time today, regardless of when they were actually released.

Paul from Evart, MI

Love your stuff here! Would you mind sharing how the waiver process works logistically when there is a large group of players to consider (at once) by all the teams? Obviously a computer program would be involved in which all teams are connected, but it would be fun to know how it works. Thanks!

The league's official transaction wire lists all players who are available, and teams have an electronic portal through which they submit claims, but their requests aren't known by other clubs until the player is awarded to a team.

Keith from La Pine, OR

What if last year proved that starters on established teams don't ever need preseason games?

They'll just continue to become trials for young players, while joint practices will be the times coaches pit first units against one another. It seems that's where this is all heading.

Shaun from Sun Prairie, WI

Straight to the point, give us a prediction on the season!

I believe the Packers are the best team in the NFC North and, good health willing, should win the division again. After that, loyal readers know how I feel about the crapshoot also known as the playoffs.

Curt from Algonquin, IL

I was glad to see the Packers chose to keep two II writers in their final roster cut down. I think the combination of a cagey old vet and a young, rising star is a great combination that checks all the boxes. Do you see them stashing a young journalism prospect on the practice squad, in case one of the starters has to go on IR with carpal tunnel? Right now their only other option is to try to coax Vic out of retirement.

And I can't pump gas for two cars in the winter. I just can't. Happy Wednesday.

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