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Inbox: It captured a lot about who he is and always will be

QB Aaron Rodgers and recently retired Packers WR Jordy Nelson
QB Aaron Rodgers and recently retired Packers WR Jordy Nelson

Sean from Aubrey, TX

Where was my "Good morning!"? Wes...are you OK? Seriously, I hope you're feeling OK.

Training camp can get to the best of us. Even Wes.

Mick from Madison, WI

You mentioned the round circle patches on the back of a player's uniform was for GPS and tracking fatigue. Are teams allowed to use in these in regular-season games as well? Just curious as it seems it would be helpful when making substitutes. I don't recall seeing them in the past.

Players can wear them during regular-season games, but teams don’t have access to any live data. They get the data from the games after the fact.

Chai from Evans, GA

II, do you ever see joint practices taking place of preseason football? I have to agree with coach when he says if you can get good reps in at practice, in a controlled environment, then there’s no need to participate and risk injury in a meaningless preseason game.

They’ll only replace preseason games if the owners can find a way to generate just as much revenue from them, which they can’t – not when preseason tickets are $60-70 a pop, to use Green Bay’s face-value prices as an example – so, the short answer is no.

Darren from Kingston, Ontario

Spoff, you’re good at finding a place for your classic one-word “indubitably” response in many Inboxes you post. In his response to Michael from Montevideo, MN, Wes not only sneaked in his own question, he then answered his question with his very own “indubitably.” Some believe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, whereas others think it’s annoying. Do you feel a “proud papa” (or perhaps more age-accurately, a “proud older bro”) moment when you see Wes mimic you?

Did he mimic me or mock me? The fact that I can’t tell for sure is what makes me proud.

Evan from Town of Sharon, WI

Does Jordy Nelson have a realistic shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

With all due respect to Jordy, in a word, no. There’s already a backlog of wide receiver candidates for the Hall, and he’s not going to rise to the top. I preface this by saying stats aren’t everything, but I took a look at the numbers of the last five receivers to be inducted in Canton (Randy Moss, Marvin Harrison, Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter). That quintet averaged 1,046 receptions for 14,381 yards and 105 TDs. Nelson’s career numbers are 613-8,587-72. He’ll have to settle for a well-deserved, prominent place in the Packers Hall of Fame.

Derek from Norton, KS

Growing up in a small Kansas town makes me proud to congratulate Jordy on the recognition he has rightly earned. Congrats to the Riley County High standout that still holds the state records for his class in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.

That’s pretty cool. I’ll be curious to see how long his most significant Packers record (1,519 yards in 2014) stands, because Adams had it in his sights last year and might have topped it had he played in the finale.

Mike from McFarland, WI

The Jordy video highlights missed one of my favorite plays. There was a breakaway run by Eddie Lacy where he looked fast, but then from the corner of the frame Jordy Nelson flashes in double speed of everyone else on the field to throw a block.

And he never cared about getting credit for it. Julian from Gastonia, NC, brought up Nelson’s tricky grab of a short fourth-down throw in the ’13 finale at Chicago that allowed Rodgers-to-Cobb to occur four snaps later. When the list of plays a select few remember is eons longer than the already long list everyone remembers, that’s rare. This wasn’t necessarily one of those types of plays, but the one I didn’t see in the highlight reel that’ll always stick with me is him beating Darrelle Revis on a slant at the end of the first half against New England in ’14, and then just running away from Revis all the way across the field to the pylon.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

As an owner of a No. 87 Packers throwback jersey, Nelson is definitely one of my favorites in the last 10 years. In that Super Bowl, if he wouldn't have had several drops, he probably would have had over 200 yards! He would probably agree?

I found it interesting Nelson said on Tuesday he’s never watched the film of the Super Bowl, suggesting primarily it was for that reason. Which is why I started there with the retirement piece I wrote from his press conference. That little nugget made me smile. It captured a lot about who he is and always will be.

Dean from Vienna, VA

Jimmy. Jimmy is salty.

Jimmy is a prideful player who is not happy with how last season went, and for as little as he speaks with the media, he’s made no bones about that.

Matt from Des Moines, IA

I really enjoyed watching Jimmy Graham address the media. It seems like he has a real chip on his shoulder, and is determined to have a remarkable year. What do you think improves the most: his red-zone stats, or his stats between the 20s? He seems like a fascinating individual. I would love to hear more about his flying!

I don’t care which stats improve the most. What matters is the offense is counting on him, and he knows it. I wish he’d speak with the media more. I find him an engaging guy when he does answer questions.

Jim from Woodbury, MN

Concerning the combined practice, how was your coverage different from normal training camp practice coverage and game coverage?

The joint practices were harder to cover, because so much more was going on. The 11-on-11 was split on opposite ends of the field, so you could either watch the Green Bay offense vs. the Houston defense, or the Houston offense vs. the Green Bay defense, but not both. I tried to watch a few periods on each end, but you’re always going to miss something.

Joshua from Coon Rapids, MN

I really love No. 62's attitude!

It might have been a bigger story had Lucas Patrick not been the first guy into that fray. He’s a team-first dude all the way.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What do you think will be the best thing that comes out of these joint practices with the Texans?

The film for the young hopefuls fighting for roster spots. It gives them a pre-preseason evaluation against an opponent, and the ones who use that to their advantage will get a leg up in the actual August games. As an aside, I admit I was taken aback when Rodgers said Tuesday both teams ran very limited schemes in the practices. I guess I was naïve in thinking two teams could agree to keep everything amongst themselves. But I also didn’t know Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano’s brother John is on Houston’s coaching staff, so there’s that. In any event, I apologize for misleading anybody in my previous characterizations of the workouts.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Watched the highlights from Family Night and Jake Kumerow continues to stand out. His ability to not give away where the ball is with his eyes, hands, and body language stood out last year and continues this year (great example on long pass from AR). Do the coaches work on this much in practice or is it something receivers learn on their own?

This was another thing Rodgers talked about, Kumerow’s “late hands,” a technique that’s been passed down by Packers receivers through the years. It’s more emulated than taught, because there’s an instinct required for it to become second nature in the heat of the moment. Greg Jennings was the first receiver I saw really master it.

Christow from Dallas, TX

Hey Insiders, how is preseason performance weighted for the WR competition? Are there things that the coaches look for specifically past yards and TDs? I ask because in the past there have been skill position players that are studs in the preseason that get me excited (Jeff Janis, John Crockett) that never pan out in the regular season. So in talking about Davis, Kumerow, EQ, J’Mon, what will set one or two of them apart other than stats?

It’ll all be on the film, whether or not the ball came their way – how often they were open, which corners they were matched up against and how they fared, whether they carried out their alignments and assignments correctly and made the proper decisions on option/choice routes, their footwork and timing on the routes, etc. No personnel department sits down and looks at preseason game stats and says, “Well, this guy had the most catches and yards, so he’s on the team.” Far from it.

Thomas from Dunkerton, IA

Which one stops on Sept. 5, baloney or bologna?

To each his own.

TK from Grafton, WI

With cohesion, coordination, being in sync so vital to successful offensive line play, is it difficult for a young offensive lineman to win a starting job within an established veteran group? Are the coaches hesitant to upset the apple cart even if a new prospect appears more talented than an ingrained veteran?

In my experience, the better player plays. There may be some adjustment to the group dynamic, but the best players have to play for the team’s long-term interests and for the message it sends to the entire locker room, regardless of position.

Corey from Bethlehem, PA

Based off the highlights of Family Night, it seems the WR competition is going to be a great one. They put on a show. My dark horse is Trevor Davis.

If he’s just now your dark horse, you haven’t been paying attention. He moved on from that status before the lights came on at Lambeau the other night. Hopefully the stinger from the hit he took in Monday’s joint practice won’t keep him out long.

Matt from Orlando, FL

With Jones and Williams out, who is getting the lion’s share of the reps at RB with the ones?

On Monday, the first reps at running back went to Tra Carson, followed by Dexter Williams. But then Carson sat out Tuesday with neck spasms, so I would expect the sixth-round pick from Notre Dame and Corey Grant to be the top two backs on Thursday night.

Mark from West Bend, WI

With Corey Linsley sitting out with his bicep injury, who has been taking the first team reps at center against the Texans and how has he performed in your opinion?

Those reps have been shared by Lucas Patrick and Justin McCray, and both have taken plenty of snaps at guard as well. I like the Packers’ depth on the interior of the offensive line.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Insiders, who are the UDFAs that you'll be paying special attention to in the first preseason game?

Speaking strictly about undrafted rookies, receiver Darrius Shepherd has made an impression in practice, so he intrigues me. Outside linebacker Randy Ramsey has flashed on occasion. I thought inside linebacker Curtis Bolton was off to a good start, but he’s been out this week with a groin injury.

Kelly from Antigo, WI

Hi guys. Maybe I have missed it, but haven't heard much of anything on Preston Smith. Can you give us any insight as to how he looks so far?

He looks like a 6-foot-5, 265-pound outside linebacker who knows exactly what he’s doing in this scheme, whether he’s on the edge, shifting inside, or dropping into coverage. I’d classify him as a steady presence thus far, though he rested Tuesday (back tightness) so he might get Thursday night off.

Cami from Jupiter, FL

Hi guys, first time asking a question, but I ready II daily. Thanks for all that you do! I saw Lonnie Johnson posted a picture on social media of his hit on Jace. Is this something that can/will be reprimanded? I know some players view the situation as "just football," while quite a few Packers called Johnson out stating practice is no place for that kind of hit. It seems like if he posted it on the internet, he isn't taking the possible consequences seriously. Thoughts?

There are no consequences that I’m aware of, but the hit would have drawn a flag and a fine in a game. So celebrating it publicly ranks as one of the more obtuse acts I’ve seen in a while. Good luck ever appealing any punishment from the league if it happens in a game.

Carl from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Any Don Banks memories? I loved reading his “Snap Judgments” for years. Reading about him, it sounds like the world lost a great guy, not just a great writer.

It did, no question. I won’t pretend to have known Don anywhere near as well as many others in the media, but he did write a free-lance piece on Rodgers for a Packers Yearbook I was editing several years ago. After corresponding throughout that process, I always enjoyed bumping into him unexpectedly and saying hello in a press box when he came to cover a Packers game. As nice and as professional as anyone I’ve ever met, not just in this business. Stunningly sad news.

Al from Green Bay, WI

It's only the first pre-season game, but this game is especially important for__.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

Kevin King is still out. Get used to hearing the name Tony Brown for the remainder of camp, and potentially throughout the entirety of the 2019 season. This man will get his opportunities. It seems he has already shown that he is taking advantage of these reps. Is our defensive coordinator anticipating him being an impactful tool in this defensive scheme?

He’s going to find out if he can be over the next month, for sure. I’m planning to post a story on Brown on Thursday leading up to the game.

Scott from Seattle, WA

If Ma Hod gives Wes all her leftover cinnamon raisin pizza bagels from the reality tour, will Mike stop stealing his lunches?

Y’all are getting pretty good at this. Happy Wednesday.

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