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Inbox: It doesn't get any better than that

There’s more to training camp than just big plays


Craig from Castle Pines, CO

Scott from Little Rock was clowning you for lacking street cred! You need to upload an audio link to the II with some Kendrick to show him what time it is? Root beer float time.

Scott, don't kill my vibe. Good morning!

Carolyn from Marion, IA

Is there a daily report of one or two lines on each and every player at Packers camp this year? I would like to know how each and every Packer is doing.

We tabled our initial plans to do a "90 Things" video and shortened it to "Three Things." You can watch our latest entry from **Friday’s practice by clicking this link**.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Great article by Mike on Pettine. It's been a long time since I've been this fired up on the Packers D. How about you Wes? You ready to strap 'em up and get out there and hit somebody?

Absolutely, but I probably would have been even more jacked if I'd heard Pettine's speech. It sounds like Pettine has his guys ready to run through a wall for him. Again, this is the same coach who sat down this offseason and met individually with defensive players to go over goals. Pettine knows how to push the right buttons. He's done it at every stop along his 25-year coaching journey.

Jeff from Oxnard, CA

I am convinced that the potential of the 2018 version of the Packers' offense is as good as any in the Rodgers era if this O-line can perform the way it did over the second half of 2016. T.J. Lang is gone but Justin McCray looks like a player. With all of the injured draftees from last year to go with this year's draft, the additions of Mo Wilkerson and Tramon Williams, and new energy coming from the DC, how confident does this team feel that it can finally have a defense that can hold up its end of the bargain?

The potential is there for a special season and honestly that's all you can ask for in July and August. I said earlier this summer I feel this is the most complete Packers team I've covered since the 2014 season, on paper. I get the questions on defense, but the structure of the defensive roster fits Pettine's vision. With Jimmy Graham in the fold and a deep stable of versatile receivers, the menu is set for Aaron Rodgers to take the offense where it wants to go.

Tom from Denver, CO

You're at a BBQ and one of your friends turns to you and says, "Fill in the blank: Don't sleep on (Packers player) this year." I'd pick Ty Montgomery. People seem to forget how amazing he played in 2016. Actually anytime he has been on the field.

Montgomery is a good pick. I'd offer Quinten Rollins. He's back and healthy. He's quiet, but still as physically gifted as any defensive back on the roster.

Sean from Menominee, MI

Can you tell us anything about how Oren Burks has looked in practice so far? With so much focus on the DL, the new secondary and the battle for No. 3 WR, it seems like Burks has been the odd man out in the discussion.

Burks looks the part for an inside linebacker in 2018. He has a defensive back's training and a linebacker's body. The game changes once the pads go on today. That's what begins to paint the picture for these linebackers and running backs, but Burks has the necessary athleticism to compete for a role as a rookie.

Jack from New York, NY

Insiders, how is Coach Pettine out on the field with his players right now? Is he intense? Emotional? Does he hang around one position more than the other positions during drills?

If I were to use one word to describe Pettine at practice, I'd say "observant." You don't hear him hooting and hollering too much, but Pettine is constantly communicating with his coaches and players.

Bill from Madison, WI

Would the theory be correct that inside pressure from a strong D-line forces the QB to the outside and thus, more into the reach of the outside pass rush? If so, then I get the emphasis on the D-line, plus the simple availability of more talent in those positions at the moment. We always hear that pressure in a QB's face is the best/worst kind of pressure.

As my grandma used to say, there's more than one way to knit a blanket. Likewise, there's more than one way to affect the quarterback. The Packers did an about-face with their defensive line back in 2014. They've been building towards this for four years now. Inside pressure creates problems for an offense and lessens the burden for the other defenders on the field.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

Why have a social reactions page if all the reactions are from official Packers Twitter accounts?

Because we're the official Packers website and want to promote our content? Would you prefer we pull in old tweets from Toys R Us and Prange Way?

Joe from Clio, MI

For players trying to make the team, are training-camp practices designed to get these guys ready to play in preseason games to better give the staff the ability to evaluate them with pads on, in a game situation?

These first two weeks of camp are intended to get young players ready for the preseason, but it's also important for them to use the platform to get noticed on the practice field. There's more to training camp than just big plays, though. It's doing what's asked of you, limiting mental mistakes and showing you can be held accountable.

John from Clintonville, WI

I agree with your take that safety isn't the thinnest position on the team, but it got me thinking about what group might be. I have to say center gives me the most concern. If Corey Linsley goes down, it gets thin very quickly. That could affect the no-huddle, free plays, pre-snap reads, etc., to a high degree.

Linsley is one of the best centers in the league, so I get the concern. At the same time, however, Justin McCray and Lucas Patrick both have experience snapping. The Packers also have two natural centers, Dillon Day and Austin Davis, competing in camp. I feel better about the interior depth at this moment than last year when McCray and Patrick had to finish the season in the starting lineup due to injuries.

Lee from Grants, NM

Large professional athletes riding children's bicycles to practice. Is there a better tradition in all of sports? I sure can't think of one.

It doesn't get any better than that. The stories I've written on Packers and their bike kids over the past five years is some of my proudest work. It's a bond like no other.

Tyler from Louisville, KY

Has a player ever sat on a kid's bike to go to camp and had the bike not make it all the way? Those are some big boys riding those bikes.

I've never seen a bike actually break, but I've seen a few linemen over the years who predicted its imminent demise, jumped off and walked the rest of the way.

Day 2 of training camp again featured players riding kids' bikes down the DreamDrive to practice

Wood from Palmyra, WI

I have a son that is interning this summer with the Colts. We are looking forward to visiting him in late August for the 49ers/Colts preseason game. With it being the third game for both of them, I'm excited to see Luck and Garoppolo go at it. Do you still see the third preseason game as the one that the starters play the most, or has that changed in the last few years?

There are a few teams that have dabbled with sitting guys after the second game, but the third game is still generally the benchmark. I'm not sure if the Colts will do anything differently with Luck coming back from the shoulder injury.

Chris from Golden Valley, MN

Why does the NFL keep teams from changing their uniform design more than once every five years? It seems like it could create some excitement and drive jersey sales if teams were allowed to tweak designs every year, similar to professional soccer leagues who release new uniforms each season.

You also would frustrate a lot of fans and drive anxiety if you continue to tweak uniforms on an annual basis.

Larry from Marshall, IN

What is your favorite preseason memory? Mine is Packers versus Bears. There are seven seconds left on the clock on about the 5-yard line, no time outs, the clock ticking down. Starr looks left then right, the clock hits one, the ball is snapped and a pass is caught in the end zone! Bart walks off the field like he has done it a thousand times (he has). This is his last time to play. Aaron is a true professional like Bart.

And you also just taught me something I didn't know. You're right. The Packers and Bears used to play in the preseason. My favorite preseason memory was waiting out the Packers-Titans game in 2005. The one I believe where it stormed, Brett Favre went home and didn't realize they actually finished the game until the next day.

Adam from Chicago, IL

Has JK Scott hit any airplanes with a punt yet?

No, but I hear he did punt a football over one of them there mountains.

Ken from Arvada, CO

Which new guys – rookies and new veterans – are the most entertaining to interview? And thanks Mike and Wes for always keeping us entertained!

Tramon Williams is on his own level when it comes to locker-room interviews. Getting him back was a big win for the Green Bay media contingent. I found Marcedes Lewis to be very engaging, as well. Jaire Alexander probably leads the pack early on in terms of entertaining rookies. He has serious swagger. Very comfortable in front of the camera.

Jim from Beach Park, IL

Do NFL teams send scouts to other teams' training camps?

NFL teams are not permitted to send scouts to watch other teams' training-camp practices unless they charge admission. There's always a ton of scouts at preseason games, though. I remember John Schneider scouting the Packers-49ers exhibition game back in 2016.

Al from Pueblo West, CO

I know it's early, but how do the backup OLBs look? Are they matching up to their potential? Can Biegel and Gilbert be "the guys"? Any rookies jump out?

I hate doing this, but ask again after we get through a few padded practices. It's difficult to draw any real conclusions from these non-padded practices at that position. We need to see some one-on-ones and half-line work to see what kind of power these guys are playing with. It is a huge benefit for Biegel to be on the field, though. I can't overstate how important these reps have been for his development.

Wayne from Venice, FL

My fantasy draft is coming up and I have no idea if I should draft Jones or Williams. Any inside info you can share to help a fella out?

I'd say draft Williams first and try to grab Jones in the later rounds due to the suspension. All three of those backs will be in play this year, though.

Benjamin from Superior, WI

Do you foresee any new NFL teams in the future? How would the NFL make an odd-numbered conference work? Always wondered this, thanks.

I don't see the NFL adding any new teams in the near future. Thirty-two is a good number and creates an even playing field with divisions and conferences. If they did add one, I guess they'd have to make one division five teams, but that still messes up scheduling.

Owen from Suwanee, GA

One of my most prized possessions is a Packers payroll check made out to Bob Skoronski for $66.53 and signed by Vince Lombardi. When I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Skoronski a few years ago, I told him about the check and he laughed and said it sounded like "training-camp pay." Today, players' annual salaries are divided by 17 weeks of the regular season and paid each week they are on the roster. Is there still such a thing as training-camp pay, especially for the rookies and UFAs?

What a neat keepsake. Yes, players receive a weekly stipend throughout training camp. I don't know that exact number, but it's more than $66.53.

Christopher from Savage, WI

Obviously we wish Cole Madison well and hope his personal reasons for missing the start of camp resolve quickly and favorably for him, but what would happen if he was unable to attend any offseason programs? Or if he didn't return to football at all? Do the Packers hold a roster spot for someone they've not seen practice (doubtful)? Would he be subject to waivers to go to the practice squad? A compensatory pick if he never returns?

Madison was placed on the reserve/did not report list this week, removing him from the 90-man roster. That's where he'll remain until he reports. Since he signed a contract – which is tolled for the time being – I don't believe the Packers are entitled to any future compensation if he doesn't return.

Mark from Omro, WI

Good morning, with the retirement of a young player like Michael Clark, what happens in the future if he decides that he wants to resume playing? Do the Packers hold his rights? Or would he be a free agent?

Clark is in the same boat as Madison. He has a tolled contract with the Packers. The only way he could play elsewhere in the NFL is if Green Bay granted his release. To nip the follow-up I'm sure to see, a player like B.J. Raji is free to sign anywhere should he end his hiatus because his contract expired after the 2015 season. That's the difference.

Luke from Bullock, NC

Wes, couldn't help but notice you kept your free hand pocketed for most of "Three Things" segment. Any way you could retrain Larry to keep that loaded pinkie holstered?

They don't make those kind of holsters.

Randy from Aurora, CO

Wes, for the next "Three Things" and your face off with Larry, do you wear the larger shoulder pads to look more intimidating, or the smaller pads so you can run faster?

I don't think there's a piece of equipment on this planet that's going to make me appear intimidating to Larry McCarren.

Guilherme from Porto Alegre, Brazil

It is not a question but Larry seems to nail every comment that he makes in the "Three Things" video. Man, he is a natural comedian! Larry the Nailer makes me laugh out loud every video!

He has impeccable timing.

Jason from Friesland, WI

Do we get any sort of odds/betting line for Wes versus Larry in pads?

McCarren -1,000,000

Hodkiewicz +500,000