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Inbox: It felt like Lambeau again

Veterans like De’Vondre Campbell are in short supply these days

Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field

Charles from Fitchburg, WI

How many wide receivers will make the Packers' opening day roster?

Several. This is going to be an easy day.

Jesus from Janesville, WI

Who do you believe has the No. 3 RB slot?

Before I can intelligently answer that, we have to see how Kylin Hill, Dexter Williamsand Patrick Taylorlook in the preseason. To this point, I think we've seen those running backs in pads twice. It was interesting to hear Maurice Drayton present Hill as a possible option for kickoff returns. Hill hasn't done that much in his career, but he can help his cause if he proves capable.

George from North Mankato, MN

How much stock does a GM put into keeping players they drafted on a team over others? It seems like keeping the best 53 would be the way to go. Can you think of a pick that a GM kept around too long based on being from their "regime"?

That's usually how it goes, especially in the age of COVID-19. Every once in a while, a GM will circle back on a well-regarded prospect if he becomes available during final cuts. The Packers have done that a few times. But teams often will stick with the players this time of the year and bet on the guy who has been learning the playbook for the past four months than venture into the unknown.

Thierry from Metz, France

I don't know much about De'Vondre Campbell. Is he playing with the first or second team at camp? More pass or run cover?

He's been the starting "Will" linebacker next to Krys Barnes, though Campbell did take a few snaps on Monday as the "Mike" in dime. He's a solid coverage linebacker and those types of veteran players are in short supply these days. I do feel for guys like Campbell who were probably victims of the leaguewide cap decrease. But he is absolutely the kind of signing that could put this defense over the top.

The Green Bay Packers held training-camp practice on Monday, August 9, 2021, inside the Don Hutson Center.

Scott from Maple Grove, MN

Hi Wes, I have written several questions without ever getting any of them published. I think I have a winner that many Packer fans want to know your thoughts on. Will the Packers be showcasing Jordan Love during the preseason for a potential trade? I would assume if he does well Brian Gutekunst's phone might have a few calls?

Love is going to play a lot this preseason because he needs to, not because the Packers are looking to up his trade value. Again, Love hasn't played in a game in 20 months, dating back to the 2020 Senior Bowl. Now is the time.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. Based on your understanding of the defensive depth chart, when do you see the three new DBs ( Eric Stokes, Shemar Jean-Charles and Christian Uphoff) getting into the game against Houston? Who should log the most snaps? Thanks.

I want to see Jean-Charles in the slot. I think that position perfectly complements his skill set, based on his prolific run at App State. I see Uphoff playing quite a bit, too. As I said last week, Stokes and Josh Myers are the two I'm not sure about. I wouldn't be surprised whether they played six snaps or 60. If the Packers feel good about Kevin King's timeline, then it probably makes sense to play Stokes extensively.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Follow up to Bret: What sort of tools does Stokes bring in comparison to Tramon Williams and Sam Shields?

Prototypical size, elite speed and first-round credentials. Those three things don't guarantee NFL success but they provide the right foundation for a young player to excel from the start. Shields was fast and had great recovery speed, but the fundamentals took time. Williams was a plus athlete but a late bloomer. What I like about Stokes is he has both experience and genetics on his side.

Nick from Charlottesville, VA

Is Dennis Kellyin competition for a starting spot on the O-line?

It's all about the playbook for Kelly right now but the guy started 17 games last season. Considering all the positions Billy Turner can play, it'd be foolish to rule out Kelly from starting the opener in New Orleans depending on how things shake out.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

With the first preseason game approaching, how do the coaches decide how the rotations go and who gets playing time each period? Is it solely based off practices at this point?

Coaches will put together their list of available players and build out the plan from there. I remember Mike McCarthy used to meet with Ted Thompson and the two would talk about any players the scouts wanted to take a longer look at, and I'm sure LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst have similar conversations. It's a season of opportunity for everyone.

Tom from Iron River, WI

How many times did Rodgers put it in the net on Saturday night?

He put the biscuit in the basket twice from 50 yards and a few others from the 10-yard line.

Eric from York, PA

I believe nets are a dime a dozen and that the net that was there Sunday night was most likely an undrafted free agent pickup. I will say that the net was mighty impressive though and maybe it gets a second contract!

I couldn't give you a full scouting report on the net, but you can tell it has a high motor.

Anthony from Auburn

Who are some of the players that you've covered over the years that truly play for the love of the game rather than approaching football as a business?

Jordy Nelson. There were a few times in Jordy's career where he could've held out for more money or demanded a new contract, but that wasn't his way. He's the most blue-collar football player I ever covered. I also gotta give a quick mention to Kurt Benkert. I don't want this to come off the wrong way but Benkert makes me feel like I'm covering high school sports again. It's not that he's not an NFL-caliber QB. He most certainly is, but the way Benkert does his thing is so fun and carefree. It makes me feel like I'm just covering football again, not the National Football League.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

After watching the HOF induction speeches, I think Charles Woodson's audience participation may have been the highlight of the night for me and my wife. We both laughed when he yelled, "Don't sit back down! Stay standing!" Classic.

Woodson is the total package. He played like a superstar. He spoke like a superstar. Shoot, he even dressed like a superstar. His wisdom and wit will be forever unmatched.

Mark from Kronenwetter, WI

Is it possible Charles Woodson makes the Packers' ring of honor? Seems like an easy decision. Already in the pro HOF and obviously a lock for the Packers HOF.

He's going into the Packers Hall of Fame next month. Due to COVID-19 delaying last year's Packers Hall of Fame ceremony, Woodson will be one of the rare instances where a Packers player goes into Canton before Lambeau. I would think Woodson will have his name added to the Lambeau Field façade, as well, at some point.

Adam from Burleson, TX

Who's the next Packer who makes it into the Hall of Fame?

LeRoy. Freakin. Butler.

Niels from Bridgetown, Barbados

Wes keeps mentioning how much he enjoys the in-person pressers. Let me be a dissenting voice: I feel it was easier to hear and understand what is said and especially the questions when it was all on zoom.

Well, it's not about you, Niels! I'm kidding. I like the auditorium because it's easier to ask questions and to follow up. Just watch the video of Mike Smith. I missed those type of interactions with players and coaches.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

"The Janis" spawned from my question, do I get partial credit?

No, but you will be referred to as "The Dennis" from now on.

Bob from Sydney, Australia

Hey there, drowned rat … good to see the old-friends-into-growing-rivalry storyline evolving over preseason. The old journeyman versus the up and comer. Maybe like a HHH vs. Orton with Vic rolling back in like Flair to take out someone's knees: "Just woooooooo baby." But who's the face and who's the heel? And is the final match a cage, ladder or a Hell in a Cell? A table match up in the Lambeau offices sounds like the right move to me.

Spoff didn't pull any punches…or tell any lies. I was the textbook definition of a drowned rat. But I got to watch 40 minutes of football at field level…so I had that going for me…which is nice. Oh, and I'm totally the heel of the department.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

As I won $120 from the Wisconsin Lottery yesterday, it is only fitting that I spend my winnings on a specially made Wisconsin T-shirt. It will feature a picture of an exit door and the words: "The Insider Inbox: Where You Always See Yourself Out." ;-)

That's $120 well spent.

Mackenzie from Fort Worth, TX

I know you're looking forward to a full crowd at Lambeau this year. Do you think fans attending in person need to practice their game-time behavior? I am imagining a lot of cheering (and/or the wave) happening while we're on offense.

The wave was back in full force on Saturday night. Hopefully, fans get it out of their system before Sept. 20. I loved the energy, though. That was sorely missed last season. It was a fun night. It felt like Lambeau again.

Dave from Pardeeville, WI

Hello Insiders! I was at Family Night with my wife and my 4-year-old son. It was his first time to "Mighty" Lambeau Field and he loved every second of it. My son has only ever watched the Packers on TV, and was almost as excited to be there as I was to share the sentiment with him. Through the rain, delays and cancelled fireworks, I heard NOT ONE COMPLAINT from any person there! That's not normal is it? Thank you for all that you do, you guys rock! And God bless the Green Bay Packers, Amen.

That's great to hear, Dave. I'm glad your son enjoyed the night. Hopefully, it's the first of many future visits.

Perry from Ishpeming, MI

Happy Tuesday II! T-minus five days until kickoff! I remember reading about a coach saying that, "The hardest question to answer was the one that wasn't asked." Either of you ever do an interview and wished you had asked a question after it was over? Or had another person ask a question and you had that "I wish I would have asked that one!" moment? Again, thank you both Spoff and Hod for all you do to keep us entertained and informed!

Every day, my friend.