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Inbox: It's a moment that won't soon be forgotten

The way NFL rosters are built is changing


Alex from Minneapolis, MN

Out of curiosity, how many submissions flubbed the "Anchorman" reference? Was it 60 percent of the time?

Every time. Good morning!

David from Jerusalem, Israel

No one has mentioned it yet, but did you notice on the opening 50-yard pass play to Amari Cooper, inside linebacker Blake Martinez hustled all the way down the field to knock him out of bounds? Gotta give that guy kudos for running to the ball and playing to the whistle, even in preseason. Is he the Packers' next Pro Bowler?

If Martinez truly wants to break the NFL record for tackles, that's how you do it. The guy plays to the whistle. He playfully admitted it might be tough to do if Kenny Clark and Co. keep eating up ball carriers, though.

Sam from Eau Claire, WI

Let me start out by saying in my opinion Lenzy Pipkins has a future in this league and the trade made sense for both teams with regard to position depth, but I can't shake the feeling that the Pack got away with robbery. Antonio Morrison had over 100 tackles last year while Pipkins only had one pass defended and 11 tackles in 12 games. What am I missing?

I, too, was a bit surprised when I found out it was a one-for-one trade, but the Colts are going in a new direction with their defense and Morrison didn't appear to be part of that vision. It happens all the time in this league – look at Aaron Kampman in 2009. As I said Monday, this trade worked out for both sides. Indianapolis and Green Bay both improved their holdings at positions they needed help without having to wait on this weekend's waiver wire.

Todd from Menominee, MI

How common is a straight-up, player-for-player trade? Most trades in the NFL are usually player-for-draft-pick(s).

It doesn't happen often here. The last one I could find was Tony Moll for Derrick Martin in 2009. Maybe Spoff can think of a more recent player-for-player trade without draft picks involved.

Walt from Skandia, MI

Like many other fans, I'm sitting here with the 90-man roster and trying to pick the 53 players that I think will make the final roster. Could you post the number of players at each position that were kept last year? I know it varies from year to year, but it would help me make up my mind on some of my bubble players. Thanks for a great read every morning.

Two quarterbacks, four running backs, one fullback, five receivers (Geronimo Allison was suspended for Week 1), three tight ends, 10 offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, seven linebackers, 12 defensive backs, three specialists.

Donald from Washington, D.C.

Well men, the camp is over, what do you think about Brian Gutekunst's first camp? Since this is the 100th, are there 100 whiskeys? Just kidding, I only need one. What was the most memorable part of camp?

Gutekunst is going to have a lot of tough calls to make with his first cut-down day, which is what you want from your 90-man roster. Cut-down weekend isn't fun for anyone, personally or professionally. The best memory of this year's camp is Rodgers' throw to Geronimo Allison. It's a moment that won't soon be forgotten. I think Randall Cobb even told someone recently it's the best throw he's ever seen QB1 make.

Stephen from Chocowinity, NC

Since acquiring Morrison, who is an experienced and physically right size for an ILB, would it be logical to move Oren Burks to strong safety where he has the right size, speed, and aggression to make a Nick Collins-type impact?

You guys and moving players to new positions. Right now? One week before the start of the regular season? I had a submission over the weekend asking if Quinten Rollins could play linebacker. Anyway, if you saw Burks in-person, you'd realize he's no longer a defensive back. He's a linebacker.

Joseph from Fairfield, CT

What's up guys? Can you give me clarification on why the Packers don't seem to have an urgency to pick up a veteran running back? I haven't seen anything special on the running side of the ball the past three games. It makes the Packers one-dimensional in my opinion. This seems to be the trend ever since Eddie Lacy's rookie year.

If you haven't seen anything special from the running game the past three years, then you haven't been looking hard enough. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams each earned NFC Offensive Rookie of the Week honors last year, and Ty Montgomery had one of the most improbable seasons ever in 2016 for a player who finished the year at a different position than he started. The reason the Packers aren't looking for a veteran running back is because they don't need one. At running back, it's better to bet on the future than trying to catch lightning in a bottle with the past.

John from Yakima, WA

Come Sept. 2, and he is still a Packer, how is Cole Madison listed on the roster?

He'll remain on reserve/did not report until he's either activated or the season ends.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

I haven't heard it talked about in great detail, but I wanted to talk a little about Jaire Alexander's play on Friday. I'm no expert, but the play he made on the ball to get his pick was phenomenal. I rewound and watched the play at least a dozen times. It looked to me like it was a good route, good throw and was a ball that usually gets completed in the NFL, but Jaire looked like he hit an extra gear and slightly changed his angle to snag the ball at the last second. Very savvy play in my opinion.

What impressed me the most about the play he made on the ball is Alexander said he caught it blindly. It was the definition of catching the flash of the ball, which is exactly how defensive back coaches teach it. Alexander has the quickness and instincts to really thrive as a nickel cornerback.

Pedro from Porto Alegre, Brazil

I can't help but think that eventually there will be too many mistakes regarding "illegal hits" like the one on Moore. I believe the hit on him was legal, and if you think about it, it's not necessary to stop for such a long time to decide if a hit is legal. What do you guys think?

I think it could be a long year. I hope the league allows for common sense to prevail whether it's the officials on the field or someone in New York. The NFL is doing its best to make the game safer, but there must be room for interpretation.

Amy from Bayport, MN

Wes was spot-on regarding Clinton-Dix. I brought my nephew to his first game at Lambeau versus the Steelers. We were sitting on the 20-yard line watching the youth football teams play during halftime. To my surprise, Ha Ha appeared, greeted the kids, took a knee and watched a couple series. He then made a point to give a slap on the helmet or high-five to every single kid before heading to the locker room. It was a great example for my impressionable young nephew & thrilled the kids. Classy dude.

Coincidentally, Clinton-Dix just happened to come up to two fans who were wearing No. 21 jerseys after Monday's practice inside the Don Hutson Center. He thanked them for the love and took photos before going back to Lambeau.

Greg from Knoxville, TN

Would the players and owners agree to an 18-game regular season with two bye weeks and a five-player roster increase? The preseason is a joke. Player personnel decisions can be made with scrimmages against other teams and training-camp practices. Charging season-ticket holders full price for these games to watch second- and third- string players is a joke. The owners have plenty of other revenue streams.

Most of the NFL (including the Packers) no longer charge full price for preseason games. Regardless, I think an 18-game season is a longshot. Maybe the NFLPA would be willing to talk about it if the owners compensate players accordingly. Currently, if you sign a contract with an NFL team, that contract is paid out in 17-week increments (including the bye week). All you get in the preseason is a stipend unless there's a bonus written into your deal. So would the owners be willing to tack on an extra three weeks' pay to every player for two more games and an extra bye?

Kerry from Margate City, NJ

I have an idea – the preseason should be extended to six games and call it a development league where teams have much more flexibility as far as bringing players in and out. 

Let it be known I'm also not for the expansion of the preseason and training camp.

Bill from West Bend, WI

So, Wes. When you arrived home in the wee hours of Saturday morning, did you not notice that your wife and infant son weren't home before you crawled into bed?

It was 7:15 a.m. My wife typically is awake at 5. I figured they took our dog for a walk.

Pat from Schofield, WI

With all the new rule changes, do officials watch their game film to critique their calls so they can become more consistent?

Yes. Like any job, officials and referees go through each game with their supervisors and review calls/non-calls.

Geoff from Beaver Dam, WI

When a player arrives from another team, is there an equipment list given to him from the previous team that annotates the items he uses? Does he have to go thru the supply room and reselect the facemask, helmet, gloves, and all their sizes?

I think players generally know what equipment they prefer, but yes, they run through a checklist with the equipment staff after they arrive in town.

Jake from Tempe, AZ

How many of the young receivers are eligible for the practice squad? Are the Packers inevitably going to have to cut some of their draft picks in the position this year?

It's my understanding Randall Cobb and Davante Adams are the only receivers on the Packers' roster who no longer maintain practice-squad eligibility.

The Packers held their last training-camp practice Monday inside the Don Hutson Center

Jeff from Greenville, SC

Guys, did they water the infield or smooth the field between quarters?

They did after warmups and at halftime. I've never seen anything like it.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Is Jahri Evans officially retired? Too bad he doesn't play tackle.

Last I heard Evans was still interested in playing this season, but the Packers are in pretty good shape with their guards at the moment.

Tanner from Oklahoma City, OK

When a player is injured on the road, are they able to get X-rays and MRIs in the hosting team's facility or do they have to wait to be back in Green Bay?

I'm not sure what the protocol is league-wide, but the Packers have an X-ray machine on-site for the opposing team. I'd imagine the rest of the NFL does likewise.

Todd from Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Given the backup quarterback issues in the league, does it make sense to keep Hundley and Kizer on the active roster and try to get Boyle on the practice squad? That way, later in the season when teams might be more willing to trade, Green Bay could trade one and then call up Boyle, thereby still having three options at quarterback.

There was a time not too long ago when I would have said it's impossible to keep three quarterbacks on the 53 and stash another on practice squad. Not anymore. The expansion of the practice squad from eight players to 10 helps, but I think it's also another way to make up for the limited access coaches have to players in the offseason. If you can get an extra guy in your quarterbacks room for four to six months, I say go for it. We'll see what happens, but the way NFL rosters are built is changing.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

The Packers are remarkably healthy at this point in the preseason, relative to much of the NFL. So the Inbox is overflowing with praise for the strength and conditioning staff, right?


Tony from River Falls, WI

Which Packers games are you most looking forward to this year?

There are three on my checklist – I'm excited to cover a game at the Los Angeles Coliseum. That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can't wait to go to Seattle. It's my favorite NFL city. I'm also amped for New York because I have a friend, Giovanni Bartocci, who runs the best Italian restaurant this side of the Atlantic.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

The Eagles manhandled the Patriots in the Super Bowl. I'm concerned our offensive line isn't up to par. At this point, what would the best move be?

To not play your second- and third-string offensive lines in the Super Bowl?

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

I would just like Justin from Chandler, AZ, to know that I do not come here solely to catch up on the Packers. It's a benefit, certainly, but I am as much a fan of the team as I am of the Insiders and the stories they write! I am certain a large portion of the readers of the Inbox would also agree. Keep up the great work!

Thank you, Ethan. We answer no less than 25 questions per day in this space. There were 35 today. If there's one or two you don't prefer, move along. Heavens to Betsy.

Scott from Fredonia, WI

Wes, if you had to pick one current Packers player to babysit your child for a couple of hours while you have a date night with your wife, who would it be?

Mason Crosby. If he's busy with his own five children, then Justin McCray.

Lynn from Somers, WI

So how do waivers work? Does the NFL post an announcement when players get cut? Does each team "go on the clock?"

The NFL sends out a transaction notice every evening with all the signs, releases, trades, etc., that have been submitted to the league office. If a player has fewer than four accrued seasons, he's subject to waivers for the next 24 hours. The one exception is cut-down day. I believe that process is only from 3 p.m. CT until noon the next day to allow teams to start building their practice squads.

Nick from Chicago, IL

Just a comment but Jaire's intangibles during his punt returns are something I haven't seen before. I didn't know that the punt returner is considered a blocker if he doesn't touch the ball, hence making his block near the goal line clean, resulting in a touchback. Smart football move by the rookie.

Great move. Just make sure you know where the ball is, so you don't get blocked back into it.

David from Redding, CA

Wes and Spoff, your responses to complaints are straight fire. Be careful. We're still choking on smoke out here. I can't afford to choke on my coffee when reading the Inbox.

Stay safe, David.

Ryan from Littleton, CO

Guys, this is the first day in over 20 years I will not be smoking a cigarette. Needless to say, my lunch break is very difficult. Thank you for keeping me busy!

Stay strong, Ryan. You got this.

Mark from Racine, WI

If we trade for Mack and turn him into a tight end, what number will he wear?

A crying Jordan meme. The first on a jersey in NFL history.

Daniel from Wichita, KS

No question, but I do have to say that I love to see Larry, Mike, and Wes having a good time! Walk with Wes...Hilarious and catchy at the same time! Thanks guys!

I have one question for everybody here tonight – who wants to walk with Wes? (I hope someone gets that reference.)

Al from Chardon, OH

Football question: When is the next time Mars will be that close or closer to Lambeau Field?

I love you guys.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Wes, what does it mean to "pack an egg"?

Never mind. I take it all back.