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Inbox: It's a trend likely to end

A lot of questions will get tossed around when the time comes


Peter from Lancaster, CA

Hey guys, Happy Monday to you. I noticed that we've signed two more RB. I know competition is good, but is there something about our existing RB group that we're missing? I was excited about the group we had drafted last year and was looking forward to watching them making that second year jump, but it seems that the front office might be looking elsewhere. What gives?

Jamaal Williams hurt his ankle against the Steelers (though we haven't been told to what extent), Devante Mays hasn't practiced since before Family Night, and Aaron Jones is coming off a hamstring injury while also heading for a two-game suspension to start the season. The personnel department is covering its bases.

Randy from Fargo, ND

With two preseason games in the books, what are the thoughts on the new field?

No news is good news. I thought it looked great for both games, and the 24 days between the Pittsburgh and Chicago games will be good because then it's got three games in a span of 22 days.

Bob from Riverside, CA

I am loving the 100 Seasons moments but you had me scratching my head with the latest one. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how the Packers' 1930 10-3-1 record beat the Giants' 13-4 record. Then I found the tidbit that tie games behaved as if the game didn't exist prior to 1972 giving the .004 edge in win-loss percentage to the Packers. Thanks for all the great history.

That's one of the stranger statistical oddities in the NFL record books, that ties didn't count for anything for so long.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

This new helmet rule is going to kill football. Had the local game on here on Saturday and saw a textbook sack flagged. Also saw online that a textbook tackle in the Texans/49ers game was also flagged. I really hope this isn't where the NFL is heading. Instead of asking "what is a catch" we are now adding "what is a tackle."

I'm starting to think Vic had this one right a long time ago. Just allow the QB to spike the ball at any time (no fakes allowed) to avoid contact. In the pocket, out of the pocket, doesn't matter, and defensive players get a stat called "spikes" when they force them. But if he doesn't spike it, his choice. Then these complicated interpretations of QB contact wouldn't be necessary. As Patrick from Dover, FL, pointed out, I can see the "full body weight" rule being applied on that Vikings sack, but it was a borderline violation at best (and that's being generous, and it was certainly nothing as egregious as Oct. 15, 2017). Everything is becoming a matter of degree, which just subjects more and more rules, eventually, to replay review and consternation. Years ago I thought he was nuts, and Vic's spike idea would not be perfect, but it would be far more black-and-white and provide the opportunity for the franchise QBs to stay upright all season long, which is what's best for the league.

Andrew from Fullerton, CA

Someone needs to tell Richard from Pelham, AL, that the fans write the Inbox. If you talk about it, that's because it's coming up in the Inbox. Is he new around here, or does he just need a hug?

Some days we all need a hug.

Rick from Pacifica, CA

Coaches state and you report how some players go all-out on every play. If there are two players at one position and one is getting somewhat better results but the other notably gives it his all on every play and only one can be kept, would a team be more likely to keep the "all-out" player? Would a higher upside potential of that player be perceived as well as less potential of that player's performance going down if they hit the big payday?

Wow, that's quite the philosophical hypothetical. If the all-effort guy can be coached into better production, he's an attractive prospect, especially if the other guy's love of the game is in question. If the other guy's perceived lack of effort is due to thinking and processing and just needs more time, while Mr. all-effort is limited in other developmental qualities, then it could go the other way. No two discussions or comparisons are ever carbon copies of one another.

Darren from Warrington, UK

How close did the Packers actually come to being ousted from the league in 1949? I couldn't imagine the league now without them, and what it might have meant for the local community without the team.

That's a better question for Cliff, but from what I've read, it was close. I've wondered if the title the Packers won just five years prior played into the league keeping the Packers around.

Eivind from Nordfjordeid, Norway

You guys know Rodgers better than us. If he doesn't play another snap this preseason, do you feel he is ready?

He would be, and he has said as much.

Jim from Bluffton, SC

I would like your view about the composition of the 53 as it relates to TEs versus FBs. It seems to me that having talented TEs is essential for today's offense. It seems to me that having talented FBs is not essential for today's offense. Do you agree? If so, shouldn't we carry as many TEs as possible as long as they can play special teams? Specifically, Tonyan's catches against the Steelers indicate a real talent. Rip and Kerridge are tough and good special teamers, but...

Special teams will definitely be a factor, but the decisions will be difficult regardless. How many of the tight ends can line up at fullback if necessary? Kendricks has, so that could play into it, too. How much does McCarthy want to run the ball with a lead blocker this year? Would the extra tight ends, if kept, only end up being inactive on the game-day 46 anyway? All those questions will get tossed around when the time comes.

Dale from Palmyra, NE

The way-back machine? Really? Your parents must have told you about that. Or you're a family friend of Mr. Peabody.

That Mr. Peabody and Sherman flick from a few years back might be one of the most enjoyable times I've had at the movies with my kids.

Dave from Saukville, WI

What message was delivered to the NFL teams the Packers will be playing this year as a result of the touchdown pass from Aaron to Graham?

The Packers' total of five TD receptions by tight ends over the last two regular seasons is a trend likely to end.

Mike from Kalamazoo, MI

Did you see Davante's footwork and how open he was on Graham's TD reception? I'm sure you have, but wow, is that worth a look!

There's no doubt Rodgers and everyone else will see it in the film review. There was a concerted effort to get the ball to Graham there, to answer another Mike, from Nashville, who saw the same thing. It's what you do in the preseason, but the next time that red-zone call comes into his helmet, Rodgers will remember Adams.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Mike, pretend like you're the OC and the DC, and MM has asked you to come to his office. He asks you to name the players who should get 10 or fewer snaps for the last two preseason games because they've already made the team based on their practice and play so far, you don't want to risk them getting injured before Game 1, and they're ready for Game 1. I'm thinking Reggie Gilbert is one such guy. What players would be on your list that would have surprised you a month ago?

Actually, I might try to get Gilbert some more snaps against first-string offensive tackles before the preseason is done. I wouldn't mind seeing Kumerow against a starting corner as well. Yes, they've made very strong cases to make the team, but more work against starting-caliber players would have value, too.

Tom from Loomis, CA

We were so jazzed about Hundley a few preseasons ago that we were trying to figure what draft pick we could get in a trade. Then he crashed and burned. Now he's tearing it up in preseason again. Do you think that plays into the backup discussions in the coaches' room?

I simply go back to what I said about QB2 before camp. If Hundley clearly outplays Kizer, I think they both make the team. If Kizer shows he's ready to be the No. 2, you don't need to keep three. I thought Hundley's performance was ahead of Kizer after the first preseason game, but I felt Kizer closed the gap in the second game. There are two left to go, and no one has to make a decision for another 12 days.

Fans visited Lambeau Field and Johnsonville Tailgate for the preseason matchup against the Steelers.

Kim from Hudson, WI

My husband and I are doing our annual Milwaukee Brewers weekend next week and heading to Green Bay after Sunday's game to watch the last training camp practice on Aug. 27. Besides bad weather, do they ever move training camp practice inside where we won't be able to watch? We have missed camp the last couple years for various reasons and really want to see them this year!

If the weather is good, the practices aren't moved inside. For the last practice, I'd encourage you to stay until the end and, if you can, make your way to the front row of the Nitschke Field bleachers when practice concludes. The players often cruise by and give a lot of high-fives on that last day.

Nick from Richmond, VA

Can we get Jake Kumerow's number changed to 1 so we can call him "Kumerow numero uno"? (I hope y'all play HQ).

Wouldn't "Kumerow uno" suffice?

Dan form Kenosha, WI

Wes: "Kumerow reminds me more of Ruvell Martin." I see what you did there. Subtle adjustment of the expectation train. Well done. It's hard enough to make the 53 much less trying to be the next Jordy. Especially this year.

I thought that comparison by Wes was spot on, and he wasn't even covering the team when Martin was here.

V from Cross Plains, WI

Does the communication helmet for the defensive player shut down at the same time in the play clock as the offensive player's communication helmet?

I believe so, yes.

Hayden from Batavia, IL

Am I crazy, or am I really enjoying kickoffs this preseason?! The new rules have brought on a very interesting play. The NFL got this right.

Wes and I said exactly the same thing to one another in the press box Thursday night.

David from Marinette, WI

Question for Larry, how fast do you have to go from doing the radio broadcast to going down to the field to do your interview with Coach McCarthy postgame? And are you the first to interview him postgame?

Anyone who's upstairs during a game that has postgame work or interviews to do downstairs after – whether it's a broadcaster, reporter, coach, whoever – is always hustling like mad once the game ends. It's frankly the most stressful time for everyone, because even though you make it in time pretty much every time, you're always worried you won't. And yes, Larry is the first one to interview McCarthy postgame. The coach does that interview before coming in for his formal press conference.

Dan from Golden, CO

Oren Burks has been surprisingly good thus far, but his obvious growing pains are on running plays. How much of an advantage is it for the rookie to be playing behind Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark to take some pressure off?

It'll help, but they won't be able to keep linemen off him on every play. He'll have to get off blocks against bigger guys. Every linebacker has to learn that at this level. In college, blockers who were that much bigger weren't usually as athletic. Up here, they are.

Jon from Richmond, VA

Which Packers player do you think is most likely to attend his first Pro Bowl this year and why?

I'll pick one candidate on each side of the ball – Bulaga and Perry. I think they're due to have healthy years and see more recognition come their way.

#75 - T Bryan Bulaga

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

The draft guide I use says J'Mon Moore had "focus drops" at Mizzou. Do you think over time he can learn to hang onto the pass? Was it James Jones who dropped several passes early in his career?

It can always be learned. I remember JJ having a bout with the drops in the 2009-10 range, a couple years into his career, but he worked through it. He then caught everything in sight in 2012, leading the league with 14 touchdowns.

David from Chicago, IL

Is Jake Kumerow related to Eric Kumerow, the ex-Ohio State player?

Yes, Jake is his son.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

It's pretty well understood in the NFL that when a new GM comes to town, the previous regime's picks lose that layer of "protection" from getting cut that most draftees are afforded by the GM that selected them (at least for the first 2-3 years). This situation with BG is a little different because he was part of the process that led TT to make his draft decisions. Any thoughts on how this dynamic could play out as we approach the final 53-man roster?

I've never thought of it as protection, but more projection. Everyone's timeline is different, and if the personnel department still believes in its projection for a player, it may be more inclined to hang onto him. If they don't see it, they don't keep him. Thompson cut his share of draft picks along the way, and Gutekunst will, too. The question for me is how many projections will be kept versus experienced backups for when injuries strike. That's the dynamic to Gutekunst's first 53 that I'm most curious about.

Ben from El Paso, TX

Pumpkin spice Cheerios?

Mike Daniels would not approve.

Monty from Hazen, ND

During the draft, we all heard about how slow Josh Jackson is. There was even talk of him being moved to safety. Is Jackson a prime example of a player that plays faster once the pads go on?

For all the tests Jackson has passed with flying colors thus far, I'm not about to make that judgment in the preseason. The regular season is played at a different speed.

Donna from Darien, WI

My knew favorite word...bass-ackwards.

If I ever leave Wisconsin, Wisconsin will never leave me.

Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ

As we enter the last two weeks of preseason I feel bad for the players who sort of know they are playing their last two NFL games before cuts, at least for this year. However, I feel tremendous excitement for those on the bubble who will be playing their hearts out the next two weeks to make the roster!

Those who sort of know they are playing their last two NFL games almost certainly are, if you know what I mean.

Dennis from Troon, Scotland

It's time for the speculation to end. Everything's good with our three amigos. Wes has his "Good morning," Larry has his "For the good of the whole," and Spoff has his "Good one."

Good one. Happy Monday, everybody.