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Inbox: It seems wide open after the top two

Nobody said it was fair

S Christian Uphoff

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

C'mon Mike, you must know that most youngsters don't know what's in their Halloween hoard until the next day, long after the midnight trading deadline.

Hey, when I was a kid we swapped on the spot, walking the streets between houses, and then I'd make a last round of trades with my sister when we got home.

Mike from Manchester, England

In the response to Mike from Fort Wayne, regarding "draft picks earn their right to stick around by showing the progress that was projected," has Kamal Martin been the victim of a third- and fourth-year player (Ty Summers and Oren Burks) finally showing their progress that was originally predicted on defense, not only on special teams?

With those two you mention currently still reserves and only projected to play on defense in case of injury, I'd say no. Gary from Belle Mead, NJ, also asked about a tweak in Barry's scheme that Martin didn't fit, and while I don't think that's necessarily it, either, I wouldn't rule out adapting to the new playbook as part of the equation, just based on past experience with other players. But I don't know that for a fact by any means.

Josh from Holgate, OH

"That's one job that'll never go away: teaching, police officers, and DoorDash." That has to be a classic interview line right there.

One of the best ever from an undrafted rookie.

Sal from Hailey, ID

After watching Innis Gaines' presser, I'll be rooting for Thump on special teams this weekend. That's still the most concerning phase of the game for me. Who else do you think might leverage their skills on that crew to earn a spot on the team?

Christian Uphoff is another one.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

Good morning, what will the coaches be looking to accomplish in the final preseason game?

Other than hopefully getting Jordan Love another good day's work, they want to provide enough snaps for players they'd like to take a longer look at before the final evaluation. It's an opportunity someone almost always cashes in on, even if it's not necessarily for a spot on the 53, but a practice-squad contract that extends their time to make an impression, so to speak.

Steven from Las Vegas, NV

Listening to Kevin King's interview, which I thought was interesting and entertaining, raised a question regarding timeouts. I recall a player (Adrian Amos?) after the NFC Championship Game mention that he thought about calling a timeout before the TD pass play at the end of the first half. I do not recall ever seeing a defensive player call a timeout on the field. Can anyone on the field call a timeout? Have you ever seen a defensive player call a timeout?

Anyone on the field can if he can get the attention of an official before the snap. Generally, only a team captain would have permission from the coaches to do so, but that's not an official restriction. I've seen it happen, but it is rare.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

Mike, yesterday you answered a question about the week off between preseason and the season. There is another benefit. Players that are claimed or traded by a team to fill an immediate need due to an injured player have an extra week to get acclimated to the team and the playbook, and prepare for the first game. Plus, it gives me a chance to watch the college games which start this Saturday.

Valid point about late acquisitions, but I don't think I'm missing anything if I hold off on college football for a few more days.

Doug from Westford, MA

Hi, with the new NFL media locker room restrictions, only allowing team-affiliated media – e.g., you two – do you feel a lot of pressure since your fellow beat reporters won't be in the room?

I hate to break it to everyone, but those limited spots for team-affiliated media will not be assigned to me and Wes. Larry and a cameraman will be using that access to get one-on-one interviews with players that can be used on the postgame radio broadcast and posted on our website (we had a few this past game).

Nick from Bethlehem, PA

From what you've seen so far, do you believe Josh Myers has the potential to be a Pro Bowl lineman in this league? And if it's too early to tell, will he at least be a solid starter this season?

All indications are Myers has what it takes to play, but there's no point in trying to project other honors. Corey Linsley wasn't even a Pro Bowl alternate until 2018, his fifth season in the league, and he never actually made a Pro Bowl despite being named first-team All-Pro last year.

Colin from Appleton, WI

Do the Packers have enough talent to win a Super Bowl?

Yes, they do. It doesn't mean they will. They had enough last year, too.

Mike from Franksville, WI

Congrats to Dick Vermeil (and especially Cliff Branch – RIP) on his Hall of Fame finalist selection, but Mike Holmgren is starting to feel as overlooked as LeRoy Butler has been. As far as deserving Packers from the '90s, what odds would you give Butler, Holmgren, and Sterling Sharpe on reaching the Hall of Fame?

I put Butler at better than 50-50 now to get in at some point. Holmgren's odds aren't that good yet, but Wes and I are both in agreement that if Bill Cowher is a Hall of Famer, then Holmgren should be, too. And now that Vermeil is a finalist in the new coaching category, that strengthens Holmgren's case as well when you look at the resumes. Sharpe probably has the worst odds of the three at this point, but it doesn't mean he's any less deserving. It's just going to take a while for the senior committee to get to him. It took too long to get to Branch, who unfortunately died two years ago.

Roger from West Bend, WI

With regards to taunting, let's say Adams makes a great sideline catch and the DB was right there with him and almost got a hand on the ball. So as Davante Adams comes back to huddle, he waggles his finger and smiles at the DB who he knows, and says, "I see what you did there with that fancy move." If you have an itchy flag official, could that be taunting and you take away the fun of NFL?

That very well could happen. Players will have to be careful with any sort of gesture that could be misinterpreted.

Ralph from Monchengladbach, Germany

Hi Mike, could you (or your media guys) bring back the score and field position information in the header section of your game live chat? Will you bring back the MMWC when the season starts?

We'll look into the scoreboard for the live blog, but there can be intermittent technical issues with it, though, so I won't make any promises. My mid-week chat will return for the regular season.

Gary from Elkhorn, WI

How many running backs will the Packers keep on their final roster?

At this point, I'd say three with a fourth on the practice squad.

Tim from Spokane, WA

Sad to hear about Funchess. I was really rooting for him and thought he would have some nice production for us this year. Question, why is his season over by being put on IR? If that's the case why wouldn't they just cut him?

Because you can't just release a player who's injured. If the Packers reach an injury settlement with Funchess, he'll be eligible to play somewhere else. He won't be eligible to return to the Packers, if mutually desired, until three weeks after the settlement expires.

Rich from El Cerrito, CA

I see why the Packers drafted Kevin King with his measurables – 6-3 and a 4.43 40-yard dash. That can be a very impressive combination. However, in the NFC Championship Game he looked a bit off in his speed. When healthy, does he look like a burner? Any sense of how he is running now? Keep us posted. Whoever plays opposite Jaire Alexander is going to see a lot of balls.

When healthy, King can run. His speed is legit. He wasn't fully healthy last January, listed on the injury report with a back injury. Again, he's been limited in practice this month, for obvious reasons given his history, but the plan is to get him to full-participation status soon.

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

Insiders, from what you've seen in camp practices and during the first two preseason games, which of the non-top five receivers has demonstrated the best and most consistent downfield blocking skills? It wasn't a focus of attention nor mentioned during the telecast and it's such an important aspect of the position.

That's a worthwhile question, but I confess I haven't watched for it much, either. Honestly, I'm just not as hung up on this receiver thing as everyone else is. I said at the start of camp it was pretty clear who the top five would be on the roster, and now we know Devin Funchess won't be the sixth. With one preseason game left, the competition at safety is way more intriguing to me. It seems wide open after the top two and a regular from last year going on IR this week.

George from North Mankato, MN

Which position(s) would you keep an extra player this season and which position(s) might you run a little lighter and why?

Well, I'm always inclined to keep more big guys because they're harder to find when you need them, so if there are offensive or defensive linemen who deserve a spot, that's where I'd go heavy (pun intended). But as mentioned regarding special teams, this big, athletic group of reserve safeties the Packers have makes for an interesting final call.

Joe from Rapid City, SD

Insiders, how is it decided on which team comes to Green Bay for joint practice and who would you like to see next?

It's worked out between the teams, usually the head coaches. It hinges on scheduling a preseason game together and then working out the rest. I can't say I have any particular preference for any teams, but it would more than likely be an AFC opponent, not an NFC team with whom the Packers would be competing directly to make it to the Super Bowl.

Michael from Granite City, IL

Before players are cut, does the Packers GM sit down with those players and indicate if they want them on the practice squad? Or do they cut them without talking to them?

They have those conversations, and the team usually will express the interest in re-signing them to the practice squad should they clear waivers. But players who clear can consider other practice-squad offers, too.

Mike from Cascade, ID

This part of the season is difficult. I don't enjoy the cut-downs. Childhood dreams of playing in the NFL are in the balance. I lived through my daughter's dreams of a softball scholarship, which she realized, but through years of dedication. I can't imagine what it took for players to get signed by an NFL team. I hope that getting cut provides motivation. There are only so many seats at the dinner table.

It's a cruel world, and nobody said it was fair. Enjoy the last preseason game, everybody. I'll be back in this saddle after the weekend. Happy Thursday.


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