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Inbox: It should be a lot of fun to watch

Christian Watson’s ceiling is up there with the top of the draft class

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RB Aaron Jones

Dave from Huntsville, AL

Did you know the "Unscripted" episode talking about cutdowns and special teams was No. 666 when you recorded it? I hope that's not a bad omen.

You're telling me we've recorded 666 episodes of "Unscripted?" Move over, "Gunsmoke."

Kent from Anamosa, IA

Got to thinking, and I'm sure this is speculation. Michigan has the Lions, Minnesota the Vikings, and Illinois the Bears. What local state has the most Packers fans, besides Wisconsin? And which local state has the biggest number of Packer fans per capita? I have to believe from my experience (especially the success of the Packers the last 30 years) it has to be my home state, Iowa. Just wondered if you knew of some data or observations that support or dismiss that hypothesis. Go Pack Go.

Any doubt as to whether that answer is Iowa was put to rest last week thanks to Ray Kinsella. While Lower Michigan does have the Lions, I would argue the Upper Peninsula has a healthy share of Packers fans, too.

Alyssa from Plover, WI

Which WR is likely to step up this Sunday?

Sammy Watkins has 20 receptions for 376 yards and four touchdowns in his last three regular-season openers, so my Monopoly money is on him. I love his aura, too. Watkins fits right in with the locker room; he's so calm and steady.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

One of the reasons for drafting Quay Walker was Krys Barnes had to be removed for a safety in passing situations, which cost the run defense. Do we have any indication Isaiah McDuffie or maybe Tariq Carpenter could play in those situations if something happened to Walker or De'Vondre Campbell?

Maybe that was the case in Mike Pettine's scheme but one of the biggest things players praised Joe Barry for last season was allowing players to play their positions. DBs were DBs. Linebackers were linebackers. While Green Bay drafted Walker to help the defense play more nickel, Barnes is still the next man up. That's who I'd expect to see if, heaven forbid, anything happened to either Campbell or Walker.

Michael from Pound, WI

Gents, to some comments yesterday on Packer playoff record. With DET, CHI and MIN in our division the last two decades, we have had a legitimate chance of penciling in 5-6 wins and if we went .500 with the rest of the games, playoffs seemed inevitable, Super Bowls not so much or at least not very often. We all hoped, wished and prayed, but we knew. There was a chance, but...last year seemed like we actually had a team that could win it all without needing luck. This year has the same feel.

Every once in a great while, a team is so talented and so dominant that nothing else seems to matter. The 1996 Packers were like that. They were locked in in all three phases, top of the charts. But most years, teams need a little luck. At the same time, you don't make the dance if you're not talented or consistent. Those are the prerequisites and the Packers have checked both boxes under Matt LaFleur.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

The Jaguars put in a waiver claim on Ty Summers, only to cut him a couple days later, apparently because they preferred the linebacker that they picked up from the Bears in the second wave of waivers. No one else claimed him, and as far as I can tell, he has not signed to any practice squad. Was he really that bad?

Summers signed to Jacksonville's practice squad Monday, so the Jaguars obviously saw something they liked. A player getting claimed, cut, and signed to a team's practice squad is a relatively common occurrence this time of year. It's not always easy to claim a player in September and have that individual eating a roster spot learning the playbook.

Tom from Iron River, WI

Who will you be watching closely in Game 1?

The running backs. We talked all offseason about everything the Packers could possibly do with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Now, we finally get to see it. Both backs are in the prime of their careers. It should be a lot of fun to watch.

Ron from Trempealeau, WI

Since Za'Darius Smith is so amped up to sack Rodgers, you think Rodgers will go after him with a few hard counts?

Yes, but to be fair to Smith, I found him to be respectful when discussing the matchup. He's a pass rusher. Of course, he wants to sack the QB. Conversely, Rodgers practiced against Smith for two full seasons. I'm sure there's a lot of tricks he picked up. It also helps Rodgers might be the best hard-counting QB in league history.

Kent from Homosassa, FL

Over the season, you are often asked "who do we want to win" games not involving Green Bay. My suggested "rules" are first the division rivals should always lose. Secondly, NFC teams should always lose to AFC teams. For games within the division, pull for the lower-standing team. If tied, go with the home team. Apply the same for games within the NFC. There may be unique situations come January. Do you have alternatives to these "rules"?

No, that pretty much covers it. But there is an eye-of-the-beholder element to that complicated formula, too. Looking back to last season, I don't think any team wanted to see San Francisco in the playoffs – even if that wasn't reflected in the standings and stat sheets.

Lynn from Somers, WI

With all the chatter about playing or not playing veteran starters in the preseason and how that might impact their readiness for the first regular-season game, it got me to wondering . . . what did the Minnesota Vikings do with their veterans in August? Because if they did not play them either, wouldn't it pretty much be a wash?

They didn't play them. Minnesota had at least 30 players inactive in all three of its preseason games. Alexander Mattison played in one game. That was pretty much it from what I saw on the Vikings' preseason box scores.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What's one way the Vikings have improved this offseason that's being overlooked?

By Justin Jefferson turning 23 years old. He's one of the most talented receivers in the league and isn't anywhere close to his final form. He's gonna keep getting better and better. Minnesota went through a big overhaul this offseason but still has two of the most feared offensive players in the league in Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. That's a firm foundation to build on.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Monday, Sept. 5, 2022.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Now that the regular season is almost here, what does Jordan Love do during practice? Does he run the scout team against our defense, or does he watch and learn from Rodgers' reps and get a few first-team reps?

All of the above. The team reps will be fewer and farther between because it's about preparing the starters for gameday now, but Love still has an important role in the QB room with the weekly game prep. When backup quarterbacks say they're preparing like the starter, that isn't just a cliché. They're walking side-by-side with QB1 during the game-planning process.

Stephen from Eagle River, WI

Mike mentioned four rookies that could have the biggest impact, but if snaps for all kicks become successful, couldn't Jack Coco be the rookie with the biggest impact?

He might be. The Packers' special teams coaches invested a lot of time and effort this offseason to prepare Coco for Sunday. Because it's important to the field-goal operation. Just look at Mason Crosby and his consistency with one holder (Tim Masthay) and one long snapper (Brett Goode). Since 2016, it's been a carousel. Crosby has risen above it, but it still would do wonders if he got back to one operation for an entire season.

Don from Swaledale, IA

Caleb Jones...sign me up. I thought he showed talent and if 12 likes him I like him even better. Where can we get Caleb Jones jerseys?

Getting Jones back on the practice squad was a win for the Packers. He reminds me a lot of Yosh Nijman – and that goes beyond just his size. I think Jones has a lot of the tools Green Bay's front office looks for in its offensive linemen. I don't care what the testing numbers say. I find Jones to be very athletic for a man his size.

Paul from Hartford, WI

If the No. 1 receiver goes out for a play or for the game, does the No. 2 become the new No. 1? Is it the assumption that all receiver routes are understood by everyone for any play called?

I don't think it's that rigid, but in the past, any game plan shifted on its axis if Davante Adams wasn't on the field. Even in those moments, however, the rest of the receiving corps was expected to know the assignments. Randall Cobb talked last week about how practice is intended to get young receivers prepared for any in-game adjustments. There were many times in Cobb's own career he was asked to do something maybe he didn't plan for, but that didn't give him a free pass. It's the receiver's job to execute.

Donald from Aledo, IL

Does Romeo Doubs have a higher ceiling than Christian Watson?

Both have a warehouse of potential, but Watson was a second-round pick for a reason. The kid is 6-foot, 5-inches tall, runs a sub-4.4 and has a 38½-inch vertical. As ceilings go, Watson's is up there with the top of the draft class.

Kurt from Waterloo, IA

Hey, who's more valuable? Jaire Alexander on a mega deal (and the better player) or Eric Stokes on a rookie deal? I know we want both, but this is a premium position.

A lot of "this guy or that guy" questions today. Alexander is arguably the best cornerback in the game. In my opinion, it doesn't matter what the paystub reads when you're the best at what you do. The Packers have four playmakers (Alexander, De'Vondre Campbell, Rashan Gary and Kenny Clark) offenses must specifically scheme for. That is a problem for the opposition.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hey guys, the doubt remains but the anticipation is higher than ever. What are y'all's biggest concerns before the regular season starts?

No concerns, Jeffery. Worrying is for liars, thieves, and charlatans. I'll let Sunday play out and begin forming my early thoughts on the 2022 Green Bay Packers then.

Bonnie from Tomah, WI

I had the opportunity to go to Canton to watch LeRoy Butler being honored into the Hall of Fame. I was with a friend whose uncle was one of his high school football coaches. Everywhere we went, people who had met LeRoy spoke of how friendly he was and what a great smile he has. He is a true genuine Packer ambassador! Which home game will celebrate LeRoy Butler's induction into the Hall of Fame? So excited to see him receive his ring!

Those details are still getting ironed out, Bonnie, but I'm glad to hear you had a nice time in Canton. I just want to mention that I got a special sneak-peek of the special we recorded on Butler's enshrinement, and it is fan-tastic. That should be live on packers.com in the next week or so.

Connor from Minnetonka, MN

Week 1 of CFB was nice, but Week 1 of NFL is just that much closer!

I saw LSU lost. That's a shame.

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