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Inbox: It was a good week

Randall Cobb is the standard everyone’s striving for

CB Eric Stokes
CB Eric Stokes

David from Eyemouth, UK

As a non-American, I thought Kelsey Spofford's rendition of your National Anthem was the best I've heard. Sang as it should be without "embellishment" unlike most of the so-called professional artists. Well done, Kelsey!

I'm not Kelsey's dad but that's still an incredibly kind and touching comment, David. The two biggest highlights of the past seven days were Kelsey singing the national anthem and Larry getting a game ball for 50 years of Packers training camps. It was a good week. Good morning!

Jesus from El Paso, TX

Brava, young Ms. Spofford! Can you tell us a bit about how Mike was doing before and after the performance? Was he worried he'd explode from pride?

He was a very proud papa. But it was all football when he got back to the press box. The live blog isn't gonna run itself. We've tried.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Mike and Wes, the last preseason game is almost upon us, and big decisions will have to be made soon. I don't envy either the players hoping for a spot on the 53 or PS or the coaches and personnel dept. who make the decisions. As a fan, it's about that time when we sit back and just watch – to see what will unfold.

I get an anxiety attack trying to do a mock 53. I can't imagine how difficult it is for Brian Gutekunst and Co. to do it for real. Some moves will surprise you. Most probably won't. But each decision the Packers make will be made to put the best possible team on the field in Minnesota.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, does Randall Cobb look healthy and ready to go?

Maybe it was the birthday, but I felt this was Cobb's best week of camp. If you got to practice at all, it's not hard to see the faith Aaron Rodgers has while throwing in Cobb's direction. What's more, I don't think you could ask for a better mentor for these young receivers looking to build that rapport with Rodgers. And when it comes to playing the position, Cobb can still go with the best of 'em. He's a wily, experienced veteran who knows how to get open. Cobb is the standard everyone's striving for.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

The comment about Devonte Wyatt was amusing to me. Only one preseason game played, but in that game, he was pushing people around. When watching the replay, wasn't he the player that punched out the ball that was returned some yards by the safety? Or did I completely mistake the number?

I'm no scout and my opinion is no better than anybody else's on the beat, but I think it might be as simple as Wyatt just taking it a little easier on himself. I wrote a little on his conversation with Aaron Rodgers in Tuesday's "5 things" story by The Athletic's Matt Schneidman went into a little more detail on Wyatt's feelings about his start in Green Bay. The kid has all the ability in the world. He just needs to trust it and understand it doesn't always happen overnight. The good news is Wyatt is driven to live up to his first-round billing. He wants it.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

Mike said he thinks Gutey will keep six D-linemen on the 53 and a few on the practice squad. I'll bite. Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Jarran Reed, Wyatt, T.J. Slaton and Jack Heflin on the 53. Maybe Jonathan Ford and Chris Slayton on the practice squad?

I tend to agree and don't think you could go wrong with Heflin, Slayton or Ford in the No. 6 spot. Whoever doesn't make it is more than worthy of being on the practice squad, too. I didn't write much on Slayton this camp but he's another one of these street free agents who came to Green Bay hungry and has made his snaps count in the preseason.

Patrick from Marvin, NC

Being an Iowa graduate, I always keep an eye on Iowa players such Tyler Goodson and Heflin. Both players seemed to be "ready" for the next level coming out of school. Do coaches consider the college program when looking at undrafted players to see how they were coached and prepared for the next level?

For sure, but more because of the level of competition those power-five programs are facing than the colleges themselves. Small-school prospects can succeed in the NFL, too, but it's more difficult to see those players against elite competition. The Packers have had quite a few Iowa graduates on the roster over the past 15 years but it's not like they're trying to meet a quota or anything. It just worked out that way.

Tony from Wisconsin

Thank you for all the wonderful insights and information you provide to us fans. My question is regarding Josiah Deguara. I haven't heard his name pop up too much this preseason. I view him as our Swiss-army knife on offense and I'm hoping for him to really show out this season. How has his preseason been and with the lack of depth at TE how important will he be to the offense this year?

You may not have heard much about Deguara but he has a part to play in this offense. The Packers moved on from Dominique Dafney last week. They wouldn't have done that if they weren't convinced Deguara could hold down the fort at "F" tight end. Deguara has had a tough start to his career, missing a calendar year with the ACL, but he's looked more like the Deguara we saw in 2020 during this camp.

Joe from Swansea, IL

To help us focus tonight, II guys, where will your eyes be trained tonight? Can you rank the position battles you'll be following most closely? Oh, and this: Everybody, stay healthy.

Offensive line. David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are on the comeback road. Once they arrive at their destination, both will be in the starting lineup. So, which young O-linemen are gonna step up and prove they're worthy of the two other spots?

Andy from Verona, WI

Have the Packers ever kept 10 offensive linemen on the final 53? If not, with Jenkins' and Bakhtiari's availability for the first week of the regular season in question, is keeping 10 offensive linemen on the 53 a possibility this year?

The last time the Packers kept 10 offensive linemen on their Week 1 roster was in 2010, but it's possible they do it this year. An argument could be made for the Packers going deep at nearly every position.

Jeremy from Red Deer, Canada

I was a little surprised to read that Rodgers was found eating alone in the cafeteria more than once. Is this intentional on his part (e.g. to make himself more accessible)?

Rodgers does that intentionally to see which players might stop over and eat with him. On other days, he'll purposely sit with a young player or group of players.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

Wes, this question will probably just show my ignorance, but I am willing to do that in hopes of learning. With all the discussion of the different things both ILB and safeties bring to the mix, could a speedy, rangy ILB ever be considered to help at safety in case of a rash of injuries?

Not often. It's more likely a cornerback slides back. That's what Jarrett Bush did several times, including in the Super Bowl. Rasul Douglas can play safety, too, if needed.

Terry from Green Bay, WI

Good morning II. It sounds like Rasul is doing a lot of trash talking this year which is great. I like that level of confidence. But is that new this year? I don't remember that last year. "23" has always had that swagger but I assumed "29" was more the quiet type.

It's funny you ask that. Kassidy Hill from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked Douglas that question last week, and Douglas smiled and said, "Yeah, that's me." But to be fair, we haven't been in the locker room. We didn't get to know that side of his personality. The more we learn about Douglas, the more I can confirm that is absolutely him.

Rick from Antigo, WI

I thought Cole Van Lanen was having a pretty good camp. Figured he would make the team this year!

As we were saying, some tough calls were going to have to be made. This roster is just too deep. It'll always be a cool story that Van Lanen's first NFL uniform came with the hometown Packers. Hopefully, with this move to the Jaguars, he can have a long and prosperous career.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What's one storyline from the Chiefs game being overlooked?

Can Jack Coco complete one of the most remarkable runs at a roster spot in Packers history? Coco didn't even snap on punts at Georgia Tech. The fact Coco has made it this far is a testament to his work ethic, Byron Storer's evaluation skills and Rich Bisaccia's ability to get the most out of a prospect.

David from Murfreesboro, TN

Matt has once again decided to sit out his veterans when they should play at least an entire half. I have heard the risk argument, but there is a risk involved for every game. Risking a rusty performance in the opener against division rival Minnesota is every bit as critical.

Jordy Nelson. End of argument.

Kelly from Stoughton, WI

Hey guys, great work on camp coverage and all that you do. Second to none. As we gear up for the season and I look through the schedule, we play CHI and MN right off the go but then don't see them again until Week 12 and 16, respectively. Does a scheduling quirk like that factor into how they prepare? Any advantages? Also, with the likes of Luke Getsy returning to GB, any talk from ML about organizing a Lambeau wave while the Bears are on offense or is it just banned in general?

If you must wave, please do it when the Packers' defense is on the field. Agreed? It is weird how that worked out, but I'm not too concerned about it. Green Bay needs to take care of business in the NFC regardless of whether it's September, December or April.

Rick from Bluffton, SC

I'm curious about why 53 players on the team and 16 on the practice squad. I would like to see the size of the team changing when we go to an 18-game schedule. I assume it's when not if. I know some have mentioned an extra bye week, but I think having a slightly larger team size is a better alternative. Particularly when you keep shooting down the bye idea. What are your thoughts?

I don't know whether teams will be allowed to "protect" up to four practice-squad players this year, but I felt like they should just have 16 unprotected PS guys and added two active roster spots. It gives teams a little more security with their roster, while also allowing more players to earn accredited years.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

We hear about cross-training linemen a lot this time of year. Is there a reason a guy near the bottom of the depth chart wouldn't also train as a long snapper? The fact that every team seems to have a specific roster spot for LS probably tells me there's a lot to learn at the position, but wouldn't that help the team overall to keep an extra player?

The Packers cross-train that, too. Tipa Galeai did it a little last year. I think I saw Slayton and Jon Runyan trying it this summer, too.

Richard from Eagle River, WI

Good morning, Wes! An everyday reader at lunch and thanks to you and Mike for your in-depth material on the Pack. With the recent questions regarding a second bye, why not consider starting the season a week earlier? This bye after the last preseason game is meaningless to the players who carry the load during the season, since most of them sit out the preseason games. Would think the starters would benefit from two in-season byes, and the season would not be prolonged. Thanks!

The NFL doesn't want the regular season to start before Labor Day.

Jeff from Ripon, WI

What is the longest punt and field goal in Packers history?

The longest punt is Don Chandler's 90-yarder against San Francisco on Oct. 10, 1965. The longest field goal belongs to Mason Crosby (58 yards, at Minnesota, on Oct. 23, 2011).

Steve from Middletown, KY

Good morning II. Have you ever seen Shannon Sharpe's HOF speech? He was a stud. (I had him on several fantasy teams. Yeah, I'm that old.) Anyway, he went so far as to say he wasn't even the best player in his family and talks about his brother. The camera cuts to Sterling and he has tears rolling down his face. I remember thinking he had to appreciate his brother's words, while knowing he might be a long shot to get in because of longevity. He was a record-setter and deserves to be in.

That line is on my short list for greatest Hall of Fame quips of all-time. I still think about it to this day, especially whenever Sterling's HOF case is brought up.

Connor from Minnetonka, MN

I've been watching the Lions' season of "Hard Knocks," and man, I miss Jamaal Williams. I think he's a big part of the Lions being more competitive last year and is a great leader for them. I'm sure you guys miss having him in the locker room too.

Saying Jamaal Williams would be the star of "Hard Knocks" was the easiest prediction I've ever made.

Zach from Philadelphia, PA

I just loved the video of Matt LaFleur celebrating Larry McCarren's 50th training camp and seeing how the whole team rallied around him. I've never met him (or any of you), but he seems like such a huge, heartwarming presence and a great character. I crack up every time I see him introduce Weston as "the boy wonder himself." What's it like working with him?

Fans see Larry as a Packers legend and rightfully so. But the best compliment I can pay Larry McCarren is the lives he's touched during his broadcasting career. Yes, he's spent a good deal of time in all our homes via television or radio, but Larry also has left an indelible impact on his coworkers, employees and interns. I can remember like yesterday just how proud my good friend, Nick Goddard, was when he began interning for Larry in the WFRV-TV sports department. The man has lived a remarkable life and he's been gracious enough to take us all along for the ride.

Ryan from Columbus, WI

I watched the video of Ms. Spofford singing the National Anthem, and I'm sorry to say I was disappointed. Her voice was beautiful, and the song was spot on, but no "88" jersey?! Thanks for all you gents do!

Next time, Ryan. Next time. Enjoy the game today, folks. It's the last one before we tie our stomach in knots for the remainder of the year.