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Inbox: It was a highly calculated move

There’s a process at work here


Kylon from Sendai, Japan

Is there a reason for "Three Things" not using the Oxford comma?

Implied understanding?

Trevor from Carmel, NY

These "100 Moments" are great. It's amazing how many of the great moments from the dark years were kind of buried in the past. I pride myself on being a student of the past, but even I wasn't aware of the Marcol touchdown until about 10 or so years ago when I found an old bootleg copy of the game. Maybe we'll see a Walter Stanley or Campbell-to-Epps in the next month?

As much as I loved Walter Stanley's backflip in Detroit and am partial to Campbell-to-Epps in Chicago because it occurred in the first NFL game I ever attended, those did not make the final cut, sorry.

Mark from Carmel, IN

As we celebrate 100 seasons of Packers football with the fun "Packers Moments," I can't help but feel you should only unveil 99 just feels like there is another historic moment coming this year for the last spot!

That's what my father would call tempting fate. It's generally not a good idea.

John from San Diego, CA

The top 100 moment bringing the biggest smile to my face was the 1995 divisional playoff played at Candlestick Park. Our seats were just in front of Wayne Simmons' hit forcing fullback Adam Walker to fumble. I was stunned with joy as Craig Newsome picked up the fumble and scored. That play and that game was the moment I had waited for my entire life. For those of us too young to witness the Lombardi dynasty we finally knew the Pack was back. Have you had a moment like that?

Not exactly, but I will say in 2007, my second year on this job, seeing Favre-to-Jennings in OT in Denver followed by a key Woodson pick-six the next week in KC sent a signal a truly special season was in the works.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

I noticed in the snow globe game Favre only had one gold star on his captain's patch. How is that so?

The first year those patches existed was 2007.

Jon from Columbia, MO

I sure hope Rodgers' moment has not come yet. So far, I think it has to be the laser pass in a tight window to Jennings in the Super Bowl.

Forced to pick right now, that's the one I'd have to go with, too, though the Inbox was definitely on board with the 2014 tunnel MVP re-emergence. Bob from Springfield, Mass., suggested the Urlacher tackle in the NFC title game. Not a bad choice but a darkhorse one to me, as more of an oddity but incredibly important.

John from Evans, GA

Now that sports gambling is legal I would like to get the over/under for the number of losses it takes before Packers fans flood the Inbox blaming Mike Pettine's preference for coaching from the box and not the field.

It won't take a loss. The flood will begin when the first touchdown is allowed.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Reports are saying that DeShone Kizer is still showing inaccuracy in practice and this is while no contact (for QBs) is taking place, correct? I remember hearing that accuracy is one aspect of QBs that has been shown to project into the pros. Meaning inaccurate in college equals inaccurate in pros. Is accuracy something that cannot be taught? It would not bode well for either our coaching or front office if Kizer proves to be exactly what he was last year.

Coaches will tell you that QB inaccuracy is a byproduct of fundamentals and mechanics, including footwork. I don't think Kizer has been grossly more inaccurate than the other backup QBs in camp, and I wrote about the Packers completely overhauling his footwork in the spring. There's a process at work here. We have to let it run its course.

Will from Nottingham, England

Hi guys, going back to the 2016 season, when Aaron Rodgers was being interviewed, did he know how much media attention his famous "run the table" quote was going to get?

Of course he did. It was a highly calculated move by a team leader to send a message to his teammates he believed in them, and to take all the pressure off them and put it on himself. The message he sent Tuesday after practice was also calculated, but had a different meaning.

Daniel from Altoona, WI

Huh, interesting there Michael. I read your "Backup QB competition begins in earnest" article. At the end you say and I quote, "It'll be as real as it gets." I thought you said preseason games weren't for real? Maybe after your interview with Rodgers and the Gute you have since changed your mind. Because they seem to think preseason matters and so do I.

Huh, interesting there Dan, because the full line at the end of the story reads, "It'll be as real as it gets at this point," and when I've commented that the preseason doesn't matter, that's as it pertains to front-line, proven veterans and any predictive value for how a team will perform in the regular season. But thanks for reading.

Daniel from Delta, PA

I completely understand the player safety aspect but can't help but feel saddened by a dive now being treated as a slide. I've always loved that extra effort to get the ball to the marker (first down or end zone). It added some excitement. Have they made an emphasis in training camp concerning the new rule for diving, or is it something they will just let play out as the season goes on?

It's irrelevant in camp because there's no live tackling. There's still a distinction being made, I believe, between a player diving for a first down/touchdown, and a player giving himself up. The gray area will come with scrambling QBs, who are afforded extra protection, in the middle of the field near the first-down marker. The way I read the new rule, they're going to have to run the ball past the marker before diving or sliding or they'll likely be marked short. If they're diving for the sideline first-down marker, or for the goal line or pylon, it won't be seen as a protective surrender move.

Amy from Bayport, MN

The Browns traded Corey Coleman to the Bills. With that transaction, their current roster does not include a single first-round pick made between 2009 and 2016. During that stretch, Cleveland had two more picks than the Packers, including four selections in the top eight and none lower than 22nd. The Packers' earliest selection was 21st (with the exception of B.J. Raji at No. 9 in 2009). Yet those selections include Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Nick Perry, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, and Kenny Clark. Wow.

Indeed. John Dorsey's fallout in Kansas City, and Brian Gutekunst getting the GM job here over Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith, might have been the best thing to happen to the Browns.

Curt from Westby, WI

"Summer snaps" made me wonder if the Packers are gambling on the center position. Who do you see as the top backup and are you concerned about their depth at center?

If either Dillon Day or Austin Davis proves he belongs, more power to him and the position. If not, the versatility of guys like Lucas Patrick and Justin McCray (in an absolute pinch, assuming he's starting at guard) will come in handy. Let's play the four preseason games first.

Shay from Hattiesburg, MS

Do you think the ones will see more time during the preseason due to the offensive overhaul?

I doubt it.

The Packers conduct training camp practice on Tuesday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

It's probably been asked before, but I don't specifically remember either the question or the answer. When you build your practice squad after the roster trimming do you put the 10 BAP on it, keep it stocked with reserves for thin positions, a combination of both, or other?

It's generally a combination of the best players who could help if necessary and the players projected to have the biggest upside who might not yet be ready.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Sorry fellas, I don't know if you can be paper. Nobody covers the Rock.

Then what beats Rock? Nothing beats Rock.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

When a UDFA or a young player that hasn't made the 53 yet goes on IR, does that in effect guarantee their salary for the year? Is the choice whether to waive someone with an injury settlement or put them on IR essentially a decision to pay them for a year in order to give them another shot next time around?

Partly, but young players often have split contracts that pay a fraction of their salary should they go on IR.

Bruce from Bloomington, IL

Congratulations to 64 for his long overdue call to the Hall and the class that he exhibited in his appearance. However, the Insider Inbox has toyed with the speculations of many now about the best Packer not yet enshrined. Where's the love for Verne Lewellen? Our own esteemed historian presented an interesting case that Lewellen was a more deserving member than Kramer. Butler, Sharpe, OK...but let's not forget the historical roots of the franchise that has so few living witnesses.

Cliff's argument for Lewellen is compelling, to be sure. But for all the time Cliff was on the Hall of Fame selection committee, if he wasn't able to get anyone to take another serious look then, there's no way it'll occur now, unfortunately. I didn't bring him up because it's simply not going to happen.

Tyler from Portland, OR

Oh my goodness, stop clutching your pearls about TO. I mean, Ray Lewis has blood on his hands but nobody seems to care about that.

Did I mention Lewis in any of my Hall of Fame coverage? Didn't think so.

David from San Francisco, CA

With respect to your comment about Jimmy Graham claimed by a particular team in a "potential" HOF induction, what would you think would happen should a player have 15 HOF seasons spread about five teams, three years each? Would he be a Saint?

I don't know, but up to four teams would look pretty dumb.

David from Daphne, AL

Grew up in Wisconsin; lifelong Packer fan. I lived in Green Bay for one year when I was a senior in high school, 1996. What a year to live in Green Bay! I live in Alabama now. My neighbor happens to be Hunter Bradley's uncle. Hoping to have another Packer fan on my street this season. What are your thoughts and observations on the battle at long snapper?

It won't be decided in practice unless someone really messes up, which hasn't happened. I expect them to split the long snaps in the games, and the most consistent performer will emerge.

Adilson from Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Mike, I just wanted to take a moment to say that as much as you love baseball and your Brewers, I'm grateful you somehow still became "our" writer. As a Packers fan I never take that for granted.

Very kind of you to say. Even though baseball is my first love, I consider myself immensely blessed and fortunate to have this job, and I'd never take it for granted, either.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Guys, we've all been hearing the hype about our defensive line and how dominant we could potentially be. Do you think opposing teams that we're facing this year are spending a little extra time game-planning to neutralize that? Seems to me if they think our D-line will be in their QB's lap all day, they might just go with the short slant passes and three-step drops. How do you think we will be able to capitalize on that scenario?

Take a chance jumping a route, get hands up in the passing lanes, and make tackles. But it's never that simple.

Eric from Baker, FL

As an Ole Miss fan, I'm interested in the signing of Judd. I always liked his running style in college. Any first impressions of him?

He carries the 225 well and it looks like a powerful 225.

Glenn from Muskego, WI

Has the "move Clay Matthews to inside linebacker" movement started in the Inbox yet?

I don't know. Let me check.

Philip from Fishers, IN

Do you foresee Pettine using Matthews as an ILB at all like Capers did? I won't pretend to know everything about NFL defenses and their many packages and sub-packages, but is that a possibility? Outside of Matthews, Perry and Martinez, I don't think we have any other linebackers with much or any NFL experience.

The shortage of proven edge rushers makes a Matthews move inside unlikely to me, barring (heaven forbid) an injury to Martinez. When Matthews moved inside previously in 2014-15, the Packers also had (in addition to Perry) a star-caliber player in Peppers, plus Neal and a transitioning Datone Jones, all with various pelts on the wall. I think the defense will need Matthews on the edge until at least two from the group of Fackrell, Gilbert, Biegel, Odom and Donnerson prove they can be impact players.

Mitchell from Hazel Green, WI

Tell us something you do regularly on the job that most of us don't know and may be surprised by.

That's tough, because there's almost nothing I do that doesn't have my name and/or face on it. Regardless, I always look at it that way.

Tristan from Durham, NC

To help with August, I've written a template: "What are (PLAYER)'s chances of making the final roster? He had a great (SACK/TACKLE/PICK/CATCH) against (TEAM), but I know it's a crowded competition for (POSITION), so I was hoping to hear your thoughts. What does (PLAYER) have to do to make the cut?" Have a happy preseason, everyone!

Very helpful. Much appreciated.

Nate from Victoria, Canada

I've got high hopes for the potential of this team but back-to-back divisional opponents to start the season has me concerned. This Bears team is gonna be much tougher than last year and with a new head coach, we're definitely gonna be in for some surprises. I feel that with the Vikings coming to town the following week, beating the Bears is of utmost importance. I know it's one week at a time but the thought of an 0-2 start against the division at home is hard to get out of my mind. Am I nuts?

T-minus 32 days and counting. Happy Wednesday.