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Inbox: It's a whole different world on a day-to-day basis

Decisions with young players take into account multiple angles

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

Owen from Sandpoint, ID

Mike is showing his age by the WKRP and Mr. Magoo references. I love it.

Just keepin' it real, yo. See, doesn't work.

Mary Ann from Black Mountain, NC

How many players travel to Cincinnati? Is it as many as the team wants to watch and pay for, or is there a league limit on a number at this point in the preseason?

The league limit is the roster limit. Even players who aren't practicing are here with the team because a lot of meetings and other activities are being conducted.

Ed from Windsor, CO

What have you learned new about Cincinnati or the Bengals?

I had no idea the Bengals practiced amidst all the highway/interstate traffic right next to their stadium. The atmosphere of the whole deal is such a different feel in a big city compared to Green Bay.

Paula from Apple Valley, MN

Who most surprised you in the joint practice with the Bengals (either better/worse than expected)?

I wasn't too surprised by anything, honestly. The Packers' offense and defense were on separate fields, and I stayed on the offensive side. Cincinnati's defensive front is really tough. That's a salty bunch, as Larry would say. They made it difficult to run the ball. Pass protection held up OK for the most part, Zach Tom and Jon Runyan in particular. Bo Melton was a standout with the reserve units. Wes watched the defense and singled out Carrington Valentine for his day.

Thomas from New Berlin, WI

Do you feel Carrington Valentine will make the 53-man roster? Could he be just a preseason flash in the pan?

I firmly believe he's making the team. He's going to hit plenty of bumps in the road, but there's a ton of growth out there for him.

Jim from Wausau, WI

In regards to the two altercations Elgton Jenkins was involved in at Cincinnati, can the NFL dispense any fines in scrimmages like these? I assume in preseason games they can.

In preseason games, absolutely. In practices, I believe any potential discipline is up to the individual clubs, unless maybe it's something way out-of-line, egregious, intent-to-injure type of stuff, which Wednesday wasn't.

Don from Big Flats, WI

"Unscripted" in the rain. Tough game with tough guys. Awesome job. Any more planned?

Hopefully we're back in the comforts of our studio sooner than later. It's been too long.

Jeff from Los Feliz, CA

Hey guys, thanks for all the updates from camp. The battle for starting safety next to Darnell Savage has been very interesting to watch and it does look like Jonathan Owens has it as of today. My question is about DL depth. Are the Packers solely relying on two rookies for depth? I agree that they are showing promise and look like gems based on where they were drafted, but isn't that a bit risky?

Perhaps, but as I've said before, the Packers have deployed plenty of veterans in the past and still struggled to stop the run, so I don't fault taking a new approach. The cap doesn't allow for experienced depth everywhere anyway, and young guys just stay young guys if they don't play. A team that plays a base 3-4 is most likely only going to have six defensive linemen on the 53. The Packers' top three are Kenny Clark, Devonte Wyatt and T.J. Slaton. The two rookie draft picks, Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks, will take two backup spots. Jonathan Ford, a seventh-rounder from last year, and Chris Slayton, a practice-squad holdover, are the leading candidates for a sixth spot.

Andy from Appleton, WI

Hello II! Spoff said that his observations on Jordan Love, thus far at camp, had some ups and downs, "yikes" as well as "wows." How has he looked relative to last year?

It's an impossible and irrelevant comparison. He's QB1 now, taking way more reps than previously and working with the first unit (linemen and receivers) all camp long. It's a whole different world on a day-to-day basis.

David from Savage, MN

II, Rodgers used to say he'd try something in practice – fit a tight throw, change throwing motion, etc. – because it was a safe place to try that vs. a game. Do you see Love having the same approach? Knowing he has a safer throw but attempting something more risky to see if it works?

I can't get inside his head, and while I'd concede he probably has done that on occasion, his focus primarily is on getting the offense running smoothly, making the right checks and protection calls at the line, and going through his progressions. A Hall of Famer might be able to turn the practice field into an experimental laboratory, but a new QB1 isn't there yet.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Good morning. Hard to remember the last time our starting QB played in the first preseason game. I heard 10 may break the trend. Safe to assume our starting OL, maybe with the exception of 69, will also be out there? Will the Cincy game finally give us the pecking order at the key positions? GPG!

Love won't be out there without the starting offensive line in front of him, with the possible exception, as you said, of David Bakhtiari. As far as where things stand with the depth chart, the more revealing piece is not the pecking order in the game itself, but who's taking which reps in the first practice next week, after the Cincinnati film has been reviewed.

TK from Grafton, WI

It's third down. You need one yard, straight ahead. Which Packer offensive lineman is the most powerful, aggressive, snot bubbler to run behind?

Elgton Jenkins.

Grey from Lambertville, NJ

Hey Mike! Your live blog of the games is such a Godsend for those of us fans who unfortunately live outside the geographic area which allows for live viewing of the games on TV or radio. My question is this: Sometimes life gets in the way of following the live blog live. It would be so great to be able to go through the live blog after the game in order to better understand what actually happened. Is there any way each live blog can be left up on the website for a longer time to allow that?

I believe it is left up for a while. It might be difficult to find after all our postgame content piles up on the site, but it should still be available.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Good morning II, how much pressure is there on a coach and GM to keep a draft pick in the organization when the player's skills are really questionable in comparison to another player at that position?

I wouldn't call it pressure, but more looking at all the factors. How much more development is projected in the draft pick? Is that still out there, or is it just not happening? If another player is better now, what's his path from here? Decisions with young players take into account multiple angles.

Josh from Seattle, WA

The scheme questions about 3-4 and Tariq Carpenter make me think there's an opportunity for a 4-3 package with him at strong-side linebacker covering TEs/RBs in man converge, and a four-man front that can have all sort of variety to it with the athletes we have at DL/OLB. If they were to use that package, do you think it would be put on film in preseason?

I doubt it.

The Green Bay Packers held a walkthrough practice at Paycor Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 10, a day before their Week 1 preseason matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

What kind of rotation will we see at the safety position this season?

I'm not anticipating a rotation, unless one of the starters falters. The Packers will decide on their starters and roll with them until other decisions might need to be made.

David from Gwinn, MI

Remember the preseason ('07?) where Atari Bigby seemingly showed up out of nowhere, launching his entire body at ball carriers? He got the apt nickname from his grandma, atari, a Japanese word meaning "to hit a target." I hope one of the safeties similarly shows up this preseason.

Big hits make for good highlights, but the Packers are looking for consistency and reliability at that position more than anything. Be in the right place and make the plays that are there.

Mitch from Madison, VA

Hello II, we always hear about how whoever is covering a TE is a mismatch, a DB is too small, and LB is too slow. So who matches with a TE? I would think De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker would be the perfect size and speed to cover TEs. Am I missing something?

Most teams, including the Packers, have the right type of defenders to cover typical tight ends. The problem is trying to match up with the elite guys, like Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller, etc. They're a mismatch for everybody, because their size-speed combination is just different, requiring schematic adjustments and varied approaches.

Steven from Oak Creek, WI

With Love taking the helm this season, what can we expect to see with Aaron Jones' and AJ Dillon's production in the run game?

Well, in 2021 they combined for 1,602 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs. Last year, those numbers were 1,891 and nine, and frankly, I didn't think they got the ball nearly enough. A combined 2,000 rushing yards and double-digit rushing TDs is not only realistic but practically a necessity for this offense to be successful.

Jacob from Brighton, MI

Will the Packers have the youngest average age starting offense in the NFL Week 1?

Interesting question. It's entirely possible. But I have no way to figure it out on my own. If Yosh Nijman (27), Tyler Davis (26) and/or Josiah Deguara (26) end up starting, the average won't be as young as it might otherwise be.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Forgive me but three things. 1. If Carrington Valentine continues to impress the happiest person may just be Mel Kiper Jr. 2. I've been hoping that Jordan Love would be more than a game manager but when I read that the Packers are 33-3 under Coach LaFleur when they win the turnover battle, I changed my mind. Just win the game. 3. Winning a starting job for Week 1 is much less important than retaining a starting job. Go Pack!

No lies detected.

Jason from Austin, TX

We all know there are 90 players competing to make the final 53. However, most of that 53-man roster is set as the Packers obviously aren't cutting Love, Watson, Alexander, etc. How many of the 53 are actually open spots? 10? I'll leave out the math, but that's a lot of players competing for the final 10 spots (give or take). Good luck to the players. I trust they'll arrive at their rightful destination regardless of this outcome in a few weeks.

Going through the roster and quickly counting, I get less than 10 spots that are really up for grabs, if you don't include two specialist positions that are in competition but will presumably require someone to make it.

Mark from West Des Moines, IA

Which Packer players do you expect to see the most improvement from, since last season, going into this season?

Compared to last season, among players I expect to play prominent roles this season, the ones I've seen the most improvement from in practice are (in no particular order) Devonte Wyatt, T.J. Slaton, Zach Tom, Quay Walker, Samori Toure and Jordan Love.

Bryce from Lorain, OH

I'm bringing my kids to their first Packer game tomorrow night, and we're all very excited! I'm not concerned about winning or losing (even though my kids would love a W), I'm more interested in seeing how the starting defense and offense will look as well as some of the battles for the starter positions. What are some things we should be on the lookout for during the game? Player standouts? Play schemes? Thank you.

I'm posting a story later this morning listing a few such topics. Thanks for the tease opportunity, and hope your kids enjoy the game.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

So Mike, you're on the road for a 7 p.m. game but you've got to do Inbox so it's no sleeping in for you. Wes on the other hand has got the shades drawn and is snoozing away in his own private suite. Anything up your sleeve to make the comfortable, uncomfortable?

I never sleep all that well on the road anyway, so I'm glad by the time everyone's reading Saturday's Inbox – which I'll be writing postgame on the plane ride back – I'll be home again. Happy Friday.

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