Powered by

Inbox: It's always a big deal

Jordy Nelson routinely made the impossible look probable


Mike from Baraboo, WI

Should be a great year no matter the final wins and losses. What are you most looking forward to with the kickoff to a new season?

Youthful vigor. Obviously, the pressure is going to get turned up next week, but I loved the energy of this locker room this summer. Green Bay vs. Everybody, baby. Also, before we dive into things, a quick note on Murphy Takes 5. The September edition of MT5 will occur on the second Saturday (Sept. 9) to coincide with the Packers' season getting underway on Sunday, Sept. 10. OK, let's continue with the II questions.

Greg from Downers Grove, IL

We are a week away from our opener at and against our biggest rival. To this point, I am not seeing much banter regarding the rivalry. And also, how big of a game is beating a division rival early in the season? What bulletin-board material and what is the feel in the locker room about this game? Go Pack Go!

Once the Packers get back in town, I think you'll hear more about the game and rivalry, but I wouldn't expect much "bulletin-board material." Not on this side, anyway. But just because there isn't trash talk going on doesn't mean it isn't a big game. Everyone knows the stakes. It's the Bears. It's always a big deal.

John from Rhinelander, WI

I love football and I love the Green Bay Packers! I can hardly wait for the first regular-season game now that some of the dust has settled. Who do you think might surprise us with their play this season, barring injuries of course, from your observations at practice?

T.J. Slaton is my guy. I thought he had a tremendous camp and can't wait to see what he'll do in an expanded role this year. You just don't find a lot of 330-pound men who move with Slaton's ease and explosiveness. His ability to anchor against the run from the one-tech spot is going to be a linchpin for this defense.

Barry from Green Bay, WI

It appears the national media are trying to stir the pot over the Packers' interest in acquiring Jonathan Taylor. They are making it out that Aaron Jones should feel slighted that he gave back $5 million per year, but the Packers are willing to pay JT. Isn't it happening throughout the league and isn't it the GM's responsibility to build the best team possible? The goal for all should be Super Bowl and nothing less. Jones should see it wasn't a cut on him but a shot at adding an elite talent. Correct?

This is such a non-story. Trust me.

Jason from Austin, TX

I've seen his highlights plenty of times, and every time I do, I'm in awe of his speed and ability to catch anything remotely close to him. Jordy Nelson was a true gem. I guess I need to stop wishing he'll put his cleats back on and play again! Congratulations to both Jordy and Sitton! I couldn't be happier for them.

Nelson was one of the most natural pass-catchers I've ever seen. He routinely made the impossible look probable, especially with some of his sideline catches. When you factor in the sixth sense Nelson had playing with Aaron Rodgers, I don't know if we'll ever see anyone quite like him again.

The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. inducted former Packers WR Jordy Nelson and G Josh Sitton at the 52nd Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on Aug. 31, 2023, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

Damien from Perth, Australia

Would it surprise anyone if Jayden Reed becomes the WR1 by the end of the year? Looked really solid during the preseason games and hasn't taken Jordan Love long to look for him going long.

I care more about wins than rankings.

Paula from Apple Valley, MN

Just watched Jordy's and Josh's Packers HOF speeches. Were you able to be there in person? If so, how many tissues did you need?

I knew the tears would be flowing with Josh Sitton and James Campen, but I wasn't ready for the Nelson waterworks. That's a side of Jordy I'd never seen.

Nate from Naples, FL

Lads, now that he's made the 53, will Daniel Whelan be assigned a proper punter's number? Or is No. 41 the new "88"?

Whelan is now wearing No. 19.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Looks like it's going to be 40 UDFAs in the last 19 years? Hats off to Ted and Gute. Going a bit farther I think the scouts deserve much of the credit. They're the ones that put in the miles, they watch the games and practices. They talk to the coaches, the player, and teammates. And they're the ones in the meetings and draft room that fight for their players. They deserve a hats off, as well.

It takes a village…and a lot of airline miles.

Jake from Decatur, GA

We've heard a lot about Gutekunst's comment that the younger roster, although a long-term investment, hasn't changed his short-term "expectations." But he also said something I found really insightful about youth being an advantage in itself – and not just because we're faster now. As Gutey said, winning in this league depends a lot on getting better every week, and that's naturally easier when you've got a young, coachable team. I'd love to get your thoughts on that.

Improvement is an endless grind. While young teams may take their lumps early on, you've seen players such as Kenny Clark, Christian Watson, Jaire Alexander and so many others come into their own during the last stretch of their rookie seasons. That's what makes this year so intriguing and why patience must be paramount in September.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Mike, if the dust has finally settled on the initial roster, it appears the Packers have 76 players under their control, including the IR and PUP. Do all 76 players count against the cap? Anyone else in the wings? Did Jonathan Ford show up somewhere?

Ford cleared waivers and is back on the practice squad. Everyone on the roster gets paid right now and it all counts towards the cap. The Packers can reach an injury settlement with anyone on IR if the two sides come to an agreement, but everyone on the roster, practice squad and reserve lists counts towards the cap.

Tucker from Belton, TX

Mike's answer of, "When play movement goes strongly in one direction, the back side effectively becomes the middle of the field," was perfect. My favorite thing about football is that in scheming and play-calling there are no absolutes. Everything shifts and changes in real time. That's what makes football, and in particular the QB position, so difficult and entertaining.

Football really is the greatest sport on earth. Every play is a moving chessboard.

Mike from Cottage Grove, MN

The only game Jordan Love started was in KC. They blitzed a lot making his day miserable. I've seen it said that the NFL is a copycat league. Do you see the Bears doing the same against Jordan Love in Week 1?

It's possible, but Love was also making a spot start under less-than-ideal circumstances. Love undoubtedly will see more looks from defenses, but he's also a completely different quarterback than he was two years ago.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, since Alex McGough is signed on the practice squad, can he (or will he) return to the USFL where he was very successful?

As long as he's under contract, McGough is a Green Bay Packer. What's more, this is where he wants to be. Everything McGough did the past two years was to earn another shot at the NFL. He has that now.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Guys, if a team is really successful with the "tush push" play, say three yards per push, can you see a team using it continuously, not just third-and-1 and fourth-and-1?

Sure, if they wanna get their quarterback hurt.

Steve from Seven Devils, NC

In response to a question yesterday, "No Packers players were claimed. Only about two dozen players were claimed league-wide." What about Shemar Jean-Charles signed by the 49ers?

Jean-Charles signed to San Francisco's practice squad, which is his prerogative after going unclaimed. But that's different from the waiver wire.

Steve from Appleton, WI

When thinking about a situation like Ben Sims', what does he do about housing when arriving on such short notice? I guess that applies to other players that move from team to team or are on a team for only a short time. Do teams provide lodging in these kinds of situations? Are there properties controlled by the team that they rent, etc.?

The Packers will hook the player up with a hotel until he finds his own place. Player engagement has a deep rolodex of contacts for apartments and whatnot. It's a pretty seamless process.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

Are unsuccessful waiver claims known after-the-fact? For example, do the Packers' brass know if any teams lower in the claim order submitted a claim for the players the Packers picked up?

It's all on the personnel wire.

Paul from West Allis, WI

Good day. Do all of you (including John Kuhn) still get to see all practices or are there limits? And have the Inbox winners had their lunches yet? Just asking because I'm feeling hungry.

We are back to regular-season rules with practice, and that's fine by me. Spoff and I have plenty of other work to get done. And yes, we did have our lunch. Spoff and I had a great time. We hope to do it again someday.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

It is okay to be a vocabularian, Wes, but please eschew obfuscation.

How could you be so obtuse?

Michael from Alameda, CA

Dear II, I was personally glad to see Wes use the word "plethora" the other day. It means a lot... (seeing myself out)

Enjoy the last weekend of 2023 without football.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join Packers.com writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox


Action Needed: Update your Packers Mobile App!

Fans attending any games during the 2023 season should update their Packers mobile app due to important upgrades and enhancements.