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Inbox: No gimmicks. Just 'Greatness.'

Gear up, Packers fans. Training camp is here

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Team huddle

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

Welcome back Weston. I hope you and your family are well. If you worked on some stories while away, I will be looking forward to reading them.

Only one. I had the privilege of speaking with LeRoy Butler again on Friday. We'll have a not-so-secret story running on the soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer next week. Otherwise, I was in total rest-and-recombobulation mode.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

So how was the soccer match?

I wasn't at the game, but my wife and I brought our son down to the pre-game festivities. It was an amazing vibe down by the stadium. Unfortunately, we came up short trying to get into Manchester City's pre-game party, but we did manage to sneak a pic with the Premier League trophy. So, our kiddo had that going for him…which is nice.

Andrew from Burke, VA

Props to Allen Johnson and team for keeping up field appearance no matter the sporting event. I struggle to keep grass growing in my backyard with a dog. So, I can only imagine the level of effort that goes into each event, especially during the regular season.

I constantly think about that. Allen and his team are wizards.

Gerry from Richmond, VA

I notice that several folks speak of expectations. I remember Vic saying on many occasions that we should have hopes but not expectations – because expectations imply that something should happen because we deserve it. That sense of entitlement creates much more angst, anger, and disappointment when we don't get what we believe we should.

Longfellow couldn't have said it better. There's true iron in Vic's words. While expectations set you up for disappointment, hope is the seed that can germinate into something special. It feels good to finally get back to football.

Anthony from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Is it unusual for a team to start the season with nine players on the PUP list? That's nearly 20% of the 53-man roster.

Good thing the roster is at 90 then.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

What's with all the players on the PUP list? Seems like we haven't even started yet and already we are all banged up?

It's the protocol. Every year, there are guys who start on physically unable to perform or non-football injury and are activated soon after training camp begins. It's also the only way for players to be available for regular-season PUP. So, I expected it with several Packers players, especially those returning from anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

Arnie from Kirkwood, MO

First, congratulations to all of those that received promotions from within the Packers organization! Next, how concerned should we be with Christian Watson and David Bakhtiari being on the PUP list? Thank you.

I'm not concerned about any of the PUP guys at this point. I get the angst over Bakhtiari but how about we hear the head coach says first? Crazy idea, I know. Some of y'all are reading the movie description on Netflix and wanting to offer reviews. Just let me watch the film. I'm in the same boat with Watson. A month ago, people were fussing about his contract and then he signs last week and it's all over. We have six months of football in front of us, folks. I'll be concerned when it's time to be concerned.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Wes, Spoff wrote about Bak holding his own in 2013 against Clay Matthews. Do you remember seeing any rookies really standing out in camp that weren't top picks?

What Bakhtiari did his rookie year in 2013 was truly special but there always are late-round picks and undrafted rookies who surprise against starter-level competition. Micah Hyde was like that, too, in 2013. Corey Linsley did it a year later. I also remember Penn's Greg Van Roten winning more one-on-one reps than any other offensive lineman in 2012. Between the lines, it's all football. That's the beauty of camp.

Take a look at photos of the first-ever soccer match at Lambeau Field between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester City on Saturday, July 23, 2022.

John from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Insider: I think you might owe Eric from Florida a bit of an apology. No doubt, playing in the NFL is a physical grind. But working 60-70 hours a week 52 weeks a year and making less than a 10th of the league minimum, we'll it can be challenging to understand that $660,000 is not enough.

With all due respect to all of you – who I assume are all hard-working, driven people – any argument about NFL players/pay that starts with "I work…" is not an argument. It's not even apples and oranges. There is no comparison between what any of us do for a living and a professional athlete at all.

Jeff from Cedarburg, WI

With all the talk of alternative uniforms and helmets, I truly believe that less successful franchises will change their uniforms more frequently to try and create a new "era" for the franchise. Much like the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks have done multiple times over the course of their history. The reason the Packers uniform and legacy will never change is because they've never needed that "identity change." They've always been the Packers. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts are the Packers perfected the alternate uniform years ago with introducing throwbacks…and this current version is the best one yet. Personally, I'm not interested in alternate helmets. It's the Green Bay freaking Packers. No gimmicks. Just 'Greatness.'

Dave from Waterford, WI

Are any of the rookies looking like they'll be able to contribute this year?

Quay Walker is going to get a shot and I love what I've seen so far.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Do you think quarterbacks playing at a high level into their 40s will become the new norm? Most of the greats from years past (Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen) were pretty much shot by their mid-30s. Yet today I could see Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and obviously Tom Brady playing at an elite level well past 40. Is it less punishment dealt to today's QBs, better training or what?

I agree. The NFL has made so many rule changes to protect quarterbacks that I think you're going to see more and more play into their 40s, especially QBs such as Brady and Aaron Rodgers who are so diligent about their diet and training.

Rob from Denton, TX

AJ Dillon has to be one of the calmest, most levelheaded people on the planet. He handled what could have been a serious incident at the Manchester City game far more gracefully than a lot of others would have. It makes sense that he's the first result if you google "Mayor of Door County.

Hats off to Dillon, who has been an absolute gem of a human being since his arrival 2½ years ago. He is the best of us.

Paul from London, United Kingdom

Was that a near-capacity crowd at Lambeau for a soccer match? Did the crowd cheer and applaud at the right time? Did the crowd do "the wave"? Would Vic have allowed it to go ahead on his watch? Can we get on with the real deal now? Watching and waiting from afar, in great anticipation for the new season to bring new stories and new heroes to add to the folklore, the mystery and mystique that is part and parcel of The Green Bay Packers. GPG!

Again, I wasn't here but those I know who were in attendance mentioned how fans in the lower portion of the stands stood and cheered throughout the game. There was that contingent of fans who didn't even leave the bowl during the evacuation. It sounds like it was quite the atmosphere. But yes, it's time for (American) football again.

Mike from Franksville, WI

I was just checking out player bios in last year's media guide. Some players "signed as a free agent" while other players "signed as an unrestricted free agent." Could you tell me what the distinction is between the two? Does it depend on the time of year that a player signs?

Unrestricted free agents are veterans with at least four accrued NFL seasons. Being labeled as an "unrestricted free agent" signing simply means the player also counted towards the compensatory formula.

Brian from Maple Grove, MN

If you had to make a guess to start the season on who will be the starting RG/RT who would you pick? My guess is Sean Rhyan at RG and Royce Newman at RT.

I have no idea – and that's the most exciting part. You could show me seven or eight different lineups and I'd believe that it could be the Packers' starting five in Week 1. It is always fascinating to watch how quickly rookie linemen get up to speed, though. Bakhtiari cracked the starting lineup (at right tackle) during Family Night 2013. Newman did it a few weeks into camp last year. Ryan and Zach Tom undoubtedly will push those returning veterans this year, too.

Tom from Woodbury, MN

Many interceptions are caused by receivers not being where the QB expects them to be or balls bouncing off a receiver's hands. Rodgers has always been good about putting the ball where only the receiver has a chance to catch the ball. With a mostly new group of receivers, would you expect the number of interceptions to increase slightly? If so, the good thing is the Packers do have a defense capable of tamping down the change in momentum that results from an interception.

Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Equanimeous St. Brown, J'Mon Moore and Jake Kumerow were all new (for the most part) in 2018 and Aaron Rodgers threw just two interceptions on 597 pass attempts. So, no, I don't necessarily see a correlation between new receivers and Rodgers throwing more picks.

Mike from Casade, ID

Hi Wes, welcome back. Almost in pads! I'm looking forward to the camp reports on Quay Walker. There's a lot of focus on him and I'm sure an equal amount if pressure. Most people are reporting that coming from a big college program should help with the transition. This got me thinking: have you seen any college player who had the talent for the NFL but just not the maturity, emotional stability, or other factors to make the transition to the NFL?

Yes.

Larry from Owens Cross Roads, AL

In the late 1970s, I attended a high school football game between Green Bay East and West in a quagmire at Lambeau Field (the last or one of the last prep games played there). How did the field hold up after two "meteorological situations" during the match this weekend?

Just fine. Lambeau Field's filtration system is immaculate. It's quagmire-proof.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

Good morning! I will be attending the Annual Shareholders Meeting for the first time today. Any suggestions to improve the experience?

Dress light, wear sunscreen and just enjoy the day. Every Packers fan should go to at least one shareholders meeting.

Mike from Keshena, WI

I read Dave Robinson is selling some of his memorabilia. A quick story: My family was out for Friday fish fry about a dozen years ago. I recognized Dave Robinson sitting near us. He maybe heard my quick history lesson to the kids. He got up to go the salad bar and walked directly past our table. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned and it was Mr. Robinson and he says, "Hold this for me." and he drops his Super Bowl I ring into my hands. Way cool!

What a cool story…and now you can own it!

Bill from Clive, IA

Happy training camp week, Insiders! Got a question for bot' a youse guys. Do either of you regularly play the New York Times' Wordle game?

Nope. I enjoy a good Sudoku or Crossword as much as the next fella, but I don't give into fads. Maybe someday.

Colin from Milwaukee, WI

While an Interns Inbox might be unusual, I think it would be a great experience for interns and readers alike. The community would get a glimpse of what's to come from our future communications experts and the interns get to see their work read and dissected by an established, and sometimes fickle, audience. Heck, have 'em post it on an offseason Sunday. What's not to love?

There is a 0.0% chance of that ever getting approved.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Welcome back to the Insider Salt Mines, Wes. According to North Dakota State University, Christian Watson was its 10th player selected in the NFL Draft since 2014. Does that make him a Bison-tennial?

It's gonna be a long season.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

"Wes is back," the Inboxers cheer,

"With wit, wisdom, lunch and root beer."

Dead zone is past.

There's hope at last.

Gear up, fans! Training camp is here!

But at least we have Lori. Welcome to the 2022 season, Packers fans.

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