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Inbox: Now it's impossible not to notice him

If he can help on special teams …

LB Isaiah McDuffie
LB Isaiah McDuffie

Megan from Minnetonka, MN

Who else is ready for the regular season to start?

You can't see it, but I'm raising my hand.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Well Spoff, what might we have missed last night? PS: Can't wait for that segment to return. It's always enlightening.

It'll be back soon enough, but I thought Jordan Love took another step. Yeah, there were a couple of throws he should've hit, but Romeo Doubs, Samori Toure and Amari Rodgers all had catchable balls for big plays that got away. Love didn't hesitate and made some high-quality deliveries downfield. I also liked what the left side of the offensive line did on those nice runs by Tyler Goodson in the second quarter. Those cutback lanes kept getting wider, and that's the best the Packers' ground game has looked this summer.

Steve from Algoma, WI

I saw everything I needed to see from Jordan Love tonight. The Packers' future at QB is bright. But I need to see more from special teams. How would you grade that? The future at special teams is…hazy? Stormy?

I'm drawing no conclusions. Bisaccia has work to do, but he'll dive in with plenty of gusto. I maintain he's looking for the guys he can count on, and the ones he can't won't be out there. I suspect all the changing personnel – giving guys tryouts, per se – led to the number problems.

Andrew from Burke, VA

Do you think any of the USFL guys have a solid shot at making the final 53? Micah Abernathy sure seemed to make himself known during yesterday's game. I'll be curious to see if he can stack some days from here.

Me, too. He made a couple of very athletic plays and if he can help on special teams, he'll go from longshot to has-a-shot.

Jake from Decatur, GA

Watching the Saints game, as a total know-nothing, I got the sense the wheat and the chaff on the roster are starting to separate. Do you think Gutey's job got easier or harder last night?

I don't think it's ever easy, and the preseason games aren't the be-all, end-all. They do provide the clues as to who might get claimed, though, and that always factors into the final analysis.

John from Dakota Dunes, SD

Whatever else Danny Etling does in his NFL career, he will be able to tell his grandchildren about the night he ran 51 yards for a touchdown that Aaron Rodgers described as almost reaching 18½ miles per hour!

Those wheels were impressive. Even more so was hearing from LaFleur after the game that he turned the play into a read-option on his own. Takes some guts for a guy in his spot, and he made it work, big-time.

Barbara from Duluth, MN

Aaron had on a headset with a microphone during game. Who is he communicating with?

I believe the offensive coaches up in the booth and others on the sideline. They're all on the same channel.

Tim from Grand Rapids, MI

Isaiah McDuffie is absolutely FOR REAL! A man on a mission! Proud of him!

I don't know if I've ever seen a proverbial Year 1 to Year 2 jump this dramatic before from a player who's not a starter or in the regular rotation from scrimmage. McDuffie was barely heard from as a rookie and now it's impossible not to notice him.

Chad from La Crosse, WI

Is Caleb Jones the first guy off the bus?

I don't know but he's getting noticed for more than just his size. With that, the rest of this column is focused on pre-game thoughts and I promise to dive into more questions from the game in Monday's column. Thanks for understanding.

Mark from Burnt Hill, New Brunswick

Hi Mike, (I'm previously Mark from Regina) I thought I'd congratulate you on Kelsey's pre-game anthem success. Obviously, I write this a few hours before the event, but I do so for a reason. My daughter, Caelegh, was asked to perform the Canadian national anthem for the Toronto Maple Leafs for a preseason game a while back. I think, (know) I was more of a wreck than she was, for days on end. She did great, I'm sure Kelsey will too!

Dad was definitely more nervous than daughter, but she nailed it and it made for the memory of a lifetime for all of us. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and acknowledgement. Please trust everything was read and appreciated.

Marty from Rexford, MT

Is there any video available of the singing of the National Anthem last night?

I'm working on it.

Paul from Andover, KS

The other day you mentioned the GM has the final call on player personnel but what about coaching staff? Does ML get to choose his staff entirely or the process is similar to players where the GM gets final say?

The head coach hires his staff. They all report to him, not the GM.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

Do you think we will eventually have preseason games where the quarterbacks wear a red jersey?

Wouldn't shock me.

Rick from Shawano, WI

What would your take be on dropping the third preseason game?

It's going to happen when the league goes to 18 regular-season games, be it in the next CBA or the one after that.

Brandon from Kronenwetter, WI

Glad to see that despite a rough start in 2016, a young Wes was able to grind his way up the depth chart and earn Spoff's trust, and eventually become half of the powerhouse duo we know today. If not for Spoff's tough love and leadership, and Wes's willingness to accept Spoff's wisdom and expertise and grow from it, we may never have gotten to see young Wes's true potential.

Trust me, Wes didn't need a shepherd. He stood out ahead of the flock all on his own.

William from Fairhope, AL

We are always disappointed when our anticipation is met by the reality of our question to II "not making the cut." Is it possible that my question was considered for publication the day it was received, but was caught up in a group of higher quality or more pertinent questions – and may still appear the next day? Or was it flushed down the drain, never to be seen again?

I'm invoking Rule No. 1 here.

Eric from Mequon, WI

When in a press conference or interview, which clichés drive you crazy? For me, I get so sick of hearing the term "each and every day." Some players use that at the end of every sentence and it's gotten so I can hardly stand the term. You have to have a few that just make your skin crawl.

Not to that extent, but I do get tired of hearing "obviously" in just about every other sentence. It's just one of those words that creeps in without the speaker realizing it.

Ben from Minneapolis, MN

By my research, an offensive lineman has NEVER won an NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. If Elgton Jenkins returns this season with a Pro Bowl performance, I think he would deserve some serious consideration.


Rob from Louisville, CO

When Aaron Rodgers talks about not running the right route, does he mean the receiver literally just got the play wrong? Or, did the receiver have options, had to decide based on the coverage, and didn't make the right adjustment?

Most often the latter.

Nick from Chippewa Falls, WI

I feel like Kurt Warner may have been a roster cut that went on to do great things, but what would the Packers have done with him anyways?

Warner can be forever grateful the Packers cut him. Favre never missed a game, so when was he going to show what he had? Instead, Warner went to a team whose starting QB blew out his knee in a preseason game, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Gary from Bealeton, VA

In the LaFleur offense (so far) it has been reliant on a strong TE room, maybe even more so than the WR room. How do you feel about the state of our TEs and do you feel they may be in for as many opportunities in the passing game as the WRs this year?

I don't know about that. The tight ends are a big part of this offense, but I don't see their production in the passing game increasing dramatically. As we've been saying for months now, the running backs are definitely going to be more involved this year. Jones and Dillon combined for 86 receptions last year in the regular season. I could envision that increasing by 30% or so.

Jim from Roscoe, IL

A lot of talk about the percentage of two-back sets in the offensive playbook this year. With the drop-off in talent after Jones and Dillon, is there concern that an injury to one of those two could eliminate a large portion of the offense?

There's plenty of playbook to draw from, but I think not having both of those guys available would eliminate some of the best and most creative stuff in there.

Chuck from Benton, KY

How hard is it for a lineman to switch sides? The Packers are going to London. Try driving on the "wrong" side of the road!

On the wrong side of the car, too.

Mike from Niles, IL

Thanks, Wes, for mentioning Billy Howton, Tobin Rote and Bobby Dillon. They were enough to turn a little seventh grader, listening to Packer games on Sunday afternoons in his bedroom on the radio into a lifelong, staunch Packer fan, with the "occasional" great play or unexpected win.

Seeing Wes's comment about the '50s prompted me to look at the Packers' prominent players in 1958. The list includes Howton and Dillon, plus McGee, Bullough, Gregg, Kramer, Ringo, Parilli, Starr, Hornung, Taylor, Hanner, Currie, Forester, Nitschke, Gremminger, and Whittenton. Granted, many of them were very young then, but that collection of talent produced the worst season in team history (1-10-1). Talent is paramount, but it can't get it done alone. Leadership matters in this game.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

I love the radio broadcast being available on the website. Will that be the case during the regular season?

That's the hope and the plan.

Tim from West Bend, WI

Hey guys, just wondering what you thought of the Deion Sanders comment on the Hall of Fame allowing anyone that had a good career into the Hall of Fame instead of just elite players.

I do think the standards have changed somewhat, but the HOF selection committee is not just letting in anyone who had a "good career." Different angles are being considered. The best of the best for a long time, like Sanders, are who they are. But I don't have a problem inducting players who had extended, impressive careers but maybe weren't considered the absolute best at their positions, nor those who were among the very best but for shorter durations. Sanders has a point there are different levels of Hall of Famers, but if the Hall inducted only players like him, there might be only a dozen guys per decade, and the Hall wants to celebrate more players than that. I think it should.

Dan from Green Bay, WI

In regard to the Lawrence Guy and Taysom Hill question, I have a comment and question. Since every coin has two sides shouldn't we also look at the reverse situation? How many times has our personnel department plucked other teams' castoffs who turned out to be pretty special? One only needs look to last year with Campbell and Douglas to see we do pretty well. It seems to me Gutey hovers around a plus-one or plus-two each year. Your thoughts?

I concur.

Doug from Neenah, WI

"Until they know you care, they don't really care what you know." Sounds like a new slogan for those elusive Insider Inbox T-shirts. Or is it we-shirts?

Please see yourself out.

Riley from Waukesha, WI

In the extraordinarily unlikely scenario this gets published, can we the "insiders" of Insider Inbox agree to go on strike and submit zero questions until Jen writes the Inbox for one day? Or...would we just be giving Mike and Wes what they want? Hmm...

This is getting out of hand.

Nik from Moore, SC

· You guys seem like you need a break. I'll go ahead and answer the next two weeks' worth of questions now.

· We will know how many people make the team at each position on Aug 30.

· We will know which players make the team that same day.

· DBak will be back when the medical team says he can play.

· Coaches will start the best players where they think they excel.

· Mistakes are made at practice. That's the point of it.

· 88 is just a number.

· The baloney stops Sept 11.

· Because of 12.

Have a great weekend, everyone.