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Inbox: Once they adjust, their talent is their talent

Both will get plenty of scrutiny

TE Tucker Kraft
TE Tucker Kraft

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Is it proper to call a guy named Charlie, "Chuck," without Charlie's permission?

Wes's affinity for Peppermint Patty seeps through every once in a while.

Avida from Vienna, VA

So Mike, I noticed that Wes has been referring to you as "Michael" in recent "Unscripted" videos. What did you do? Fess up. I think a counter Weston or Westerly is in order to stop such shenanigans!

See what I mean?

Megan from Minnetonka, MN

Which rookie will have the biggest impact in Year 1?

I could envision it being any of the first four draft picks – Lukas Van Ness, Luke Musgrave, Jayden Reed or Tucker Kraft. Take your pick.

Matty from Durango, CO

Do rookies from top college teams have an inherent advantage in training camp, having already competed every day with many future NFL players? I have to think it takes a Tucker Kraft a while to get used to the speed and size of his teammates.

There's always a bigger adjustment for players coming from smaller schools, but they're drafted when they are because they dominated their competition, not just competed with it. Once they adjust, their talent is their talent.

James from Chippewa Falls, WI

Who will be the starting safeties?

It's far from decided. As of now, it would appear Darnell Savage has one spot and the other will be hotly contested amongst the two free agents (Tarvarius Moore and Jonathan Owens), two returnees (Ford and Innis Gaines) and two rookies (Anthony Johnson Jr. and Benny Sapp III).

Joel from Chalfont, PA

Is Jonathan Owens the next low-key signing to All-Pro player for the Gutey? If it happens three years in a row, should he get a raise, or a just set of steak knives?

Nicely done. Let's see if Owens wins the starting job first before ranking him with De'Vondre Campbell and Keisean Nixon as under-the-radar signings. But the current pro personnel department's track record certainly justifies the curiosity.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. Jonathan Owens, apparently the Packers' newest safety, is married to GOAT gymnast Simone Biles. The cute, posed photo of them together as he signs his contract is made even more interesting by the artwork on the wall behind them. It's Lombardi's offensive huddle but with Forrest Gregg lined up at right guard. What year was Jerry Kramer out with injuries and who played right tackle when Gregg moved over? Thanks.

In '61, Kramer injured an ankle midway through the season, Gregg moved over to right guard, and Norm Masters took over at right tackle. In '64, Kramer missed most of the season, but Gregg stayed at right tackle and Dan Grimm played right guard. I believe the artwork seen in that contract signing photo represents '61.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

My wife and I are planning on road tripping through the Midwest to visit family in August and are considering stopping in Green Bay for a preseason game. I was a little disappointed with the schedule release that we still don't know exactly when those will be to start planning our trip. Do you know when the dates and times for the preseason games will be announced?

Last year the preseason was finalized by the end of May.

Jason from Janesville, WI

I've seen it mentioned a couple of times in II that the Packers were slotted for four primetime games when Rodgers took the helm. My memory is a little fuzzy, but wasn't there a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding Rodgers' ascension with the Favre waffling? It seems to me that it's a little clearer this time that there will be a changing of the guard. Thanks for everything, II, it is a pleasure to read your column.

Back then, the schedule came out before the draft, and Favre had been retired for a little over a month. He didn't start making noises about un-retiring until a couple of months later.

Mike from Grovetown, GA

According to the web, after all the offseason movement, the Packers became the youngest team in the league, the Jets the oldest. What are your thoughts?

I'm not the least bit surprised. The Jets feel like they have an opportunity to win now, which also means there's no more waiting around based on the age of their roster. The Packers' younger shift on offense began last year and is continuing to an even greater degree in 2023.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

Our run defense is one of the worst in the league giving up 5 yards per attempt. Our defensive scheme utilizes only two defensive linemen on 80% of the snaps so I guess the poor run defense shouldn't be a surprise. If we're staying with this scheme, what has to happen to improve our run defense?

Players have to execute their responsibilities and get off blocks. Plenty of nickel defenses stop the run with two down linemen, two outside 'backers and two inside 'backers up front. Running plays rupture when a defender is trying to force the action and make a play outside the scheme rather than just doing his job.

Paul from Cottage Grove, WI

I know this can be filed under: What a great problem to have! But with this year's and last year's draft restocking the offense, they'll all be reaching the end of their rookie contracts at around the same time. Assuming most of the players are worth a second contract, how does that affect the Packers' strategy for the salary cap in coming years?

You can't strategize until you know what you have, which will be a couple years down the road. When it comes to second contracts, if the Packers have a boatload of difficult decisions to make regarding who gets them, they'll be thrilled beyond measure.

Joshua from Milwaukee, WI

Is Jordan Love being good the worst-case scenario? If he's great, we're set. If he's bad, we move on. But if he's good (think Cousins/Carr), we may end up dedicating a lot of cap space to a mid-tier QB, which doesn't seem to work well in today's NFL.

Interesting perspective. Without a great QB, it's harder to do great things, but some have pulled it off in recent years. The Rams got to a Super Bowl with Goff and won one with Stafford. The 49ers got there with Garoppolo. The Eagles won one with Foles. All of them are considered more "good" than "great" QBs, but those are the exceptions I believe, not the rule.

Steve from Algoma, WI

I know it's puerile to think the NFL schedulers have a beef against the Packers as a way of explaining another season opener on the road. I'm more intrigued by five evening games this year, plus traveling four of the last five holidays. Have you ever considered maybe they have an axe to grind with…you? Perhaps they were bullied in elementary school by a lunch thief, or suffer from a sarsaparilla allergy. Or could it be someone is just mad because they don't know how to use Oxford comma correctly?

That took a tremendous amount of effort.

Roger from McGrath, AK

Statler snickers to Waldorf, "Spoff thinks he's done with 88."

Boy, this crowd is on its game today.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Guys, I assume many rookies show up needing to gain weight or possibly lose weight. Does the Packers' staff make that determination and put them on a diet or meal program or is that the players' decision?

Ultimately the players are going to do what they feel is best for them. But any suggestion would also come with a plan for achievement.

Ted from Findley, OH

Quarterback is the position that has to know the assignment of everyone else on offense for every play. I am assuming the center has the next most responsibility for knowing the assignments of others. Are there one or two positions on defense and special teams that require similar knowledge about their teammates' assignments?

I'm going to plead ignorance as far as the intricacies of special teams, but safeties and inside linebackers are generally the players on defense with the most detailed scheme knowledge.

Mark from Carlsville, WI

I read somewhere right after the draft that Anders Carlson said he only met Bisaccia maybe once. How did RB get so confident in AC's ability that the Pack drafted him only on Bisaccia's say so?

Carlson initially met Bisaccia at a Raiders practice, and then Bisaccia was at Auburn's pro day. There's a follow-up story on Carlson coming today.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

I question the potential use of rookie WR Jayden Reed as a kick/punt returner. Although this has played out in prior years, the possible risk of injury is increased. His value and availability as a versatile weapon in a new offense under a new starting quarterback is huge. Your thoughts?

I'm curious to see how the Packers approach this. Nixon is the kick returner, and I only see Reed as a possible substitute there. On punts, if Nixon is going to be playing a ton of nickel corner, he won't be the freshest player to send back for an immediate return (whereas the kickoffs to open the halves are obviously fresher moments, and there's always a long commercial break after a TD). The Packers will train multiple options regardless.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

So Game 1 of the Jordan Love era starts at 3:25 p.m. I guess most of us will mark the occasion by logging into Spoff's blog for the play-by-play since the first game will undoubtedly run long. Make history, Mike!

As much fun as it would be to break the blog due to overload, I hope for Packer Nation's sake that 3:25 p.m. kickoff is truly national.

Joel from Mosinee, WI

Before the start of an offensive play you see the center point to defensive players and call out alignments. What is he actually saying and does he ever give out misleading sets?

He's declaring the "mike" or middle linebacker based on the defensive set because protection calls work from the inside out. So once everybody's on the same page with who the mike is, every blocker can figure out his assignment.

Richard from Boynton Beach, FL

Who are the eight No. 1's that might start on defense as well as year drafted?

Kenny Clark ('16), Jaire Alexander ('18), Rashan Gary ('19), Savage ('19), Eric Stokes ('21), Walker ('22), Devonte Wyatt ('22) and Van Ness ('23).

Brian from Waukesha, WI

The other day one of the national talking heads made a point. He said the one guy happiest with the Jordan Love ascension and all the projections of the '23 season results largely based on his performance was Joe Barry. His point was that it ought to be his defense under the microscope in '23, not Jordan Love and the young offense.

Both will get plenty of scrutiny. I think that's obvious.

William from Newburgh, IN

Patience with Love will be the key. I remember the transition from Favre to Rodgers where on the weekend Favre threw six TD passes, for the Jets, Rodgers threw three picks. Looked kinda rough at that point but greatly ended up in our favor in the long run. Support Love through this transition as the rewards will be in the long haul if all goes well.

Sept. 28, 2008. I remember that day well. Favre threw six TDs as the Jets walloped the Cardinals, 56-35. Rodgers threw three INTs, and hurt his shoulder, as the Packers fell to the Buccaneers, 30-21. Both teams were 2-2 but there was a lot of howling. And then while navigating the post-mortem in the locker room afterward, I got a text from my wife that Braun had hit a homer to put the Brewers in the playoffs and break the 26-year drought.

JR from Silvis, IL

Went to the Brewers game Sunday on a whim since I am on PTO. Somehow got fourth row behind home plate for only $69. Watching Yelich crush a 430-foot HR and then stealing second, and advancing to third and tying the game on two wild throws was hands down the coolest experience I've ever had at a sporting event.

I was there, too, though not in the fourth row behind the plate. There was plenty of Major League and Little League action all packed into that third inning.

Michael from Lakewood, CO

Wes, did you ask Spoff where Rewey was? He probably could have responded faster than Google.

Ah yes, Rewey. Nestled between the budding metropolises of Arthur and Mifflin. So much to see in southwest Wisconsin, so little time.

Nikhil from Highland Park, IL

Dang! Now Mike's even taking Wes's (root) beer?!? Is nothing sacred anymore?!?

He retaliated by swiping my Beatles reference. We're all about equal opportunity thievery here in the II.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Good Monday Mike! After all the II presentations of our new offensive players I'm now more hopeful that like the fireman who keeps his fire engine clean, our offense will be a clean machine.

Happy Monday.

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