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Inbox: Plenty for the Packers to work on

The youth plays aggressively and without fear

DL Kingsley Keke
DL Kingsley Keke

Tristan from Durham, NC

Now that Jordy is retired, will he finally take his chance to try out bobsledding for real?

I hope so.

Joshua from Coon Rapids, MN

I say the Lazard TD over Johnson is poetic justice. What say you?

I just wish it could have been Sternberger.

Blake from Itasca, IL

Wow, let's talk about that Boyle-to-Lazard connection. Incredible ball placement, velocity, and read. Tim B. looks promising.

He's got an NFL arm. There's no doubt about that. The rest just needs to come together. No offense to Manny Wilkins, but I wish Boyle had gotten some more time. With Rodgers presumably playing (at least a little) in both the second and third preseason games, the backups won't get as many reps again until the finale.

Nate from Naples, FL

Who did the most to help themself Thursday night?

Themself? Yikes. I thought Ty Summers, Ka'dar Hollman and Raven Greene really stood out early on defense.

Don from Mascoutah, IL

One horn in the NFC North is enough, and it certainly doesn't need to be emulated in Green Bay of all places. Can that experiment never be repeated? Please?

I can't say I'm fond of it, and that sentiment is widely shared in the Inbox. There were more comments about the horn than any other single thing from the game. LaFleur said afterward he's willing to try anything to get the fans riled up on third downs and make it difficult for opponents. Whatever it takes, I guess, but that's not going to do the trick.

Mark from Iron Mountain, MI

If these are the backups to the starters and admittedly only a one game sample, if there isn't vast improvement in tackling and reducing the number of penalties it will be a long, long season.

There was a lot of sloppiness with regard to tackling and penalties, which is not all that surprising given how limited the contact is in practices. There's plenty for the Packers to work on there.

Robert from Fond du Lac, WI

Is tackling practice the first order of business?

I'll be interested to see if there are more actual "thuds" than just "tags" in practice this week.

Aaron from Hayden, ID

Well, looks like that WR competition is sorting itself out nicely...

Three more games to go, so don't jump to conclusions. But Kumerow continues to catch everything thrown his way, Darrius Shepherd keeps making a case, and J'Mon Moore needs to bounce back quickly. As Jeff from Madison noted, Moore gets open. The rest needs to smooth itself out.

Brad from Northport, MI

Now that preseason is underway and I know it was the first game and the starters didn't play, should we be concerned about all the penalties in the game? The first quarter was kind of scary.

Offensive holding is a point of emphasis for the officials this year. They were throwing the holding flags early and often. Linemen have to sharpen their technique, and this is the time to be warned.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

OK so it's preseason, but for a long time I have heard defensive coordinators talk about how they are going to be a more aggressive going after the ball. Turnover margin for our team is a really big deal because our quarterback seems to thrive on getting the ball back quickly and knows how to make defenses pay. So like I said it's preseason, but how much stock can we put in creating the turnovers we did?

It's a good start, and when opponents make mistakes you have to capitalize. Webb's two picks were bad throws, especially the second one. On the first one I give Hollman credit for undercutting the route. He simply recognized the underthrown ball before the receiver did. Greene's strip was a heady play when he didn't have the best tackling angle. If you don't think you can get him down, go for the ball. Scott hit a great punt. Coutee botched it by going back to the 5 rather than just making himself scarce, but that was going to be a good special-teams play even without the turnover.

Matt from Belmont, WI

Hi Mike, being a baseball guy from Southwest Wisconsin I assume you have been to the Field of Dreams. What are your thoughts on a MLB game being played there?

Better late than never, but I wish it hadn't taken this long.

Florian from Kronach, Germany

I just browsed through the roster photos. How can a number be assigned to two different players, e.g. No. 32 to both Mike Tyson and Tra Carson?

It happens all the time in training camp with the 90-man roster, retired numbers, number ranges for specific positions, etc. If both make the team, at least one will be assigned a different number.

Rudy from Phoenix, AZ

Besides health of course, what is going to be the key for being a top 10 defense this year? On paper, I can see talent is not going to be an issue.

A lot will depend on the same key categories for an offense – third down, red zone and turnovers. For the most part, those are your make-or-break categories in this game.

Jay from Altoona, WI

Antonio Brown has been in the news recently with reported frostbite from entering a cryotherapy machine without proper footwear. A.J. Hawk had stories written about his hyperbaric oxygen chamber for aiding endurance and recovery. Are you aware of any current Packers engaging in not-so-usual therapy, be it cryotherapy, hyperbaric, or something else?

Other than Jaire Alexander's goat yoga, no.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

So excited to see Campbell back. My question is with our defense getting a makeover, does Campbell pick right up where he left off since he was already on the team? Or at this point in the year does it allow him or some of the newer guys to try out different roles in Pettine's system? Either way it adds depth and versatility which is a plus. We already have a lot of guys fighting for playing time on that defense, and we just added another. Great problem to have!

Wes and I both wondered if Campbell might be back as soon as he returned to health. He showed last year he looks like he belongs in Pettine's system. I don't see people trying a bunch of new roles, but zeroing in on the ones they perform well.

Nicholas from Powdersville, SC

With all the receivers...is it realistic we keep four TE and a FB? I can't see us cutting our draft pick.

Lots of possibilities exist because it's still early. Plenty of time to sort it all out.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

I don't have high expectations for this season, maybe that will be refreshing? Anyway, with so many new defensive players who do you see as three names we should be watching that could be difference-makers?

Clark, Alexander and Z. Smith.

Mary from Pewaukee, WI

How do they determine what games go to the Milwaukee ticketholders and the Green Bay ticketholders?

In the regular season, the second and fifth home games are the Gold Package games, for the Milwaukee ticketholders. In the preseason, the Midwest Shrine Game is Gold, and the Bishop's Charities Game is Green.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

What does Jimmy Graham have to do to silence his critics?

Move the chains and catch touchdowns. If he does those things consistently and sprinkles in a couple of big games, no one will be talking about last season anymore.

Dave from Roswell, GA

I know it hasn't been three full years yet but don't you think passing on Watt and trading back for King and getting Biegel as the bonus didn't pan out well for us?

The Packers are currently on the wrong side of that equation. There's no way around it. King's injuries are frustrating, no doubt. Hopefully the worm turns at some point.

Ron from Henderson, NV

Insiders, did I read this correctly? Aug. 31, at 4 p.m., teams are cut to 53 players. Then by Sept. 1 at 12 noon those cut players can be claimed by other teams. One hour later the teams can establish their practice players. If every team waits until the final hour to cut, that's over 1,200 players to consider within 19 hours! Guess it will be a long night for the scouts, etc.

It always is.

Linnea from Milford, PA

Am I the only one who doesn't know what a "stinger" is (besides the thing on a bee's butt)?

It's a nerve injury in the neck or shoulder area.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, there are some teams (like GB or the Rams) who always seem to "find" receivers, be it the draft or free agency. Other teams (like the Bears) seem to struggle year after year. I'm wondering how much of that success comes from a receiver passing down his knowledge as well as modeling how to act like a NFL professional on a daily basis.

I wouldn't say it's everything, because talent is still paramount, but it's not nothing.

Jake from Franklin, WI

It's interesting how during Kuhn's interview with Jordy they talked about the confidence the offense had in the play-action bootleg and the ability they had to make big plays with it. It seems like these past few years those plays have often ended in throwaways. Do you think with this new offense, they can get back to that play to the same level as 2014?

Play-action bootleg shot plays have a much greater chance of success with a consistent running game the opposing safeties have to respect. Eddie Lacy was a huge factor in the number of big plays the offense produced five years ago. LaFleur wants to marry run and pass, and if he can establish the run game he wants, big plays can follow.

Daniel from Liverpool, UK

Which position group do you think will benefit the most from preseason and having more reps due to the starters resting?

Offensive tackle. The Packers need to solidify who those backups will be.

Dave from Bolingbrook, IL

Hi Insiders, which first- or second-year player who has a breakout preseason translate to the regular season would have the greatest impact? I feel like Tony Brown can really put something together this year, and with King out he has a chance to seize the opportunity.

Me, too. That's why I wrote a feature about him as a game-day post.

Lee from Leesburg, FL

Who do you feel is going to be the biggest surprise this year?

See above.

Kevin from Oconomowoc, WI

Do you think the NFL will someday adopt the red jersey for QBs in preseason games to make sure their superstars make it to the regular season?

Wouldn't shock me.

Zack from Oswego, NY

Noticed Mike Pettine was on the sideline instead of in the booth. Is there any advantages for a DC being on the field level instead of the booth? Why the change?

In a nutshell, the difference is direct communication with the players versus a more comprehensive view of what's going on. After the game, LaFleur made it sound as though Pettine made the switch himself and is considering staying on the field this season. I'm sure he'll be asked about it the next time he meets with the media, which will be later in camp.

Chris from Portage, WI

What did we learn most from the first preseason game about this Packer team?

The youth on this roster plays aggressively and without fear, but it has to play sharper and cleaner. Whatever lack of energy and urgency that has been bemoaned in practice was not evident when the lights came on.

Michael from Pewaukee, WI

Apparently Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur hate each other because they have different opinions on whether joint practices help the team. Can we get an R-E-L-A-X soundbite for everyone out there?

You have the floor. Happy Friday.


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