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Inbox: Preseason or not, we're going to learn a lot

Rasul Douglas is an outside cornerback and a darn good one at that


Todd from Brighton, MI

Feels like this preseason game might be a bit more interesting, no?

Definitely. Brian Gutekunst hinted Friday that Jordan Love may play tonight against New England. If so, that would be the first time the Packers' QB1 has played at Lambeau Field in the preseason since Aaron Rodgers played one series against Pittsburgh on Aug. 16, 2018.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, who are you watching most closely in tonight's game?

It's across the board for me. There are so many intriguing players to watch and questions to answer. Will Jordan Love and the starters play? Who's going to lock down the safety job? Can Emanuel Wilson tear it up again? Which offensive and defensive linemen can climb loaded depth charts? Is Carrington Valentine human? Preseason or not, we're going to learn a lot.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

On Wednesday the Packers came out fired up, motivated and ready to play. The Patriots not so much. The Packers punched them in the mouth and had a great day. On Thursday the Pats responded. They came out fired up, motivated (BB might have had something to do with that), and ready to play. The Packers not so much. So, tonight's the rubber match. Will the Packers come out fired up, motivated, and ready to play? Or? The best way to respond to a bad day will always be on the field in my opinion.

Moves and countermoves. That's football, folks. I expect an energized and hungry Packers team to bring its lunch pail to Lambeau Field tonight.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. Thanks for your 5 takeaways from the Aug. 17 joint practice. My first reaction was "Who is Cody Chrest?" Thanks for answering my question right there. I don't try to learn all the players' names until the final (not really final) roster is released.

Chrest is a great story. In addition to his Wisconsin connections, the rookie receiver nearly had his football career derailed by a knee injury. Chrest said it was a "bucket-list" goal for him to attend a game at Lambeau Field. Tonight, he does it one better by playing here. While I know Chrest has bigger goals than just this game, I hope he takes a minute tonight to appreciate his journey and how far he's come. I know his family will be cheering him on every step of the way.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2023 roster.

Eric from Springfield, VA

Any insights how Bill Belichick conducts his practice different in a way which would contribute to his success?

I was blown away by how much he runs the football. Maybe the Patriots do it differently when it's a solo practice, but they ran the football a lot in team periods on Wednesday and Thursday. New England's offensive linemen also have to run if they false start.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Regarding joint practices, what might Matt LaFleur learn from a cagey veteran coach like Bill Belichick that can help his own coaching development?

How to train your football team and sustain a program. Only a handful of head coaches have been with their club for more than 10 years – Belichick is closing in on 25. His success is a testament to a coaching IQ, player development and remarkable endurance to do this for 49 straight seasons.

Jacob from Rhinelander, WI

I am not interested in seeing Rasul Douglas at safety. He is too valuable as a cornerback, and we cannot guarantee that he would be any better at safety than our other options. Depth at the corner position is not a bad thing.

I hate to burst your bubble, but Rasul Douglas isn't playing safety. He's an outside cornerback and a darn good one at that. The guy has eight interceptions in 20 games for the Packers when he's on the perimeter.

Ken from Madison, WI

With Jordan Love being a first-year starter, what stats should we look for at the end of the season to base on how successful his season was overall?

We live in the age of analytics. Everyone wants a stat for everything, but I'm telling you this is an eye-test season. Statistics are great, but it really comes down to how Love performs on a week-by-week basis and the results that follow.

Glen from Leesburg, VA

How serious is De'Vondre Campbell's ankle injury?

It sounds like Campbell will be fine. The Packers anticipate him being ready for the regular season, according to General Manager Brian Gutekunst.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, is there any timeline on Eric Stokes practicing? Is he missing the start of the season?

LaFleur was asked this week and said he's not ready yet. Stokes remains on physically unable to perform at the moment.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Guys, how are the temperatures in GB? I think I heard/read about tempers flaring a bit on the joint practice field.

It's been great. There was a weird downpour while the No. 1 offense was doing two-minute Thursday, but otherwise the weather has been incredible.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, how likely would it be the Packers consider trading players on their roster where they have a position of strength, rather than exposing players to waivers? Do we have an excess of riches in certain position groups (OL, CB)?

It happens, but I wouldn't say it's likely. Most recently, the Packers traded cornerback Ka'dar Hollman to Houston (in 2019) and offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen (2022) for seventh-round picks prior to final cuts.

Joe from Libertyville, IL

Isn't there a big scouting advantage for teams holding joint practices with other teams? Sure, the other team gets to see your training roster as well and it might be more difficult to stash someone on the bubble on the practice squad. Still, I'd like to know as many potential impact players out there as possible.

Or it can lead to a team pursuing a player prior to cutdown day. Hollman practiced against Houston in 2019 prior to the Texans trading for him. Gutekunst told reporters on Friday his scouting department is taking note of the Patriots' personnel as I'm sure New England's front office is eying up Green Bay's talent.

Matt from New Berlin, WI

In his recent news conference, Adam Stenavich said the most important characteristic of the offense is to trust each other and "just do your job." I've never played competitive football, so I'm not trying to be condescending. Can you explain why "doing your job" on a given play is so difficult? It seems like a given that you block the right person or run the right route and trust that the guy next to you is doing the same.

No, I get where you're coming from. The easiest answer is the variables. Football is three-dimensional chess, littered with decisions that must be made in the blink of an eye. One wrong move can send an entire play into disorder.

Joe from Des Moines, IA

Strange as it seems, I was somewhat pleased to hear the offense had a rough second practice with the Patriots. When the Packers scheduled practices against NE and the Bengals, I was most excited for the offense to go up against two high-level defenses. This tells me that they are getting real game-type work in, and that will help exponentially in getting this young team ready for Week 1.

To quote Adam Stenavich Friday: "There was a lot of really cool teaching things from that practice situationally, just schematically from what the defense presented us." I felt like the past two weeks were a solid testimonial for the benefit of joint practices. As Spoff wrote on Friday, New England threw an assortment of blitzes and stunts the Packers wouldn't otherwise see in an NFL preseason. Green Bay and its young offensive players will be grateful for those reps come September.

Roger from Lakewood, FL

How much playing time do you think Alex McGough will get in the game Saturday night?

That's a good question. I would think McGough plays more tonight, but it really depends on how much Love does. If Love goes one series, I think McGough probably gets a few series in the second half. If Love plays the entire first quarter, then it could look more like it did when McGough played seven snaps in Cincinnati. Regardless, the reigning USFL MVP should get a lot of playing time in next week's finale against Seattle.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

I do remember a wide receiver wearing the No. 1 the preseason and my aging memory says last name White, and was a Michigan Tech Huskie?

You're stretching my memory on that example, but I know Eastern Michigan's Alex Gillett wore it for a summer in Green Bay. Again, it isn't uncommon for a player to wear No. 1 or No. 5 in the preseason/training camp but they switch to a different number if they make the roster/practice squad.

TK from Grafton, WI

I'm silly, and I like to write. I taught elementary school for 26 years. One day, I was lamenting the latest "Captain Underpants" offering and a co-worker said, "If you don't like that, write something better!" So, I did. (Max Doubt and Chop Susie, available to order. Ha!) I was surprised and disappointed that it felt like "work" and it wasn't much fun. So, (enough backstory?) does writing about the Packers ruin just a little bit of your enjoyment of them? Thanks guys!

Balance is key. As many of you know, I have a difficult time watching NFL and college football recreationally given how much time we spend doing this job. I've always felt you need something outside of your occupation to free your mind. We have our families but also outside interests. Spoff has the Brewers and I have UFC.

Sue from Tomah, WI

Once again, Miss Emma is to be commended for her outstanding photos of Packers with kids and bikes. Show these big mean players a little one and the guys turn into huge old smooshmallows! We do have the best traditions. GPG!

Best tradition in sports.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

All is right with the world. A football game is about to be played at Lambeau Field. The NFL's second greatest coach is visiting the home of the greatest. And Lori from Brookfield is again appearing in Inbox. I feel good, I tell you. Sassy even. I might get a little crazy and put some asparagus on my bratwurst tonight!

Football is back at Lambeau Field. Enjoy the game, everyone.

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