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Inbox: Proven depth is not a problem that needs a solution

It’s more of a showcase position in this defense

LB Krys Barnes
LB Krys Barnes

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Now that with that elusive preseason win finally secured, what could possibly stop this team on its way to full consistency?

And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hey guys, Bak is back!

Indeed he is. Second Sunday in a row with significant PUP activations around here. Great to see.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Did you have any extra family members able to attend the game on Friday night? What a special privilege, it brings tears to my eyes just thinking of your daughter sitting outside in the cold watching the game in an empty stadium during the pandemic and now singing in front of a packed stadium.

It was a memorable experience, to say the least. Both sets of grandparents were here, plus her brother, uncles, college roommate, plus piano teacher (and family). Big thanks to several co-workers who donated their tickets to support the big day, and to Rock for the shout out in "Three Things." Kelsey also got to meet Kevin Harlan as we bumped into him on the way into the stadium. Just an amazing day all around.

Connor from Minnetonka, MN

Are more starters going to play next week?

LaFleur said the topic would be discussed with the veteran players. Everyone will suit up in Kansas City to at least go through pre-game warmups. That's where things stand now.

James from Asheville, NC

Excited to see some strides and increased confidence from Jordan Love. Regardless of whether or not Aaron Rodgers plays a portion of the final preseason game it seems to me it would make sense to have JL in with some first-team receivers. Wouldn't that be a more accurate gauge of his progress and help him to develop a deeper rapport with them? I understand the caution of not playing starters but isn't it worth the risk?

If playing starters is on the table this week, then I would imagine this could be part of the discussion, too.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

Last week I mentioned that I noticed that Love seemed to miss on short outside passes and asked if that was normal. You two decided not to answer. Glad to see Love answer my question by hitting most of them on Friday.

I didn't answer that last week because I didn't know if the young running backs he was working with in the San Fran game had their bodies turned the proper way and were running those routes at the proper angles. In the preseason, you never really know. When offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich on Thursday specifically mentioned wanting to see Love hit those short, early throws, that confirmed those misses were on him.

Jeramiah from Greenville, WI

Do you wish Jordan Love would've thrown more interceptions? You know, just to keep the Inbox questions/comments consistent.

Appreciate the levity.

Jonathan from Saskatoon, Canada

Kudos on your response about Elgton Jenkins winning Comeback Player of the Year. Obviously there could be higher-profile skilled position players that might take home the award. However the national media needs to take into account how talented of a player he is. It's understandable he's obviously flown under the radar as an offensive lineman but obviously playing all five positions on the O-line shows just how talented he is. Obviously this is a lot harder when doing in-organically.

I realize I used Minneapolis Ben's comment to crack a joke, but I did appreciate him pointing out no offensive lineman has ever won the award, which is true. The award has an interesting history. The Associated Press named a Comeback Player of the Year in both the AFL and NFL from 1963-66, but then stopped entirely, resumed with the NFL award in 1998, and has continued since. There have been 29 total winners (not including the four AFL selections in the '60s; it was shared in 2005), but only two non-specialist positions haven't won it – offensive lineman and cornerback. A quarterback has won it 16 times, including the last four in a row.

Richard from Caledonia, WI

Any chance the Packers carry three quarterbacks on the regular roster?

Etling's heroics notwithstanding, I still don't see the team going that way. But I guess we'll see what happens in Kansas City this week.

Hector from Buda, TX

Krys Barnes…How is he not part of the same concept of the "best 11" on the field for defense? I get that we have some new pieces but it's hard for me to believe that he shouldn't be out on the field more often than not. Campbell had a phenomenal season but that counterpart next to him has to be up to par as well for that to happen. I would hate to see Barnes go but maybe we can get some value out of him if we don't intend on using him?

There are never more than two inside linebackers on the field at the same time, and right now the top two are Campbell and Walker. But even with the strong camp McDuffie is having, Barnes is still solidly the No. 3 at that position, in my opinion. Why would you trade someone who could be so valuable if one of your top two goes down? Are you going to guarantee De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker won't get hurt? Barnes also can help on special teams, considerably. Proven depth is not a problem that needs a solution, such as a trade. I don't get why that's such a difficult concept for some folks to understand.

Matt from La Crosse, WI

What a showing from the inside linebackers! In your time covering the Packers have you seen any position group improve as dramatically as they have in the last two offseasons? In 2020 the starter was an undrafted rookie, and now it looks like one of the deepest units on the team.

De'Vondre Campbell said it best last year when he declared Joe Barry's scheme "lets linebackers be linebackers." It's more of a showcase position in this defense and the Packers are building around it as such.

Jeff from Ogden, UT

McDuffie physically looks different this year. I remember looking at him last year and thinking he doesn't look inside linebacker-ish. This year he looks more, shall we say, imposing. Do my eyes deceive me?

I wondered about his size last year, too, but if he's gotten bigger this year, it doesn't seem by much. I do think he's playing much faster, which indicates how much more sure of himself he is.

The Green Bay Packers held training-camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022.

Bruce from Lakewood, CO

Dear Proud Papa and Weston: You have to feel some compassion for Tyler Davis. Sometimes the world can be cruel.

As I mentioned in the live blog, Davis has not put together the training camp and preseason he or anyone else envisioned. This is a tough business. He's got another week to ball out and show the potential from late last season that had generated excitement about him.

Bob from Myrtle Beach, SC

The announcers focused on Caleb Jones for a few plays. The plays that I saw, it seemed like he was driving the defensive players back like Michael Oher did, the guy in "The Blind Side." Gave one guy a punch that laid the defensive player out on his back. Where do you see him going: the 53, practice squad, or picked up by another team?

Jones looks to me like he's on a track similar to Yosh Nijman from a few years back, only his measurables and early film might force the Packers to skip the practice-squad step as a rookie because he might get claimed if exposed.

Matt from De Pere, WI

Why is no one talking about Mason Crosby?

Because he hasn't practiced yet. As soon as he's medically cleared to do so, we'll definitely have a story about it.

Adam from Sun Prairie, WI

I haven't heard much about Kylin Hill since his unfortunate injury last year. I thought he looked like a natural athlete and a very capable kick returner. How does he play into the discussion about special teams and backup RB?

He'll factor into the 53 discussion only if he comes off PUP before then. Otherwise, the decision on how and where he fits relative to other running backs won't have to be made until a month or more into the regular season.

John from Civano, AZ

Hello! I just was able to watch the clips and replay of good plays, but I'm intrigued by Micah Abernathy even though it's only been nine days. At what time last year did it seem those UDFA and "scrap-heap" guys were going to be a big part of a 13-win team?

I'm not sure to whom you're referring about last year. A late-spring signing like Campbell? When he was being held out of the preseason games, it was clear he was a defensive starter. Other guys like Nijman and Rasul Douglas emerged due to injuries. In the case of Douglas, Jaire Alexander's injury is the only reason he was signed in October. Abernathy is here solely because the safety position is so banged up, but he's making the powers that be take notice.

Blake from Itasca, IL

Zach Tom appeared to have himself a good game of run blocking and seemed to hold his own in pass pro. Does this showing give the coaches something to think about with Elgton's placement along the line? What did you see from the line play?

I thought the offensive line as a whole played better than in the first preseason game, particularly the run blocking. As for Jenkins, I think right tackle will be his spot until David Bakhtiari if fully back and then further decisions are made. How Tom factors in remains to be seen, but he's made a strong showing for a rookie and if he's complicating the process, that's a good thing.

Don from Foxboro, WI

In preseason game No. 1, I thought Danny Davis had a good game but I did not see him play against the Saints. Does he have a chance or is he more of a developmental guy at this stage?

Davis got hurt this past week and did not suit up Friday night. He needs to get healthy and get back out there.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Before the game I saw No. 9 dressed and in pads. Were there thoughts on him getting in the game at all or was that just a chance to give the young man a feel for the Lambeau atmosphere? Or did my eyes deceive me?

Watson went through pre-game warmups Friday, but he was not slated to play. He got his first 11-on-11 reps in practice Sunday.

Michael from Grovetown, GA

We know the Packers are always looking for players to improve a position. Have you spotted a position group so far where you get a feeling the Packers might need to bring in a veteran to shore things up? P.S. It would be a shame if Juwann Winfree doesn't make this team.

The receiver position is crowded. Winfree is doing everything he can, and nothing's for certain yet. Regarding your first comment, my biggest concern depth-wise on this roster remains at outside linebacker. There were some promising developments the past week, but those didn't seem to carry over to the game. An adept scrambler at QB might've had something to do with it, but I'm still not sure what the Packers have on the edge after Gary and Smith.

John from Troy, MO

Mike, Brew Crew question, do you think the Hader trade changed the locker room dynamic materially enough to influence the change in the performance of the team?

Not really, because that was a team trending in the wrong direction already. The Brewers were 32-18 after 50 games and went 25-27 over their next 52 leading up to the trade. That said, it's a tough sell, trading an All-Star closer, and fallout was inevitable. In my mind, the move was justifiable and at the same time totally wrong for the clubhouse. Both can be true.

Gary from Benevides, Brazil

Please remember that some things are not wrong, they are just different. They don't drive on the wrong side of the road or the wrong side of the car in London. It is just a different side. As guests in another country it is important to understand that our way is not always the right way. Packers have a reputation of being great hosts. It is just as important to be gracious guests.

Oh, so Vic gets to quote "Christmas Vacation" ad nauseum for five years but as soon as I pull out a line from "European Vacation," this is the response?

Earl from Marietta, GA

Closer and closer...

Happy Monday.