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Inbox: Someone will emerge during training camp, because someone always does

Opportunities seized beget more opportunities

T/G Royce Newman
T/G Royce Newman

Skyler from Superior, WI

Could the simple answer to the computer issue just be Spoff's big meaty fingers not compatible with the keyboard due to his bodybuilding prowess?

Goodness gracious.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

Awesome, the players will be parking in the regular parking lot for the 2022 season which means they get to tailgate with us before games.

Don't hold your breath. They might be a little busy.

Burt from Oconto Falls, WI

We always hear about players learning or staying in their playbooks. Can you explain to us what the playbooks actually look like? I assume they include not only diagrams of plays but also videos of what plays look like when they are run. Do they also include text or audio to help the player learn what he is to do on any given play? Thanks for all your great work.

The playbooks are on electronic tablets. Players can see the diagrams as well as, I believe, practice and/or game footage of the plays being executed. The tablets also allow for the coaches to share notes with the players as they study.

Matt from Kula, HI

On Panther players in HOF did you forget Reggie White?

White played one year in Carolina. The Panthers make no claim to him as one of their HOFers.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

Figured the dead zone was an OK time for a non-Packers related question. Do you think Luke Kuechly gets into the Hall of Fame? Short but quite decorated career. Defensive ROY, Defensive POY, 5x first-team All-Pro, 2x second-team All-Pro, 2010 all-decade team.

Kuechly absolutely has a HOF resume, and there's precedent now for players with shorter careers to get in.

Joshua from Milwaukee, WI

No question, just an apology. I implored II to keep expectations reasonable yesterday. My ire was targeted at the submitters, not the fine writers who consistently respond with measured optimism. Sorry if you took offense. On a related note, I hope that Rick from Trempealeau meant to say Rasul Douglas might take on a Woodson-esque role. If he really meant Douglas might be "the next Woodson," my tolerance for hyperbole has officially been exhausted prior to the start of preseason.

Duly noted on all counts.

James from Appleton, WI

The Packers have done a good job of not letting the business of football get in the way of the game of football. But how do the players manage it? When you're in the same unit, playing the same number of snaps, making a tenth or less of the person next to you, how do you keep that from getting between you? Or is it better for the team that the player making less not be satisfied with the situation?

There's nothing wrong with motivation, but bigger picture, the players know how the CBA works, and most players who have reached their second contracts will be making considerably more than players on their rookie deals. There are caveats and complications, but by and large, it's a performance-based system and the younger players understand the rewards are waiting if merited.

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hello, Insiders! A dead zone salary cap question: When the cap rises, do rookie contracts rise in the same proportion? Otherwise, with time, the chasm between rookie and veteran deals would increase over time. At some point, that would result in more players on rookie contracts holding out for extensions, no? To put it another way: When the cap rises, is the wealth spread evenly among players, regardless of experience?

The rookie salary pool, as calculated according to the CBA, rises correspondingly with the overall cap.

Scott from Salem, OR

"Not even with Doc Brown and a flux capacitor by my side." I'm sure you remember how fast the DeLorean had to be traveling for the magic to happen, so you must just be messing with us. Right? In other news, I'm glad to hear the live blog will return again this year. It is a great help when life's schedule doesn't match the Packers', and it's much appreciated that you do that every week.

At times it's a labor of love. At other times, to steal a line from Wes, it's a labor of labor.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Your observations about a running game putting fear into a D are spot on. Dalvin Cook worries me when GB plays Minn, but not as much as Adrian Peterson did – not even close. And then there is the terror that was Barry Sanders. Other backs in the division over the years have been very good, but Peterson and Sanders put fear in a defense. Your comment about fear in the run game reminded me of those two backs in particular. That GB held Sanders to negative yards in a playoff game still amazes me.

It remains the pinnacle, as far as a single game is concerned, of Fritz Shurmur's career as a defensive coordinator. The defense he built in '96 was super, of course, but what that unit did two years earlier against the greatest running back of his era was unmatched.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

In terms of second-year jumps is it safe to say that Eric Stokes may have an inside track due to teams trying to avoid the other side of the field? I suspect Stokes will get tested in an attempt to find a hole on the perimeter.

Entirely possible, if not likely.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I assume the dead zone is very much alive for the coaching staff. What's their primary focus over the next few weeks? Are they working on things we average folks may find surprising?

Actually, the coaches take an extended break after this week, too. They'll come back in advance of the players to start their grind, but this next month is their rest, recoup and recharge time.

Dan from Edgerton, WI

Any under-the-radar guys to keep our eyes on this fall?

Someone will emerge during training camp, because someone always does.

Monty from Hazen, ND

Gentlemen, I have had discussions with people who are so down on the team based on off season moves or lack there of. I am a glass-half-full guy and tried to explain that we will be better due to a stronger defense, better special teams, and a renewed emphasis on the run early in the season. This will give the pass game time to develop. They weren't buying it. Is there any way to get the naysayers to buy in to this team?

I don't know. I think it's fine to be skeptical, and as I always say, it's a long season. Maybe ask them who else they believe is positioned to win the NFC North. I see the Packers as clear favorites, and no matter how it looks, a division title gets you a shot. I've maintained all along the offense will evolve. They've got 17 games to figure out what works best, and then who knows.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

Would it be a possibility that we see more two-back sets with Davante Adams gone?


Matt from Kolesin, Poland

Hi! Much has been told about WRs but what about new O-linemen? What are your first opinions? Is there someone who shows more potential than others?

Sorry, I always have to see young linemen in pads first.

Bob from Marinette, WI

Looking back at consistent offensive lines and how important they are, it was clear there's only a few years where they had the same five like in 2003. Who would you say are the best offensive five to play at their positions this year?

As of now, I would expect the Packers' starting offensive line for Week 1 to be (left to right) David Bakhtiari, Jon Runyan, Josh Myers, Newman and Yosh Nijman. But at some point the group should get Jenkins back, and as I mentioned on "Unscripted," there's also no way of knowing if one of the rookie draft picks surprises in camp like Newman did last year. Will Sean Rhyan, for example, pull a Royce Newman? We just have to see.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi II, how do we tell? Rashan Gary didn't have an impact in Year 1, but looks like a rising player now. Jordy Nelson did very little for two years and became an exceptional WR. Do you think you'll be able to tell if the 2022 draft class will make real 2022 contributions by the time training camp is over? Is it as simple as some of them being told to practice alongside the other likely starters?

That's exactly what we'll be watching for in training camp. How much are Walker and Wyatt getting reps with the No. 1 defense? How often do Watson and Doubs rotate in with the first offense and QB1 in the huddle? Opportunities seized beget more opportunities.

James from Ottawa, Canada

I've come to accept the three certainties of life: 1. There's no gambling at Bushwood; 2. Chortling never pays; 3. AJ Dillon's quads will always be newsworthy.

Of life? Life? What have we done here?

Gary from Davenport, IA

Mike, your reply about wanting to see a World Series game brought me back to 1982. I was a student at UW-Platteville and my roommate had tickets for the World Series in Milwaukee. But I had tickets to see The Who in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the same night. When making my decision, I remember telling him, "This is the Who's Farewell Tour and the Brewers will be back in the World Series soon so I'm going to the concert." Could I have been more wrong? The Who is still touring 40 years later.

So you're saying you won't get fooled again? Sorry, couldn't resist, and I'll see myself out. I was at the Wisconsin-Michigan State football game with my dad at Camp Randall at the same time Game 4 was being played (tickets were purchased way in advance, obviously). Even though I missed a big Brewers win, that day – the day after my 10th birthday – remains one of the fondest memories of my life. All sorts of Badger fans brought either transistor or Walkman radios to listen to the World Series, so we were following along every step of the way. At one point during a timeout in the football game, the crowd absolutely erupted as the Brewers were rallying from behind. It was both surreal and unforgettable.

Richard from Eau Claire, WI

Are we there yet?

T-minus 40 days and counting until the first practice of training camp. Happy Friday.

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