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Inbox: Summer snaps will pay dividends down the road

What’s the No. 1 thing you want to see Thursday night?


Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Who was MVP of the "McCarthy Olympics"?

It has to be Aaron Rodgers, right? It's not every day you get to dunk your defensive coordinator…twice. Good morning!

Amy from Bayport, MN

I haven't heard much about Josh Jackson's performance in training camp. Where has he been lining up? How does he look?

I've seen Jackson take a step every time he's on the field. He had a nice pick late last week and stepped up to the challenge Monday of defending Davante Adams with Kevin King (shoulder) and Jaire Alexander (groin) sitting out of practice. The Packers are moving Jackson around, lining him up on the boundary and in the slot. Any experience is good experience this time of year and those summer snaps will pay dividends down the road.

Tony from River Falls, WI

Finally had a chance to watch Jerry Kramer's Hall of Fame speech. I'm not one to cry normally, but it definitely brought tears to my eyes. Jerry is an amazing speaker with many great stories and insights into football and life. I'm so happy that he finally made it to the Hall of Fame, and what an amazing life he has led. Thank you Spoff for your amazing article on Kramer and for everything else you guys do for the Packers. No question, just a hearty thanks.

If you haven't read Spoff's column yet, please change that now. He did an **exceptional job of capturing the emotions** of the evening for Kramer and his family. The only thing I can add is about half the press box was glued to the TV watching Kramer's speech during Family Night warmups. There was unbridled laughter when he made the joke about getting shut out by the Baltimore Colts 56-0.

Craig from Castle Pines, CO

Just watched a replay of Mr. Kramer's HOF speech. He exemplifies leadership, class, and wisdom. My new favorite HOF speech. What's yours?

That one is up there. Shannon Sharpe also comes to mind with his legendary line about how he's in Hall of Fame, but still not the best football player in his family.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

If Jerry's speech was given 40 years ago, the message would be lost to this generation. Perhaps his long wait was because all the fans today could use a little more Lombardi philosophy and more poems like "Invictus." Make the world a little better – you can if you will.

It was the perfect message at the perfect time in the perfect place. What I found admirable is Kramer didn't make it about him. He could have lamented about the long wait and how he'd been wronged for 50 years, but Kramer stayed above that.

Larry from Missoula, MT

Besides Paul Hornung and Dave Robinson, how many other Packers were in Canton last week?

Jim Taylor, James Lofton and Ron Wolf also were in Canton.

Fearn from Rolling Meadows, IL

It was great to see Jerry and Robert Brazile get their gold jackets after longer-than-should-have-been waits. It got me thinking, especially in Jerry's case, if you are voted to the All-Decade Team (Brazile was second-team), how is that not a shoo-in for the HOF?

I know sometimes players don't get the recognition they deserve until long after they're retired, but those All-Decade Teams have to be the starting point for HOF consideration. The same argument could be made for LeRoy Butler.

Patrick from Murfreesboro, TN

Jack Vainisi should be on everyone's HOF short list. He built the Lombardi dynasty, including convincing the team to hire Vince, and convincing Lombardi to accept. He added 10 HOF players (Ringo, Gregg, Starr, Hornung, Taylor, Nitschke, Wood, Davis, Jordan, Kramer). Adderley makes it 11, a month after Vianisi passed, if you count Lombardi's quote that, "The only reason I'm picking you is that Jack recommended you." He pioneered new approaches to college scouting. Legendary NFL contributions.

There are a lot of folks in the know who feel strongly about Vainisi's candidacy. Unfortunately, Vainisi didn't have a chance to see the true fruits of his labor due to his untimely death in 1960. If he – and Vince Lombardi – lived a little longer, I think that would have greatly improved his HOF chances.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

Jared asked if there was more integrity for members of the media voting for the Hall of Fame selection than if players or fans were involved. This is an irrefutable yes. Fans gave us Michael Vick versus Peyton Hillis for the cover of Madden. Fans gave us Jeff Saturday's Pro Bowl appearance after he was benched. Can we do less fan voting rather than more, please?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process may not be perfect, but I feel having the media choose the inductees is the way to go. It's objective and fair.

Alex from Columbia, MD

I want to acknowledge Randy Moss's deference and support to Jerry Kramer when they were next to each other. That was amazing to see and really surprised me. I greatly appreciated him doing that. Were there any actions or comments by the inductees that surprised you?

I thought Urlacher would have a powerful speech, but he still surpassed my expectations. As Spoff pointed out on "Unscripted" Monday, I thought having Kramer and Urlacher back-to-back stole the show.

Al from Green Bay, WI

On the defensive side of the ball, who is the player the Packers can least afford to lose to injury? With Jake Ryan being out for the year, I would suggest Blake Martinez is that guy.

He's probably the guy. Not only is Martinez the only inside linebacker with NFL experience currently on the roster, but he's also the defense's key communicator. The Packers were blessed to have Martinez for all 16 games last year. Young guys need to step up in Ryan's absence, but Martinez is the guy.

Evan from Waterloo, WI

What are your thoughts on Jake Kumerow? I had the pleasure of playing with Jake at UW-Whitewater when we won two national championships. He was always super humble and was always welcoming to underclassmen even though he was "the guy" on campus. With the amount of WRs drafted this year I know his chances are slim, but it would be cool to see him make the team.

He looks like he belongs. I think that's the biggest compliment you can give to a former undrafted player trying to make an NFL roster. Now, he needs to carry over his success in practice into the preseason.

Randy from Columbia City, IN

Could newly acquired OLB James Hearns convert to ILB with the Packers? His measurements are about the same as Jake Ryan, but I can't find where he has any experience at ILB.

Hearns has past experience as an inside linebacker, but he's working with the Packers' OLBs for now.

Matt from Los Angeles, CA

Allow me to nitpick about "quiet" Lambeau Field. I do get a bit embarrassed when watching games on TV and can see fans sitting on their hands. But I wouldn't trade it for a stadium full of belligerent rage-a-holics. I've visited enough of those stadiums. They're sad and even more embarrassing. If anything, the home-field advantage I wish the Packers had would look like the Kansas City Chiefs. Those fans seem to strike a healthy balance of noise and human decency – and 100 percent outdoors.

While I've taken issue at times with the Lambeau Field crowd – namely cheering loudly when the offense is on the field – I agree the Packers have one of the league's most respectful fan bases. Also, striking a healthy balance between noise and human decency made me laugh. Totally spot-on.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

It's good to hear David Bakhtiari has an ankle sprain and he could be a go for Week 1. While ankle sprains aren't fun to deal with, at least we know he didn't end up on IR. We need him out there in Week 1 protecting No. 12. If he does have to miss time, is it Jason Spriggs who is next man up? We need a healthy year from No. 69 and No. 75 to make a Super Bowl run. And 12, too.

It's good Bakhtiari appears to have avoided a serious injury. The silver lining is the injury occurred early in camp, so it's not like Bakhtiari has to rush anything. I'm not sure who the next man is at tackle behind Bakhtiari and Bulaga, but Kyle Murphy and Spriggs both have plenty of experience heading into Year 3. What matters is both are healthy and getting the work they need to grow.

Sean from Menominee, MI

Aaron Rodgers' legendary moment: after having left the game, Rodgers limps back out onto the field to finish the game as the crowd chants "MVP!" That moment still gives me chills.

That moment against Detroit in 2014 is still the loudest I've ever heard Lambeau Field during my time on the beat.

Jason from Portland, OR

Now that Family Night is in the books does Geronimo Allison have a firm grip on the No. 3 receiver spot or does one of the rookies have a shot to slide into that spot on the depth chart?

There are five weeks and four preseason games between now and the start of the season, but Allison is playing at another level. That's to be expected with his experience with Aaron Rodgers, but what's really impressed me is how consistent he's been in practice.

Erick from Cornelius, NC

Will we use Geronimo Allison more this year to replace the production of Jordy Nelson?

That's entirely up to Allison. If he keeps making plays, he'll keep earning opportunities. Allison definitely is off to his best start to a training camp, which is saying something considering how quickly he put himself on the radar in 2016.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Preseason is upon us. I think I'm most excited to watch how the WR reps are divided. With Rodgers playing very limited reps, I want to see who's on the field with him.

What's the No. 1 thing you want to see Thursday night? For me, it's how all these young receivers perform. Kumerow, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, J'Mon Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown and DeAngelo Yancey have all flashed. Now, let's see what they can do when the lights are shining their brightest. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if Davante Adams and Randall Cobb play one series, if that, against Tennessee.

Greg from Atlanta, GA

Which came first? The Packers logo or the Georgia Bulldogs "G"? Are there any small differences between the two other than color?

The Packers' came first in 1961. There are subtle differences with the Bulldogs' logo/outline, but Georgia still requested permission in 1963 to use it. A year later, the Packers also granted similar permissions to Grambling State.

Trevor from Carmel, NY

Now that we caught the Bears in the all-time series, I think the next logical thing we set our sights on is HOFers. Julius Peppers is first-ballot. Three seasons with us, four with them, but going on 10 with the Panthers. The Bears wouldn't claim him despite the Pro Bowls and AP selection right? What about Jimmy Graham? If he plays out his contract, has 800 or so yards a year and wins a SB, could we claim part of him? Lot of ifs, but it's fun to think of.

I think it's possible for a Hall of Famer to get claimed by two NFL teams, but you need lengthy and productive runs with both such as Reggie White had in Philadelphia/Green Bay, and Charles Woodson in Oakland/Green Bay. While productive, I don't think Peppers' run in either Chicago or Green Bay was long enough to be added to those numbers. The same rule applies for Graham, in my opinion.

Paul from Middleton, WI

Is the first-round pick we received from the Saints protected if they have a miserable season?

No. This isn't the NBA. This isn't Blackjack. There isn't an insurance option when the ace is showing. Whether New Orleans wins the Super Bowl or loses all 16, that pick now belongs to the Packers. The way it should be.

Ron from Chicago, IL

So how did the new grass-and-twine field hold up after the first practice? Was it slippery? Did any twine pull out? I am hoping for an update on the grass.

It sounds like everything went OK for the first run-through. However, I'm sure Allen Johnson would tell you the big test comes Thursday night against the Titans.

Richard from Oshkosh, WI

What has been the overall perception of Tim Boyle thus far? Is there any shot he sneaks onto the 53-man roster?

I think Boyle has had a good start to camp, but only in-game action can answer that question. Boyle has a pro arm and good pocket awareness. That's my only takeaway thus far.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

I can see how Mike Pettine testing his defense against an elite QB in camp can be beneficial. Do Pettine and Rodgers have similar "across the hall" talks like the coaches now do?

I'm sure of it. I don't know if it's arranged and organized like the "across the hall" meetings, but there always are conversations going on during practice. I think this is the great litmus test for Pettine and the starting defense going into the season.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I remember when Mike Pettine was asked if he was a 3-4 or 4-3 guy and he responded ... Yes. The Packers' defensive line appears to be the strongest unit on that side of the ball and has quality six-deep. Do you envision a 4-3 or 4-2 nickel with four true defensive linemen being more of the standard defense this year?

Pettine's defenses blur the lines of description, but the NFL is a nickel-defense league now, so I'll say 4-2.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

I'm not big on retired numbers, but I've always wondered why No. 5 isn't retired. The players and/or staff obviously respect it enough not to wear it or assign it. Does it all go back to the gambling suspension?

This is probably a better question for Cliff. I think it's more not wanting to overdo it on retired numbers and run into the issue the Bears are now having. The Packers retired six numbers in their first 100 seasons and fully intend on playing 100 more. Once you retire a number, there's no going back.

Nathaniel from Marshfield, WI

So if McCarren is Rock, the Insiders would be paper because, you know, articles and stuff. Who would be scissors? I'm going with Mr. Christl. He's the one cutting out all the fat of Packers history and getting it down to all the good stuff. Not that there's that much fat, of course.

Cliff is definitely the scissors. He cuts through the baloney. Only I didn't say baloney.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

I love that we can now watch "Packers Unscripted"! For all of the out-of-state fans, the more Packers videos and visuals, the better.

And we love that you can now watch us, too!

David from Los Angeles, CA

If in your reply to Nate from Amherst last Friday, you were inferring that he was tasting a new brew too early at 10:25 a.m. CT, you would never survive joining us in Los Angeles on game day for the early games that begin at 10 a.m. PT. Having your first beer at 9:30 a.m. takes some getting used to, but it can be done!

I'll take your word for it.