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Inbox: That doesn't mean anything now

There isn’t one “philosophy” that makes every call

WR Allen Lazard
WR Allen Lazard

Luke from Des Moines, IA

Good morning, Mike. With Wes off to Canton, can we expect a precipitous dip in lunch thefts or should intern Jen be keeping a watchful eye on hers over the next several days?

Intern lunches are off limits. That would be cruel.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Question on the PUP list. While not allowed to participate in on-field activity are they allowed to attend meetings and participate in the classroom?

For sure.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Not sure if you still get mail regarding preseason playing time, but now you can simply reply with a link to Aaron's locker room interview from Wednesday with an emphasis to tune in around the 13½-minute mark. Aaron, in his eloquent fashion, put perfectly into words why frontline players, especially offensive players, should not be anywhere near the field during preseason.

Also why veteran players don't need to be.

Steve from Bloomington, IN

So what was the JUGS machine doing that made the "punts" nearly impossible to catch and is it something that Pat O'Donnell could learn to do?

Ha, no. The machine was firing punts so high and with such an insane amount of spin the returners had no chance. No way any punter, not even Ray Guy, could copy what the machine was doing. It was totally unrealistic. Wednesday (indoors) and Thursday (outdoors) the machine(s) weren't so haywire.

Kurt from Traverse City, MI

Team-building is a philosophy, not a matter of waiting for games to be played. Rosters may appear fluid, perhaps even daily in flux, but attitude and approach has to be consistent. Successful businesses don't alter methodology day by day. So I'm asking again: What do you believe Gutey's approach is to team building: An emphasis on the immediate and at-hand, or an eye to the long haul, especially concerning the current WR group and how PS decisions might be made? Analyze and inform; don't avoid.

Nobody's avoiding your question. It's not a simple multiple-choice answer. It's all of the above. Any GM is constantly weighing the here and now vs. the future with acquisitions, roster decisions, etc. Different circumstances lead to different conclusions at different times. Leading up to and during training camp, when the final spots on the 90-man roster can churn quite a bit, it's all in the moment. But almost any other time, all angles are weighed and there isn't one "philosophy" – other than trying to find the right balance – that makes every call.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Sam from Germantown, WI, got a big laugh out of me with the Greg Jennings TD reference. Speaking of Jennings, how do you think Romeo Doubs compares? I recall Spoff mentioning how polished Jennings looked as a rookie early on. That may have only been a reference to his route running, but he looked like he belonged from the start.

Wes had to educate me on that "Madden" reference, so I guess I learned something. The strong early impressions from Jennings and Doubs don't really compare because different attributes have stood out, at least to me. For Jennings, it was the route running – so smooth, sharp and polished from the get-go. With Doubs, it's his (darn) strong hands and frame, especially the way he gets in position and fights for contested catches.

Richard from Menasha, WI

It must be very tough for a young player to keep stacking successes. Can you tell us how Romeo Doubs is handling all of the positive press and the pressure of the spotlight?

He's very quiet and reserved in my minimal interactions with him. I think he'd prefer not to have the media attention, to be honest.

Mike from Lake Villa, IL

Hello Mike and Wes! I heard an ESPN radio host today say that the rookie who should be feeling the most pressure to immediately succeed this year is Christian Watson. Part of his rationale was that he heard Aaron Rodgers praising Romeo Doubs for his play so far in training camp and that Aaron was likely sending Watson a message with that statement. Do you think Aaron's compliment to Doubs would send a subliminal message to Watson or any other young receiver?

Goodness no. Did this radio host know Watson is currently not practicing due to a knee injury?

The Green Bay Packers held a public training-camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.

Charles from Ann Arbor, MI

How has Eric Stokes looked so far? I am excited about Romeo Doubs' early success, but it seems like most of the reports of his camp highlights are coming at the expense of our second-year CB. Is there any reason for concern?

No. Stokes is fine. He's had really good coverage on a lot of Doubs' noteworthy grabs, but between Rodgers' pinpoint throws and Doubs' skills in combat, so to speak (see contested catches comment above), the plays he's making are attention-getters.

Douglas from Bemidji, MN

Mike and Wes, help me understand. If the NFL wants to suspend a player, then the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to have an unbiased arbitrator decide the case. If the NFL doesn't like the decision then the NFL appeals to the NFL and then the NFL makes a final ruling that can't be challenged?

I'll be honest, I'm still trying to get my arms around this new process. I need to see how this is actually going to play out.

Sean from Vermontville, MI

I think what a lot of folks need to remember regarding Love's ability to take the next step in his career is that there's a world of difference between "Can Love be an NFL starter?" and "Can Love be the next Aaron Rodgers?" I'm confident Love will be an NFL starter at some point, hopefully for the Packers. I'm less confident he'll be our third consecutive first-ballot Hall of Famer at quarterback. I'm excited to see what Love does this preseason, and can wait patiently for the rest.

Imagine that. Reasonable, measured perspective. I feel vindicated.

Mark from Boston, MA

With the draft and development of Quay Walker, I hear very little about Krys Barnes. He is undoubtably a tackling machine. Might he be a trade candidate for some team with that need?

Not in my book. I expect we'll see a package or two defensively that includes Barnes. More importantly, he's an immediate no-worry plug-in if someone gets hurt or needs a breather.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I find it interesting that both Rasul Douglas and De'Vondre Campbell have stated that this defense allows them to be themselves. What a great credit to not only Gutey and his staff for finding players but Joe Barry and his for unleashing them. Douglas also mentioned how much fun he was having and that must correlate directly with the freedom to just play his game. I'm proud that our team allows its players to enjoy the game and our recent success seems to go hand in hand with this philosophy.

Players, not plays, perhaps?

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Does the preseason 1-2 home/away game count alternate with regular-season games so it is always 10 home and 10 away games every year?

I believe that's the plan.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

What stands out thus far to me on training camp reporting is how many position groups on the D have already been described as "the best group in a long time." D-line. Inside LBs. CBs. This has me excited – and thinking about what (or who) is the correct "long time" answer. For D-line, best since Reggie, Santana, Gilbert and Sean Jones. For inside LBs, best since Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk and (the criminally underrated) Desmond Bishop. For CBs, best since Chuck, Tramon and Sam. How'd I do?

Not bad, but I don't think you have to go back that far on the D-line. The Pickett-Raji-Jenkins group with C.J. Wilson in reserve and Howard Green joining midseason was pretty darn good.

Tim from Olathe, KS

I watched @la play at Iowa State, so I am a big fan of his. I was surprised when he was not drafted, but despite that he is now being touted as our potential WR1. What was the rap on him to not be drafted, and will that perceived shortcoming prevent him from being a WR1?

I don't recall specifically, but I'm sure his lack of blazing speed was one reason he wasn't drafted. That doesn't mean anything now.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Hi Mike and Wes. How do you guys like being celebrities? I can't imagine you can walk down the street with a Sno-Cap, or a Leinenkugel's, without someone stopping you and wanting to talk Packers. Was this something you bargained for when you got into journalism?

I never got into this business for that reason, and while it comes with the territory to a certain extent, a more intense focus on that aspect of it in our current media world has damaged the profession, in my opinion.

David from Janesville, WI

Insiders, with using more two-back sets and having Jones and Dillon on the field at the same time, do you see more plays with Dillon taking on more of a fullback role or would that be putting him at too much risk? I could see Jones in the slot, then motioning to the backfield and Dillon laying someone out as lead blocker.

I don't see Dillon being used as a lead blocker.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

I'm an older guy and a lifetime Packer fan, but Kenny from Wild Rose brought up a name I seriously have no recollection of. Randy Wright as QB in 1986? Either he didn't play long, or was unspectacular, or both. I know you two are younger, but do you have any thoughts on him?

He was real, and he was unspectacular. I have a much fonder recollection of Wright as the Badgers QB, throwing TDs to Al Toon and helping Wisconsin win its first bowl game in 1982. But if you don't remember Wright in Green Bay, you must have intentionally blocked out the bad memories. He started 32 games – two seasons' worth – from 1984-88 and the Packers went 7-25 in those starts.

Michael from Montreal, Canada

Dear II, I withheld the question until we were officially out of the dreaded Dead Zone. (Are we?) My question for you is whether you think the Packers may keep four running backs on the active 53 owing to all the speculation of increased usage of our RBs in the offense. And if so, would they keep a reserve lightning and a thunder to fill in for Jones/Dillon? Perhaps BJ/Goodson as a Thunder 2?

Four running backs on the 53 feels like a stretch to me, at least at this point, but I fully expect a fourth and maybe a fifth on the practice squad.

Andy from Lancaster, PA

Good morning Inbox! On Tuesday, Marcedes Lewis was mentioned as being the guy who often gives the pre-game speech. I imagine he's a common contributor at halftimes as well. My question is, are either of you ever present for these team moments? Are you allowed to share any of the contents of these speeches?

We do not have locker room access in the immediate pre-game time or at halftime. Hopefully we can get back to having a camera in the locker room for the postgame speeches again, like we did for many years pre-Covid.

Jim from St. Paul, MN

I remember as a child, peeking out of my bedroom door into the living room and watching Hank Aaron hitting his 715th home run. I remember Vin Scully's voice during and after that moment just as vividly. Along with many others, I remember him calling so many historical moments. Thank you, Vin. You stand among the best ever.

In perusing all the tributes over the past couple of days, I had remembered Game 6 in '86, Gibson off Eckersley, and all those great moments from the diamond, but I had forgotten Scully was on the call with Hank Stram for "The Catch" at Candlestick. Incredible career. A belated RIP to a legend.

Dave from Middletown, CT

Mike and Wes, when you go to England will the team supply interpreters for you or will you have to provide your own?

Thankfully Wes can still take his turn with the column from Canton. Happy Friday.