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Inbox: That dude just never quits

He’s all-out effort, all the time

Packers defensive lineman Jack Heflin tackles Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down play in Thursday night's 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Packers defensive lineman Jack Heflin tackles Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth-down play in Thursday night's 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mike from Pewee Valley, KY

Where do I send the check for the Spoff dunk tank?

C/O senior writer salary supplement, finance dept., Lambeau Field.

Mike from Dubuque, IA

What is the significance of Kelsey's jersey No. 06?

Last year I hit my 15-year work anniversary with the Packers, and the organization has a list of gift options from which an employee can choose. I selected an authentic custom jersey, which has a "Spofford" name plate on the back and a number signifying the year I was hired. It had just been hanging up in the house as a decoration until Kelsey asked if she could wear it to sing the anthem. I didn't hesitate to say yes.

Stef from IJsselstein, Netherlands

I was watching the game with my sound off (middle of the night here). And was wondering why there was no flag on that second TD from the Chiefs. It looked like a hold to me. What did you think?

It looked like a hold to a lot of people.

Ryan from Centre Hall, PA

Who most moved the needle for a spot on 53 last night?

Given the injury situation at safety, even though he's only been here two weeks, Micah Abernathy just might make this team.

Steve from Algoma, WI

Have you ever seen a trashcan full of dirt move so fast?

Boy, did Heflin ball out these last three weeks or what? That dude just never quits. He's all-out effort, all the time.

Tom from Eagan, MN

It's only the preseason, but special teams doesn't look any better than last year. Disappointing considering the coaching change and emphasis on "We-fense" in training camp. How concerned should the Packers be with the regular season right around the corner?

It doesn't look good right now, and Bisaccia has plenty of work to do. But now I want to see him work exclusively with the guys who are going to be on the team, not everybody up and down a 90-man roster.

Doug from Ames, IA

Have not read much about our new punter, how is he doing?

You must not have seen the game. O'Donnell was outstanding.

Jason from Woodbury, MN

Jordan Love has clearly shown greater confidence and an improved ability to get through his progressions this preseason. What do you believe is to blame for his continuing struggles with accuracy and ball placement, and how does he fix those issues?

I believe his accuracy and ball placement have improved, and the more he masters the fundamentals working with Tom Clements those aspects of his game should keep trending in the right direction.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

Wow, what a quarter of play for Quay Walker! Five total tackles (three solo), and he was seemingly everywhere. His reading and reacting looked exceptionally quick, not to mention his closing speed when in pursuit. I think it's safe to say he's ready for regular-season football? BTW, I have to say, he is a BIG dude. My goodness, does he look the part at ILB.

And how.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

How are the offensive, defensive, and "we-fensive" captains selected, and when do you think we will know who they are?

The players will vote on them sometime between roster cuts and the Week 1 kickoff.

Michael from Palm Coast, FL

I do not miss the fourth preseason game.


Robert from Verona, WI

Do you have any insight into how much time the scouting team spends on evaluation of players that may soon be available (due to roster cuts) versus time spent on evaluation of players for the next draft?

I can't speak to the man hours dedicated, but the ability to manage both is why teams have pro personnel scouts and college scouts, with some in the department crossing back and forth.

Matt from Oshkosh, WI

Gentlemen, on more than one occasion you have mentioned that a full year in a NFL weight and conditioning program will make a big difference to a player. What is the main difference between the Packers program/facilities and say those of Wisconsin or Alabama?

It's not so much the facilities or program, at least not to me. It's that a lot of these players are still young men growing into their (sizable) bodies, and those first couple years in the NFL help physically refine who they are.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Lori brought up the question of how Randall Cobb has looked in camp. Last year he caught five TDs out of 28 catches. If he could play 14 games would you take over or under on 10 TDs this year?

I wouldn't rule out double digits for him, but TDs won't be the sole, or even primary, measure of his production. A colleague looked up a stat earlier this week that when Cobb was targeted last season, those throws tallied a 144 passer rating. That'll be tough to replicate without Adams on the field, but Cobb needs to stay healthy and available for Rodgers regardless.

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

Some say it is not who you play…but when you play them. Knowing the Vikings have a new coach and system, do you see that as an advantage for the Packers Week 1? More mistakes. Questionable play calling. Or, do you expect a super-energized Viking team that will perform even beyond the normal enthusiasm of a Week 1 home game against a division rival?

I expect a super-energized Vikings team, but as far as how much the transition to a new coach, system, etc., will affect the team's performance in the opener, your guess is as good as mine.

Jordan from Lawrenceburg, KY

Who do you think will be the most impactful rookie on offense, defense, and special teams this season?

I'll go with Doubs, Walker, and perhaps Coco.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

Very sad to see the passing of Len Dawson. I never met him, but back in the late '60s he had the class to write back to a little kid from Upper Michigan, sending him a glossy 8x10 signed "To Steve, Your friend Len Dawson." Still a very prized possession. Did either of you send letters to pro athletes when you were a kid?

For a Spanish class project I mailed a letter, written in Spanish, to Brewers pitcher Teddy Higuera and included a self-addressed postcard for him to send back with an autograph. He signed it and mailed it back.

John from Aesch BL, Switzerland

Good morning Insiders, thanks for all your hours keeping us connected, however far away from Green Bay we may find ourselves. Billy Howton, 53 receptions for 1,231 yards as a rookie? That's insane! How does that yards per catch stack up in Packers history?

Howton's 23.23 ranks third in team history for a single season of any player with at least two dozen receptions, behind Don Hutson's 24.88 in 1939 (34-846) and Carroll Dale's 23.68 in 1966 (37-876). It's the best of any player with a 1,000-yard season, ahead of James Lofton's 22.41 in 1983 (58-1,300).

See scenes from the Thursday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Aug. 25, 2022.

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi guys, I'm sure that the Inbox is full of submissions about the final preseason game, but I wanted to give a shout out to JC Tretter. Congratulations on his retirement and the way he went out. His comments were touching. Best of luck to one of the good guys.


Now for a handful of questions dealing with the roster cut-down process, for those interested:

Al from Green Bay, WI

The Packers will have two more practices before the Tuesday cut-down date. Realistically, so you think any bubble players that are currently on the outside looking in can do something in these last two practices to make the team?

I doubt it. It's more likely a bubble player might do something to confirm he shouldn't make it.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

How do final cuts work? If cut on Sunday, are they subject to waivers until Tuesday? Is there any reason to announce cuts prior to the deadline?

Teams might announce some cuts early if they have practices before Tuesday and know a guy isn't going to make it, but they don't want to risk him getting hurt and having to pay an injury settlement.

Chris from Weston, WI

Many times we hear of veteran players being cut to save salary cap money. Does this ever come into play when cut-down day comes? For instance, a third-year running back is fighting for a position against an undrafted free agent? Would contracts ever enter into the decision?

Only if there's a sizable discrepancy and the players are considered of equal value.

David from Stillwater, MN

If a player is cut and he is claimed by another team, is he required to go to that team or can he choose to remain a free agent and stay with the Packers' practice squad? I understand that the money difference might make this a dumb idea, but what if the player felt he was a better long-term prospect in GB and on the new team he may be a body to fill in for a few weeks and then get cut and be out of a job completely. Plus he may know the system in GB and have difficulty on a new team.

Claimed players have no choice. They must go to the team claiming them.

Jeff from Omaha, NE

A question regarding the cut-down process. When the Packers cut a player from the roster and decide they won't make the 53, do they retain first rights to sign them to the practice squad, or can another team swoop in and snatch them first?

Once a player clears waivers, he is free to sign with any team's practice squad that offers him a contract.

David from Crivitz, WI

Mike and Wes, as we approach the day when dreams are fulfilled or dashed, I was wondering if you could give insight into how players react/feel when cut but signed to the practice squad. Is it still their dream coming true, a disappointing compromise, or a feel of failure? Thanks for all you do.

It's not what they wanted, but they have a job in the NFL on a team that's interested in seeing how they develop. It beats the alternative.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

The release of Vernon Scott was quite the surprise. He was just lining up next to Amos with the ones. Do you think it was the severity of his injury that ultimately led to his release? Just seemed like his arrow was pointing almost straight up.

That's how I took it. Mark from Geneva, IL, asked if the injury precludes getting him back on the practice squad, and the length of the injury settlement comes into play then.

OK, time to wrap up the column now.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Spoff: "...age saps speed." To me, this very true comment cements just how truly great Darrell Green was. At 40 years old, he blew his teammates away by still running a sub-4.3 40!

For some players, age truly is just a number. Green was as rare as it gets at cornerback.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

In my elementary school, we used to have a "Buddy Bench." The idea was that if you didn't have anyone to play with, you could sit on the buddy bench to signal to others that you were looking for someone to play with. Kudos to Aaron Rodgers in Year 18 for creating a "Buddy Bench" for the younger players in the lunchroom. That's my quarterback.

Having never encountered this in my elementary school days, does that mean I'm old and age isn't just a number for me?

Keith from Lincoln, IL

On those days when Wes's lunch has gotten stolen, has Aaron Rodgers ever sat down beside him in the cafeteria and offered to split his sandwich with the poor guy?

How should I know?

Ken from Wild Rose, WI

Good morning. With the preseason games now over, do you think Aaron Rodgers and the other starters will play Week 1 against Minnesota? Sorry, couldn't resist. Here's to not having to hear that question for another 11 months.

Happy Friday.