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Inbox: That's a lot of variables a defense must account for

Every year is different when it comes to handling the preseason


Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Wes, do you feel that many readers wish to see you fail in the garbage can jump in order to assuage their feelings of inadequacy?

A gentleman stopped me on my way down to practice Monday, playfully asking to see the footage. That's when you know you've created a monster. Good morning!

Johnny from San Antonio, TX

Regarding Davante Adams' footwork making him open but Jimmy Graham getting the ball. If that means we're taking what we want instead of what's given to us, I welcome it with open arms.

Randall Cobb was asked about this very same topic in the locker room Monday. The more pressure the Packers can apply to the defense in the middle of the field, the better. It doesn't matter if it's Adams, Cobb, Graham or Marcedes Lewis. That offensive multiplicity expands further when the Packers split out a running back, as well. That's a lot of variables a defense must account for and respect.

Joel from Ozark, AL

The third preseason game has always been the most interesting for me, personally. What are you expecting in regards to starters playing deep into the first half?

Every year is different when it comes to handling the preseason. Historically, this has been the game where the starters play the longest. However, I wonder how much the playing surface at the Oakland Coliseum will affect the Packers' plans for Aaron Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga and so on. Keep in mind, we're in the midst of the baseball season, so the dirt and diamond likely will be in play. Don't be surprised if the Packers exercise caution based on how team reps were distributed Monday.

Darrel from Henderson, NV

Now that we are two games down, when are the required cuts coming and how many players can be carried for the last two games?

There no longer is a cut to 75. NFL teams are permitted to carry up to 90 players on their roster all the way through the final preseason game. I liked the change when the league made it a few years ago. It's better for teams and it's better for players.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

I've always been under the impression that the bottom 35 players on the roster are all playing to audition for other teams. Getting cut by the Packers is not the end of life in the NFL for those players. What percentage of the Packers' summer players end up on other rosters in the fall and is that a good way to grade your scouts for the GM?

As painful as it sounds, I don't think it's a bad thing for one or two of your guys to get claimed off waivers by another NFL team. It means you had a competitive 90-man roster the rest of the league values. I'd rather lose one or two guys than cut to 53 and have the top 10 players you waived make it back to your practice squad without issue.

Dee from Jersey City, NJ

First play of Thursday's game was beautiful not only because of the result, but because Muhammad Wilkerson's dominating at the line. Do you think he'll play as great as he looks on paper?

I'm not the prediction type, but the proof is in the pudding with Wilkerson and Mike Pettine. The Packers' defensive coordinator seems to know how to get the most out of the two-time All-Pro. The odds favor Pettine doing it again.

Rich from Woodburn, OR

First time questioner but proud owner thanks to my wife's Christmas present a few years ago. What's the deal with the Akeem Judd situation?

Judd made a personal decision to hang up his cleats following Thursday's preseason game against Pittsburgh. I thought he flashed during his brief time in Green Bay. There's a path to the roster for a young player who impresses with Devante Mays still injured and Aaron Jones suspended for two games. We'll see if any of these guys can capitalize.

Zach from Delavan, WI

What put Nick Collins on another level? What traits differentiate a safety that can start in the NFL and one that can be a game-changer?

Instincts, athleticism, natural ball-hawking ability and a high football IQ. Those first two attributes are typical for an elite NFL safety, but those last two are what separate the true game-changers from the rest of the pack.

Eric from Alexandria, VA

Did you guys see Jimmy Graham after his Lambeau Leap? He needs to take it easy on those chest bumps with his teammates. He was so excited he almost knocked a few people over. He's going to hurt someone.

Can you tell how much it means to Graham? We've seen that energy all throughout camp when he reaches the end zone.

Paul from New Richmond, WI

I agree on the assessment of backup QB as if Brett Hundley makes No. 2, we'll keep three. I don't recall that Hundley ever really burned up preseason before. I remember him being solid but nothing that really stood out. This year he seems to be playing with more confidence and not thinking as much before acting. Do you see same? As for Jake Kumerow, I'd love him to make it but a guy by the name Max McCaffrey comes to mind.

Hundley has a good track record in the preseason, including his rookie year in 2015 when he threw for 630 yards and led the NFL with seven touchdown passes. He injured his ankle in 2016 and barely played, but had a respectable 88.8 passer rating last year. I think the difference with Kumerow from other summertime successes is he makes at least a play or two every practice and has an NFL frame to go along with his athleticism.

Brad from Leola, PA

Read a good article on the Packers making a trade for Khalil Mack. I think this is a move that should be made. It is a win-now league and Mack is 27. He would have an immediate impact and improve the defense. In my opinion, this is a move the Packers need to make and make now.


Lori from Brookfield, WI

Does the fact that Brett Hundley has started both preseason games mean he has the edge in the backup QB battle?

To a certain extent. These decisions aren't made at random. I'm careful to say that, though, because it wouldn't surprise me if the Packers sent out DeShone Kizer first Friday night or in the finale against Kansas City to see how the second-year QB responds to a higher level of competition. If that occurs, I also won't overreact, "Oh, Kizer has surpassed Hundley on the depth chart." You'll get your answer to who's No. 2 soon enough.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

I went to the game on Thursday. This was my first game in Green Bay. I thought it was classy how the Packers welcomed Morgan Burnett.

I was happy to hear that reaction. I talked about this on the Packers pregame show with Dennis Krause – Burnett is one of the good guys. He always was accountable with the media – win, lose or draw. I know for a fact that ovation meant a great deal to Burnett, as well.

John from Appleton, WI

The comparing Ruvell Martin to Jake Kumerow is not a subtle expectation change. To borrow a phrase from "The Big Lebowski," this is the "plane crashing into the mountain." Is Kumerow the next Jordy Nelson? Almost certainly not. However he has a way bigger upside than Ruvell ever did. Ruvell's career season was a 15-catch effort. The Packers have higher hopes for Kumerow than that. I respectfully disagree with that comparison and just had to vent. Otherwise, keep up the great work guys.

Martin played seven NFL seasons. That's not too shabby. The reason I said Martin is they're similar in build (6-4, 209 to 6-4, 214), speed and their lunch-pail approach to the job. If Kumerow makes the roster and surpasses that, then I'd say he's a cut-above Martin, but don't write off a comparison just because the guy wasn't a Pro Bowler. A lot of players would give their left arm to have the career Martin had in the NFL.

Randy from Bristol, WI

Was I seeing things at the game? They had years 1999-2009, not 1919-2019, on the 100 Seasons logo on the scoreboard.

The organization is using the 10 home games to honor a particular decade. The Steelers game was 1999-2009. The regular-season opener against Chicago will be 1989-99.

Take a look at Monday's training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field

Tucker from Belton, TX

I would be partial to, "KumerUNOw."

I tried to say that aloud just now and my tongue replied, "Uh, yeah. No." Kumerow Uno, it is.

Roger from McGrath, AK

We have a lot of depth at a couple positions. It would be nice to retain that if we can get them through waivers and onto the practice squad. My question is what is the highest number of the same position we have ever had on our practice squad?

I feel like there was a time in 2012 or 2013 when the Packers carried like four receivers on their practice squad at one point. It also isn't uncommon to see three or four offensive linemen on the practice squad.

Dan from Catonsville, MD

Other than Family Night, do the Packers ever formally practice at Lambeau Field? What about the punters and place kickers, do they ever go over to the stadium at Lambeau Field and practice?

The Packers don't hold any formal practices at Lambeau Field other than Family Night, but the specialists spend time working inside the bowl to get acclimated to the wind patterns and microclimate.

Joseph from Elk Grove, CA

Robert Tonyan looked impressive versus Pittsburgh. With such a loaded TE crew, does he have a chance to make the 53?

He's keeping his name in the conversation with how he's performed in preseason games and training camp. I've been impressed with how far he's come in a short time. The Packers have had a fair amount of success converting players to new positions on their practice squad. These next two weeks will be huge for Tonyan and Emanuel Byrd.

Tyler from Fox Crossing, WI

Wondering if you know where players stay while on the team during the season. I understand many veterans buy homes, but what about the newer guys or recently signed? It doesn't make sense for every player to buy a house in Green Bay when they could be on another team a week later. Any idea on this?

The Packers help new players find housing and adjust to Green Bay. I know of several first- and second-year players who room together. When a player moves on, many will sell their house or sign over their lease to someone else on the roster. I've never heard of housing being an issue.

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

The Rams removed the gold when they moved to Hollywood. The Raiders should bring in a little when they move to Vegas.

I think a little gold trim on the silver and black would look cool. It also would create some unity with the Golden Knights. Maybe Raiders fans would disagree.

Tanner from Suwanee, GA

Here is an idea to keep us coming back to the site more than once a day. How about an Inbox poll of the day? You guys choose and post a reader-submitted poll question each day and we respond. It would be very interesting to see the opinions of the readers as a whole. I know I would check the poll results a few times to see how my answer fares with the groups.

We also write stories and produce videos. We hope that keeps you coming to the site, as well. If that isn't enough, we run a fan poll near the bottom of the main page and **Spoff has a trivia question of the week**. They're both very exciting.

Abiegail from Santa Clarita, CA

Wow! Six questions from California Monday! I've had a question answered by Vic and Mike. I just need one from you, Wes! My question is how does one get season tickets? Can my children inherit them or do they wait for their turn on the waitlist? Appreciate your work! Can't wait to meet you at the pep rally in LA!

You can **put your name on the waiting list** now and your great-grandkids might have a chance at inheriting them someday. In the meantime, see you in LA.

Jason from Ringle, WI

Did I miss the story Wes did about the field? I was gone a couple weeks and haven't come across it on the site.

**Here it is** in all its glory.

Alex from Winter Haven, FL

When a player gets cut, traded, or allowed to walk in free agency, what keeps him from sharing the old team's plays/playbook with the new team?

They have to give it back.

Theodore from St. Louis, MO

This is a question for Wes. Is pumpkin a spice?

Is Clay Matthews a linebacker?

Johnny from Grand Chute, WI

An homage to the answer by Spoff to Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ. So here I sit on the Insider's bubble with less than two weeks to go until cut down. What must I do to make the cut? Ask more insightful questions? Add more humor? Do a little dance? Make a little love? Do I need to get down tonight? I know I can do it. I belong!

Just make a general reference about PSLs coming into season and you're in. It's like a safe-house password for automatic entry.

Andrew from Pleasantville, NJ

Your thoughts on SummerSlam? I feel they ruined Braun Strowman's cash-in.

The highlights for me were the Rollins/Ziggler and Miz/Daniel Bryan. Old-school finish for Miz and Bryan, which makes sense given their history. I was dissatisfied with the ending to Lesnar and Reigns, but what do you expect? Lesnar is going back to UFC and Reigns was destined to get the belt. Brooklyn would have booed the stuffing out of that match if Strowman wasn't at ringside and never appeared. I just hated how quickly they rushed out of it. It was like someone swindling you and rushing out the backdoor.

Jacoby from Phoenix, GA

Is that spare room above the garage available to rent come playoff time?

You guys are the best. The best, Jerry, the best.