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Inbox: That's part of the fun

Christian Watson is the definition of a prospect with his best football ahead of him

Packers WR Christian Watson
Packers WR Christian Watson

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

Hey Wes, how does it feel to be the top dog this week? Has there been any insight in the location of the thing? I am sure it is very close to the Insider Instruction Manual. Time for the hunt, enjoy.

Can you really be the top dog if you're the only dog?

Dennis from Ottawa, IL

Wes, with the scarcity of II manuals, could an alert system be set up for all who are in need of one, or is the best bet to try for a bootleg copy? Maybe a bulletin board where sightings could be posted? Your thoughts?

I'll refer you to perhaps the most important item written on page two: "Nobody knows anything. Just be casual and you'll fit right in."

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Wes, with the roster the Packers have now, what is your way-too-early starting lineup on both sides of the ball in the season opener against the Vikings?

I couldn't tell you, Kerry. Even now, there are too many variables still in play. What I do know is there is an overabundance of depth on both sides of the ball. That's not something I could've easily foreseen with how the cap situation appeared three months ago. More depth means fewer questions…fewer questions mean less thinking…and less thinking means guys playing free, clear and relaxed.

Chris from Catawba, WI

It seems every year after the draft, II is inundated with comments regarding holes we didn't fill or lack of depth. Is this the deepest most balanced roster the Packers have carried into training camp?

That's basically what I'm saying. I haven't noticed as many of those "depth" questions this year and I don't think it's a coincidence. There certainly have been a few questions about the receivers, O-line, tight ends, etc., but they seem to be more out of curiosity than panic.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Nice job on the article about Christian Watson. Now, I'm even more hyped up to watch him play and grow with the Pack. With that type of attitude and commitment to his craft, how high is Watson's ceiling going be?

I'm gonna sound like a broken record after featuring Rashan Gary's athleticism in Monday's column, but much of the same is true about Christian Watson. The guy had a 9.96 Relative Athletic Score, which is pretty much as good as it gets. While I understand potential doesn't always equal production, his testing gives you an idea of the type of athlete the Packers have on their hands. Watson is the definition of a prospect with his best football ahead of him. The sky's the limit for that young man.

David from Chestertown, MD

Hello Wes, thanks for the great article about Christian Watson. Do you agree that players with the outstanding attitude and character Watson displays are the ones who can win games when the chips are down?

I didn't want to venture too far down that path and start drawing impossible comparisons, but those two attributes you mentioned – attitude and character – are what separated Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams. Talent can take you far with a QB like Aaron Rodgers throwing to you, but you need a good head on your shoulders in crunch time, too. Watson seems to have that.

Jim from Toledo, OH

To follow up on Gary being the No. 1 player in the country, all four of the recruiting services in 2016 had him No. 1, only the third time a player has accomplished that. The more you know.

Not too shabby.

Monty from Hazen, ND

Jumping on the Gary bandwagon, the most impressive part about him is that he is not even playing the same position he did in college. I remember Aaron Kampman trying to make the switch unsuccessfully. Are there any other players you can think of that have made a similar transition?

The lines have become blurred between standup outside linebackers and three-point stance defensive ends. I remember when the Packers signed Julius Peppers in 2014 and wondering how he'd fit into Dom Capers' defense. The Packers created that "Elephant" end spot and the rest was history. Certainly, Gary has found his comfort zone. As Mike Smith always liked to say…when a guy works that hard with that much talent, he will not fail.

Mark from Rochester, MN

How does the NFLPA and Panini America determine the most marketable 40-plus rookies for the Rookie Premiere?

It's easier than you might think. Obviously top picks are going to be selected, but quarterbacks and skill-position players also are popular in the hobby. Everyone wants to have that rookie auto or RPA of the "next big thing."

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

As has been pointed out numerous times, each player brings a different skillset and playing style to his position. With that in mind, which position do you see as being the most diverse?

I'd say tight end, especially here in Green Bay where you have a traditional in-line tight end like Marcedes Lewis (6-6, 267) and an F-tight end like Josiah Deguara (6-2, 238) sharing the same position room.

Dave from Coloma, MI

Maybe I'm confused but I thought the Insider Inbox Manual was handed out during the special Insider Inbox Stadium Tour. Anyway, on to my question: I always thought two of Davante Adams' greatest assets were his ability to defeat the defender off the line with his footwork and his "late hands" when catching the ball. Are either of those things that can be taught or are they something a receiver are naturally gifted with?

Both skills can be taught and better developed, but Adams was so far ahead of the game coming into the NFL. His footwork has always been fluid and natural, and I don't know if I've seen a receiver master the art of "late hands" quite like Adams. He was '99' overall for a reason. But I'm excited to watch all three young wideouts find their own rhythm and style this summer. That's part of the fun.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

I don't want to make too much out of bottom-of-the-roster moves, but it's the slow period preceding OTAs and Outsider Inbox, so what the heck. I noticed the team cut kicker JJ Molson, a guy it trusted enough to be Mason Crosby's COVID replacement for a good part of the last two seasons. Do you think that means they like the potential of Germany native Dominik Eberle? He could make an interesting story as we get to camp.

I don't know much about Eberle, but there is familiarity there with Rich Bisaccia from their time together in Las Vegas in 2020. I haven't even seen Eberle kick a field goal yet, so we'll see how he looks this spring. One thing that has appeared to change is teams are more willing nowadays to keep an extra specialist or two on their practice squad now with 16 available spots.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

If you could go back and watch one Packers game again for the first time, which game would you choose? For me, it would have to be Brett Favre's Monday Night game in Oakland after the death of his father. Back then, I wasn't the football or Packers fan that I am now, so seeing that game today would be pretty magical.

Super Bowl XXXI. First, I was too young to fully comprehend how monumental the Packers' turnaround was at the time. Secondly, it's appreciating the rarity of the NFL's best team actually winning the Super Bowl. That 1996 team was the best in the league, bar none. Time has taught me the NFL champion isn't always that team.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers wide receivers Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, who were in attendance for the 2022 NFLPA Rookie Premiere shoot on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

Ross from Hudson, WI

With speed being mentioned as what they are looking for in special teams, could that lead to keeping seven WRs this year? Is it OK to be excited for special teams this year?

Sure. Most probably don't realize there have been plenty of times the Packers have carried seven receivers on their active roster during a season. So, it's entirely possible the Packers overload there on the initial 53 if there's seven wideouts who earned it. Those young receivers will factor into special teams, as well. Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree, and the incoming rookies have just as much to prove there right now as they do on offense.

Hap from Graham, WA

Hey Wes: Being a career Army officer, and having spent 15 of my 28 years overseas, I was impressed by the tsunami of international GBP fans responding to the II posting regarding the "quality" of their fan-hood! I loved the international perspective firing back and it left me wondering, "Could we call the London game a Packers home game and be right?" I think so and believe we will be amazed at the sea of green and gold at the stadium for that game. GPG

Unless the Giants have a diehard UK fanbase I'm unfamiliar with, I'm expecting a very pro-Packers crowd at Tottenham. I'm sure some will have been fortunate enough to attend a game at Lambeau, but I'd expect for most this will be a first (and possibly only) time watching the Packers play live. The energy is going to be out of this world. Thank you for your service, Hap.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

Two questions. Who is going to call plays for the Patriots this year? How many series is Rodgers going to play in preseason?

My money would be on Joe Judge and none. Never say never, but I have a feeling we've seen Aaron Rodgers take his last preseason snap. The expansion to a 17-game regular season might have put the final nail in that exhibition coffin.

Laurie from Sheboygan, WI

You are probably done with the name thing by now, but my two cents: I rather liked having Mercilus and Darnell Savage on the same defense.

Whitney Mercilus is an all-time great handle for a pass rusher.

Kevin from Oconomowoc, WI

Just reading your answer on Tim Masthay, it brings back a story of my young stepdaughter, who with a friend was at Lambeau field trying to get autographs from Packers players, unfortunately, they were overrun by older children and unable to get any. According to her, Tim was leaving in his car and stopped to provide autographs to her and her friend. Tim Masthay became her favorite Packer from that day forward.

That's awesome to hear – and you were not alone. We received several Masthay stories Monday, which gave me an idea for another Outsider Inbox question. Tim is a legend. His brother, Ted, is a real Mensch, too. They're just a wonderfully kind family.

Tim from Fayetteville, NC

Who was the first Packers running back to gain 1,000 yards in a season?

I believe it was Tony Canadeo (1,052 yards in 1949).

Richie from Oceanside, CA

Not really related to anything, but I'm curious about how players who wear glasses approach game day. Do they wear contacts or do they go without. Is 20/20 really necessary to see what is required to make the plays? The football is rather large to be mistaken for anything else.

Aside from maybe Rodrigo Blankenship, most either wear contacts or get Lasik. I'm not familiar with any current players who simply take the glasses off and play without corrective lenses. The stakes are too high for that.

Peter from Morganfield, KY

Mike from Cascade got me curious: what DOES come up if you search GBP88 in the Library of Congress website? I think my favorite is "A brief grammar of the modern Armenian language as spoken in Constantinople and Asia Minor," written in 1848. Also: we discovered the other day that my two-year old son doesn't know what a football is called. He just sees one and says, "Packers." I must be doing something right, right?

That reminds me of my own son. He knows I write stories about football and the Packers, but what impresses him the most about my job is my view of the Ashwaubenon water tower.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Wes, when you took the job, did you know you would be inheriting Ask Vic along with Mike? Did you have any expectations or ideas about what it would be like to handle this daily mailbag?


Gary from Davenport, IA

I was jealous of Bob from Honolulu, who just moved there from Neehah. I've been to Hawaii twice and loved every second of it. I especially liked watching the Badgers at 6 a.m. and Packers at 7 a.m. By the time the game was over, you had most of the day to head to the beach. Just from a fan's point of view, would you prefer watching a game in the early morning or later in the day?

Honestly, neither. I'll take a noon game six days of the week and twice on Sunday.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Walleye, crappie, perch, bluegill. But what about nice fresh lake trout? You guys don't know what you're missing.

I've been told I'm a picky/peculiar eater, but I'll eat any fish. I love seafood – fried, sauteed, baked or boiled.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

I'm sure you had a lot of these submissions, but I can't stop thinking about it. Not definitive, but maybe a start on the II User Manual…

1. Read the II daily.

2. Keep track of the themes.

3. Be sincere.

4. Celebrate the English language some.

5. Don't be a (jerk).

Amen to that. Well, I'm off to the first practice open to the media during organized team activities. We'll have full coverage on today and throughout the week.