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Inbox: That's their job

It’s not for everybody

G Elgton Jenkins, T David Bakhtiari

Thomas from Oviedo, FL

Do they switch to left-handed footballs for plays designed for lefties?

My week off really needs to get here. At least July has arrived.

Chun from El Monte, CA

Will it be harder for teams this season to decide who makes the 53-man roster? We are more than likely going to have a shortened preseason so street and undrafted free agents will have fewer opportunities to prove themselves. Usually the Packers have at least 1-2 undrafted FA that make the roster.

I'm curious to see how this plays out. If a guy proves his worth in practice, he doesn't have to go gangbusters in a preseason game to make the team, just show the lights aren't too bright for him. With a shortened preseason, and therefore less film available on young, developing players, I wonder if that'll lead to fewer waiver claims, making it easier to get guys through to the practice squad. Teams might be more inclined to stick with whom they know when info on others is limited.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Do you think the 49ers complete the comeback if the lights don't go out just after halftime?

I think the blackout helped the 49ers start their comeback by blunting the Ravens' momentum.

Jenn from Peoria, IL

I read an article where Favre supposedly said that the Packers should use Jordan Love like the Saints use Taysom Hill. It got me wondering which Packers greats over the years do you think would make dynamic coaches? It seems that the most known players are rarely the ones that come back to coach. I admit to recency bias, but I keep thinking Jordy Nelson has the perfect demeanor to coach.

I've met a lot of former players that do, but the commitment to coach at this level is off the charts. The hours required, the family sacrifices, the daily grind … it's not for everybody, no matter how perfect his demeanor.

Lori from Broomfield, CO

Can Oren Burks survive on special teams play alone, or must he also contribute as a defender?

There needs to be a level of confidence he can get the job done on defense if called upon. Does he need to be a defensive starter to make the team? I don't think so. But any non-starter at inside linebacker will be taking a spot on special teams, so where he ends up on the defensive depth chart will matter.

Jeff from Belton, TX

What position battles are you looking forward to? I think the WR and DB are going to be interesting.

In addition to inside 'backer mentioned above, wide receiver and backup offensive tackle are the first that come to mind.

Marc from Holmen, WI

In response to Eddie from La Crosse, 37 is not a hexagonal number, although it is a centered hexagonal number and a star number (think Chinese checkers). Speaking of "star" numbers, the Packer who wore No. 37 the longest is none other than current Packer president Mark Murphy. Packer HOFers wearing No. 37 in addition to Murphy are Howie Ferguson and Swede Johnston with Sam Shields a lock and Tyrone Williams in contention.

There are so many things in this post that are all over the place, I just couldn't resist responding. First, it's rare for something math-related to not interest me, but I couldn't care less about hexagonal or star numbers or how they're centered. Second, the current Packers president is not the same person as the former Packers player who shares his name. Check the hair if you don't believe me. Third, in continuing the discussion of underrated Packers, among those I've actually covered, Tyrone Williams might be on my list. There, I think that covers it. Whew.

Dan from Cross Plains, WI

My favorite part about watching the Alumni Spotlights are noticing the drastic change in looks/body type of each former player. If I saw Jason Spitz out and about, I would not have been able to tell that he was a former offensive lineman. It adds another layer of appreciation that shows how much work these men put into their bodies to become NFL-ready. Are there any other players that come to your mind where you have noticed a drastic change in looks?

It's usually with the linemen, and I was struck by Spitz as well, having covered his Green Bay career, when he came back for that interview last year. I also work with Larry McCarren, obviously, whom no one would peg based on his current body type as a former Pro Bowl center. I admire those guys who can drastically change their lifestyle and return to the world of more normal-sized humans. It can't be easy.

Mark from Monrovia, CA

Well Wes, once again you made my coffee taste a little better this morning. Great article on Josiah Deguara. A good friend of mine is a UCLA alum with season tickets. He saw the Cincinnati game last year, told me this guy was a beast and that we should be stoked to have him. I'm looking forward to seeing how he and Aaron Rodgers work together. If he can find those soft spots in the defense it could be a security blanket for Aaron. Wouldn't that be nice. Thanks again you guys for all the work you do.

The fact that last year's Packers team was shown a highlight of Josiah Deguara in the film room (chasing down the UCLA defender after an interception), and now he's on the team, still blows me away. That's the type of draft connection story I'd never heard before.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

I have always been a huge proponent of locker-room chemistry as a major contributor to success. On a percentage basis, how would you rate these three categories to championship level success? Raw talent, game-day mental preparedness, locker-room chemistry. I like 15-60-25. If you're not mentally prepared on game day, you're susceptible to going home a loser.

I'd be more inclined to say 30-40-30. You can't win in the NFL without sufficient talent, no matter how prepared or connected you are as a team. The latter two both help players individually and a team as a whole maximize talent, but they can't compensate for a lack of it, not at this level.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

In regard to young players, I read somewhere (apology for not knowing the original author): "Talent can't be taught, but it can be awakened." Looking at last year, I trust LaFleur and his staff to provide plenty of awakening this season.

That's their job, in furtherance of my previous point.

Rich from Eagle River, WI

How does Jordon Love's hand size compare to Favre's and Rodgers'?

Love's hands measured 10½ inches at the combine, one-eighth of an inch larger than Favre's.

TK from Grafton, WI

Is the biggest jump in player development expected from Year 1 to Year 2? If so, why?

Usually, yes, because the biggest mental and physical transitions have been made. Second-year players have learned an NFL playbook, adjusted to the speed of the game, and gotten a full offseason of rest and recovery after the rookie gauntlet that runs nonstop from the college bowl game through the all-star games, combine, pre-draft process, OTAs, training camp, and the longest football season they've ever played.

Mario from Kettleman City, CA

Packers' own Kevin King named PFF's best red-zone cornerback for 2019. It made my day.

Two fourth-quarter end-zone interceptions will help that cause.

Ryan from Appleton, WI

It seems that Kevin King is fairly low on the priority list when seeing next year's FA class. With that said, losing King would seem to make CB one of the top positions of need next offseason. Odds the Packers try to sign King to a long-term deal during the season?

In a perfect world, the Packers would love to get all their front-line players in contract years signed to extensions, but it won't work that way. I would guess King is looking to stay healthy for a second straight year, play well again, and command much bigger dollars than he could secure right now.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

Jaire Alexander's young career is off to a stellar start, especially when you factor in that he is typically matched up against the opponent's No. 1 WR. What improvement would you need to see in his game to be able to say he has taken the next step?

More interceptions and more consistency. I'm sure three picks in his first two years in the league is a disappointment to him. He really smoothed out his game after the rough day in Dallas last season, but now what qualifies as a bad day has to be better than that, if you get my drift.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

For those of us without access to NFL Network, will Davante Adams' episode be available on this website? PS: Is that the correct use of an apostrophe for his name? I always get that rule confused when the name ends in "s."

The episode is right here. And yes, you're correct, at least according to my own rule of thumb. Which is, to make a name ending in "s" possessive, add apostrophe only if the name is two syllables, apostrophe plus another "s" if just one. Adams' episode, Wes's lunch, etc.

Ron from Round Lake, IL

if all-caps is considered shouting, what is all-small?

Just as painful on my eyes.

Steve from Scranton, PA

Always wondered why I had an affinity for and it suddenly occurred to me that you have the same cast as the best TV show of all time, M*A*S*H. Wes is a dead ringer for Radar O'Reilly, Larry is Henry Blake right down to their University of Illinois roots, and of course Spoff is Hawkeye. Vic's white-haired wisdom matched that of Colonel Sherman Potter, and Kuuuhn could easily be "Trapper" John. Even Wayne bears a facial resemblance to Max Klinger.

Happy Wednesday.