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Inbox: That's what's most intriguing

NFL receivers must know where he is on the field at all times

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WR Romeo Doubs

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Good morning, Wes. Hearing coach Matt LaFleur talk about the difference Aaron Rodgers makes in the huddle and on the practice field, as a consistent critic I am beginning to wonder if I haven't taken 12 for granted. How would you quantify his value to this team?

He's perhaps the greatest player in team history…and somehow, still underrated in that regard.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Fans and some in the media have been quick to dismiss, trade or give little chance that Jordan Love can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Remember, Jordan is a competitor, a professional and a young hungry player that gets to write his own future. His first year was Zoom meetings and no preseason. He was injured for part of Year 2 in camp. With this being his third year and with additional coaching, development and motivation, do you feel that Jordan Love can be a starting NFL QB?

LaFleur called Tuesday one of Love's best practices in his two-plus years with the Packers. We've seen him throw some nice balls over the past two years, but the difference was how he was delivering the football while standing up to pressure. The key, as LaFleur pointed out, is consistency with Love and doing that on the regular basis. Can be an NFL starting quarterback? Of course, he can. Love's book is far from written. Every opinion Packers fans have of Love is based on reporters' tweets, two preseason games and his lone start against Kansas City. Just give Love a chance.

Richard from Caledonia, WI

Caleb Jones appears to be the biggest guy on the roster – how well has he been doing in camp?

Jones looked good during Tuesday's one-on-ones. He is a massive dude, so pad level will be huge (no pun intended). But as I said during the offseason program, Jones seems like a good athlete with good feet. He didn't rush into his blocks and allowed the pass rusher to come to him en route to winning his reps.

Gary from Bear Valley, WI

In college, receivers only need one foot in on a sideline catch. In the NFL WRs need two feet in on a sideline catch. Do WRs have special drills to help make the adjustment of two feet in or is it mainly a mental adjustment?

They do toe-tapping drills but it's also up to the player to adapt to the NFL playstyle. Romeo Doubs' catch on Tuesday was a perfect example. In the NFL, the receiver must have that situational awareness to know where he is on the field at all times. Doubs did that and has the locker room talking about him, including Rodgers.

Barry from Wausau, WI

Hello guys, I was at the practice Tuesday and was worried about our punt returns. It seemed no one could even catch the ball and finally when Doubs did it got a big cheer from the crowd. Today I saw that the Jugs machine wasn't working correctly. Whew! Oh, and by the way I'm typing this on my new Packers keyboard that I purchased from the Pro Shop after practice, but before I went to Cousin's Subs to try out the fries and shakes. They are as advertised.

I gotta give credit to Jason Wilde on this one. He texted a few of us after practice, wondering if something was up with the Jugs machine. I admit I dismissed that idea. I figured Rich Bisaccia was trying to create some adverse situations for the returners. Alas, there was a real problem. In 10 years covering this team, I've never seen that issue before. Hopefully, Brian Gutekunst brings in some promising Jugs machines this week and one stands out.

Mick from Saint Paul, MN

First time with a question in the II. I love what you guys do. Do you see a few players in camp who can play the Tyler "Swerve" Ervin role? It seemed like we didn't see much of that role last year but is an important component of Matt LaFleur's offense.

At 5-foot-9, 202 pounds, Amari Rodgers is built for that role, and we saw it a little last year. With Rodgers coming back lighter and more confident, I think you're going to see the former third-round pick get a lot more opportunities.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Now, let me get this straight. You want Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to increase their yards per carry, contribute more in the passing game and play on "We-fense." Anything else you'd like to pile on their plate? Maybe Jones could play DB and put Dillon in at linebacker. Back to the good old days of two-way players? I know these guys are powerhouses and willing to do anything asked of them, but do you think these expectations are realistic, or will that just burn these guys out by the playoffs?

Those are the tough decisions LaFleur and his coaches will have to make. Offensively, the options are limitless. The Packers can use Jones and Dillon in tandem or by series. "We-fense" is a different story. That's where you have to be a bit smart and selective with how you use "starters."

Stephen from Menomonee Falls, WI

What exactly is a "walk-through"? What does it look like and what does it sound like? Who's on the field? What are the players doing and what are the coaches doing? Is it different at different times of year – OTAs, training camp, preseason, regular season?

It's just a lighter tempo, meaning it's mostly an "above the shoulders" day, where players focus more on the fundamentals and technique than physical exertion.

George from North Mankato, MN

When did veteran days off for rest become a thing? I remember Julius Peppers taking days off but haven't a clue when this started.

The first time I recall the Packers purposely resting a veteran player who wasn't injured was Peppers in 2015. And it wasn't easy to get Peppers to sit. Perhaps Spoff has more examples but that's the earliest I can think of.

Anthony from Sturgeon Bay, WI

I keep hearing about the big catch of the day or the eye-popping play. Does one play or big catch really make that much of a difference when building a roster? Can a staff really determine consistency even over a few weeks of preseason camp?

It's like cornhole. Draining a bag is cool and all, but you need to consistently put points on the board to win. The big plays do matter, and if you're not making them in practice, it's unlikely they'll magically manifest in games.

Steve from Bloomington, IL

Wes mentioned that Romeo Doubs was "in the conversation for punt returner" but "less convinced the Packers would use him on kickoff returns." I'm wondering, what are the skills, attributes or other criteria that would lend any particular player to be a punt returner but not a kick returner or vice versa?

With all the changes the NFL has made to kickoff returns, I no longer think the juice is worth the squeeze with using a top prospect or starter as a kickoff returner. The play is objectively safer today, but you still saw what happened with Kylin Hill last year. There's still a chance of injury on punt returns but it's a slower-developing play with more finesse involved.

Kurt from Traverse City, MI

What must Gutey be thinking about this current WR dilemma? Do you hang on to an older (and perhaps injury-prone) WR or two for a single season at the risk of losing a couple of first- or second-year receivers off the practice squad to another team's 53? Or do you keep an eye on the future as you make every effort to win now? Players with significant potential, such as Juwann Winfree and Samori Toure, and perhaps even Taylor and Davis, likely won't last a season with the Packers if they're not on the 53, no?

To quote LaFleur, "We're in Install 7." I'm not cutting the roster or building a practice squad on Aug. 4. Let's play some games, Kurt.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, while it's still early, it's exciting to see how the young guys are reacting to the opportunities that present themselves. While not everything will work out the way we may envision them, what has you most intrigued thus far?

The possibilities. Seriously. These won't be cookie-cutter offensive and defensive schemes. The Packers will be multiple on both sides of the ball. The Packers can work as many combinations as they want and that's what's most intriguing.

Samuel from Skokie, IL

Living in the Chicago area, I hear sports talk radio. Bears conversations frequently highlight Luke Getsy as the savior of the offense. The talk is he will cause a major turnaround for their offense and help Fields develop. Was Getsy considered for Packers offensive coordinator, but they gave the job to Stenavich causing Getsy to leave, or did Getsy leave first? I would hate to think the Bears outsmarted the Packers.

I don't know everything that went into that decision but remember Getsy is not only the offensive coordinator in Chicago but also the Bears' play-caller. That's a big deal. For example, Matt LaFleur was the OC with the Rams for a year before he left for a promotion to become the OC and offensive play-caller in Tennessee the following year. With LaFleur calling plays here, there's really no position the Packers could've given Getsy that was higher than the title he currently holds in Chicago.

JR from East Moline, IL

I always feel like the playoff game against the Cardinals in the '09 season was Rodgers' coming-out party as an unquestionable elite player. I got similar vibes from Gary in the 49ers playoff game last season, and I hope it turns out the same as Rodgers.

I definitely see that. Gary was perhaps the best player on the field that night. It's too bad the disappointing outcome overshadowed his statement-making performance.

The Green Bay Packers held training-camp practice inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.

Trey from Fishers, IN

Seems bizarre to even think about but have you ever seen a defensive player, coming into the NFL, who you felt like avoided contact at the NFL level? Presumably a DB.

Yes, and I've also seen it happen where a defensive player sought contact at first but then altered his game to avoid it later on. That's how it goes sometimes. It's a human game played by actual humans.

Mike from Franksville, WI

Do the Packers still use the terms "Mack" and "Buck" to differentiate their inside linebackers? I'm curious as to what spots De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker play.

I haven't heard "Buck" since Dom left. It was "Mike" and "Will" under Mike Pettine and I still think the Packers use those terms with Joe Barry.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Which home matchup are you most looking forward to?

The Packers and Cowboys in Week 10.

John from Livermore, CA

Which regular-season game are you anticipating the most?

It's gotta be London, right? I've never been to England and can't wait to go.

Sam from Germantown, WI

Good morning. It seems Mike forgot about the time Greg Jennings put the team on his back and took it 99 yards on a broken leg in 2010 in New Orleans when answering the question about longest TD passes outside of Lambeau.

I'm surprised Spoff forgot one of biggest plays in team history. He's usually so dialed in, too. I'll send him the video.

Mike from San Diego, CA

It's finally "real" football time with the HOF game this evening. Akin to nearly quelling the collective hunger of the II after we've waited hours for our Culvers Doordash order, only to find the driver ate half the food and everything that's left is cold. At least we're no longer starving!

You're not? I would've sent it back. I ain't interested in the butcher's leavings.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Thank you for your response of it is all baloney season. Overhyped coverage can be nauseating, especially of a rival. Inbox is appreciated for being realistic, witty, and knowledgeable, albeit 88 laser goalposts.

Speaking of baloney, I'm packing my lunch for a few days to head down to Ohio for LeRoy Butler's Hall of Fame induction. We'll still be on our usual Inbox rotation but I'll be reporting from Canton over the next few days. Have a great Thursday, folks.

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