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Inbox: That’s what training camp is for

WR Trevor Davis
WR Trevor Davis

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

If they chipped the football, wouldn't it just be a matter of time before a hacker figured out how to access the system and mess with the results?

Well, then we break out the index cards again. Good morning!

Dominic from Newark, DE

So I’ve noticed a lot of hype around both Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. I was wondering if Equanimeous St. Brown is a potential heavy-hitter on offense. He stuck out as a consistent player in the middle and short game last season which has to earn him a mention.

A lot of people have been asking for potential breakout candidates and St. Brown is definitely high on my list. E.Q. would be a rookie now if he stuck around for his senior year at Notre Dame. Despite being an early entry into the league, he flashed as a 21-year-old receiver last year and should be better for the 300-some offensive snaps he took last year. I really want to see more of Trevor Davis as a receiver, too. He looked good this spring. We’ll separate my speculation from reality soon enough. That’s what training camp is for.

Victoriano from Milwaukee, WI

How can the receiver group become more interchangeable so that the Packers can use them to the best of their talents?

Every day they were working on it this spring. Once Sept. 5 rolls around, the most well-rounded receivers will play.

Scott from Martinez, GA

I totally agree with Weston about Matt LaFleur putting his own touch on his offense. If I may offer an analogy: when I was a student teacher, I learned several strategies I wanted to take with me, but I also observed counterproductive or insufficient ones. I learned how I wanted to manage and instruct my own students. My teaching style became my own from this experience. I kept some of the same things, tweaked some to my liking, and replaced what I didn't like. This is exactly what LaFleur is doing.

I approach my writing no differently. I’ve spent hundreds of hours reading stories, listening to interviews and studying how reporters speak on-camera. I find things I like and apply it to my own content. I’m not trying to replicate anyone else – I just want to learn and get better. LaFleur has been sitting in the car for 11 years in the NFL and now he has the keys. It’s his turn to drive.

Look forward to the season with snapshots of touchdowns from 2018.

Steve from Toft, IA

Is Aaron Jones the clear-cut favorite for starting at running back?

I mean what is a starting running back anymore? Are you asking if Jones is most likely to get the first carry of a game? Sure, but LaFleur wants him and Williams involved in the offense. Now, that isn’t great news for your fantasy football team but both backs bring something special to the offense.

Mike from Holton, MI

How will Dexter Williams fit in the two-headed backfield we have now?

That’ll be determined this summer. My guess is Jones and Jamaal Williams won’t play much during the preseason. Those games will be Dexter Williams’ proving ground. As recent history shows, it doesn’t take long for injuries to eat away at a depth chart. If he makes the roster, Dexter must stay ready even if the snaps aren’t aplenty right away.

Jill from Oshkosh, WI

What is the plan for Aaron Rodgers’ backup QB?

That’s up to DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins to decide. Their big audition begins in a little more than two weeks.

Jason from Waukegan, IL

I think one of the best things to change this offseason is the Packers will have a joint practice against Houston, which will help gauge how the Packers are facing against an external opponent. Who came up with this change and what activity can we expect from this practice?

LaFleur has coached on staffs that held joint practices and made a good point at the NFL Annual Meeting about how joint practices bring out a different type of energy from players since they’re not going against a teammate. I’ve never covered a joint practice, but I expect them to be fiery and competitive. It’s also a good excuse to see my friend Sarah Barshop, who covers the Texans for ESPN.com.

Wade from Roseville, MN

Jadeveon Clowney and Earl Thomas were my dream scenarios for the Packers to sign heading into free agency. A large part of me was disappointed when we didn't land any "big names" at edge and safety. The II reader in me was pleased when we drafted the younger and cheaper Clowney and Thomas in the first round. I'm hoping Gary and Savage can prove to be the next Clowney and Thomas for years to come.

I’d argue the Packers did make a splash at those two positions but digress. Fans are always eager to sign the top free agents every winter and sometimes it actually happens. Long-term, however, it isn’t fiscally responsible to do that every March. So the real challenge is finding the next premium playmaker through the draft. That’s the step Gutekunst took with Green Bay’s two first-rounders.

Travis from Oshawa, Canada

Any word if the Texans will participate in the bike tradition? I imagine the sight of J. J. Watt on a bike would go over well with most Packers fans lining the path.

I don’t know this for a fact but I’m guessing the Texans won’t be participating due to all the logistics involved. A lot goes into securing that “Dream Drive” area by the Packers’ locker room for players and kids to safely bike down to practice. I’m sure Watt will still find a way to make his presence felt, though.

Nick from Portland, OR

Take away the Matthews call against the Vikings, Ty’s terrible fumble, and Crosby’s howlers in Detroit and at the end of the Cardinals game, and the 2018 Packers very well could have been 10-6 and in the playoffs. Not saying that we should give McCarthy his job back or anything, but I also think expectations should be higher for this season and that the Packers weren’t anywhere near as bad as their record showed. If anything, they just had a string of bad luck last year.

The margin for error is razor thin in the NFL. I believe it was Lindy Infante who once said how like six or eight plays separated a marginal Packers team from a winning season during the late ‘80s. To your point, I don’t think the Packers are far from contention – especially with the moves they made this offseason.

Max from Ingolstadt, Germany

"Four…and David Bakhtiari will probably still be an alternate despite making a fourth consecutive All-Pro team." Let me guess, those four will be: Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Jaire Alexander aaaand..... Za'Darius Smith?

If they again play as well as they did last year, Kenny Clark and Corey Linsley deserve to be Pro Bowlers in 2019.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

I noticed Wes say Trevor Davis is “high on my depth chart.” Do you make a depth chart every offseason for predictions?

No. Someone just asked me about the candidates to play gunner for the Packers in 2019 and Trevor Davis tops my list. He’s one of the fastest guys on the team and played the position well in the past.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

If you already covered this, could you please cover it again? What is the supplemental draft? Are the players involved still in college? Are they able to start this year if drafted? The only thing I know is the team would lose the pick used this year in next year’s draft.

The supplemental draft, which takes place today, is a means for ineligible underclassmen who missed the deadline for April’s NFL Draft to enter the league after the fact. There’s a good chance Washington State defensive back Jalen Thompson will be drafted today. He planned to play for the Cougars this fall until he was informed last month he’d lost his eligibility. I’m not sure exactly why. All told, I think there are five available players. If drafted, the team gives up a 2020 draft pick in the corresponding round the player is selected. If undrafted, the players are free to sign anywhere.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, Aaron Rodgers had 25 touchdowns and two interceptions last season. Is he more likely to throw more touchdowns or have fewer picks in 2019?

More likely he throws more than 25 touchdowns.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Which Packers team, XLV to present, was the most well-rounded?

I’ve answered this before but I’ve always felt it’s the 2014 team. The defense didn’t play well early in the season but it hit on all cylinders once Clay Matthews moved to inside linebacker. Overall, I’d say it probably goes 2014, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2013, 2015, 2017 and then 2018.

David from Appleton, WI

Has the NFL taken notice of the increased number of coaches and assistants on teams? There is a cap on the number of players, but there seems to be greater numbers of coaches without any limits there.

Facts. Coaching staffs are only limited by what ownership is willing to pay. Just look at the Raiders and Jon Gruden.

Eric from Beaver Dam, WI

Where do you live during the offseason and how is it different from Green Bay?

I live in Suamico. It has more mosquitos than Green Bay.

Justin from Redmond, WA

I'm surprised no one mentioned the home-run derby from Monday night. Did you see the battle between Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson? I wanted it to just keep going.

So was I – to the point I even checked one last time to see if there were any HR Derby questions before we posted Tuesday’s Inbox. I was messaging back and forth with our manager of social media Ryan Hartwig about it on Monday night. It wasn’t just the home runs, either. It was the pace the players were hitting them. When I was a kid, I remember guys hitting a home run and admiring it for a few seconds. This was like whack-a-mole. It was fun nonetheless.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I did the Legendary Tour, Wes. It was fantastic! Coming out of the tunnel to the piped-in crowd noise had tears in my eyes. I did check out the press rooms but didn't see any windows. Sounds like you have moved up.

Next year’s Outsiders Inbox question – windowless office (yes, I said office this time) or cubicle with a view?

Cody from Wamego, KS

Wes, I loved that Evolution reference (the song started playing in my head instantly). If you could make a new Evolution with any current or former Packers who would you choose?

Jordy Nelson (Flair), Aaron Rodgers (Triple H), Davante Adams (Batista) and Jaire Alexander (Orton).

Jesse from Santa Marta, Columbia

English question for the dead zone. I believe "irony" to be a literary device. Ex: A character brings an umbrella but gets soaked by a truck hitting a puddle. A real life event cannot be ironic since it wasn't created by a writer. It's just a coincidence, no matter how fitting or tragic. Hall of Fame coach George Allen, who famously believed water breaks make you weak, died from complications of a "Gatorade" shower that was actually just ice water because the team couldn't afford Gatorade. Thoughts?

That’s pretty close. The only other example I recalls comes courtesy of my friend and former colleague, Pete Dougherty, who recounted to me the story of a Navy officer who couldn’t swim. I can’t remember the gentleman’s name.

Jim from Oakland, CA

It's refreshing to see packers.com honoring the US women's World Cup victory! I respect Vic's football insights and still read his column, but his disrespect for the great sport of soccer is downright embarrassing and was a black eye to this website. Thank you, Wes and Spoff!

As someone who gets his heart broken every four years when the U.S. men’s team plays in the World Cup, I fully intend to enjoy and celebrate the women’s back-to-back titles. I apologize for nothing.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

Are you surprised or not that Mike McCarthy is not coaching at any level this season?

Not at all. He’s been coaching nonstop for 30 years. I don’t blame him for taking a year off to recharge. I would do the same if it wouldn’t leave me broke in three weeks.

Doug from Unity, NH

3:23 a.m.? Don't you know NOTHING any good EVER happens at 3:23 a.m.?

It’s 3:23 a.m. I must be lonely.

The Green Bay Packers, Essity and Green Bay Packaging Inc., planted 437 trees in local communities through the "First Down for Trees" initiative.

Dan from Cross Plains, WI

Apologies if this has already been asked, but what do you think will happen first: balls and strikes being automated by technology or sensors in the football to spot the ball?

Definitely the former.

Tim from Hudson, WI

Nope, no engineer fight here (I was in the band). I used GPS generically to describe the concept. I also agree with Gavin from NM that satellites wouldn’t cut it. There would need to be an array of sensors in the stadium to triangulate the ball position. I think it’s closer than we think. P.S. I like the strike box in MLB!

You disappoint me, Tim. I really wanted an engineer fight…

Dennis from Beaver Dam, WI

The engineer has it wrong about the accuracy of GPS tracking devices. Sub-inch accuracy is used on farm equipment. It only requires a single local tracking device paired with satellites to achieve that kind of accuracy. So it definitely is available for footballs if the NFL wants it.

And then here comes Dennis from the top rope!

Greg from Los Angeles, CA

How is it more people don't know this technology already exists? The NFL already has the sensors in the balls, on the field, and in players shoulder pads. They could start using it tomorrow if they could make the accuracy just a little better. They're only accurate to 6-10 inches depending on conditions.

Oh.

Ryan from Fond du Lac, WI

Thanks for the shout out! Other things that were addressed in the Inbox: the U.S. women's soccer team and seeing a child pedal a bike without training wheels. I watched the women's final with my daughter. I told her about every player (Google filled unknown blanks). I told her that each of them were great because they never stop trying to be better. After the game she said "Can we try my bike without training wheels?" Didn't quit until she got it, not complaining about scrapes or bruises! Sports inspire.

Oh man, is it getting dusty in here or is it just me? The lesson is never stop trying to get better. Today, tomorrow or 50 years from now when sensors are used to indicate first downs. You gotta put up with me for one more day before Spoff is back. Make it a great Wednesday, folks.

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