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Inbox: That's why the play jumped out

The defense will reveal itself in the coming months


Zach from Merrill, WI

Mike, with all the wonderful breweries our state is blessed with, do you have a favorite one? What about favorite style of beer?

Why limit myself? That would be boring.

Shawn from Broken Arrow, OK

In Moment 73, Desert Shootout, shouldn't that one be called "The Facemask"? Or at least, "The facemask that wasn't"? It's not that I haven't moved on, it's just that I'm being real. That year could have been that elusive second Super Bowl win for Aaron Rodgers.

My way of coming to peace with that outcome is the knowledge we later learned about the Saints and their bounty program that year. I think it's best to accept the Packers were better off not having Rodgers face that defense in New Orleans that particular postseason. I shudder to think what might have happened.

Mark from Hudson, WI

I've been keeping up with your "100 Moments" collection, and with now 30 yet to be revealed, I'm wondering if we're going to see the Charles Martin incident show up? Sure, it's not a glamorous moment, but it was a big deal when it happened. At any rate, the game sure is different today isn't it? Even the rivalries feel different than they did. Much more tame than they used to be, that much is certain.

Charles Martin was **Moment No. 44**.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Would McCarthy ever consider rotating the QBs every series to see them against similar competition, rather than doing it by quarter? You would have to weigh that advantage against disrupting the flow of the game.

He's tried that at times earlier in his coaching career, but he seems to favor allowing a QB the opportunity to find some sort of rhythm in the game.

Scott from Idaho Falls, ID

I must pay homage to Jerry Kramer after his long-overdue Hall of Fame induction on Aug. 4. Two days later on both ends of a flight, Jerry became the first Packer I've met in person. He was easy to spot still wearing the gold blazer from the ceremony. Jerry graciously put up with my gushing twice, but genuinely appreciated hearing that Packer fans still predominate in Idaho Falls because of him. Jerry's legendary status across Idaho may even eclipse his worship back there in Wisconsin.

I love that he was still wearing the gold jacket on the flight home. If I were Kramer, I might never take it off.

James from Asheville, NC

How do coaches strike a balance between praising or encouraging a young player and not allowing them to get too comfortable? For every positive McCarthy gave after the first preseason game he added a "room for improvement" or "things we need to clean up" comment. That's one of the most overlooked qualities of a great coach.

It's the essence of coaching.

Phil from Ashland, WI

Although he got into Canton primarily as a coach, Superior, Wis., native Bud Grant was an absolute stud in the CFL, which was after he played offense and defense in two different years for the Philadelphia Eagles, which was after he played a couple years in the NBA, which was after he lettered in three sports for the Golden Gophers. I'm no Vikings fan, but Grant's resumé transcends time, nations, and leagues. He deserved mentioning when Wes answered Will from Rochester, MN.

Everything I've read about Bud Grant makes me regret he coached before my time. It's not just his resume that's transcendent, it's his humanity, too. If they had a garage sale hall of fame, he'd be in that as well.

John from Casablanca, Morocco

I just looked at the 99 team photos throughout the teams first 99 seasons. All the photos look like they were taken in the Green Bay area except one. Where was the 2010 Super Bowl team photo taken? It is obviously not in Lambeau Field. It must have been taken AFTER the Super Bowl game. Was there another official team picture taken at the beginning of the season? Just curious!

The 2010 team photo **in that gallery** was taken on media day of Super Bowl week at Cowboys (now AT&T) Stadium in Arlington. The 2010 team photo on our **“100 Seasons” site** was the traditional team photo taken at Lambeau during the regular season.

Patrick from Bel Air, MD

Moment 72 brought back some memories about my Dad. I was 10 and he took me to what was then BWI Airport to greet the Baltimore Colts. It was probably the first time I saw tears in my father's eyes. I feel this may have cemented my love of the Colts and NFL football. On his deathbed my Dad said, "Chandler missed." (That may or may not be true!)

We'll never know for sure.

Jay from Sheboygan, WI

I remember when Peppers was signed and Vic said he was the guy you wanted getting off the bus first. Who is the most physically intimidating player on the roster now that could take that spot?

Maybe Marcedes Lewis.

Jim from Rancho Santa Margari, CA

Last year there was a ton of hype around Josh Jones and he showed signs but I'd say played OK. I don't hear much about him this year as being a guy that needed to step up and make a bigger contribution. What's your perspective on him for this year?

If he makes the proverbial second-year jump, I think he's going to play a key role on this defense. I just haven't figured out what role he fits best, but I trust the coaches will.

RK from San Diego, CA

Hear me out. Boyle shows a lot of promise but is probably too raw to go into the season with him as the No. 2 QB. I think the Packers should consider letting Kizer and Hundley duke it out over the next three games to see who the No. 2 QB is going to be and keep Boyle on the practice squad. It's doubtful another team would go after Boyle for their 53-man roster with such limited tape on him. End result, we keep three quarterbacks and only have to use two roster spots.

Except if what you're suggesting is to hide Boyle on the bench for the rest of the preseason, how's he going to develop? Never be afraid of having to make tough decisions.

Luke from Kenosha, WI

The "kneeling issue" with the players is delicate. As a combat veteran I helped fight a war to give them that right. As a police officer I'm not a fan of it because of my profession. Regardless of what I think they have the right to kneel, but I would add that I don't think doing it while getting paid is the time to do it. The discussion needs to happen, but it should be done off the field. Most Americans turn to football for several hours to escape reality and just want to see football.

That's a perspective I've heard often and can appreciate. But I also understand the players' view that the best time to bring attention to their causes is when they have the largest and most attentive audience. Delicate is right, and it underscores the importance of the league and the players' union coming up with a satisfactory solution. I don't know what that is, but it's incumbent upon them to find it.

Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Mike, are you sure that Larry is not telepathic?

I put nothing past him.

Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Guys, I thought Oren Burks looked fast and tackled well. He looked like he belongs and I hope they go with him over an experienced ILB. His ceiling is high, so developing him now as a hybrid is best for the long term. How does he look in practice?

In my opinion, no one is getting coached harder on the practice field than Burks. Patrick Graham is on him every snap. It was like that before Ryan went down, but now the urgency is more obvious.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Crosby still Crosby. New snapper and holder, but so steady and reliable. Though it's the first preseason game, I'm still and always impressed by his professionalism.

If all goes well, he may not have to change holders again the rest of his career.

Peder from Rockford, MI

You always say Aaron Rodgers is purposeful with his comments. Jake from St. Clair Shores asked about Kumerow's chances of making the roster. I think Rodgers answered his question by his statements about Kumerow. It seems he's sending a message he wants this guy in his receiving corps. Thoughts?

Rodgers made it clear when he last spoke that if he had to play a game now, he'd want Kumerow out there with him. Let's see as camp goes along if any other young receivers earn reps with No. 12.

George from New Paltz, NY

I didn't see Devante Mays play. I haven't read anything on him. Is he injured?

He hurt his hamstring prior to Family Night.

Clay from Avondale, AZ

Is Jamaal Williams bigger? He has always run with power, but he seems a bit thicker.

Maybe a tad, but what I like more was seeing the open-field move he made to get in the end zone on that pass in the flat against the Titans. I don't recall him making a lot of guys miss last year. That's why the play jumped out.

Andrew from Ettrick, WI

I've always wondered how common players switching number is after the final cut to 53 from 90? Do players (mostly rookies) have that opportunity if a preferred number comes available after the cut-down? Or is it a big NO because the Pro Shop starts printing jerseys when they sign or drafted?

Young players will change numbers occasionally after the final roster reduction, but it's rarely more than one or two guys, if any.

Dave from Pune, India

Mike, as a Packer owner, with my one stock share, I vote to allow you to do your job from Hinterland! Let me know once you have your "office" setup and I'll buy you a cold one. Along those lines, what is the most interesting (non-Lambeau) place from where you've done your job?

I've written Inbox from my in-laws' camper a few times, but as long as there's Wi-Fi available, I can get work done. Covering prep sports in the pre-Wi-Fi days presented a lot more challenges. Once I was a couple hours from the office covering a big wrestling duel that lasted far longer than expected, and I was too far away to make deadline by driving back. The athletic director of the host school appreciated my predicament and took me to his house so I could file my story on time. His wife, watching TV in her bathrobe, even offered me a beverage.

Dan from Norfolk, VA

Hi Spoff, can't remember, do we get "What You Might've Missed" during preseason, or do we have to wait for the regular season?

Wait you must.

Jason from Baraboo, WI

Unless my eyes are deceiving me, it appears the Packers are grooming Quinten Rollins for the Micah Hyde role: punt returner with a safety/corner hybrid. Do you see the same?

Somewhat, though I believe he was returning punts primarily because Davis and Alexander weren't playing Thursday. Regardless, he is being groomed for a multi-faceted role on defense. Now he has to seize it.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

M. Adams showed burst and quickness but spent a lot of time with his shoulder pads perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, which takes him out of the play on cutbacks. Do you know whether Pettine's scheme favors the one-gap burst by linemen versus a read-and-react, two-gap approach? Just wondering what to think of Adams' play.

Any lineman can have different assignments on different plays, so I wouldn't get caught up in it. As I've said, Pettine's defense will reveal itself to us in the coming months, but I don't expect to learn much about it this month.

Packers players rode kid's bikes to and from practice Sunday down the DreamDrive.

Jerry from Des Moines, IA

I would like to get any insight you have on how players are evaluated from the game film. Example, Kumerow was wide open on a play and Boyle badly overthrew him. Or Moore was open on the deep ball he dropped. I'm assuming Kumerow gets credit for running the route correctly and getting separation. Does Moore get credit for his ability to get open, or is it all about catching the ball in that case?

Generally speaking, on any given play, players are graded on assignment, technique and result. For quarterbacks, it's different because decision-making and other factors are graded, too. A player's individual matchup (e.g., the caliber of the opposing player) will impact grades as well.

Jayeb from Erlangen, Germany

I noticed preseason games have become more of a backup/newcomer evaluation forum. I used to remember starters playing a lot more in a "Get the rust off" way. Is this just the evolution of smart management or did the collective bargaining agreement's practice rule changes force this? It seems like the first few regular-season games starters are still rusty because of this.

I have no hard evidence to back this up, just my observations, but I've seen an evolution over time with regard to both scheme and injury exposure that has contributed to the current preseason. Long before the 2011 CBA, teams already were becoming insistent on more vanilla game plans, diminishing the value of reps for front-line players and making the injury risk even less palatable. Since the CBA, with fewer camp practices plus padded-workout restrictions, a greater premium has been placed on in-game competition for young players, to get a more complete evaluation. All these factors have led us to where we are.

Rob from Gun Barrel City, TX

I love the new "Unscripted" and slightly different intro music. What I can't wrap my head around is the helmet scheme behind Wes. Is there any secret rhyme or reason?

Nope, but maybe we should start messing with it. Happy Monday, everyone.