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Inbox: That was a fun night

It’s a six-week interview, where everything is reviewed and analyzed


George from Hutchinson, MN

I took the wife and kids on the Spoffkiewicz Lambeau Reality Tour yesterday. Watching the Spoffkiewicz animatronics talking to us in their own working environment was awesome. But they did scare our little 3-year-old daughter, Brittney. She started crying. But later, we were all smiles while driving back home, having attached on top of the dashboard our gift shop purchase of the Spoffkiewicz Bobble Head Dolls.

It took more than three years writing this column, but I'm officially speechless. I got nothing. Good morning!

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Better night: Jake Kumerow or Trevor Davis?

The answer is yes. But seriously, they both were exceptional. I go back to that interview in May 2018 when we were all asking Kumerow about having no chance after the Packers drafted three receivers. Don't tell him or Davis that. They're both having two of the best camps on the entire roster.

Veronika from Bosstown, WI

I'm glad they kicked that Ficken field goal. Why not go for it on Family Night?

Send 'em home happy. That's show business. You can't help but feel good for Ficken, who was able to end the night on a high note after a few misses early on.

Oscar from Sherman Oaks, CA

Did you two synchronize shirts for Family Night?

No. If you looked close enough, mine was slightly whiter.

David from Appleton, WI

With the practice on Family Night taking place in front of tens of thousands of fans, does the coaching staff put any more weight on performance there than on performance at "regular" training camp practice? Less?

It's a six-week interview, where everything is reviewed and analyzed – from how players perform in a private OTA practice to how they respond in an environment with 70,000 fans. So yeah, the front office and coaching staff keeps a close eye on these players the first time the bright lights shine on them all.

Sean from Cortland, NY

Is everyone healthy after Family Night?

The Packers had eight players who didn't practice. We'll know for sure how they came out of Family Night come Sunday morning, but nobody dropped out. That's always a good sign.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, how was the pizza?

Delaware North threw me a curveball. We had pulled pork and Pack-n-Cheese instead. Order me a pizza with extra sadness, won't you?

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

Wes, I enjoyed your piece on Cole Madison. I hadn't realized he'd be getting reps at center during camp. Being a natural right tackle who's been away from football for a year, how much more difficult is it to learn another position along the line? I'm rooting for the young man as I too have dealt with depression and wish him well.

Despite being a four-year starting right tackle, Madison had an inkling he'd have to move inside after talking to teams at the combine. I did get a kick out of how **offensive line coach Adam Stenavich informed Madison** he'd be lining up at center right before an OTA practice. That's kind of how it goes, though. If they're not established starters, young offensive linemen have to do it all.

Ryan from Monterey, CA

Tailgating at Lambeau is officially back! What is your favorite Family Night memory?

It's either Brandian Ross's interception in 2011 or Giorgio Tavecchio's kicking in front of his Italian-born parents at Lambeau Field in 2013.

Tom from New York, NY

So I got married and had a kid just so I could attend Family Night. Now what?

Buy them ice cream?

Tom from Douglassville, PA

What has been the biggest surprise in training camp so far?

How Rashan Gary put his foot on the gas pedal in the spring and has yet to let up this summer. I'm not trying to overhype the rookie, but he's been everything you want to see from a 12th overall pick. No different than Jaire Alexander last summer, Gary just looks like he belongs.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

Do you think Montravius Adams will be a starter this year?

There are four preseason games to get through, but it sure looks like Adams will slide into that third spot in the base defense and rotate in with the nickel. With **everything he did this offseason**, Adams has earned this opportunity.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Montravius Adams has stated that his weight drop from 310 or more to 298 has made him more explosive. Explosive is good. But on the defensive line, big is also good. In today's NFL, is there a "minimum" weight needed for a defensive lineman to hold his own?

Not anymore. Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins have smashed those labels. I think even a 6-foot-3, 314-pound defensive tackle like Kenny Clark has shown he can be an every-down player. The days of the 1,000-pound defensive lines are no more. The game is too fast now.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

Have you had any Melvin Gordon questions?

Not really. The Packers have running backs.

Rick from Caledonia, WI

What new challenges does Mike Daniels signing with the Detroit Lions bring to the Packers' defensive play-calling against Detroit?

Maybe if they were playing during the first two weeks of the season, but the two teams meet in Week 6. Most of those famed "unscouted" looks will be seen by that time.

Bob from Cortez, CO

Photos from training camp were amazing. The size, speed and strength are to be expected. The flexibility of David Bakhtiari stretched out flat in the pigeon pose needed a picture to believe.

Bakhtiari is a remarkably gifted athlete. He's always been a top-shelf pass blocker but I don't think he's always received the credit he deserves for rounding out his game.

Myron from Laguna Beach, CA

We just moved on from the great Randall Cobb. Does it occur to anyone else that the super-quick Trevor Davis might fit that spot beautifully? I was at Nitschke Field last week and saw Davis snag a few difficult balls. He looks like a great slot prospect. Thoughts?

Davis actually hasn't played the slot very often in Green Bay. That's not to say he couldn't in the future but he's lined up predominately outside during his first three seasons. Matt LaFleur wants to keep his receivers moving around, though, so it's certainly not of the question you'll see Davis inside this summer.

Chris from Woodbury, MN

It's been all crickets on the Jace Sternberger front. What are reasonable expectations from him this season, as a third-round pick, with Jimmy Graham and Robert Tonyan (at least) in front of him on the depth chart?

Graham, Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are rotating in with the first-team offense right now, which is exactly what I expected. Sternberger's priority needs to be learning the offense and growing as a player. He's an investment in the future.

Casey from Tempe, AZ

I would ask you to identify a UDFA who may make the roster. Can you provide some Insider insight as to which UDFA we might want to keep an eye on while the preseason plays out?

I don't know what Darrius Shepherd's chances are at making the roster, but he's played well through the first week of camp after being the only tryout player the Packers signed out of their rookie minicamp. Shepherd has shown some real speed and shiftiness. Davante Adams went out of his way to praise him after practice Thursday.

Bill from Houston, TX

In response to Ric from Longmont, CO, the Texans are glad to leave the Houston weather for a while at this time of year. In 2017-18 they held part of their training camp in West Virginia.

There you have it. It also wasn't by accident all those NFL teams used to hold their training camps in the state. It's tough beat Wisconsin Augusts.

Mike from Madison, WI

What are you most excited for with the Houston joint practices next week? Will you guys have a chance to talk with/interview Texans players?

I'm excited for next week because you don't get many "firsts" covering the same NFL team for eight years. If you can make all the logistics work, I think it's a brilliant idea to practice against your first preseason opponent. As great as it is for Alexander to defend Adams every day, there also is a huge benefit for a second-year corner to line up against DeAndre Hopkins for a couple days.

Blaine from Fennimore, WI

It's finally football season. Didn't take long for a challenge on PI. Did you catch the game? What did you think of it?

Get ready for more because I have a feeling coaches are not going to let those challenge flags go to waste this preseason. They want to get an idea of what refs are looking for before we get into September. A rising tide lifts all laundry.

Mike from Holton, MI

Will Ka'Dar Hollman make the team?

He's on the right track. With Kevin King sitting out of the final team period on Wednesday, Hollman played outside cornerback with the No. 1 defense. He plays the position the way it should be played – fast, tough and physical.

Tim from West Bend, WI

Hey Insiders, I notice Josh Jackson has not practiced due to a foot injury. When did this occur and how long is he expected to be out. Does this hamper his development for Year 2?

The Packers placed Jackson on the non-football injury list at the start of training camp, so the foot injury happened sometime during the summer break. LaFleur says it's not a long-term injury, but this obviously is a crucial time for second-year players.

Mark from Rock Vale Terrace, IL

Howdy II! Loved yesterday's "Three Things," but please let Larry know that while Kuhn's Fun Facts is a great new feature and second all-time in postseason TDs is a tremendous accomplishment since we are 101 years old, who is No. 1?

Antonio Freeman (12).

Jeff from Vandenberg AFB, CA

With the Hall of Fame inducting 10 Senior Era players in 2020, surely Sterling Sharpe has to be one of the 10, right?

Next year will be 25 years since Sharpe retired, so he'll be eligible for consideration by the senior committee. If anything, the bulk induction will reduce the bottleneck of senior candidates.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

What happened on Family Night Bakhtiari's rookie year?

Bryan Bulaga tore his anterior cruciate ligament. That weekend was crazy. I was trying to watch "The Newsroom" on the Sunday night when news broke of both Bulaga's injury and Vince Young flying in to sign with the team.

Bob from Port Saint Lucie, FL

Wes, nice article on Cole Madison. You can't help but hope this guy makes it after the trials of the past year. If he does, will his rookie contract be extended for the year he missed?

The most impressive thing about Madison's story is the maturity he's displayed for a 24-year-old. He did the right thing taking a year off to focus on his mental health and has been 100-percent committed to this team since returning in April. Talking to him this past week, you can tell how much football means to him. His contract tolled for the year he missed, so he's signed through 2022 now.

Amy from Bayport, MN

Marquez Valdes-Scantling worked with Randy Moss in the offseason to help take his game to the next level. If you had the opportunity, who would you want to collaborate with to hone your craft? What would you choose for a project?

You mean besides Spoff, right? If that's the case, Kevin Clark. Kevin and the folks at the Ringer do great work. I've said this before but he's the total package when it comes to out-of-the-box story ideas and writing abilities.

Keith from Normal, IL

Good morning, Weston. Very nice The Verve reference. I can't stop laughing. Thanks for the wit you share bud!

I couldn't let that opportunity slide.

Adam from Rapid City, SC

Understanding that it is entirely the coaches and GM Gute's say who makes the 53 and 46 on game day, how much input, if any, do you guys think Aaron Rodgers gets in the WRs and RBs that make that roster? My thought is that the coaches really value as much input as he is willing to give. On a side note, you guys do an amazing service to the faithful Green Bay fan base!

The game-day roster is entirely up to the coaches. Rodgers could express to LaFleur a skill-position player who is impressing him, but there are more variables than just position to be considered. You have to take into account special teams, as well.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

AR or another prominent Packer makes a locker-room comment about (fill in the blank) and it makes headline material on an untold number of Packer centric websites, national websites, national and local TV shows and radio broadcasts. It makes me wonder how many reporters work the Packer beat, locker room interviews and daily press briefings. Also, will that number double when the Texans come to town next week? The locker room could get awfully crowded.

On Wednesdays during the regular season, I'd say there are anywhere between 40 and 50 media members in the locker room. I guesstimate there will be an extra 15-20 media members covering the Texans next week.

Evan from Middleton, WI

I am curious, for articles like the "Packers ready to welcome Houston Texans and fans for joint practices," who writes the content for those?

Katie "The Appleton Phenom" Hermsen from communications/public affairs. They are press releases.

Haylee from Little Suamico, WI

Who is your favorite coworker and why? #ThisIsAPackersPerksTest

Tessa Ruid.

Ted from Milwaukee, WI

On the Spoffkiewicz Reality Tour, does it include a lunch break? And when I say lunch break, I mean a free shot at Wes's lunch. You know, to take in the whole experience.

Of course, it would – complete with a slice of King Edward VIII's wedding cake.

Taylor from Hull, IA

As my family and I wait for the fireworks and laser show at Family Night, all I can think about is whether lasers will come out of the goal posts. Thank you Insider Inbox!

That was a fun night, but seeing a post like this in the wee hours of Saturday morning makes it all worth it. I think my work is done here.