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Inbox: The ball torpedoes off his foot

Training camp will be here before you know it

K Anders Carlson
K Anders Carlson

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Mike mentioned in "Unscripted" that you have not seen Anders Carlson kick yet. What has he been doing during minicamp? By the way, he has a big leg and will remind you of his brother Daniel.

Well, that's no longer the case. We saw Carlson kick twice this week and both sessions were spectacular. My first impression is the ball torpedoes off his foot. He has a big leg and strikes it so effortlessly. Like any rookie, Carlson will have some good days and some bad during training camp, but he knows what it takes to overcome adversity. Anders watched his brother do it in Oakland and rallied as a senior after suffering the ACL injury at Auburn.

Connor from Grand Rapids, MI

How has Jayden Reed looked? We keep hearing about Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, but nothing on him.

Like I always say, there's only so many column inches and tweets to go around. I think Reed looked good. He's sudden, instinctive and possesses the tools to fill a unique role in this offense. Training camp should be fun…and it'll be here before you know it.

Evan from Durango, CO

Can we get "I didn't say cow" on a T-shirt please?


Derek from Sheboygan, WI

Do you think we will see a renewed focus on run defense this season?


Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think this defense can create turnovers and help the offense?

Yes (and yes).

Jason from Portsmouth, UK

Morning guys, as we all know AR12 in his tenure at GB was next level in his pre-snap cadence in getting the opposing D-line to jump early. With that said have you seen in OTAs and start of minicamp with Jordan Love working on his own style of cadence? Do you think we'll see some sort of similarities with Jordan trying to get the defense to jump moving forward?

Yes and yes.

Sarah from Neenah, WI

How do you think Jordan Love will do this season?

Yes…oops. Sorry. I got into a groove. Clean, real clean.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

One common criticism of Love's game to this point has been his reluctance to push the ball down the field with deep throws – and this is fair, because we haven't really seen him uncork and rip it deep in any of his game action. Is this the case in practice as well, or has he been more open to heaving it and stretching the field outside of game action? It would be nice to see him finally launch one so we can see exactly what kind of arm he really has.

Maybe that's outside perception but I don't see it that way. Love isn't afraid to hunt downfield. His deep throw to Christian Watson was one of the finest I've seen him throw and totally worth Spoff getting soap poisoning. If there's a step Love needs to make this year, it's maintaining his power and accuracy when throwing on the run. Inside the pocket, when his feet are set, Love can fit the ball anywhere on the field.

The Green Bay Packers held their final practice session of minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field on Wednesday, June 14, 2023.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Every year there is a relatively unknown player that emerges during minicamps and training camps. Who do you have as the leading candidates to do so this year?

I felt like Tyler Goodson, Malik Heath and Innis Gaines had solid springs. I'll have my eye on all three next month. Gaines' interception off a double-tipped pass during the No. 3s' two-minute period was a good heads-up play by the second-year safety. It also provided an emphatic and energetic end to the offseason program.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. My brother from Hobart and I are debating which preseason home game to take in this year. He's been to lots of games via the Brown County resident drawing in years past but neither of us have seen the Patriots or Seahawks in-person. Which one would you pick? Maybe an aging Bill Belichick is the better storyline...? Thanks for your opinion.

I might be all wet here, but I'm actually looking forward to both games. New England probably gets the edge because there's a decent chance we'll see Mac Jones and/or Bailey Zappe. With Seattle, however, you get a rare Saturday noon game at Lambeau Field. That should be a blast.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Look no further than Jaire's safety of Kirk Cousins in September 2020 for an example of how important athleticism is. Jaire guessed, wrongly, that a run was coming, but since he was committed to shooting the gap he went full speed … and sacked Cousins for a safety. As Mike Pettine said at the time, if you make mistakes, make them at full speed. High-level athleticism can sure help hide mistakes.

When Jaire sets his mind to something, he goes full speed…and good things typically follow. But the underrated part of Alexander's game is how crafty he is. He baited Love into an interception during the final two-minute period for the starters Wednesday, providing a good lesson to the new QB1.

Robert from Salem, WI

Do you see any additional free-agent signings prior to the start of the season, and if so, any thoughts on possible positions or people you could see the Packers going after?

You're goading me into to writing the words "Marcedes Lewis" again, aren't you?

Bob from Port St. Lucie, FL

How does a retired player make the transition from player to coaching? If he remains unsigned, could "Big Dog" return as a coach? He's always been regarded as a great mentor for young players.

I don't know if that's an avenue Lewis wants to pursue down the line, but I can tell you he's hellbent on playing an 18th NFL season, an unprecedented feat for a tight end.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Now that the offseason practices are in the books, who do you think has the upper hand at QB2 at the moment?

Echoing Spoff's previous comments about the safeties, it may take all three preseason games for the QB2 battle to sort itself out. Danny Etling has five seasons of NFL experience and apprenticed under some of this generation's best QBs. Conversely, Sean Clifford had arguably the most impressive spring of any rookie QB I've covered during my 11 years on the beat. Clifford strung together a few nice practices, highlighted by his two-minute TD drive last week.

Joseph from Sioux Falls, SD

Being called obnoxious in June is quite impressive! We're still quite a ways from Week 1, but who on the Packers' roster do you think is most likely to have some back and forth with Bears players leading up to the game?

I see that as nothing more than fodder for fans and media. I'll fully admit, though, I laughed a little when Justin Jones talked about how much he wanted Aaron Rodgers to stick around for one more season in Green Bay because he wanted to beat him at Lambeau Field. I mean, it's not like you didn't already a chance. As a team, the Bears haven't beaten the Packers since December 2018. 'Tis but a scratch.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Good morning, Wes. Is dead zone officially here? During the three opportunities the media have had access to practices, I am curious what you have seen from Kenneth Odumegwu. Does he participate in each group session like regular players or is he getting individualized coaching? He is a unique specimen but sure the pace would challenge someone with rudimentary skills in the game. Hope you and Mike both enjoy your upcoming PTOs before the start of training camp.

Odumegwu's on-field work is mostly during the individual and special-teams periods. Again, Rome won't be built in a day. As it relates to the game of football, the young man is going from high school to a doctorate program. It's a steep climb and each day is a new lesson.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

The FA market is risky. Ted Thompson had been a reluctant participant. Gutey took the plunge and gets an "A" for the value received when he signed Za'Darius, Preston, Amos and Turner. Thoughts?

That free-agent class expedited the Packers' turnaround. There's no doubt about it. But the NFL wheel keeps turning and Preston is the sole survivor of the quartet.

Edward from Henderson, NV

I just read today that Adrian Amos has signed with a new team. Why did the Packers not re-sign him? Was it money, age, or something else? He played four years, believe he never missed a game, and seemed to do a good job, at least in my eyes. First time writing, longtime Packer fan, and I remember watching the Ice Bowl.

No clue, but the Packers seem content with Rudy Ford and the rest of the safeties competing to fill that spot next to Darnell Savage.

Craig from Lisbon, Portugal

Morning Wes. Congratulations on working for the Packers for just over seven years. How many interviews did you have to do? Or did you just walk in give your lunch to Mike and hey, presto, the job was yours?

I went through several rounds of interviews but the most important of all was my sit-down with Mike Spofford down the street at El Sarape. It was a full interrogation. All that was missing was the spotlight over my head. Spoff was nice enough to actually let me eat my meal, though.

David from Sarasota, FL

I was under the impression that drafted players are slotted money-wise according to their draft position. What is there to hold up the signing of the last three if that is the case? What is there to negotiate?

Guaranteed money and off-set language. Rinse and repeat.

TK from Grafton, WI

When did most teams start replacing a fullback with a slot receiver, thus changing most teams' base defense to the nickel?

It's been a slow march. We saw the most drastic shift during the beginning of the 2010s, particularly in Green Bay. That's when the Packers went from three fullbacks on the active roster (John Kuhn, Quinn Johnson, and Korey Hall) to just John.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

With the Brewers struggling at the plate which Packer softball player would make their roster?

I didn't go to the softball game last weekend, but I read Jon Runyan Jr. hit some dingers. He looks like a power first baseman.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

It's been reported that Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas both missed out on their OTA workout bonus. What happens cap wise with the $1 million cap saving? Is it credited to this year or next? With the Packers trying to fix their cap situation I guess every little bit helps.

The Packers get credit for any unclaimed bonuses on next year's cap.

Randy from Westminster, CO

Mike and Wes, now that part of your job is you're performing in front of the camera, is it makeup or digital magic which makes you both look so young!

Rice paper.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for posting the link about the bicycle tradition. Regarding the "blank slate" question from Mike from Cascade, ID. I spent most of my career in the comic book industry. It utilizes two types of artists: a penciler (drawing all the pages elements in pencil) and an inker (responsible for finishing the art in ink for reproduction). My take on the team is that it is in the pencil-art stage, where everyone and everything is in place. The season is when we'll see the finished (inked art) form.

I can't wait to see the finished product; perhaps more than any other Packers season I've covered.

Jeff from Omaha, NE

You knew it was coming … Here are your Insider Inbox submitter name champions for the 132 submissions published during the week of June 5-10, 2023: (Name variations grouped together such as Jeff, Jeffrey, Jeffery, … Tom, Thomas, etc. …)

8: Jeff, Mike

6: Steve

5: Scott, Tom, Dennis

4: James, Craig, John

3: Kevin, Bill, Joshua

2: Brianna, TK, Chris, Edward, Dan, Adam, Mark, Brent, Joe, David

So there you go.

I'm publishing this solely because of the time and effort that went into the research.

Michelle from Ringgold, GA

What is the next challenge for Green Bay?

Evidently, a team-building exercise. Have a great Thursday.


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