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Inbox: The emphasis is more on learning

They want to see what they’ve added to their game

Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Dar from Mansfield, TX

My hope was that, when seeing Mike in "Three Things" after his visit to his home county's bodybuilding competition, we'd see a more buff, beefy Spoff busting out of his polo shirt. I assume any newly learned techniques might take more time to become visible, but rest assured we'll be patiently watching.

I will only guarantee your patience will be tested.

Jeffrey from Victorville, CA

Welcome back to the world of football, Mike! Just curious as to when we might find out when the Packers' throwback game will be?

Good question. Let me ask around.

Tony from San Diego, CA

If reports are true the tone of the special teams workouts at OTAs has been both more intense and more organized. Any similar changes in the tone of OTA workouts on offense and defense? What has stood out to you as a new theme or special point of emphasis?

Other than the two-minute drill Tuesday, I didn't see any 11-on-11 that was full speed, which means the emphasis is more on learning than competing right now.

Joe from Wausau, WI

I have every expectation that David Bakhtiari will be ready for Week 1 of training camp. Based on what happened last year though, the bigger question is whether he'll still be out there in Week 2 and beyond. Do you expect the Packers to bring Bakhtiari along gradually, slowly increasing his workload? Or will they want to really test him early so that one way or another, they know if the knee is still an issue?

I don't see Bakhtiari taking every first-team rep at left tackle in the first practice of training camp, if that's what you're asking. I expect there to be a ramp-up plan.

Beau from Indianapolis, IN

I know I would rather see him at OTAs, but seeing Aaron Rodgers out there swinging the golf clubs makes me happy. To see these great athletes hit great shots (and not-so-great shots) adds another layer to them.

Wes was on golf duty last night, so I confess I didn't watch. But to be fair, I don't think I'd watch if Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were playing QB in a flag football game, either. Maybe that's just me.

Dan from Waupun, WI

Did the Bears lose anybody of interest?

Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Allen Robinson, James Daniels, Bilal Nichols, Pat O'Donnell, Andy Dalton, Nick Foles, Jakeem Grant, Artie Burns, Germain Ifedi and Deon Bush were among those who went elsewhere. Plus Jimmy Graham, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan, Tarik Cohen, Tashaun Gipson, Jason Peters, and Alec Ogletree remain unsigned. With the new GM and coach, not surprisingly the roster is getting overhauled in Chicago.

Dean from De Pere, WI

What is happening with the LB Chauncey Rivers, DB Kevin King, WR Allen Lazard contracts?

Rivers and King remain unsigned, while Lazard's RFA tender is waiting to be signed whenever he desires.

Nick from Charlottesville, VA

Wes mentioned that "when Love steps into his throws, he can deliver a ball with the best of them." Rodgers has always amazed me with his ability to deliver a nice ball even from awkward positions. Can this be taught? Like, is there a drill where the quarterback must throw while standing on one foot and falling sideways?

The QBs do plenty of drills that have them throwing on the run, but awkward positions aren't necessarily practiced. Those have to happen organically during competitive 11-on-11 periods for a quarterback to get a feel for what works and what doesn't. It took several years before Rodgers got to that point. Same for Matthew Stafford. The one high-level QB who's been doing that kind of stuff from early on, and doing it well for a while now, is Patrick Mahomes.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Several sources, including Larry, seemed to have named Romeo Doubs as the underwear league MVP. So we got that going for us, which is nice!

Doubs had an impressive practice on Tuesday, but it's worth remembering the media are only watching one day of practice each week. Next week we'll get all three days of minicamp. The first two minicamp practices, next Tuesday and Wednesday, are open to the public, by the way.

Mary from Pewaukee, WI

Does the franchise actually make a profit by playing games outside of the United States?

My understanding is the league gives the "home" teams a stipend for moving a game overseas that's roughly equivalent to their usual take, and then all the revenue from the international games goes to the league.

The Green Bay Packers held practice on Tuesday, May 31 at Ray Nitschke Field as organized team activities continue.

John from Fredericksburg, VA

I just received the NFL UK tickets e-mail and it looks like the chances of single-game tickets being available to anyone stateside are slim to none. The UK season ticket holders have a five-week head start before single tickets go up for sale. Does the NFL not want U.S. fans to travel to Europe to watch their favorite teams?

The NFL plays games in Europe so Europeans can go to the games and/or watch them on TV at a "normal" time and become fans. The ticket priority makes perfect sense to me.

George from North Mankato, MN

Good morning II. The departure of Lucas Patrick to the Bears makes me wonder who is next in line to be the enforcer on the OL? Do we now have a new first player off the bus since the draft?

I don't know, or much care, about the first player off the bus thing. But the enforcer question is an interesting one. My pick would be Elgton Jenkins when he's back healthy. Otherwise, Jon Runyan or Royce Newman might also be candidates.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, I've always taken discipline and assignment surety as the opposite of speed and physicality in terms of an emphasis. Obviously the coaches want the whole package, but when it comes to this or that based on emphasis, which do you think makes the team better? I've always felt like missing a splash play or two based on discipline is better than giving up big plays because you're playing fast and physical and in the wrong place.

I think it depends on where a unit is in its development. Discipline and assignment surety are the starting points, and the rest comes with progress when those first two elements become second nature. It'll be Year 4 of LaFleur's offense with a mostly veteran cast, aside from the young receivers. It's Year 2 for Barry's defense, with all veterans except the two first-round draft picks. There isn't going to be much tolerance on either side of the ball for not being assignment sound.

Matt from Indianapolis, IN

I am making plans to attend training camp this year. Instead of attending the first couple of weeks we are looking at attending the week of the joint practices with New Orleans. We did attend one day of joint practice with Houston a few years ago. Can I expect the joint practices with New Orleans to be open for public to watch?


Greg from Conway, SC

Welcome back, Spoff. Not sure if you have had the opportunity to get back into the locker room yet, but here's my questions: Are the players more comfortable with the media in their faces in the locker room or standing behind a podium in a conference room when taking questions? What do you media types prefer and why?

I'll always prefer talking to a player at his locker, and it was nice to get back to doing that Tuesday. From the other side, it depends on the player. I think for the most part they'd rather be at their lockers, but some are not comfortable when there's a huge horde crowded around them with a ton of cameras right in their face. I've seen many a player relax a bit when all the cameras leave and they're just talking to a small group of print/digital reporters with voice recorders. Those are usually the best interviews.

Mike from Sacramento, CA

Are the Chargers as for real as the pundits think? Every year they seem to have a talented roster but fall short. Anyone in the NFC jumping out as the new "it" team on paper?

There's plenty of reason to be excited about the Chargers, but that's going to be a very competitive AFC West top to bottom. As for a non-playoff team from the NFC climbing into contention, I have my eye on the Saints.

Cody from Lake Villa, IL

I loved the Rasul Douglas article/interview. He and De'Vondre Campbell are a great representation of the "all those who wander are not lost" moniker. Those two will be a big part of the "You shall not pass" defense we should have this year.


George from Kennebunkport, ME

I believe we have 11 WRs on the current roster. There will obviously be major battles to decide who makes the final roster and practice squad. It seems four or five of them are easy to identify. Can you identify one or two longshot prospects who have a chance to surprise us?

The current number is actually 10, and there is a lot of attention on the rookie draft picks at receiver for obvious and valid reasons. All three are intriguing for sure. But I'll also want to get a feel in training camp for any improvement evident in the young guys who have been here, particularly Amari Rodgers, Juwann Winfree and Malik Taylor. Are they playing faster now that they know the system? Are they catching the ball more naturally because they're less nervous and more in sync timing-wise? Can they make the contested catch? Are they getting reps against the defense's better corners, or the guys at the bottom of the roster? The coaches know what they've done. They want to see what they've added to their game.

Dave from Glenview, IL

Hi guys! Not to dwell on this topic, but if "they use the offseason program, particularly OTAs, to install the playbook, presenting the concepts in meetings and then repping them on the practice field," then why is it not important for AR to be there during OTAs? Seems rather important to me.

Because he already knows the playbook, better than any other player, and he only needs to get up to speed on the tweaks and alterations from the offseason, which LaFleur said he's partly done via phone conversations with Rodgers already. He'll also catch up during next week's minicamp.

Chase from Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Good morning team. Speaking of "possible future Hall of Famer," how long does Tae have to keep playing like Tae to make it to Canton? Thanks.

If he plays productively for another 7-8 years to make it a 15- or 16-year career, like Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown and Andre Reed did, then he's practically a lock because those HOFers were never first-team All-Pro and Adams already has two of those under his belt. If he doesn't play that long, then he only needs one more All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection to match Calvin Johnson, who was a first-ballot selection in a nine-year career.

H.R. from Henderson, NV

Can't think of a more fitting tribute to one of the greats. The greatest of the greats, gracing the cover of his game again. RIP, Coach.

I've never been a "Madden" player, but my thoughts exactly. Happy Thursday.