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Inbox: The guy just keeps working

LB Kyler Fackrell
LB Kyler Fackrell

Mariah from Milwaukee, WI

I love seeing how fired up the players get during these joint practices. What was your biggest takeaway from the first joint practice, and what are you looking for in the next one?

My biggest takeaway is Rashan Gary can win with a bull rush against a starting NFL tackle like Matt Kalil. He’s mostly taken reps against backups and reserves, but the rookie first-round pick looked good against the Texans’ front. I’ve been writing it practically every day but Gary and Za'Darius Smith come as advertised.

Leandro from Lexington, KY

The more I think about it, the more I'm rooting for Kyler Fackrell.

I have a lot of respect for Fackrell. He’s the same guy every day – no matter if he has a three-sack game or a forgettable performance. When times were tough, he never got terse with the media. He answered every question, said he’d do better and gradually improved. Despite his 10½-sack season, Fackrell hasn’t shoved it in anybody’s face. He just keeps working.

Guilherme from Lins, Brazil

What was your favorite matchup in the first joint practice?

David Bakhtiari vs. J.J. Watt. That’s the answer.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Practicing against a player that you do not see on a regular basis such as the Texans in town must help both veterans and rookies. What positions benefit the most from the joint practices? Thanks for all the great reporting, videos and podcasts!

The one-on-one drills with offensive and defensive linemen seemed to have a little extra pop in them, but I think it’s really beneficial for the defensive backs to take reps against someone like DeAndre Hopkins, a high-end receiver who brings something different to the party, as Larry would say.

Bob from Irma, WI

Do you like to see the Packers playing division opponents early in the season?

You have to play them eventually, right? Might as well get a few out of the way early when you still have unscouted looks in the oven.

Daniel from Castle Rock, CO

Watching the Jordy highlights, it brings back a lot of memories. One of the best receivers to ever don the Green and Gold and perhaps one of the greatest all-time when it comes to hand-eye-foot coordination on the sidelines. Watching those highlights also shows how many times he came up in crucial situations. It was also nice to see a receiver simply hand the ball to the ref when scoring as well. He was a treat to watch and truly exemplified the "Packer way." Thanks, Jordy!

One of the best to ever do it in Green and Gold. I’ve been going around the locker room over the past week asking veterans for their fondest memories of Jordy. The two most common sentiments – leadership and consistency. He helped set a standard in Green Bay.

Nicolas from Monterrey, Mexico

Do you think we'll be able to see the bulk of alignments and motions of ML's offense during the preseason games? Or is that going to be reserved to training camp practices?

Good question. I’m not sure. My guess is we’ll see the basic construct of the offense. I mean you are what you are, but probably not every bell and whistle applicable to those motions and bunch formations.

Bill from Menominee, MI

I can't help but ask about the TE competition after seeing Bobby Tonyan being Bobby Tonyan Friday night. He's a sure-handed tight end that seems to quietly execute his assignments. How are the snaps between him and Jace Sternberger being distributed in camp? Are they each developing as expected in their early careers?

I’d say Sternberger is sitting in that No. 4 tight end spot and that’s OK. As I’ve said before, this year is a chance for him to learn and develop. Big Bob Fundamental is pushing for playing time with the No. 1 offense, though. I plan to write something on that in the next few days. He’s earned two big fans in Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis.

James from Asheville, NC

Watching film from the 2013 season I was reminded how great James Starks was in catching the screen pass (and yards after the catch) and how often the Packers used it. They've gotten away from it in the past few years but, understanding it takes everyone doing their job, do you see a player who could best fit in and bring the screen pass back into the playbook?

It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when Starks was a liability in the screen game and pass protection, but he continued to work at it and carved out a fine career for himself. Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones are ahead of the curve. I expect both to be a factor there this season.

Adam from Rochester, NY

As the Super Bowl proved, football, now more than ever, is about making adjustments. Even though ML is a first time head coach, do you think he will be able to make the necessary adjustments?

Sure. Kenny Powers did. Why not LaFleur?

Ben from Pensacola, FL

Aaron mentioned on “Unscripted” yesterday how music energizes players. Could that also be able to help players strengthen and divide their focus? Yes, pre-snap penalties, but couldn't other actually mentally charge them, too?

It’s all of the above. If you’ve seen the defense at all during camp, it has been swaying to the music in the pre-snap huddle before the last team period of almost every practice. It’s helped infuse a little more juice into drills.

John from Milwaukee, WI

Hi, while watching the Family Night practice on TV, I noticed on the Packers uniforms a round stitching on each side of the players’ nameplate on the back of the jersey. Any idea what this is for? If not, could you look into it?

We’ve covered this before. It’s the GPS the team uses to monitor players’ fatigue.

Michael from Montevideo, MN

I just read BG on Kevin King’s injury. He said he does not have high concern. What does that mean he is not concerned, because they have somebody to replace him in case he can't go? With King's injury history, how would you not be highly concerned?

As frustrating as soft-tissue injuries are, you have to be smart with them. If a player comes back too early, we’ve all seen what can happen (Casey Hayward, Trevor Davis, etc.). Would it benefit King to be on the practice field right now? Indubitably. But the goal remains the same – Sept. 5.

Mike from Seguin, TX

Haven't heard anything about the backup quarterbacks. Good news or bad?

All three have made their share of plays in camp and all three have had throws they want back. Now, I want to see them perform in a game. That’s the true litmus test at this point.

Billy from Kenosha, WI

I thought there was to be no "engagement" between receivers and DBs to prevent the fighting. And then the big hit on Jace Sternberger. Is there any punishment involved besides hitting the showers? Any history between these two?

There weren’t any one-on-one drills between the two, but Lonnie Johnson’s hit on Sternberger happened in a team period. I think it’s just a rookie making a boneheaded mistake. Fortunately, Sternberger was fine.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The joint practice with Houston also serves as a great "workaround" to NFL rules about scouts attending practices of other teams. Both teams have 37 players in these joint practices that will not crack the 53-man rosters. Is it fair to assume Gute and his group will be evaluating practice film on players from both teams, and that Houston will do the same thing?

Absolutely. I asked Brian Gutekunst a version of that question on Monday morning and he said the scouts will be busy the next few days looking over all the tape. They also have access to it in the future if they want to revisit a particular player. A rising tide lifts all scouts.

Chai from Evans, GA

II, do you expect Green Bay to participate in more joint practices? The idea of practicing in a controlled environment to prevent injuries is great.

Matt LaFleur and Gutekunst both seem to be open to it, but it’s really going to depend on how things play out this week. If the Packers like the practices, I’m sure they’d be open to hosting another team in the future again.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Will any of Tuesday’s celebration for Jordy be open to the public?

It won’t be open, but his news conference will be streamed live on packers.com.

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

I think Zeke's holdout in Dallas is a page out of Emmitt Smith's playbook. Smith held out for the first two games of a season during the Cowboys' dynasty years. They lost those two games. Charles Haley put his fist through the locker room wall and shouted at JJ to pay Smith his damn money. That week Smith and Jones had a kiss-and-make-up presser and Jerry signed a check for Emmitt. They went on to win the SB that year. Do you think JJ will come to his senses by Week 5?

I couldn’t care less. I don’t cover the Cowboys.

Jake from Athens, GA

I really don’t think I’m just being cynical about this. What is the point of having officials go around explaining this year’s rules changes, emphases, etc., if the NFL is just going to (perhaps tacitly) change its interpretation of the new rules, emphases, etc., four weeks into the season? If I were really being cynical, I’d entertain that maybe they’re doing it to gin up more controversy and steal more headlines.

I’ll play by your rules with this response – when it comes to rules, you can’t be on the same page in Week 4 if you’re not on the same page in Week 1.

Michael from Manitowoc, WI

If Watt ever became a Packer, he would instantly be one of the most celebrated Packers ever...you agree?

You tell me. There was a guy with a custom Packers Watt jersey at practice Monday.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

"The bike that I was using was not equipped for a 290-pound man, and the seat broke off." I'd be surprised if J.J. Watt is the first player this has ever happened to. Do you guys keep stats on broken bikes?

Most of the everyday bike kids have evolved their bicycles to accommodate any potential rider. I know Dean Lowry’s bike kid has “fatboy” tires on his to hold the 300-pound defensive lineman, which is why I don’t think we’ve heard of many incidents where bikes break under normal circumstances.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Hello Wes, Mike. How many people are involved with recording and editing practice videos? Do they have elevated platforms or special equipment? I assume they’re also instructed to shoot from certain angles and positions. How does that go about?

Are you talking about our website or the Packers’ actual video department? If you mean us, we have four individuals with cameras and an assistant producer back at Lambeau Field who helps edit.

Rick from Boyd, WI

I have asked this question several times and no one seems to want to answer it. Do you guys get to choose what stories you write, or are they assigned to you; if so, who does the assignments?

Spoff and I write what we choose to write.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Wes, I loved the inside Insider Inbox post responding to Haylee. I had to chuckle as I know she works for the website and has helped me a number of times. You shouldn't pick favorites.

Haylee asked the question and I answered it. Plus, Tessa is everyone’s favorite. I mean Tessa? Who doesn’t love Tessa? She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, let alone had the privilege of calling a coworker.

Joe from Dundee, IL

In lieu of the "dustup" after Jace was hit too hard by the Texans, may I suggest the teams' reporters square off in place of the players? Ex-players such as John Kuhn should be excluded to make it a "fair fight.” With that, which Packer media person do you send in, Nagler?

Well, he already replaced me on “Unscripted” so it only makes sense to toss him in there, too.

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