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Inbox: The next generation will do the same

Going with what works is how the Packers will win

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C/G Josh Myers

Matt from Des Moines, IA

Better than Iowa?

I'm surprised more folks didn't get the reference. I'm not the "baseball guy" and even I knew Spoff was referring to "Field of Dreams." The September wind must be blowing colder air into the Inbox these days.

Jeff from Janesville, WI

One more week…

I still can't believe it. The season is almost here.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Now that the roster is more or less set, which player with a number lower than 12 will have the greatest impact on the Packers' 2022 season?

No. 11. I think 2022 is the year they put some respect back on Sammy Watkins' name. As I wrote in June, he's in the right place to do that.

William from Fairhope, AL

Can you envision a less "wide receiver-centric" passing game this year to counteract our Davante-less WR corps? Bobby T. could be Travis Kelce-like and No. 33 and No. 28 snatching balls out of the backfield is a reality. Do you believe Matt could be thinking this same way?

It's going to vary week-to-week, opponent-to-opponent. I could see Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon alternating as the Packers' leading rusher, and four different receivers leading Green Bay over the first month of the season. It's not the personnel, it's the production. Going with what works is how the Packers will win.

Kevin from Indianapolis, IN

Iron sharpens iron. No doubt players like Eric Stokes benefitted from practicing against a great player like Davante Adams. Now, it seems like the inverse will be true where our rookies will benefit from practicing against Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes. Where do you see the most important development outside the WRs taking place this year? Walker vs. the backfield? TEs vs. LBs? O-line vs. D-line?

I have to say every single one of the receivers on the Packers' active roster, regardless of experience, will be better for going against this secondary in camp. Because they won't see many better units this season, especially when it comes to Alexander. The next group is probably Green Bay's young offensive line, with Josh Myers clashing with Kenny Clark and Jon Runyan versus Dean Lowry or Jarran Reed. I think back to Lucas Patrick and how much he improved after his work against Clark and Lowry for three seasons. The next generation will do the same.

Jon from Fargo, ND

How has Adrian Amos looked? I feel like he doesn't get talked about enough as being an absolute rock in the secondary.

Steady, as he goes. You never have to worry about Adrian Amos. He's going to be where he needs to be when the Packers need him there.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Something doesn't seem right about letting another Micah leave the building.

Well, this one is back now. So…

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Hi friends, now that the organization gets a little break after the preseason/practice, do any of the players and staff still work on things on their own, or is this the time to tune out football for a bit and recharge before the start of the long season?

That's up to each person and what they need to do to be ready for Minnesota next week. You might think that means living in the playbook, but this also is the last reprieve these players and coaches have until the "mini" bye in November. This is a time to refresh, mentally and physically.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Do you ever get the feeling that when the Packers visit the Vikings, they view it as a division game, while the Vikings and their fans view it as their biggest game of the year?

Yes.

Michelle from Ringgold, GA

What do you see as the Packers' biggest challenge this year?

It's all internal. It's living up to expectations, especially on defense. If this team stays healthy, it's built to contend for a championship. That's a lot of pressure, but as they say, pressure creates diamonds – and diamonds make rings.

James from Appleton, WI

If another John Kuhn showed up, would the Packers have a fullback or are the Packers just done with fullbacks?

There always will be a place in the NFL for the John Kuhns. Because Kuhn's listed position didn't define him. It's all the little things that will make John a Packers Hall of Famer someday. While the definition of a fullback has changed somewhat in recent years, those skillsets remain in demand. For example, Alec Ingold tore his ACL last year and was non-tendered by the Las Vegas Raiders. Almost instantly, Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins scooped him up and made Ingold the second-highest paid fullback behind Kyle Juszczyk.

John from Belleview, FL

All this worry about the late bye week. When the NFL had 14-game seasons there were no bye weeks. Folks always lose sight of history. The late bye gives critical people a chance to catch their breath. Those worried about injuries…they will happen when they happen, and the bye week has nothing to do with it. Go back and review the injuries the team suffered during the 1996 campaign. Andre Rison wasn't on the team when the season began. He got a Super Bowl ring because of so many injuries.

Injuries are going to happen. It has nothing to do with the Packers having an early bye or late bye. If anything, I think having the December bye will allow more young players to mature, develop and emerge as playmakers for a potential playoff run.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The Bears have claimed six players waved by other teams. Conversely, no teams have claimed any of the players cut by the Bears. Clearly the Bears weren't satisfied with the back end of their roster, but can any other conclusions be reached by these actions?

If you're claiming six players (11.3% of your entire roster) on cutdown day, the 1972 Dolphins probably have one fewer team to worry about this year.

Jerry from Luck, WI

The situation at RB has me thinking three things: 1) Kylin Hill is probably returning soon. 2) The Packers' brass believes in what they have in him. 3) One guy with three things might be just enough to get this guy in the Inbox on a holiday weekend even though it has nothing to do with the RB situation. Gentlemen, enjoy your families this weekend and thank you for the Inbox!

The practice-squad rules have changed and so, too, have the way in which NFL teams are building their 53-man rosters. Hill is eligible to return in four weeks, and either Tyler Goodson or Patrick Taylor could be called up for the opener in Minnesota. Needless to say, the Packers have options.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

With the discussions about the Packers only keeping two RBs on the 53, I'm wondering if they consider Goodson and Taylor to be so equal that they were willing to let one of them be claimed by another team? Goodson is a better runner, Taylor a better blocker/special-teams guy. Possible they felt they would be fine with either one?

I think the Packers are comfortable with both backs and certainly each has individual strengths and weaknesses. But here's the thing – almost every team has difficult decisions to make on cutdown day. As much as we perseverate on the Packers' roster and worry who might get claimed, the same scenario is playing out across the league. So, while Goodson had a great preseason and was worthy of a spot, there are 25-30 other backs leaguewide in the same boat on their respective team's roster. The Packers ran the benefit-cost analysis and rolled the dice on their backs. Alas, they didn't roll sevens, and both made it back to the p-squad.

Ron from Bellaire, MI

I am confused, what number of players can be activated on game day and what are the rules. I am quite sure it is not 45.

Correct. As long as a team carries eight offensive linemen on its gameday roster, it can dress up to 48 players now. That was another change in the most recent CBA.

Tom from Spencer, WI

Why do teams have and pay the 53 players on their roster, then come gametime five of those 53 are designated inactive and can't play? To me if I was an owner and I am paying them to play, I would want them playing!

The same reason you have bench slots in your fantasy league, Tom.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What individual matchup are you most looking forward to Week 1? For me, it's the Packers' inside linebackers against Dalvin Cook.

I may be stating the obvious here, but it's gotta be Green Bay's offensive line versus Za'Darius Smith, right? I think that's what the game comes down to, neutralizing Smith and Danielle Hunter. If the Packers do that, I think they start the season 1-0 in the NFC North.

Jenn from Peoria, IL

Apologies if you're receiving a ton of questions on Blake Martinez now that the Giants have released him. I know his injury was significant, but I remember him being one of, if not the best ILBs we've had in a long time. Would it be worth bringing him back at the right price or am I just being nostalgic? Do we still need ILB help? It feels like we do with the run but what do I know?

Blake is an all-time favorite of mine and I was floored when I saw the Giants released him, but Green Bay probably isn't the right situation for the team or the player. The Packers are loaded at inside linebacker now. I feel like Krys Barnes could start for a lot of teams in the NFL. Never say never, but I imagine Martinez gets picked up by a team with an obvious need for an experienced inside linebacker. I have no clue what the Giants are doing, though. That's a very peculiar time to make that cut.

Alex from Mansfield, UK

Top work guys, my question is about "those tackles" and Tonyan. As all three made the 53 roster is it safe to assume they have a POSSIBILITY to play in the first four weeks of the season? If not, surely, they would be on IR?

Welcome to the "Reading tea leaves 101," Alex. If the Packers didn't think those three had a chance to play in September, they wouldn't be active right now. Otherwise, Green Bay would want to start the IR clock.

Former Packers safety Morgan Burnett, who ceremonially retired as a Packer this week, joined the team for practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

"Protections are not announced by the organization." So a team would have to attempt to sign a practice-squad player, and the league would inform them the player is protected, is that correct?

The teams don't announce them, but the protections are listed on the personnel wire every week.

Chuck from Richfield, WI

Just a great column Friday as always! I enjoyed listening to Timmy Harris and Greg Jennings give their Packer HOF induction speeches. Tim credited fellow lineman Robert Brown for much of his success, which made me smile since I wrote the II last month that I thought Brown (career Packer with 164 games played) is deserving of induction, as well. Is there a player that you feel has been overlooked by the Packer HOF? PS: Loved Barb from GA's "Queen's Gambit" reference!

Brown is a good pick. I put Earl Dotson in that same category. We are going to have so many worthy players coming up from the Super Bowl XLV team and 2010s, but there are still some studs from the 1980s and '90s who deserve recognition. It was great to see Tim Harris finally get his on Thursday night.

Bob from Chilton, WI

You were asked whether the Packers had ever rostered two players with the same name: defensive tackle Mike McCoy and defensive back Mike McCoy.

I knew you guys wouldn't fail me.

Travis from Green Bay, WI

Why does Spoff look scared of Larry on "Three Things?"

Did you see how close Larry came to Spoff's face? I'd be scared, too.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Nice to see you guys make the final roster. Who would be your replacement due to unforeseen circumstances?

Grammarly.

Evan from Durango, CO

When the snows fall and the white wind blows, the lone wolf dies, but the Pack survives.

In the winter, we must protect ourselves – look after one another…and rest assured, winter is coming. Have a good weekend.

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