Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: The NFL is the ultimate proving ground

It’s go time (sort of)

LB Ray Wilborn & teammates
LB Ray Wilborn & teammates

Gary from Davenport, IA

I'm glad Aaron Rodgers showed up imitating Nicolas Cage in "Con Air." If he had chosen Cage's "Leaving Las Vegas" look, the internet would have broken.

It sustained significant damage regardless.

Chad from Town of Middleton, WI

I've been thoroughly enjoying the Countdown to Camp series. After reading the article on DBs, I broke down and ordered my first jersey. I already knew whose (whom's?) jersey I was going to purchase – I had made up my mind after his game winning interception against the Cardinals back on Oct. 28, 2021, and observing his poise, intelligence, and work ethic – my man, Rasul Douglas. I decided on a whim to order one for my dad too, so I asked him which player he wanted. "I want Douglas," he replied.

It's incredible to hear Douglas jersey stories when last year at this time, Douglas still had three different NFL jerseys to burn through (Raiders, Texans, Cardinals) before he put on his Packers one for the first time.

Nik from Moore, SC

How many people complained about the Julio Jones signing? I never thought we would do it, but it stings a bit more knowing he is going to Tampa. Is that wrong?

It's a natural reaction. Evans, Godwin and Jones would be a formidable WR trio even without Tom Brady at QB. I honestly thought Jones would wait until a significant injury struck a contender's receiving corps, and he'd be on the next plane there. Shows what I know.

Allie from Green Bay, WI

If the Packers host the draft do you think they'll have the picks ride a kid's bike from the green room to the stage?

The NFL needs to make this happen. Allie, meet Roger.

Hugh from Penn State, PA

No question. A comment. You mention some quarterbacks from the '80s with the rules then and the punishment they took. A Green Bay Packer fan all the way. Still from time to time I think of Archie Manning of the Saints when they were the Ain'ts. Also a father to a couple really good QBs! The punishment he endured! From time to time I wonder what if he been with a good team. That can be life sometimes … it was his life and he stood tall in the pocket. He deserves a nod of the head.

As a father myself, and given the success of his sons, I doubt Archie Manning would change a thing.

Roger from McGrath, AK

Do players on the PUP list count against the 90-man roster?

Yes, but a player on regular-season PUP does not count against the 53.

Jeremy from Red Deer, Canada

Our top two RBs combined for about 2,200 rushing and receiving yards in 2020, and roughly 2,300 last year. If Jones and Dillon stay healthy, what do you think the coaches hope for out of them this season?

For them to be the opposing defense's biggest challenges each and every week.

Dave from Germantown, TN

How concerned are you about the Packers' depth this season? Injuries will occur. Last year we had Kelly, Patrick, Adams, MVS, Lancaster, Sullivan and King leave. As some would say, "they played a lot of football." This year if a starter goes down most of the reserves appear to be rookies or untested veterans.

The Packers are going to find out what they have if/when that time comes. I look at depth by position, so let's address individually the spots you mentioned. When David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are both back in action, the Packers will have a plethora of experienced depth on the offensive line. Receiver is obviously going through a major transition. The defensive line is deeper now, with Devonte Wyatt and Jarran Reed coming on board and Slaton entering Year 2, than when Lancaster was here. At corner, the Packers' top three is better than at this time last year, so when upgrades happen, depth questions inevitably arise. One spot you didn't mention, outside linebacker, is the most uncertain depth-wise as far as I'm concerned. Big picture, no team ever feels great about its depth everywhere across the roster, but the NFL is the ultimate proving ground. When called upon, the next men up will either prove they're up to the task or they won't, and the personnel department is constantly on the lookout.

Daniel from Horsholm, Denmark

The London Packers tickets came on sale Tuesday. I received queue number 168,763. Needless to say, after waiting five hours I did not get a ticket. Every single ticket was sold. After waiting so long, it is really disappointing to miss out. Guess I'll get a chance in another 15 years' time. Do you think the Packers will be back in Europe earlier than that? (Fingers crossed)

I guarantee it. Every team in the NFL is playing overseas at least once every eight years now.

Stuart from Chesterfield, UK

I've got a golden ticket! To be precise, I've got a green and gold ticket. Can't wait to do my 1/62,850th by cheering on the Pack to a win in London. Now, onto an important question: When you both get to take high tea with the Queen, will you put the jam on top of the cream, or cream on top of the jam? Inquiring minds need to know. P.S.: Don't get embroiled into the debate on how to pronounce "scone."

Congrats on scoring a ticket. Sounds like it was not easy. But how about I demand a crumpet instead and dare Wes to swirl the cream and jam in his tea?

Sam from Harlan, IA

When Bakhtiari came into the league and was playing well against the Claymaker, was it his foot quickness, strength, technique, or all of the above that caused him to hit the ground running?

Bakhtiari would be the first one to tell you he wasn't big enough or strong enough as a rookie, and he's even spoken before about cringing when watching his technique on old film. His footwork, smarts, determination and refusal to be intimidated provided the initial foundation, and the rest came along. Remember, the first of his five All-Pro selections wasn't until his fourth season.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Sorry if this has been answered before, but I was wondering about the joint practices with the Saints. Am I right to assume there are times when it's our starters against their starters? Are there "built-in protections" during these practices like "don't hit the QB," etc.?

Practice is still practice, tackling isn't fully live, and the QBs still wear red jerseys. There will be periods of ones vs. ones, but they practice pretty much the same as if they're going against their own teammates.

Donna from Darien, WI

I have to admit, I said a little "woo-hoo!" when I saw a new "Packers Unscripted." Guess it's time for some football!

It's go time (sort of). As I said on the show, the first several days are still just glorified OTAs until the pads go on. So we're there and almost there at the same time.

Kurt from Traverse City, MI

All this fretting about WRs had me musing about the other end of the receiving equation: 12. Strikes me he's usually at his best went he's out to prove something – such as not needing 'Tae to earn an MVP. Adams' outpouring of love and respect for Carr, even equating Carr to Rodgers, has to rankle 12 a bit, no? Rodgers is ultra-competitive as it is, but would you agree the dynamics are setting up for a "watch me" season from him?

Perhaps, though for a player whose sources of motivation may appear endless at times, I don't think anything Adams said about Carr registers much, if at all. I could be way off-base here, but I suspect the internal motivations at this stage of his career – not even knowing himself how much longer he wants to play – outweigh the external.

Brad from Mankato, MN

I'm sure you've heard the news of Kyler Murray having a clause written into his contract requiring him to watch four hours of film a week without playing video games or watching TV. So I was wondering, I know that there are group film study sessions, but is four hours of individual film study (30 min. a day) really that much? I've seen interviews where the great QBs like Rodgers, Brady, Manning talk about watching film for many hours every day during game weeks.

No, four hours is not that much, especially for a quarterback. But how bizarre. Two things. First, on the team side, if I feel the need to include such a clause in a nearly quarter-billion-dollar deal for my franchise player, I start seriously questioning why this contract is being drawn up in the first place. Second, the situation was contentious from the start, and this leaking out means somebody wanted it out, which would indicate the deal itself clearly did not quell the contention.

Aidan from Atlanta, GA

With the eyes on the OLB depth this year, do you think we see any packages with three ILB on the field and Quay Walker being deployed similar to how Micah Parsons was? If I recall, Parsons was meant to be the middle 'backer at the beginning of last season but was moved around due to injury. We all saw the impact he had on that team coming off the edge. The measurables are there for Quay.

It's an intriguing thought and one I'm sure Joe Barry has considered. Walker had six QB pressures in the national title game vs. Alabama. It's an option that wouldn't necessarily require a third inside 'backer to deploy. We'll just have to wait and see.

Andrew from St. Petersburg, FL

Mark mentioned during the shareholders meeting that there will be a pep rally in Tampa. Is there any information anywhere saying where/when?

Randy from Westminster, CO

I've been on hiatus from the Insider Inbox for several months now. It's been a busy offseason for me with little time to read. To save me from having to comb through all the posts on, can you summarize in a few words all that has happened these last few months to catch me up?

Two clicks for you. On this transactions list, look closely at March and April. Then scroll through our draft page and devote as much time to it as you feel you need.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Before we get into the everyday of training camp and a championship season, I want to thank the entire II crew for the work you do. Everyone – all the readers, writers, intern and technical crew – give us all a sense of shared community as we express our fandom for one of the – if not THE – proudest franchises in professional sports. It's unique, just like so many aspects of Titletown USA. Thank you.

The thanks goes to all of you for your loyal readership and participation. My favorite part of the offseason is vacation, but if I have to be working, I prefer to be entertained, and this Inbox community is nothing if not entertaining.

Corey from Richland, WA

Hooray we have lived through another offseason! So did the fifth-string cornerback look like he belongs today?

We'll find out in a few hours. Or Jen will. Happy Wednesday.