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Inbox: The plan is he'll be an upgrade

It’s a mixture

LB De'Vondre Campbell

Mark from Ocala, FL

Good morning II. No question today just an affirmation for the alternate jersey selection for this coming year. Beautiful and fun of rich history. GO PACK GO!

I absolutely love the new throwbacks. Two thumbs up from me.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

Are you going to dress in 1950s attire for the throwback game?

I think a fedora with a "press" tag is in order, right?

Brian from Menomonee Falls, WI

OK, I have to ask. And maybe this is more of a question for Wes since you could clearly hear him laughing. Who was the jokester who interrupted Davante Adams and possibly made some reporters blush?

David Bakhtiari opened the door to the green room adjacent to the podium area and made a brief, off-camera shirtless appearance.

Drew from Rexburg, ID

I haven't heard a ton on De'Vondre Campbell other than he is the starter as of right now. Has he fit in well with the defense, and do you guys think it would be wrong to consider him an upgrade over Kirksey from last year?

The plan is he'll be an upgrade, and we'll see as the season evolves. There were higher expectations for Kirksey as an every-down linebacker, and he turned out to be more productive in a part-time, sub-package role. It still isn't clear whether Campbell or Krys Barnes will be the true every-down guy who stays on when only one inside linebacker is required – and maybe there's a plan to switch off depending on matchups – but either way, the Packers signed Campbell for about a third of Kirksey's price last year.

Ryan from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Will Aaron Rodgers play this week?


Renate from Milwaukee, WI

Will Jordan Love play in the preseason game against the Jets?

Doesn't sound like it.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

Do you think the subjectivity of the taunting penalty compares to when nobody knew what roughing the passer was a couple of years ago? I feel like the first bad call is going to anger teams and fans alike.

It will, and maybe I'm in the minority here, but I don't think it'll be too hard to tell what's what. It's one thing to celebrate. It's another to celebrate in someone else's face. Don't involve the opponent – with the ball, with any gestures, with where words are directed. Do that and I think the refs keep the flags in their pockets.

Robin from Flagstaff, AZ

Good morning! Do the new taunting rules prevent the D-train from leaving the station?

No, as long as they don't use the other guys for tracks.

Tim from Fruita, CO

I've been thinking about special teams. While there are some core ST types who know their path to the 53 lies in their abilities on ST, many rookies haven't played ST for years and want to make the team based on their regular position. Is that one of the reasons that ST might take longer to come together?

It can, and that's why I don't make overarching judgments about an entire phase after one preseason game. But it has to get better. Everyone knows that.

Chris from Tuscaloosa, AL

I'm sure I've seen you explain it on here before, but could you give us a refresher on what specifically you mean when talking about the core four with special teams?

Punt return, kickoff return, punt coverage, kickoff coverage.

Jeff from Lake Forest, CA

Hey Mike, you've long said the reason the Super Bowl won't come to GB is hotel space. I get it now. Just trying to find a room for a game against WFT in late October is difficult and that's more than two months away. Do they realistically have enough rooms even for the draft with how many people have been showing up for that (in healthy years)?

I'm assuming so or the organization wouldn't have applied to host. If the hotel requirement allows for, say, a one-hour travel radius, that pulls the Fox Cities (Appleton, Oshkosh, etc.) and the lakeshore (Manitowoc, Sheboygan) into the mix.

Benjamin from Bear, DE

Understanding the Packers' reluctancy to bring back injured players too soon, have you seen anything from Bakhtiari this preseason and his rehab that suggests he might be the Day 1 starter?

I'm not qualified to provide any assessment. For context, Bryan Bulaga tore his ACL on Nov. 6, 2017, and was in the starting lineup for the final preseason game of 2018, on Aug. 30. That's one week shy of 10 full months from the injury, the fastest I've seen Dr. McKenzie clear a player following ACL rehab. Bakhtiari's injury was Dec. 31, and this year's opener is Sept. 12, roughly five weeks sooner than Bulaga got the go-ahead. So, make of that what you will.

Scott from New Orleans, LA

You talk about JK Scott struggling to find consistency punting the football. Always seems like he is great early in the year and fades later. In your opinion is that due more to fatigue or the fact you're kicking an ice cube come late November?

I don't believe Scott's late-season struggles have been weather-related.

Jake from Decatur, GA

For you, what's different about this upcoming game? More specifically, do you tend to treat each preseason game as its own animal, or do you have particular trends that you track throughout the preseason action?

It's mostly about seeing who among guys fighting for roster spots might get into the game earlier than before, indicating a possible change on the depth chart. But sometimes that also reflects a desire to just get a longer look at a player, after others at the position have received ample opportunity. We never know for sure.

Green Bay Packers players showcased the team's 50s Classic Uniforms, which will be worn in the Oct. 24 home game against the Washington Football Team.

Marc from Neenah, WI

Have the Packers announced anything regarding what games they'll honor Bobby Dillon and Charles Woodson this season and unveil their names in the Lambeau Ring of Honor?

I haven't seen an official announcement, but I can tell you that Dillon's name will be added to the façade on Oct. 24 vs. Washington (when the new throwback uniforms are being worn) and Woodson's goes up Nov. 28 vs. the Rams.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Hellooo Newman!!!

Nice. Outside of Jordan Love's shoulder injury, he's been the story of camp this week. The rookie fourth-rounder is getting a chance to earn a Week 1 starting job at right guard. I would not have thought that back in the spring, when Royce Newman was just getting his feet wet with reps at both guard and tackle. Stay tuned. If Newman wins the job and starts alongside Josh Myers for the opener, it would mark the first time the Packers have two rookie draft picks starting on the offensive line to open the season since 2006, when Jason Spitz and Tony Moll started at the two guard spots in McCarthy's first game as head coach.

Mike from Manchester, England

I love that the latest "Three Things" shows not only the gradual progression in height from Wes to Mike to Larry, but also the progression in hat. Marvelous. Anyway, my question is regarding the 13 or 14 kept among WR/TE/RB. Do you see this as a 6/4/3 split or a 7/3/3 until Jace Sternberger ŕeturns after suspension? Thanks for all you guys bring to us.

I think it'll be 6-4-3 with maybe a fourth running back if the special teams help is evident.

Ralph from Elkhart Lake, WI

Insiders, there are many who bemoan the advent of instant replay in sports but how many more embarrassments like Wednesday night's Brewers game can MLB tolerate before they use the box for balls and strikes?

It's only a matter of time before the automated strike zone arrives. I've felt that for a few years now. Baseball is reaching a crisis point, similar to ones the NFL has faced throughout the history of its replay rule – the technology available is showing a game at home that doesn't match the officiating (in this case umpiring) decisions. It's a big problem and baseball can't ignore it forever.

Kyle form Osceola, WI

"It's never been about revenge. It's about a reckoning." Ha! Nice "Tombstone" reference dropped in there by No. 12. What went through your mind when he said that?

I just wasn't sure where the press conference was going to go from there.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

Do you think some players would just as soon rather have two-a-day practices than one practice and all the meetings, film study, playbook study, etc.? That can be taxing on the brain I'm sure. And sometimes you just want to get out and hit guys. Well, I don't but I'm sure football players do…

Not a chance. Yes, the meetings can get boring and tedious, but these guys have 17 regular-season games to play, and hopefully more. They'll take the break for their bodies without complaint.

Matthew from Sheboygan, WI

Amari Rodgers is widely assumed to be one of five WR roster locks. However, he seemed to be outperformed in the first preseason game by two non-locks, Malik Taylor and Devin Funchess, earning the offense's third-lowest PFF grade. Is the assumption here that Rodgers has greater potential for development than the many WRs on the roster bubble? Player evaluation has been a recent theme at II, and I appreciate your insights into this process.

The Packers traded up to spend a third-round pick on Rodgers. Barring a draft pick of that status showing he absolutely doesn't belong at this level – and nothing could be further from the truth with Rodgers – he's going to get a chance to develop. The draft is not about what a player is, but what they believe he'll become. Rodgers isn't just a developmental prospect, either. He's in line to play his share of snaps as a rookie.

Noel from Norwalk, CA

Hello II! Just finished watching the joint practice. As the Packers ran their drills before their scrimmage, where were the Jets? Would you please enlighten us on the day of a visiting team during a joint practice?

I can't speak to their entire schedule, but while the Packers were running their opening drills on Nitschke Field, the Jets were doing theirs on the other side of the Hutson Center on Hinkle Field. Then they came over to Nitschke for the rest of the workout.

Jeremy from West Allis, WI

Dennis Kelly lists in his Twitter bio he is an NFL record-holder. What record is it?

Heaviest player to score a touchdown in an NFL playoff game (321 pounds).

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Mike, with the new rule that restricts players from low contact outside the tackle box/5 yards past the line of scrimmage can we really expect a 180-pound cornerback to take on a giant 300-plus-pound pulling O-lineman? Usually going low to remove the blocker out of the play is the move. Realistically, I think we could see some veteran DB make a business decision and just lay down rather than getting blown up.

The best move in an overmatched situation like that will probably be to go wherever it makes the ball carrier change direction, because the more cuts he has to make, the more time other pursuing defenders will have to catch him.

Doug from Ames, IA

With the new blocking rules going into effect, do you think defensive backs will have to evolve into a larger and more physical body type?

Not if they still want to be able to cover receivers.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

In regards to the practice squad, do teams usually try and keep the next best 16 players (No. 54-69) regardless of position, or will they keep a "lower evaluated" player because of their position?

It's a mixture, and the expanded practice squad makes it easier to build that combination of the most highly evaluated prospects who didn't make the 53 (and didn't get claimed), and potential reinforcements at certain spots.

Sal from Dingle, Ireland

I've got to admit, I was one of the "preseason games don't matter" folks for a long time – not just that, but I specifically disliked them for the injury propensity (Jordy almost broke me). This year feels like we have a lot of untested rookies who need air time. Who will be your players to watch vs. the Jets?

Anyone who's playing guard, anyone who's on special teams, and the young defensive linemen.

Seth from Madison, WI

Out of curiosity, what happens if someone is banned? Do they receive a courteous email from one of you informing them of their status? In addition, are banishments lifelong, or do they expire after a certain amount of time?

C'mon, Seth. The first rule of Inbox is we do not talk about Inbox, and if the writers break said rule, the readers certainly are not allowed to follow up. Happy Friday.


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