Dave from Huntsville, AL
Did you know the "Unscripted" episode talking about cutdowns and special teams was No. 666 when you recorded it? I hope that's not a bad omen.
Hey, if it exorcises some demons, all the better, right?
William from South Milwaukee, WI
Mike, you and Wes often reference lines from movies and TV shows. Some I know, love and use myself but I have forgotten more than I can remember. Do you have these stored in your memory banks or do you have these on a Rolodex in your office? Perhaps on a spread sheet to cross reference the best scenario in which to use them? GPG!
They pop up in the moment or it's too much work. I certainly meant no harm to Iowans and their state with the random "Field of Dreams" reference the other day, but it was a perfect setup and that's the way this column rolls.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning, Mike. Were you able to see a few games from college football's opening weekend? Between the emphasis on passing and high scores, tons of penalties, endless reviews and injury timeouts, a lot of the games went well over four hours long without OT. TV broadcast schedules were all screwed up, but the advertisers were probably happy. Would the NFL view more airtime per game as a good thing?
No. The NFL is constantly monitoring the length of game broadcasts, and it likes to keep the average in the three-hour to 3:15 range. Four-hour games have been a problem in college football for a long time now, and that's one big reason the NFL is reticent to expand replay review any further. That said, the college game didn't need to move the PAT back to make it an adventure. What an ending Sunday night.
Bart from Point Roberts, WA
Will the Packers have practices next week leading up to the Vikings game?
Well, they aren't going to just sit around for the next six days waiting for their flight.
Dave from Germantown, TN
Which Viking player on offense do you fear the most? Do the Vikings have a weakness on offense that the Packers can exploit?
As I've mentioned many times, Minnesota's trio of offensive weapons in Cook, Jefferson and Thielen is as formidable as there is. They're going to get the ball and get their yards, but the Packers have to stay sound and not let them break tackles. Keep the ball in front, get them on the ground, and live to fight another play.
Richard from Livermore, CA
Great to see Tim Harris selected to the Packers HOF. I really enjoyed watching him play all those years despite the rough time the team had winning, but I also had the privilege of coaching his son in basketball his freshman and sophomore years in high school. I believe Tim played basketball in high school, and although his son was not quite as big, he was athletic and very competitive, traits I expect he inherited from his dad. Tim is a welcome and well-deserved addition to Packers HOF.
The Packers have seen a lot of great pass rushers come through here over the past 30-plus years – Reggie White, Aaron Kampman, Tony Bennett, Bryce Paup, Vonnie Holliday, KGB, Clay Matthews, the Smith Bros., etc. – yet not only does Harris' mark of 19½ sacks from 1989 still stand, nobody has come within 3½ of his single-season team record.
Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI
What rookie will make the biggest impact this year?
At this point, I'm going to guess Quay Walker, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's Romeo Doubs or Christian Watson. If for reasons unrelated to health, Kingsley Enagbare is in this conversation by season's end, the potential benefits there would be tremendous.
Gary from Cross Plains, WI
With rosters all set, I checked out the cap and looks like we have $6M available. Considering all the moves and where we started the offseason, that looks pretty darn good. Kudos on that! Also means we have some flexibility to acquire a higher-cost player if need arises midseason. And if we don't, that carries over to lower the burden next year, correct? Or could the brass still redo a contract or extend someone to have some cap impact this year yet?
Any unused cap space will carry over. As far as extending a player, Gutey made it pretty clear in his interview with Pete Dougherty at the Press-Gazette that Elgton Jenkins is high on that priority list, assuming all goes well with his return to the field. An in-season extension would most likely be geared toward keeping his cap number manageable for next season.
Isaac from Columbia, TN
Mike hinted at this earlier in the week. How long will the practice-squad protections last? Will they fade away naturally? Will the NFLPA step in? If I hear a team is interested in signing me to a roster spot, I think I would be pretty upset with the team that "protected" me on their practice squad.
Wes brought it up first, actually, and I agree it's something that'll be looked into. I could see a limit on how many weeks a PS player is protected.
Karl from Carmichael, CA
"Conditioning-wise, I wish we would've done a couple more of those." – AR
How likely do you think this practice "suggestion" will be incorporated into future preseasons? Properly structured, I think this is just what is needed more regularly in preseason activity.
I'm fairly certain we haven't seen the last of those types of practices in August.
Brian from Charlottesville, VA
In response to Ann from Menomonee Falls, Mike said the QC coaches are responsible for preparing the scout team each week. Seems to me that's a pretty important role in the team's week-to-week success for a relatively low-profile (publicly at least) coach position. Do the Packers have a separate scouting department dedicated to each week's opponent to help prepare the QC coaches? How does that scouting process work?
The quality control coaches work in advance on upcoming opponents a lot, so they can have all the plays ready and drawn up for the scout-team offense and defense to run in practice that particular week. I apologize if my previous answer was misunderstood. They aren't preparing the scout-team players, they're preparing the scout-team plays. It's up to those players to look at the diagrams and run the plays as outlined in practice to give the first units the best possible look.
Jon from Minneapolis, MN
Who is going to make the largest leap from last year on offense?
If Jake Hanson ends up starting in Week 1 at right guard, then there's absolutely no question he's the answer here.
Ryan from Kaukauna, WI
I appreciate the focus special teams has been getting in regards to roster construction. On the flip side, should we expect a corresponding drop-off elsewhere that will make some fans question why we "wasted" a roster spot on special teams when X player gets beat on offense/defense?
Time will tell, and we'll never really know anyway, if the backup player passed over for more help on special teams isn't here. The Packers didn't sacrifice anything in their starting lineup for the third phase, but they made depth decisions with special teams more at the forefront.
Harry from Chandler, AZ
Hi Inbox. Anything planned for Mike's Mid-Week Chat this year?
The first one will be Wednesday. I'm just not sure what time yet.
Mark from Bellevue, WI
Happy Labor Day! Now that LeRoy has been inducted into the HOF, the 1996 Super Bowl champs have four members in the Hall – Favre, White, Butler and Wolf. If Mike Holmgren ever is elected that would make five. The Packers of the '60s dynasty have a plethora of members in the Hall. When you look at the 2010 champs, only Woodson and Aaron Rodgers look to be enshrined. Is this a reflection of the changing face of the NFL? Who on the 2022 roster besides No. 12 could even have an outside shot?
If by changing face of the NFL you mean how difficult it is to remain the elite of the elite for a stretch of years, then yes. Those mid-1990s Packers went to three straight conference title games, two straight Super Bowls. Runs like that are getting more and more rare. As for the XLV champs, we've talked here before about how Nick Collins might've been on his way, but unfortunately we'll never know. On the current roster, I think David Bakhtiari enters the Canton discussion with a couple more All-Pro nods, and the same goes for the departed Davante Adams.
Dave from Fond du Lac, WI
How many more seasons will Aaron Rodgers have to play to beat Favre's all-time interception record?
We'll have to break the no-math rule on this one, but here goes: Rodgers has averaged 6.6 INTs per season as a starting QB, so for him to go from his current 93 to Favre's 336, theoretically he would have to play another 37 years, or until he's 75.
Barry from Sun Prairie, WI
Is John Kuhn slated to be an announcer through the regular season? I hope so, he deserves it.
To my knowledge, he'll be the on-field reporter for the radio broadcasts with Wayne and Larry.
Jake from Saskatoon, Canada
Are you guys as excited as I am to witness the potential storyline of Z's return against Bak and Elgton's respective returns? Those matchups are going to yield some great battles (provided all are healthy for Week 1).
Yeah, Wes hit the nail on the head there.
Vince from Auburn, WA
This long break between the end of the preseason and first regular-season game is driving me nuts. Do you think the players and coaches appreciate the extended time off or are they going a little stir crazy and would rather get right to the action?
Trust me, you take your breaks in this business whenever you can get them. The games aren't going anywhere. They'll all get played.
Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL
AR 12 is not one who usually passes out compliments regularly. But he said the Packers' defense has basically no weaknesses in (last week's) interview. Is this the best defense in his tenure?
Time will tell. The '09 and '19 groups were pretty darn good except for some poorly timed hiccups. The '10 unit was impressively steady and consistent. The '14 defense got really good after the Matthews midseason switch. The story on this one is yet to be written.
John from Gaylord, MI
There's a mystique of home-field advantage in Green Bay especially come late fall/early winter. But the Packers' home playoff record since 2003 (8-7) is one piece of evidence that shows, in my opinion, that this advantage has been partially negated, for many debatable reasons. My theory is that just around the point of the season when a team's identity is forged, mother nature throws a wrench into what the team's been doing all season. Do you have any thoughts on this (perceived) conundrum?
I don't think it's as much the weather throwing wrenches into things as the Packers just not playing well, regardless of the elements. In the home playoff losses the past two years, the weather wasn't much of a factor either way, frankly. But I still think home-field advantage is worth fighting for, even if the weather element gets a bit overblown. For all the frustrations with the home losses the past two years, the Packers' last two road playoff games have been blowout defeats (37-20 at SF, 44-21 at ATL), and since the all-road run to the title 12 years ago, the Packers have won just two road playoff games (at WAS, 2015; at DAL, 2016) against five losses. So, chilly or not, snow or no snow, I'd still rather have the Packers in front of their home crowd in the playoffs. All that said, it's Monday of Week 1, so just beat the Vikings.
Mark from Big Bear City, CA
Good morning gentlemen, the almanac is saying it's going to be a cold winter this year. December we get the Rams, Vikings and Lions. Here's hoping for a winter wonderland for the fair-weather Rams and the indoor boys of the North. Sorry if a got a little bit ahead of myself.
See last four words of previous answer. Enjoy the holiday, everybody.