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Inbox: There are three things you look for

A fast start is fine, but a strong finish is what everyone remembers


Stephen from Washington D.C.

"To ignore the very different reasons and motivations behind the symbolic actions in order to draw a false equivalency contributes nothing to the discussion." *mic drop*

Spoff has had a couple mic drop moments in our two-plus seasons together, but that by far was my favorite. I saw Matt's "take" a day earlier, but just brushed it aside as bitter grapes. Spoff threw those grapes in a juicer and went to work.

Scott from Little Rock, AR

Spoff's words about words. "Whether we say 'em, write 'em, read 'em or hear 'em, they have to mean something" really hit home with me. I need a WWSS (What Would Spoff Say) bracelet. Maybe I can find one next to the embroidered pillow isle!

It would say "WWSS" on one side and "You gotta be freakin' kidding me" on the other. Oh, good morning!

Terry from Springfield, MO

I was surprised no one mentioned the performance of Josh Jackson Thursday night. In my eyes, he was everywhere and more than held his own in his first NFL game. Maybe it's my Hawkeye roots swaying my perception. I love all the Hawks in green and gold. What were your impressions of his performance?

It was a solid start for the rookie second-round pick. There was that one hold early, but otherwise it was a solid performance. He wasn't credited with a pass deflection, but I felt there were several plays where his coverage disrupted potential completions.

Juan from San Antonio, TX

How did the new tundra hold up?

Just fine, thank you.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, I watched parts of several preseason games and I didn't notice any difference on the kickoffs, either kicking or returning. Did anything catch your eye in regard to the rule changes?

The setup looked odd to me at first, but it didn't seem too out of the ordinary once the ball was kicked off.

Sam from Greendale, WI

Our receivers looked fast off the line, especially on those downfield routes. Was that separation due to speed on our end or slow corners on the Titans? While some throws were made they were often slightly behind on those deep routes. Others should have been deeper, slightly more outside, etc. Rodgers won't miss those throws. Do we have big-play capacity again?

Brian Gutekunst drafted several players with two traits you cannot coach – speed and size. That's what I see when I look at those three rookie receivers. There's obviously more to this game than who's the biggest and fastest, but those two attributes heighten a player's ceiling. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown have to stack their success from Thursday night, but they flashed their abilities.

Bruce from Bloomington, IL

In reflecting on the first preseason game and needing a place to focus my over-reaction...I am Mar-Val-ing at the new hot receiver.

It's fine to get excited. After all, that's the best part of the preseason. But Valdes-Scantling is still a young receiver. A few days ago, MVS had a drop he lamented after Family Night and practice. Those are the highs and lows of being a rookie. He's experiencing that.

Michael from Winchester, VA

Remember in "Frosty the Snowman," the bit about, "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found"? So what's with the No. 83 jersey that got passed from Inbox superman Janis to Valdes-Scantling? He made some nice moves Thursday night, didn't he? Is he ready to be the next Inbox superman?

Oh boy.

Jake from St. Clair Shores, MI

After watching the preseason game, the heated competition at WR is quite evident and continues to grow. The big standout, in my opinion, was Jake Kumerow. He looked like he belonged on that field as much as anyone. My question is how many receivers will the Packers keep on their roster and what are Jake's chances of making the team?

The Packers have kept as many as seven receivers during my time covering the team. If a guy earns a spot, they'll find room for him. Kumerow seems to improve his chances every time he steps onto the field. He knows he must keep proving it every day, though. A fast start is fine, but a strong finish is what everyone remembers.

Cam from Jimboomba, Australia

Being in Australia, the NFL coverage is at best, minuscule, so I was only able to catch the highlights. I did notice Aaron Rodgers' exuberance after Kumerow's long TD, equal parts excited and impressed perhaps? My question, did you notice his demeanor on any other contested catches, impressive routes, 50/50 offensive wins?

Rodgers' demeanor was positive all night. So much was made of his comments after Tuesday's practice, but there is no bigger supporter of young players in that locker room than Rodgers. The guy always will go the extra mile for anyone willing to run with him.

Todd from Eau Claire, WI

During the preseason games are all 90 rostered players on the sideline and able to play in the game?

Correct. They're all eligible to play. The Packers just announced 18 "scratches" beforehand for clarity and to eliminate any speculation.

Jonathon from Sun Prairie, WI

Looking at comments all over social media, one would think the defense lost the game for the Packers Thursday night. I will agree with some that the defense didn't seem to have much pizazz. It was only the first game. My anxiety if you will stems from feeling as though not many players took advantage of an opportunity to show a spark with several starters sitting. What did you see as the biggest positives and the biggest opportunities for improvement?

If you're Mike Pettine, there literally is no incentive to showing anything of substance. To those getting fired up on social media over the first preseason game, take a cold shower. There are things to clean up this week, but all three quarterbacks played well and the 2018 draft class looked good for the most part. That's a win.

Leo from Kenosha, WI

I know it only one game, but Tim Boyle looked better than either of the other two, but seems everybody is all about Brett Hundley. I know, more experience.

With all due respect to Boyle, he also was playing against third- and fourth-stringers during the final 1½ quarters.

Craigly from Grand Rapids, MI

The fumble No. 91 forced reminded me of a very clutch veteran play Julius Peppers made against the Cowboys a few years back. He was one of those project picks, but if he's already making plays like that (given could have been on a RB who may not have a job next week) we could have something here in Kendall Donnerson.

There are three things you look for out of any young player in these settings – make a play, show your work, and progress. Donnerson did what he's coached and Vince Biegel was there to jump on it. Those are the plays you want to see from young defensive players because it can be hard to flash that type of playmaking ability in a practice setting.

Packers fans visited Lambeau Field and Titletown for the preseason opener against the Titans.

Erik from Caledonia, WI

The young receivers had the show-stealing highlights last night. Did any of the young defensive players jump out at you?

Jackson was my blue-chip performer, but I liked what I saw from Oren Burks after Blake Martinez was shut down for the night. That's not an easy spot for a rookie to be in with the communication helmet. Burks looked natural with it. Several players in the locker room were praising Greer Martini, as well.

Bill from Wake Forest, NC

I think of Tom Brady's longevity being consistent with his stay-in-the-pocket playing style, and throwing on rhythm. Brady has had one major injury and a new rule was made to try to prevent it from recurring. AR says he wants to play into his 40s, but he doesn't have any more good collarbones. Do you think the Packer coaches and AR will be trying to make a conscious change to reduce his improvisations in an effort to reduce the number and severity of hits he has to endure?

The question keeps getting asked, but the answer remains the same. Nobody is asking Rodgers to change his play style. There undoubtedly will be a natural evolution with his game as he gets older, but there's no massive overhaul coming. You can't play this game with a timid mindset.

Chris from Dublin, Ireland

I often hear about certain players inspiring teammates in ways other than on-the-field performance – through humor, relentless encouragement, or (in the spirit of Lewis and Clark) undaunted courage. Such personalities may not be the best players on the team, but they contribute significantly to its character and definition. In this era of heightened professionalism, how important do you feel personalities are? And who are the mainstay and emerging personalities for the Pack?

Personalities are critical to a locker room and the overall success of a football team. Jarrett Bush, Chris Banjo and Jayrone Elliott are just a few names that come to mind when I think of "quintessential" locker-room guys. It's crucial at the top of the depth chart, as well. I think of someone like Julius Peppers who came in, earned respect and became a leader on this football team. You can't overstate the importance of having the right attitude and fit.

Jay from New Haven, IN

I have a question pertaining to how you guys answer questions. Is there a reason why, when asked questions about your opinions, that you generally don't answer it without more information? For instance: You were asked if you would take Revis or Woodson in a question, but you needed more information about the team they would be on. Why can't you just answer the question assuming no more information?

Woodson. Are you happy now?

Tyler from Moorhead, ND

How do teams in the preseason have somewhat equal talent on the field at the same time? What if the Packers put their first-string players against the other team's players trying to make the practice squad? Is there an unspoken agreement between the teams to not completely dominate a series?

Teams can play their starters as long as they desire. I remember in 2013 when Kansas City coach Todd Haley got torched for keeping his starters in for most of the game. Not only did Haley risk injury, but Graham Harrell also had his best game in a Packers uniform against the Chiefs' defense.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

Are the Packers going to keep the old-school field markers throughout the season celebrating 100 Seasons, or is this just a treat for the preseason? I have to admit, it looked a bit awkward at first, but then it started to grow on me.

It's my understanding what you saw on Thursday night is the theme on the field for the entire 2018 season.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Could the huge number of penalties and tight calls also be partially due to the referee turnover this offseason? Just like the players need to adjust and communicate on the field, so do new officials.

Flags always fly in the preseason for two reasons – an abundance of young players and referees practicing whatever emphases are in place. Of all the calls, I really only had an issue with the "lowering the helmet to initiate contact" unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Dalyn Dawkins. That call halted Tennessee's drive. Say what you will, but I'm guessing Packers fans wouldn't be too thrilled if that gets called on Jamaal Williams in a key short-yardage situation during the regular season and now it's third-and-16.

Paul from Plover, WI

Could someone explain how stopping the clock works when a player goes out of bounds? At times, it appears the clock should stop, but it keeps running.

The clock only stops fully, until the ensuing snap, when it's under two minutes in the first half, or under five minutes in the second half and overtime.

Dennis from Marquette, MI

I would think by now management would offer some sort of explanation as to why we have yet to see or hear anything about the offensive lineman Cole Madison that was drafted this year.

What part of "it's a personal matter" is so difficult to understand? As a society, we believe we're entitled to know everything because technology puts everything at our fingertips. The Packers are aware of his situation. That's all that matters.

Robert from Plymouth, WI

All three quarterbacks played well yesterday. Just playing devil's advocate here, but would the Packers get a conditional pick if they cut DeShone Kizer?

That's not how it works. That's not how anything works.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what are your initial impressions of Joel Bouagnon? He had a very good game against the Titans.

I thought he did fine. Bouganon scored his first NFL touchdown. That's always fun. I was pretty impressed with Akeem Judd coming in on short notice and performing the way he did. He's patient, but runs with power.

Will from Rochester, MN

Thanks for all your hard work guys. I appreciate it all. It makes lunch worthwhile. I am wondering if there is anyone in the HOF who played his entire career in the Canadian Football League. If not, is it a possibility (not a probability)?

There are five players in Canton who played in the CFL – Warren Moon, Fred Biletnikoff, John Henry Johnson, Don Maynard and Arnie Weinmeister – and they all made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame due to their NFL contributions. I don't see any way a CFL-only player could make it in. There are too many worthy NFL players still waiting for "the call."

Take a look at every Green Bay Packers team photo, dating back to 1919, as the team celebrates its 104th birthday on Aug. 11.

Lisa from Nordness, IA

I think the reason people are upset with the kneeling issue is because the reason for it is to start a conversation that most Americans don't want to have, but desperately need to about the very real inequalities that exist. Until we can move past the denial, we can't really fix anything. Sorry for using the Inbox as a platform. You guys always have great insights! Keep it up!

No need to apologize for a reasoned and thoughtful opinion. I wish we could have a more mature and honest dialogue about these matters rather than shouting at each other.

Brent from Savage, MN

Wow. We are philosophizing today, aren't we? I have to say I am impressed with your response to the T.O. HOF absences related to the kneeling at games. I agree, we (as a society) generalize to justify our message without engaging with the circumstances, reasons, and motivations of why people choose to stand or otherwise. I feel we have lost our ability to discuss, disagree, and still talk about the heart of the matter.


Eric from Oshkosh, WI

Why does the Rock wear headphones in his postgame tunnel interviews with Mike McCarthy? Does he have a deal with Bose? Is he just trying to be hip with the kids?

He's doing live radio. Larry is a lot of things, but he's not telepathic.

Ryan from Bartlett, IL

"Evan, thinking on his feet, slipped the security guard $20 out of his pocket..." That's a pro move, for sure. Did that show up on his expense report and if so, under what line item?

As legend has it, E filed it under his food per diem on the expense report. Boss move. Have a good weekend, folks.