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Inbox: There's always someone waiting to surprise you

The tight end position never has been more valuable

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Leandro from Lexington, KY

Wes, I'm starting to dread your Inbox days because "Good Morning!" has become too grating and repetitive of an opening. Please just drop it quietly before it becomes a point of pride you refuse to change?

Top o' the muffin to ya!

Keith from Dearborn, MI

As the players move into the SNC dorms for camp, it brings back great memories of college. It's been 10 years since freshman move-in for the quad-fecta crew at UW-Eau Claire. Assuming you lived in the dorms, what was your favorite memory?

I lived at home.

The Packers moved into dorms at St. Norbert College, in preparation for training camp.

Hope from Pecatonica, IL

Rookie question-asker here! I am in Green Bay for my shareholders meeting and would like to know where is the first place I want to go for the Packers Experience? My husband's feet won't take him far so need to make the most of it in the least amount of steps. Love the Insider Inbox and hopefully you can help me out. GO PACK GO!

There are so many cool things to see and do, but I brought your question to our game entertainment specialist/intern, Courtney Ullmer, and she suggested the Packers' locker room or the legendary dream theater. I hope you guys have a ton of fun.

Victoria from Atlanta, GA

Hey Wes and Spoff, with the new coaching staff and offseason acquisitions, what storylines are you most looking forward to seeing develop during training camp? PS: You guys are still rocking the Inbox!

This question brings a tear to my eye. Victoria was one of our superstar interns last year who now is working for the Peach Bowl. We miss you. To your question, the storyline I'm most looking forward to is the unexpected – the Justin McCrays and Geronimo Allisons who work their way up the depth charts. There's always someone waiting to surprise you.

Wayne from Richmond, VA

Will the new Packers' offense be using more two tight-end sets?

The simple answer is yes, but Mike McCarthy always has been open to using two or more tight ends. The position has never been more valuable given the hybrid nature of the league, and Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis seem to complement each other perfectly. Plus, the Packers have Lance Kendricks and Emanuel Byrd also returning. It's the deepest the Packers have been at TE in years.

Pat from Schofield, WI

How are the opponents for preseason games chosen?

Just like you fill up a dance card – ask around and put together your four-game slate. It's entirely up to the teams, with a few small restrictions.

Packers Experience is a free festival from July 26-29 for fans of all ages. It will feature fan activities including live music, a replica team locker room, USA Football kids' clinics, Packers alumni and more!

Fransua from Brandon, FL

Would you mind explaining how the PUP list works? Is it like IR where a player has to wait a few weeks before he can play again, or can he get activated as soon as he is healthy?

The Packers run all of their players through physicals once they arrive for camp. If the player cannot pass a physical due to an injury sustained with the team, that individual is placed on the physically unable to perform list until he's cleared. If the player returns to practice in camp, he is activated from PUP. If he isn't cleared by the start of the regular season, he remains on PUP for the first six weeks and doesn't count towards the 53-man roster.

Garrett from Hugo, MN

Since the fellas are cooped up in dorm rooms, I was wondering how they spend their free time. I have heard in the past that some players, the O-line if I remember correctly, play Settlers of Catan. Is that still a popular game within the team, and are you a Settler yourself? I feel that "Game of Thrones" and Catan kind of go hand in hand.

I know Netflix is the best friend of several players. Video games also are a popular choice of refuge from the daily rigors of camp. Ty Montgomery also mentioned how some guys like to spend time in the café on campus. Catan was big with the O-line a few years ago. I'm not sure where that stands today.

Scott from Wayne, PA

What's the chance of our entire starting offensive line entering training camp healthy and staying that way to start the season? Last year, we had trouble with the tackles right from the jump and it was a struggle all year. They never got healthy. Offensive success in the running game and protecting Aaron starts up front with the big fellas.

A lot of that depends on where things are with Bryan Bulaga. By all accounts, he's made steady progress from his knee injury, but it's hard to say what his timetable looks like at this moment. The other four starters should be in the clear, including Lane Taylor, who told reporters Tuesday he's good to go after an ankle injury limited his participation in the offseason program. Jason Spriggs (knee) and Kyle Murphy (foot) also returned to the field this past spring after season-ending injuries in 2017.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

This looks to be a very competitive 90-man roster with less than 20 practices and limited reps to sort it out before cut-down day. With three practice fields in close proximity available, do the Packers ever split squads to maximize those reps? And Wes, enjoy today, it's been a long wait.

Every story, video and column posted on packers.com for the past six months has been leading up to this point. To answer your question – sort of. The Packers' offense stretches and does its pre-practice work inside the Hutson Center before joining the rest of the team on Nitschke Field. It's not like what Joe Philbin did in Miami on "Hard Knocks," though. The Packers don't practice with split squads.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Just to follow up on the "Madden" player ratings, when do expect either a player, his agent or the team say, "I/he was ranked in 'Madden' above Player X and I should be paid like him or more?"

If that ever happens, that player and/or agent is going to get laughed out of the building. You prove your worth on the field, not in virtual reality.

Jared from Philadelphia, PA

Was wondering if most of the Packers players/staff live in the city of Green Bay during the season, or do some players choose to have a longer commutes? Also, do you have any insight into whether players buy houses or rent during the season?

It's probably an even split between those who buy or rent, but mostly everyone I can think of lives in the Green Bay metro area. The only example I have of a player living a good distance away was Cedric Benson in 2012. I remember him saying his commute was like an hour or maybe more, but you can get away with that given Green Bay's light traffic.

Tristan from Durham, NC

In regards to Raymond of Des Moines edit, if every team's goal for the year is to win in February, then every game you didn't play in January is a defeat. Six months sounds about right to me.

It's not a horse apiece?

Paul from Gorham, ME

I was just reading in the 100 Moments. I love them! I read that the Hutson Center has two 65-yard fields perpendicular to each other. Why are they perpendicular?

I wish there was a cool, interesting answer to this question, but it's really just maximizing the space. There isn't enough room to attach them or place them next to each other.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

"The film is parsed and sorted by the video department and what a player wants/needs to watch can be accessed directly from his tablet." Wow! Give these people props and a big season-end vacation!

I know those guys in video well. One of them was the best man in my wedding. They do incredible work up there. That's the lifeblood of an NFL team. You never can have enough cut-ups of plays and players.

Sammy from Milwaukee, WI

I miss reading the paper. Now I don't know if I like reading on a phone. Do you, young men, miss reading on the computer?

Maybe I'm just a dang millennial, but I have an easier time reading on a phone or tablet than computer.

Stan from Merrill, WI

I love the preseason games. Every play is the most important play for the young guys fighting for a roster spot. What's your favorite part of preseason games?

I've always been partial to that last preseason game, but the change the league made a few years ago to allow teams to keep all 90 players on their roster until final cuts has added another element of intrigue for me. The stakes couldn't be higher for those players on the bubble trying to make the 53.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

My favorite failed Packers prediction was spoken by Trent Dilfer on ESPN after they made the playoffs in 2010. He told his audience, "Don't drink the Packers' Kool-Aid." On a related note, what QB do you think contributed the least to their team's road to a Super Bowl championship?

I see what you did there. Take a bow, Nate.

Mike from Raleigh, NC

Is there any possible way the Rams can keep both Jared Goff and Aaron Donald?

Maybe. Goff is under contractual control for three more seasons (with his option year). A lot can happen between now and then. If I were the Rams, however, I probably address Donald's contract before anyone on LA's roster. The guy is a monster.

Rick from Kenosha, WI

Here's a question to wrap up the dead zone...Who is your Packer Ninja Warrior team?

I'll say Ty Montgomery, Davante Adams, Jaire Alexander and Aaron Rodgers – because QB1 is good at everything.

Chase from Sunnyvale, CA

What's wrong with Wes liking the end of practice? It means it's time to start producing the most reliable, non-clickbait news most of us get on a daily basis. Seriously guys, thanks for all the work you do. Packers.com is the place I learned what true reporting is, and have become much more vigilant in avoiding clickbait and sensationalistic news sources.

OK. I'll play it straight. My favorite part of training camp is the night practices. I know, I know, we don't have any this year at Nitschke Field, but they're my favorite thing to cover during camp. You can't beat a Green Bay evening in August.

Ethan from Holly Springs, NC

Have you heard anything about why Cole Madison and Michael Clark didn't show up to training camp?

It's the first time during my time on the beat a player did not report to camp, so I'm in the same boat with the rest of you. I'm sure Mike McCarthy will shed some light on the situation before Thursday's practice.

Dave from Minneapolis, MN

Mike mentioned unofficial rules for media covering the Packers. Have you seen examples of media members breaking the rules? What was the result?

I can't think of many instances of breaking the rules. The only time I remember an issue in the gray area was when Michael Neal dropped all that weight in 2013 and moved to outside linebacker. It was difficult to determine whether the switch was scheme-related due to the introduction of the "elephant" rushing position. The Packers aren't required to open their practices to the public in camp, but it's been grandfathered in over decades. The media typically understand and respect those boundaries.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Do Aaron Rodgers and the veterans that live in the Green Bay area need to stay at St. Norbert with the rest of the team?

Yes. No special treatment for veterans other than getting a room to themselves.

Eric from Champaign, IL

With your memory of Jimmy Johnson's fork, I was wondering if you could put together a link showing a compilation of sport shows throughout 2010? It would be interesting to see how they perceived the Packers and how it changed as the season went into the playoffs. 

It's a funny moment, but it still doesn't compare to Merrill Hoge forecasting Brian Brohm as the Packers' quarterback of the future in 2008.

Ken from Long Beach, CA

Traveling across the country to attend training camp. It was a great thrill last year for the entire family and now I need a little local knowledge. Other than 1919, please give me the name of a good place to eat lunch, nothing fancy just fun. Also are there any changes to how training camp is run this year?

I've said this before, but "46 Below" in Titletown is legit. The Hilltop Club is one of my favorite lunch items in the entire area right now.

Ben from Eau Claire, WI

Just saw the first "Packers Unscripted" online! Wes, you're not nearly as bad looking as I thought you were! ;) Keep up the great work guys!

I'm happy we're online, allowing the world to see my "not-nearly-as-bad-looking-as-I-thought" face.

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