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Inbox: There's an argument to be made

But someone won’t make it


H.R. from Henderson, NV

Well, that is certainly not how anyone wants games to end. My prayers to the young man for a speedy recovery.

It was great to hear Sunday morning that Isaiah Bolden was released from the hospital and traveling back home with his team.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Prayers for Isaiah Bolden. It makes prepping for our hurricane feel like it is so much less significant. Very impressed that both teams jointly agreed to call the game in respect for what these players face to bring us entertainment.

It was the right decision, and I don't think there was much to debate given the circumstances. Here's to all the folks out west/southwest staying safe these next few days.

Jerry from Allouez, WI

Just a couple of thoughts. Karl Brooks and Colby Wooden look like they belong. Both put pressure on the backfield and QBs. Jordan Love's scramble for the first down was as impressive for his athleticism as well as watching the players in front of and behind him before sliding down. No need to play him next week.

Agree on the first two counts. As for Love, LaFleur said he's playing again vs. Seattle.

Rob from Sturgeon Bay, WI

I know it's only preseason, but as much as we want to appreciate Mel's view of Carrington Valentine, we certainly can abhor his take on Sean Clifford. Clifford, as Vic would say, passes the eye test.

And how. I mentioned in the live blog I can't recall just flat-out enjoying watching a rookie QB play preseason games like this before. Clifford's a treat.

Paul from Middleton, WI

Are the Packers being forced to consider seven WR this year?

There's an argument to be made that seven have done enough to warrant a roster spot, but my gut says that's too many. Someone won't make it.

Brendan from Warren, MI

That pass from Love to Jayden Reed was awesome, but the blitz pickup from AJ Dillon was next level. Excellent heads-up play, and he punished the defender. What a way to cap off a long TD drive.

It's not easy as a running back to transition immediately from carrying out a play fake to picking up a blitzer. That's a highly underrated skill, and Dillon showed he's got it. The velocity on the throw to Reed and the snatch of the ball out of the air didn't say "first-year starter" and "rookie receiver" to me. Good stuff.

Alex from Terre Haute, IN

After now two preseason games what do you think Packers need to clean up the most? Also, for RB Emanuel Wilson, he is having a great preseason. Do you see him making the roster of 53?

Wilson's making as strong a case as he can. When camp started, I honestly didn't think we'd be talking so much about him during the preseason, but injuries at running back have created opportunity and he's maximizing. As for cleaning things up, obviously the cadence/communication issues in shotgun have to get squared away. That's two snap miscues in five preseason series. Even one could cost you a game when it counts.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

The third RB battle is a great competition. Who do you think will win it and will the Packers add the fourth RB on their practice squad?

I still think Patrick Taylor is the favorite based on his experience, pass-blocking abilities, and previous special-teams roles. But what Wilson has done can't be dismissed. Between the active roster and practice squad, I expect the Packers to have at least four running backs.

Ted from Findlay, OH

The preseason is the time for teams to set their rosters for Game 1. Was wondering if something similar goes on with the officiating crews. Are the crews set before preseason begins, or do prospective new officials work games to be evaluated for roster spots? I also assume that officials have some sort of training camp of their own – to review rules changes, areas of emphasis, practice hitting microphone buttons?

Working joint practices and preseason games constitute training camp for the officials. I believe there are some written tests/components they're responsible for on their own regarding any new rules or points of emphasis. The crews are set before preseason games begin.

James from Panama City Beach, FL

After three weeks of practice and two preseason games it's pretty apparent that GB's No. 13 pick in 2023 draft LVN is not a bust but is not worthy of the 13th pick. From what I've seen he'll be your average NFL rotational player. Barring injury he could play 10 years but he's far from being a T.J. Watt. Disappointed in the pick especially when other true pass rushers were available.

How many times do folks need to be reminded of the Rashan Gary selection at No. 12 overall four years ago before passing such definitive judgments? Lukas Van Ness wasn't picked at No. 13 because of what he is, but based on what the Packers believe he can become. With Preston Smith as a reliable veteran, Gary appearing on track with his recovery, and Kingsley Enagbare showing plenty of second-year jump signs, the Packers shouldn't need LVN to play 50 snaps a game as a rookie, just as they didn't need Gary to in 2019. That said, there are no guarantees with LVN's development. The Packers don't bat 1.000, but they've got a pretty solid track record. I'm willing to be patient and see what happens.

Mark from Westminster, CO

Welp, this was the game Valentine experienced some adversity. Pass interference in the end zone leading to a score, late over the middle on a speedy receiver leading to a score, and the pass interference on the sideline, resulting in a first down. It almost felt as if Belichick was calling plays towards Valentine to take advantage of his aggressiveness. That said, Carrington was everywhere on the field, and he seems to have the memory of a goldfish.

The Packers love the way he plays and don't want him to change, but they will want him to learn from a game like Saturday night. All part of the process, and just as well he's going through this now, because more adversity is coming.

Mike from Grovetown, GA

For the first time in about 30 years, I honestly have no idea about the Packers going into the season. It's tough to tell anything in practice or preseason, but are you starting to form an opinion or are you in the dark like me?

Is there an emoji for eyes closed and hands out front? Nobody knows, man.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

Do the coaches see more value in the preseason games or joint practices?

I believe the joint practices are better preparation for the regular season for front-line players, while the preseason games are better evaluation tools for roster decisions involving those further down the depth chart.

Bill from Richmond Hill, GA

Belichick and the Pats have been known for years as a tough defensive team that targets what you're best at, and makes you beat them some other way. How many of the different defensive looks they threw at our offense were just the result of not yet knowing what this offense is going to be best at?

Throwing different looks is what they do, all the time. As for taking something away when they know an opponent, that's why I think the Patriots got the better of the Packers on the second day.

Mark from Garden City, ID

I think I know the answer to this but humor us. I agree joint practices are hugely beneficial, but would the NFL allowed joint practices between division foes? Say they did, is there any advantage one team could take over the other, assuming both don't just go vanilla? One more, there is talk about hating division rivals, is that hate real enough that it would be palpable in joint practice?

I can't imagine division rivals practicing with one another. Ever.

Greg from Downers Grove, IL

Can you give some insights into Bak's situation? Is his knee OK? Seems he does not practice often. What level or percent of the old Bak do we have going into the season? Thanks.

I'm not going to put any numbers on it, but the schedule the Packers have David Bakhtiari on is highly conscious of both his workload and recovery time after a workout. They're also keeping him out of action almost anytime practicing on artificial turf is required. The aim is to have him as close to 100% as possible every game day.

The Green Bay Packers hosted the New England Patriots for their preseason home opener at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Mike from Cascade, ID

Dear Mike Greenberg: Forget it. Ain't gonna happen!

The fact that such a so-called story gained any legs without a torso, arms or any semblance of head and neck tells you all you need to know about the media environment in which we currently live and operate.

Stef from IJsselstein, Netherlands

I missed Yosh Nijman at starting LT. Is he dropping in the depth chart? How is the depth chart of the O line at this point?

The Packers took a longer, harder look at Rasheed Walker, giving him the start at left tackle and having him play 43 snaps total with the first and second units, most on the offense. I'm not sure how the line-by-line depth chart actually looks right now, but with Nijman's experience and Walker's emergence, the Packers have more depth at offensive tackle than I can recall in a while. It's practically a necessity when nothing can be taken for granted with Bakhtiari.

Tom from Highland Village, TX

Hi Mike. I can't imagine I'm the only one to follow up after your answer that every single and double-digit number has been used in a Packers regular-season game. How about 0 and 00?

No, those have not.

Ryan from Milwaukee, WI

The new video boards look great, including the smaller ones on the east and west sides of the stadium. But where are our 13 championships? Do you know if those are going to be reinstalled somewhere?

They are temporarily missing. They are returning to the Lambeau façade somewhere, at some point, but exactly where and when I haven't heard.

Vince from Auburn, WA

Based on your observations, which player has benefited the most from the past two weeks of joint practices with the Bengals and Patriots?

Jordan Love.

Babo from Aurora, IL

With Quay Walker's in-game issues last year, I'm sure teams will be "coached" to get under his skin, a little extra push here and there. With some like Quay, whose strong rookie performance was marred by a couple of temper flare-ups, will coaches ever require or strongly suggest seeing a sports psychologist or similar in the offseason?

Walker told reporters in the spring he did so on his own.

Charles from New Berlin, WI

Good day II, if the guardian caps provide extra protection against head injuries, might we see them incorporated in regular-season games?

There are rumors the league has discussed it, but I don't know how extensively or seriously.

Robert from Verona, WI

With the move away from physical tickets to mobile-only tickets at sporting events, I can't help but feel like a small part of the experience has been lost. Do you have any cherished ticket stubs that you've held on to? I had my commemorative "Rebirth of a Legend" ticket from the Sept. 14, 2003 game against the Lions framed with a similarly branded postcard and coin. While the game itself doesn't necessarily register as one of my favorite memories, it's a fun piece of memorabilia to display.

I have a framed collage of MLB ticket stubs that spans my youth through roughly 1999, including the last home opener at County Stadium that wasn't.

Jim from Dorr, MI

Just a note to accompany your response to Joe from Des Moines. Don't forget that when a player is "just trying to do his job" there is a professional across from him trying to make it difficult for him to do it. Can't be easy.

Bingo! The inherent drama of human confrontation.

Bob from Norcross, GA

There has been a lot of talk about "do your job" in the II recently. I have been very impressed by the focus Wes shows as various carts and coffee runs trundle by in the background of the "Unscripted" sessions. Is there a game ball in his future for showing such rock-solid dedication to getting his job done at such a high level?

In all honesty, the game ball goes to our producer and intern Justin, who sets up the two different locations for every show as we continue to muddle through Zoom. He's got the tedious, tough job, by far. Happy Monday.

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