Presented by

Inbox: They all have a shot at making an immediate impact

The wheel always keeps turning the NFL

210604-insider-inbox-2560
WR Amari Rodgers

Joe from Ashburn, VA

Which rookie do you see making a starting role in the fall?

It's hard to make predictions without seeing these guys in pads, but it is pretty exciting Eric Stokes, Josh Myers, Amari Rodgers and Royce Newman all have a legitimate shot at making an immediate impact. That doesn't happen every year.

Seth from Ellicott City, MD

Last season, pre-snap motion played an important part in the success of the offense, with Tyler Ervin and Tavon Austin primarily taking on the role of the man in motion. With both players currently listed as free agents, do the Packers have a player on their roster with the potential to take their place?

They do…his name is Amari Freakin' Rodgers. I wrote a little about how Rodgers could factor into the Packers' offense in my profile about the former Clemson standout last month.

David from Aurora, CO

Which nickname do you like more for AJ Dillon's quads? "The Quadzilla" or "The Quadfather"?

"The Quadfather." Absolutely, positively, "The Quadfather."

RB from Shamokin, PA

Quadkiewicz?

I prefer Quadford.

Lindsay from South Beloit, IL

Jamaal Williams really won me over as a fan during his time with GB. I'm sad he's gone. It spoke volumes to me that it seemed like every time Aaron Rodgers was asked a question about Aaron Jones and/or the running game, Rodgers always made a point to bring up Jamaal when answering. I know Dillon is a beast and Jones is a proven threat, but how is the decision made on which RBs to keep, and does a personality loss like Jamaal affect the whole team?

Everyone loved Jamaal. How could you not? He was fun, relatable and as steady as players go on the field. That being said, Dillon has his own unique personality that resonates with this locker room. The wheel keeps turning in the NFL, no different than any office in America. We lost one heck of a UX coordinator last year when Matt Haberkamp left as an unrestricted digital free agent but we gained another awesome one in Joidon Jennings. That's life.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Back in the day, when Kurt Warner was in camp with the Packers, media observers noted that he didn't look like he "belonged," and he didn't make the cut. Do you have any stories about a player that didn't look like he belonged early on, but developed into a strong contributor?

Aaron Jones. Before he was a Pro Bowl running back, Jones was a fifth-round pick with a lot to prove as both a pass-catcher and in pass pro. The story I'll always tell is how Jones was a clean scratch in his first NFL regular-season game. The Packers kept Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays up instead. A month later, however, it was obvious Jones was something special.

Dave from Englewood, CO

Never would have dreamed this three years ago but I would take Jamaal Williams over Todd Gurley in a heartbeat today. What are the Lions thinking? But then again, to paraphrase CW#21, it's the same-old Lions. We don't need luck; the Lions will mess it up, right?

Just give the ball to Jamaal Williams and stop overthinking it. Maybe Gurley has something left, but is Detroit really the team to bring it back out of him? It's been a constant carousel there for 20 years. The Lions have two RBs in their prime (Williams and Swift). So, why keep looking in the rear-view mirror when the future is right in front of you?

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Good morning II. Question: I presume Mic'd Up is an NFL thing? I like the insight, but do you think especially coaches are more reserved in what they express? That would be hard to do. Just wondering.

Did you check out Nathaniel Hackett's Mic'd Up? It was anything but reserved. Some coaches are more timid in those settings but I feel like that two-minute video from Wednesday captured Hackett's personality perfectly.

Richard from Menasha, WI

Thanks for taking our questions. How many TEs do you expect on the 53-man roster?

With the evolving nature of the fullback position, I could easily see four or five tight ends making the 53-man roster. The position is versatile and valuable enough to warrant it if everyone stays healthy.

Benjamin from Evergreen Park, IL

Listening to Coach LaFleur talk about Jordan Love and getting through his progressions from 1 to 2 to 3, taking what the defense gives you, Jordan did that pretty well during his last year at Utah State. It's refreshing that they are really honing that skill to produce more consistency and less turnovers and still possibly giving you the wow throws that open up within that scheme off play-action. Is it also an indicator that true competition across all position groups doesn't happen until July?

It's a different kind of OTAs this year but it's still every bit as beneficial. This is a golden opportunity for Love right now. Last summer, the Packers had to carve out extra time to get him reps during training camp. This spring, he's getting a full serving size and then some leftovers. The more reps he takes in practice, the more tape the Packers can review with him. Everyone wants Rodgers here but getting Love these snaps is the next best thing.

Tom from Eagan, MN

Wes, I'm cheering for Josh Jackson too but not sure why you seem so enamored with him, having already commented on him a couple times after the recent OTAs. I know he had a great college career at Iowa and has dealt with injuries, but based on his performance the last three years and the two cornerbacks the Packers drafted, it looks like he may be a special-teams guy at best.

I guess I'm "enamored with him" because you guys keep asking me the question. I don't have a crystal ball or anything to predict the future. If I did, I'd be working on the floor above me. I liked Jackson a lot coming out of Iowa. If it works out for him in Green Bay, great. He's a good dude. If it doesn't, that's life in the NFL. People can occasionally be wrong, Tom. It's OK to not be right all the time.

Jeff from Eveleth, MN

If you had to make an educated guess on what you've seen and heard so far, what percentage chance would you say David Bakhtiari has of starting in Week 1?

I'm not going there. Demoski threw a percentage out there on Rodgers returning and got eaten alive for it. I'll repeat what I said on "Unscripted" – it's great to see Bakhtiari well on his road to recovery, but I'm not Google Maps. I can't tell you how far we are away from the destination.

Russ from Henrico, VA

It was nice to see the clips of Bakhtiari and Josiah Deguara working out on field. Just curious, do any teams put a special jersey on injured or rehabbing players at practice, like the QBs wearing red? I've been through a few too many major rehabs and if I were out there, I would like it to be obvious that I need a safety bubble. Not just the field, but hallways, locker room. etc.

Neither Bakhtiari nor Deguara is practicing, so no special jerseys are required. The only time I can remember that happening was in 2019 when the Packers had Ka'dar Hollman wearing a red, non-contact jersey for a few weeks when he was dealing with some type of neck injury.

Tyler form Rowlett, TX

Hey Mike/Wes, continuing with the "star" discussion, which player in the past has excelled there the most in this defensive system? Which all-time player do you think would be the best fit? It'd be hard to pick against Woodson, but I'm also considering Troy Polamalu.

Spoff picked the correct (and obvious) answer to this. Woodson's 2009-10 run might be the best of any "star" nickel cornerback in league history. It's at least in the conversation. But I also want to show some love to Casey Hayward. He was highly underrated in that role during his four seasons in Green Bay. While he didn't have Woodson's size or smash-mouth tackling ability, Hayward was a ball hawk. For whatever reason, Hayward never got the respect he deserved from Packers fans. It was only after he left that fans seemed to realize how talented he is – and then they wouldn't stop talking about how Green Bay erred in letting Hayward walk in free agency. How soon they forget.

Chad from Middleton, WI

Thank you, Wes and Spoff, for feeding the football fan frenzy during the tedious offseason! Inquiring minds want to know, is there a particular position group that is better than others at riding children's bikes to practice? I didn't see a lot of centers in the photo reel, but man Donald Driver really went for it back in 2009 on that toddler's bike!

Defensive backs. There are always a ton of them on the 90-man roster, and from a size standpoint, they're the most "bike-friendly," I guess you could say?

Fredrick from Bluffton, SC

Just a quick question about players riding kids' bikes. Have we ever had any mishaps? Any players too big for the bikes? It's a fun tradition to watch. Are there any other teams who have similar traditions?

A defensive lineman broke a kid's bike a few years ago. His name is escaping me, though.

The Packers were on the practice field Wednesday, June 2 during the offseason program.

Josh from Platteville, WI

Me and my family are going to spend some time in Door County and will be stopping at Lambeau and Titletown on the way up. Anything going on the week of June 14, as far as practices we could attend?

Unfortunately, practices have not been open to the public since the Packers are using Hinkle Field for OTAs (less space means less social distancing). If you drive over at the right time, however, you might catch Spoff signing autographs.

Richie from Oceanside, CA

I'm planning a visit to Green Bay for the first time and have heard about an eatery called Chili Johns. I think John Madden had commented once that he never missed an opportunity to go there when he was in Green Bay. Do either of you know of or would recommend it? I'm a huge spaghetti and chili fan!

I'm a huge fan of Chili Johns, though my diet only allows me to eat there once, maybe twice, a year. But I've been eating there since I was a Baby Hod.

Allan from Lugoff, SC

To backstop Scott from N'rleans, I concur...I retired from the Army in 2011 and immediately went to Afghanistan as a government contractor. As a lifelong and heavily deployed Packer fan, it wasn't always easy to track on the team. Due to magic of the internet, I was watching the "Fail Mary" game and we all know how that ended. As I was ranting and raving, I heard a knock on my door. It was the new FOB commander wondering what the heck was going on!

And that poor soul had no idea the rant they were about to walk into.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Working in an elementary school for many years, pizza and taco day were the students' favorite lunch menus. I know the Packer players probably have strict nutritional goals to meet and lots of food options to choose from, but is there a day or menu item not available all the time that the players look forward to? Also, has there ever been a food fight during your time covering the team?

For me, it was braised short ribs but I think sushi day was always a popular one with players.

David from San Antonio, TX

Wes, I remain impressed with the media covering the Packers. Great questions and follow-up questions. Is there a sense of camaraderie and pride within the group? Is it competitive? Thanks!

I'd like to think so. I haven't covered another NFL media market but I thoroughly enjoy my fellow humans on the Packers' beat. Well, besides Demoski. OK, folks. Quadford will take you the rest of the way this week. Have a fantastic weekend.

Advertising