Powered by

Inbox: They're setting the pace for the entire position

There is no starting five right now, only combinations and possibilities

WR Samori Toure

Joe from Shirley, NY

Team leadership is always critical in getting teammates to bring their best. In your opinion, which player(s) bring out the best in their teammates, either through encouragement, leadership, or just that charismatic player who holds others accountable not just on the playing field but in their entirety?

Marcedes Lewis took it to another level. He had a way of speaking to every player in the locker room regardless of position or age. He's a wise man in a 6-foot-6, 267-pound tight end's body. If Lewis isn't back, that leaves a void in the locker room. Preston Smith and De'Vondre Campbell might be the closest – direct communicators who are very intentional about their work. All-around, I think Kenny Clark and Aaron Jones do a great job of being the voice of the locker room, as well.

Eric from Mequon, WI

I know it's way too early for depth charts but all I have seen shows Zach Tom starting ahead of Yosh Nijman. I root for Yosh. When called upon, Nijman fills a much-needed role with little concern, but he just can't break that starting five short of injury. He might still be my favorite.

You answered your own question, Eric. It is way too early for depth charts. Tom took the lead with the No. 1s on Wednesday, but Nijman also rotated in. I'm guessing that's a trend that will continue this summer depending on how much David Bakhtiari practices. But there is no starting five right now, only combinations and possibilities.

Bob from Racine, WI

Good morning. Many readers have asked if Zach Tom will be involved in the offense this year. But I wonder if Caleb Jones will be involved because the Pack retained him on the 53 last year so he wouldn't be picked up by a rival team. What are your thoughts on these two young men making the 53?

Tom is a lock. At worst, he's the backup at every position. Like Yosh Nijman and Lucas Patrick before him, Jones is a long-term undrafted project for the Packers. The 6-foot-9 tackle deserves a lot of credit for all the work he put in to get in great shape. We'll see what happens in training camp, but the fact Jones was the next guy up at left tackle on Wednesday when Nijman was working on the right side says a lot.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Wes, what an interesting observation about Romeo Doubs not having many off days. Put me squarely in the camp that you practice like you play and not the AI quote, "We talkin' about practice... not a game." Successful people no matter what their job or profession is understand while it's practically impossible to be perfect 100% of the time you still set that goal. As I noted months ago about the age of our team this season, while they are young, they appear to be mature beyond their age. GPG!

And they take it seriously. Doubs, Christian Watson and Samori Toure have an opportunity most young receivers dream about. Last year, that trio was learning how to walk in this offense. This year, they're setting the pace for the entire position.

George from North Mankato, MN

What positions do you think lend themselves better to going with youth versus experience? Take away the QB position and I am more comfortable going young at wide receiver and tight end. Potentially starting over at kicker worries me a little more. What are your thoughts?

Based on my 12 years covering the NFL, I'd say running back, receiver, and edge rusher are three spots where rookies make the biggest Year 1 impact. While kicker isn't always high on that list, change was bound to happen eventually. Out of respect to everything Mason did here, I'd rather the Packers allow Anders Carlson the latitude to prove himself than having a rookie sixth-round pick compete with Crosby for the job. I don't think that's fair to either man. Keep in mind, though, Crosby was on physically unable to perform for the full duration of training camp last year and still kicked the ground running in Week 1. I'll never say never when it comes to the Packers. I've seen too many encores for that.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Going back to summer of 2008 … reporters were gathered around Chad Clifton's locker asking him about Aaron Rodgers. Clifton said, "People are going to find out this guy isn't a rookie." You could tell by the tone of his voice he meant it, and maybe had a bit of an attitude about it. Do you get the sense the veterans on the 2023 Packers feel the same way about Jordan Love?

I do. Once the offseason program wraps up, I'm sure either Spoff or I will write something summarizing the veterans' thoughts on Love. But David Bakhtiari had perhaps the best quote of all on Wednesday in saying, "I think love is a very powerful mechanism that can really bring a team together." Asked specifically about if he was talking about Jordan Love, Bakhtiari jokingly added: "I think Jordan is a very powerful mechanism that can really bring a team together."

Eric from Springfield, VA

What, me worry? Well, I worry about David Bakhtiari and his workplace happiness. Is the writing being on the wall for a next-year exit? His comments about being a rebuild or not (What difference does it make? All teams need to start fresh every year). His close personal friendship with Aaron Rodgers being gone to now playing with his replacement. Knee issues lingering. He's a pro, I get it, but a veteran leader needs to be careful. Toxic leadership is a real thing and could affect this young team.

You know what I find funny? Everyone perseverates on Bakhtiari's "rebuild" comments. Fine. But you know what nobody EVER talks about? The fact Dave has said all the right things about Jordan Love since the day he was drafted. Bakhtiari might have some edgy comedian punchlines but not once – NOT ONCE – has he done anything to increase the temperature on Love. Yes, Bakhtiari is good friends with Aaron Rodgers, but he's a professional football player first and foremost. Like any business, people change jobs. If that's not good enough for you, consider this – Bakhtiari has a real shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and still wants to hoist a Lombardi Trophy. If Bakhtiari wasn't driven to compete, he wouldn't have rallied back from the knee injury the way he did. The guy is chasing legacy. So, no, I have zero concerns about what the Packers will get from No. 69 once he punches the clock for training camp. We're talking about one of greatest offensive linemen of his generation. Not a discontented fry cook at Big Kahuna Burger.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I found David Bakhtiari's interview to be very refreshing. He's always been one of my favorite players. Obviously Bakhtiari is unbelievably talented, but he also seems like he is just a hilarious guy to be around. But he also is very honest with the media and by that, I mean he says what's actually on his mind or how he really feels and not the stereotypical cliché soundbites. There was talk yesterday of captains and I can't think of a better leader for this young group than "69."

Football fans want honesty. Bakhtiari provides that and people quickly dissect it. It is what it is. Love it or hate it, the man tells you what he's thinking.

Check out photos of Green Bay Packers employees volunteering for the semi-annual Packers Give Back Day at Green Bay's Botanical Gardens on Thursday, June 1, 2023.

John from Lansdale, PA

I'm reading the tea leaves on Devonte Wyatt and my level of concern is high.

Wyatt didn't practice Wednesday. That's all we know and all I've seen reported. But before you get too worked up, just remember OTAs often stands for overabundance of caution. Quay Walker dropped out of last week's practice and was participating Wednesday.

Tomasso from Urbana, IL

Two things: James from Chicago may be the only person who doesn't believe Chicago tanked last year. Players give their all, but management decides who will make up the team. Of more interest: If players have to buy out jerseys if they change numbers, does that mean they get a percentage from each jersey sold? I would have thought team merchandising would go to the organization. Too bad you can't print player contracts … I suspect some of them would make interesting reading.

And that same management team traded the first pick in the second round for Chase Claypool. I don't know the specifics on jerseys. I jumped out of that rabbit hole after "21 Savage"-gate four years ago.

Matt from London, UK

Any word on how Brenton Cox is doing so far? Of all the UDFAs signed by the Packers, he seemed like maybe the most intriguing – a player who certainly would have been drafted if it hadn't been for character concerns. The fact that the Packers still brought him in seems to indicate they think he can turn things around. And if he does, he could be a major steal.

He's caught my eye a couple times already in practice, which isn't totally unexpected given his credentials as a former five-star recruit. It's a day-to-day process, though. Cox needs to keep stacking.

Nick from Prescott, WI

Hi Wes, I am a big fan of Tom Grossi on YouTube as I imagine a few people on here are. It was fun to see you in his 30 NFL stadiums in 30 days video series for charity for St Jude's. He talked about how you guys clicked when you met. There's got to be a story on how you guys got to know each other. He seems like a really funny guy and being from New York that guy is a diehard Packers fan.

Tom is awesome and I'm grateful he made Lambeau Field his first stop on his "30 in 30." The great thing about the Packers' community is how tightknit it is. I met Tom through Aaron Nagler a couple years ago and our personalities clicked really well. It didn't take long to realize Grossi is not only very creative but also extremely kind-hearted. So, I wanted to do everything within my power to help him with the project. He also made me Vegan sausage and peppers during training camp last year, which was actually pretty good.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Watching Tom Grossi's "30 in 30" for Lambeau, I got to see the History Hallway that had, among other things, a bunch of beautiful Packers paintings! Can you tell us more about them? Who painted them? How many, and what kinds?

And it's not just one hallway – it's the entire stadium. The project began in earnest with a partnership between the Packers and architects of Sports & the Arts. The Neville Museum and the Green Bay Press-Gazette also played a key role, which you can read more about here. I love this community and am so proud to work at this stadium every day. Anytime I have an excuse to show it off, I'm happy to do so.

Sam from Mankato, MN

Wes! Nice work on the "30 in 30" with Tom Grossi. It's a fun non-football football distraction to get us through the dead zone. My question: Can I put a shameless plug for his St. Jude charity here? Go Pack Go!

Absolutely. It's a great endeavor for a great cause.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Wes, you made a comment Thursday about how the 2022 Houston Texans should play to win in Week 18 … followed by a post about the Packers playing to win, and winning, against the Phoenix Cardinals in the last week of 1988 … which led to the Cowboys picking Troy Aikman from UCLA No. 1 in 1989 instead of us (he said he didn't want to play for us, but still)! We might not have had Brett Favre (or Mike Holmgren, or Ron Wolf) in '92 if we picked Troy (or Barry Sanders, or Deion Sanders, or maybe even Derrick Thomas) in '89, though.

Ifs and buts, Shilo. In the end, I'd say everything worked out well for the Packers. Favre and Wolf became Hall of Famers and hopefully Mike Holmgren finds his way to Canton, too, by the time this thing is all said and done.

Andrew from Burke, VA

Wes might struggle between Corey Ballentine and Valentine, but I'm still trying to sound out Hoebelheinrich. Now that's a name broadcasters would struggle with. What is the one name on the roster you wouldn't want to say five times fast on a live broadcast?

I struggled with "Enagbare" for a little bit but now it easily rolls off the tongue. Last year, I probably had the most difficult time with "Tagovailoa." Again, that's why I have so much respect for Wayne Larrivee and how he can enunciate so well without even thinking. But Hoebelheinrich is easy. Pronounced like it's spelled: HOEBELHOZSDODFOIZHD…ick.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentleman: You said you have received many inquiries about Mark Murphy's replacement. Being a stockholder, and if this was on the annual ballot, I would vote for both you as President and Vice President of this beloved organization. They would be in great hands! Thank you.

That's very kind of you, Bob…but which one of us is the President? That's a key detail. I'm not settling for Hand of the King. I want the green-and-gold throne. With that, I wish you all a wonderful weekend. VOTE HOD!

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join Packers.com writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox


Action Needed: Update your Packers Mobile App!

Fans attending any games during the 2023 season should update their Packers mobile app due to important upgrades and enhancements.