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Inbox: They made some noise

LB Ty Summers
LB Ty Summers

Linda from Harvard, IL

Please stop with the loud horn during games. Went to the Houston game and did not like the horn at all.

It’s Insider Inbox, Linda. Not Insider Suggestion Box. Good morning!

Bruce from Appleton, WI

I know it is only one preseason game, but how would you rate the rookies in this game.

They made some noise. Honestly, I can’t recall a preseason opener where the Day 3 draft picks played that often and that well. Dexter Williams showed good vision and explosiveness with 14 carries for 62 yards. I know Ty Summers had a few plays he wanted back among his 79 total, but he’s smart and deceptively fast. Kingsley Keke was in Houston’s backfield quite a bit, as well. The biggest surprise so far has been Ka'dar Hollman, who is looking like a steal in the sixth round. He’s performed well in practice, but that interception was the cherry on top of everything. He made Joe Webb pay for that underthrown ball. That’s a big moment for a rookie cornerback.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, finally some football! I was particularly watching Rashan Gary. He is as explosive as advertised but I saw him get bent backwards almost in half twice (once on a bull rush attempt and once on a stunt). Is that a footwork, pad-level, or timing issue that can be coached and corrected or is that something else?

Gary is a strong and athletic pass rusher, but he’s also a rookie. That’s why I wanted to see him in a game against an offensive line protecting the quarterback with every fiber of its collective being. That first half provided valuable experience for Gary, as he works to blend his natural athletic ability with proper footwork and fundamentals.

Carolyn from Greenlawn, NY

I love the idea of the defense leading this Packers squad in 2019. Do dreams come true?

Jaire Alexander wants that responsibility. The last time the Packers had a top 10 defense, they won a championship. It doesn’t matter which side of the ball leads as long as the team wins.

Ron from Cherry Valley, IL

The media keeps trying to report a negative story regarding Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers’ relationship. This morning the Packers posted a few pictures from last night's preseason game on Facebook. One of the pictures was a picture with Aaron Rodgers standing next to Matt LaFleur's with his hands on Matt's shoulders, both smiling big. If every pictures tells a story, I believe that pictures tells us fans the true story regarding their relationship.

It doesn’t matter what the public or pundits say. LaFleur’s and Rodgers’ are the only opinions that count when it comes to their partnership, and a picture is worth a thousand message-board posts. What I saw was the head coach and quarterback side-by-side most of the night, talking throughout the game – that’s how relationships and trust are forged.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

With it being preseason and wanting to get as many snaps as possible to grade players, why do the Packers or any team let the clock run out at the end of quarters instead of playing the full 60 minutes? Would really make things interesting to have your team run the two-minute drill like the game was ending, giving coaches good info on another level of play. Also, in a perfect world, I wish ML would have not commented on AR’s displeasure on joint practices referring to kickoff drills publicly.

The game was already over three hours long. Manny Wilkins can run a two-minute drill this weekend and get the same benefit. And LaFleur had to answer the question. It would’ve been a bad look to no-comment it. Furthermore, I loved his response. I get everyone thinks the best way to develop culture is groupthink, but what’s wrong with two professionals being honest and sharing perspective? Oh right, it’s Aug. 9. We need talking points to get us to Week 1.

JR from East Moline, IL

I liked what I saw from LaFleur out there and, overall, thought he moved around well. Would you say ML is at about 40 percent?

Every day, he’s getting a little better. Did I get that coach-speak line right?

Jeff from Athens, WI

I just read Wes's article on DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle in which he states they both got off to slow starts. Let's be honest here – Boyle had a faster start than Kizer and the only reason it can be considered slow is the missed catch by Moore on third down on a ball that hit his hands. It is also worth noting that on Kizer’s first three drives, if he missed a throw, he missed it badly. It just looked to me as though Boyle was more comfortable with the offense and the game. What do you think? Boyle as the No. 2?

It’s way too early to be making prognostications, but I put it in the second-to-last-paragraph of the story – the Packers’ backup quarterback competition is officially off and running now. While the Packers’ offense started slow, I like how Kizer battled back to lead that 10-play scoring series. The pass to Darrius Shepherd could have been better, but Kizer showed nice footwork and moxie keeping his eyes up field to make the touchdown happen. Boyle was solid. He can stand in the pocket and see through the smoke. That 27-yard TD pass to Allen Lazard was exactly what you want to see. It was a good start, but there are 3½ more weeks to go.

Chris from Cedar Rapids, IA

Not a question, but a comment on J'Mon Moore's touchdown Thursday night. It looked to me like it summed up the young receiver's attitude perfectly. He lets out a little frustration with the spike and then goes right back to being intensely locked in. You can tell those are the plays he expects out of himself every time and he's as frustrated as everyone else with the struggles he's had. I hope he's able to finally get things clicking and reward the Packers' faith in him.

There’s a reason Boyle went back to him. Moore is a talented receiver. Hopefully, he puts his best foot forward next week in Baltimore.

Drew from North Bend, WI

Do we have to worry about the tackling after one game?

You’re not going to see Webb every week, but the last three quarters left something to be desired. I thought the Packers’ “starting” defense looked sharp, though. Raven Greene, Tony Brown and Summers all had nice solo tackles early.

Vinny from Oak Creek, WI

Do you expect Jake Kumerow to finish the season as a top three WR on this team?

If you took off all jerseys and simply asked me what I thought of Kumerow, I’d say he’s a starting receiver. That’s the way he practices and that’s the way he plays. Kumerow and Davante Adams are two of the best when it comes to “late hands” and catching the ball away from your body. Rodgers loves that. Kumerow also hardly ever makes a mistake. Last year, he was competing for a job. This summer, he’s zeroing in on a legitimate role in this offense.

Scott from Martinez, GA

So on the final drive of the first half, there were about four or five defensive Packer names called for being in on the play, and I have to admit that I didn't know any of the names. I'm trying to seriously understand why this is. Is it because I haven't invested enough time in learning the players on the lower half of the roster? Is it that fans aren't submitting questions about them? Or is the media (II included) spending more time focusing on the names we know and not the names we don't?

Because we don’t know much about them, either. Even a receiver like Allen Lazard, who was on the roster at the end of last season, is someone I’m still getting familiar with. The focus in practice is on the starters and players pushing for roles once the regular season rolls around. Preseason games, especially in Weeks 1 and 4, are more about young guys trying to earn a job.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

It was so cool seeing Lazard catch a touchdown. All four years while I was at Iowa State, it was a given that Lazard was going to show up and produce every game. I really hope he sticks with the team. Just wondering what you've seen from Lazard so far or what anyone has said about him. Thanks!

He is a big, talented individual. I want to see more of him. The Packers have a nice competition brewing in that room.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Lots of excitement in the receiver competition, good and bad. Equanimeous St. Brown – crickets.

Did you not see that muffed punt? That was all St. Brown’s doing. There’s more to making the roster as a reserve receiver than catching seven passes in a preseason game. In my opinion, St. Brown is one of the team’s better gunners.

Rick from Pacifica, CA

With Tony Brown's play, and Mike's excitement about him, what are his tangibles? Is he a "not super speedy but intelligent and always around the ball" player or a "fast twitch with speed able to make up distance" player, or both? He's still young and has more experience so it can't be the Tramon Williams "experience makes up for his age and loss of half a step" type of player.

Tony Brown is an enigma. He ran a 4.35 at the NFL Scouting Combine and is extremely intelligent. It just never quite came together for him at Alabama. With proper fundamentals, footwork and aggression, I think Brown can be a player in this league. He has it in him.

Chris from Plainfield, IA

With all the talk about Kevin King’s injuries, aren’t injuries the reason the Packers moved on from Casey Hayward? Look how that turned out. Have some patience.

Thank you. You don’t turn your back on talent.

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

I know I could never be a GM. I think back to the howls for Davante's head when he struggled early. Jordy didn't start out as a Pro Bowl receiver. I don't think there are any Packers fans that would say, with the benefit of hindsight, those are not receivers I want on my team. How does Gute decide with a guy like Moore? You look like a genius if he develops, you "waste Aaron's last chances" if you burn a roster spot with him. Where is the line?

I asked Gutekunst this exact question at the combine regarding the organization’s patience with Adams and Kyler Fackrell. His answer is it’s not just about the production – it’s watching players in practice and the locker room. It’s getting to know them, taking all that information into account and making a calculated decision. It’s an inexact science, but that’s the job.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, should PI calls in the end zone, which currently place the ball at the 1-yard line, be changed to a 15-yard penalty?

I don’t think so, especially now with teams having the chance to review penalties to make sure the call was correct. If it’s deep inside the red zone, a 15-yard penalty doesn’t make sense. So the only time it would be applicable is on a potential explosive gain. The NFL wants more big plays, not defenders grabbing receivers to prevent them.

Dan from Toledo, OH

While picking the Packers to finish dead last in the division, NFL Network's Terrell Davis said, "The Packers didn't do anything to upgrade their roster this offseason." Certainly we could finish last, but that reasoning has to be the laziest/most ignorant take of the summer, no?

If a pundit wants to pick the Packers last, that’s his or her business. The team was 6-9-1 last year, after all. But I felt like the rationale for Davis’ prediction was misplaced and uninformed. The defense looks completely different.

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

When do you think Teo Redding will get a shot at running the ball? Someone has to be the comedian out here.

Oh, I saw my Twitter mentions Thursday night. They’re already making their presence known.

Ron from Wichita, KS

Hey Insiders, last year Mike Pettine was pretty adamant about coaching from the box, but Thursday night he was on the sidelines. Is this a sign that he'll be coaching from the sideline during the regular season? I don't remember him being on the sideline last year in the preseason.

Pettine won’t be available to the media until next week, but it appears like he’ll be on the sidelines in the preseason. That’s the way it’s listed on the Dope Sheet anyway.

Richard from Madison, WI

Sports report: "The Texans outgained the Packers, 412-237." Given that two of Green Bay's touchdown "drives" were of zero and eight yards, isn't that stat kind of deceptive?

Pettine wants more takeaways in 2019 and games like this prove why. Yes, the Packers were outgained in yards, but they won the battle for turnovers 4-1.

Jack from Madison, WI

Y'all missed the boat. The HORN sound effect DOES have a place at Lambeau. Use it only when the Vikings are in town and use it in the same situations they use it when the Pack plays in Minnesota. Give the Vikings a dose of their own medicine!

I’m on board with that. I’d also like to see the Packers hire Rory McCann to be the Sandor to the Vikings’ Gregor Clegane.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

ML’s “outside” perspective on home vs. away Packers fan game involvement was spot-on. I know this storyline has been beaten down as to why, but just like the old joke that the beatings will continue until the morale improves. Maybe the air horn should continue until the Lambeau home-field advantage (i.e. noise) improves. (And not when we’re on offense!)

I don’t fault LaFleur at all for trying something new. Packers fans have energy – I’ve seen it – but it’s tough extracting that out of them when the defense is on the field. Hopefully, the new additions help stir up some excitement but there also is something to be said for in-game gimmicks. Say what you will about the Vikings but their fans buy into all that stuff and it absolutely sucks to play there.

Russell from Des Moines, IA

Is there a running count of the number of Lambeau Leaps since LeRoy Butler's first? Can you dig into this for me?

I’ll put my best intern on it.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Instead of a foghorn, wouldn't the reverberation of a cow's moo be more applicable?

Throw it in the Insider Suggestion Box, I suppose.

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