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Inbox: This is their moment

RB Dexter Williams
RB Dexter Williams

Scott from Kissimmee, FL

I think the “hole” thing about the goal post removal was planned. Yes, I believe it is a conspiracy by the NFL to get fans used to seeing what a game would look like without kickoffs. How sure am I? Well, 80% of course. Sorry couldn't resist. Should have but couldn't help myself.

You weren’t the only one. Good morning!

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

The last week of the preseason is upon us. Cuts are looming as is the inevitable amalgam of heartache and triumph. How does the energy feel around the facilities? Is there a different vibe now?

It’s upbeat. It usually is during the final week of training camp. The veterans are eager to turn the page to the regular season, while young players want to state their case for a roster spot. This is their moment. Who wants it most?

John from New York, NY

If Rodgers doesn’t play in the final preseason game, should we be worried about rust and him not being in sync with his receivers come Week 1?

No. Just be thankful your franchise quarterback is healthy and ready to play in meaningful games.

Caleb from Fullerton, CA

Hey II, you’re spot-on with your point that game action resumes sooner without the issue of kicking off. Especially with the rise of touchbacks. So how about we get rid of all the kickoffs, except for the ones to open the game, and start the second half. This way we’ll get rid of most kickoffs and speed up the game, as well as keep some semblance of tradition and a possibility of a big play. Perhaps I’m living in a fantasy world and am having my cake while also eating it...

I didn’t hate the lack of kickoffs as much as I thought I was going to. By the second half, it felt sort of natural for the opposing offense to run right out on the field after a made field goal or extra point.

Eric from Mequon, WI

I am sure you've been asked this 172 times already but why not again? Do you think Ty Summers can lock down the open LB spot or is he too raw, leading to a free-agent pursuit ensuing? This is all assuming that Curtis Bolton is down for many weeks.

That seemed to be Summers’ best showing to date. He had another 10-tackle performance but also cut down on the missed tackles. I’m not opposed to him filling that spot (assuming Bolton and Burks miss time) because that second inside linebacker post is more a first- and second-down position these days anyway. By all accounts, it’s going to be Raven Greene coming in as the hybrid defensive back in third-down passing situations.

Martin from Evansville, IN

I feel like Marquez Valdes-Scantling is going to really break out this year. I'm feeling 50-plus catches for more than 800 yards and at least five TDs. Just a prediction. Thoughts?

Sure. Throw it on the board and check back in January.

Scott from Thousand Oaks, CA

Assuming last night wasn't a one-hit wonder, one has to imagine how hard it would be for defenses to cover Adams, MVS and Davis. Does anyone in the NFC North (or in the NFL) have two DBs who can stick with MVS and Davis, especially after Adams pulls their top guy with him? I get that it's preseason and a time for every fan to dream, but this one sticks with me even after I wake up.

Honestly, that tandem of MVS and Davis is one I’m most looking forward to seeing on the field (should both be on the 53-man roster a week from now). They not only have top-end speed to challenge the back end, but also can function on jet sweeps and underneath concepts. The Packers wanted to get faster in recent years. They’ve certainly done it.

Ronald from Panabo City, Philippines

Insiders, I thought Josh Jackson and Chandon Sullivan had a really good game. Forget receivers, the tougher question might be who do we keep for cornerbacks? Your thoughts?

I concur. Spoff covered Jackson’s performance during Friday’s Inbox, so I’d like to focus a little more on Sullivan. I think some folks forget Sullivan isn’t an undrafted rookie. He played five games with Philadelphia last year, even starting one game. There were a couple plays I’m sure Sullivan wants back, but you don’t break up four passes by accident. It was a very encouraging performance.

Loui from Jacksonville, FL

What does “top 12 waiver priority status” mean? Thanks a bunch from the Packer Nation down south.

The Packers had the 12th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft due to their 6-9-1 record last season, which also applies to the waiver wire until Week 4 of the regular season. Then, it’s based on current win-loss records at that point.

Mike from Ames, IA

Fadol Brown flashed some talent late last year and I've noticed him multiple times this preseason. He seems to be a bubble guy due to the depth on the defensive line. Do you have any gut feeling about who may or may not make the cut there?

This is a huge week for Brown, who looked good before his calf flared up on him. He sat out Thursday, but I imagine he’ll be back in the D-line rotation against Kansas City barring any setbacks.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

With three major neutral-site field fails in the last few years (Canton, Winnipeg, Mexico City), do you think that would diminish interest in a 17th game being played somewhere other than official NFL stadiums? Is it really that hard to meet the NFL's standards, or has this just been an improbable string of flops?

That’s a good point, Justin. It makes you think a little bit, especially after the fiasco in Mexico City last year. If you have 17 international games each year during the regular season, there isn’t room for mulligans. Every crease must be ironed out.

Julius from Providence, RI

We (sorry, the Packers since they lost) should wait to play the next game in Canada until after they have laser goalposts that don't leave behind holes in the field. I still don't get how the holes were in the way. The CFL field is bigger than the NFL field, so shouldn't the holes have been past the end zones?

They would have been if the CFL didn’t place its field-goal post near the front of the end zone. That’s what created the issue.

Ross from Roswell, GA

As always, I appreciate your insights on the II. Listening to Aaron Rodgers on the sideline interview with John Kuhn only strengthens the owner’s argument to cut the preseason down to two games. When the QB says he doesn't need the game experience and says the practice time is all they need to be ready for the season, then why have four games? I understand the need to be able to evaluate the bottom half of the roster, but practices and two games should be enough to do this.

I won’t argue with Rodgers. He’s the two-time NFL MVP. He knows what he needs to be ready for the season. The only problem with reducing preseason from four games to two is the owners won’t throw away two games of revenue. It’s cause and effect – and I just don’t know whether the NFLPA is willing to concede a 17th regular-season game to do it.

Michael from Dover, PA

At this point how surprised would you be if Jake Kumerow doesn’t make the 53?

You learn to not to be floored by anything in this business, but I would be pretty surprised.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

What are your thoughts on the unnecessary roughness call against Brady Sheldon for his hit on running back Mack Brown?

It looked like a football play to me. The emphasis and speed of the game don’t always align, though. It was a hard tackle and Sheldon lowered his head, so it’s a flag.

Dean from Sandusky, OH

Who do you feel is the fastest player on the Packers roster and who do you feel is the physically strongest player?

Tony Brown ran a 4.35 time in the 40 at the combine a little more than a year ago, so that puts him in the conversation. MVS probably has a shot at the fastest player, as well. Tyler Lancaster and Corey Linsley would be among the strongest based on bench reps.

The Green Bay Packers traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to take on the Oakland Raiders in a preseason game.

Chad from Rhinelander, WI

Hey Insiders! Since our starters had to sit out Game 3 due to unforeseen circumstances, do you think we will see a series or two from them in Game 4?

Maybe a few guys, but I think the vast majority likely will sit the preseason finale given the quick turnaround for the Thursday opener in Chicago.

Tim from Greensboro, NC

“I’m not going to make a big deal about the field. We like the field. We thought the field was perfectly ready to roll. You’d have to ask Green Bay about that." Seriously! Was Jon Gruden somewhere else and had a clone at the game? If that was supposed to be a dig at the Packers for complaining about the field, it was one of the most ignorant and lame comments I can remember in my 63 years!

I spent a good half hour on the field before the game started and stood a few meters from the end zone. It wasn’t just the one loose area of turf where the field goal post once was. There also were smaller areas where the turf detached. As awkward as it may have been, the right decision was made.

David from Los Angeles, CA

Wes, so what would have happened if A) all the players on one or both teams had refused to take the field and play or B) if the team management from one or both teams would have refused to allow any of their players to play on that field?

If one team didn’t feel the field was in adequate condition to play, then the game wouldn’t have been played. I don’t know how the NFL would’ve handled it if the players refused, though. It was a real pickle and Lee Greenwood wasn’t walking through that door to save the day. Fortunately, they struck a reasonable compromise.

Mark from West Bend, WI

As cut-down day approaches, could you please review the timing and procedures that are followed for us? Time frame before a player released can be claimed? Does the player claimed still go straight to your 53-man roster, then someone else must be released? How long is he available before he can go to the practice squad if unclaimed, but then a practice squad player must go? A lot to decipher.

Final cuts have to be submitted to the league office by 3 p.m. CT next Saturday. Teams can submit waiver claims on players with fewer than four accrued seasons through 11 a.m. CT Sunday. If you claim a player, a corresponding move must be made at that time. Unclaimed players with practice-squad eligibility can sign to a team’s practice squad as soon as waiver claims are announced.

Kevin from Park City, UT

What is the advantage or disadvantage to placing a player on IR prior to or as part of the final cut-down versus leaving him on the final 53 but then placing him on IR shortly thereafter? Never understood this.

In order to return that season, a player designated to return from injured reserve must be on the initial 53-man roster before being placed on IR.

Evan from Middleton, WI

Wes, great article on Tim Boyle. Makes it hard not to root for the guy. Now, where is the one on DeShone Kizer? I feel like you just gave Boyle an unfair advantage in the court of public opinion.

Thanks for checking it out. Here was our feature on Kizer housing and mentoring Manny Wilkins from last month.

Gary from Wrightwood, CA

I like Tim Boyle’s arm action. It has become much more compact, with a quicker release. He has also improved dramatically in his ability to shape his throws to match the route. My magic 8-ball has moved him to No. 2.

In that story I wrote on Boyle, he went out of his way to talk about how much he’s learned through osmosis from Aaron Rodgers. He’s always had arm talent, but it was interesting listening to how Boyle has altered his arm angles based on how Rodgers throws the ball in certain situations. That No. 2 battle is going right down to the final preseason game.

Tom from Walker, MI

Did Tim Boyle do enough against the Raiders to earn the backup QB job?

I don’t know, but I think that was the type of performance he needed to maintain his spot on the 53. To me, that’s what matters most. Boyle is not a finished product, but he’s made steady progress.

Nate from New Berlin, WI

I thought there would be a thousand questions on this yesterday, but alas, none published. On the Raiders’ last possession, there was an opportunity to call some timeouts to give the offense 40-ish seconds to win the game after the field goal. That seems like a great situation to evaluate your young guys in. They tried the Hail Mary anyway, so why not give them the chance?

Read the end of this story. LaFleur explained what happened during his Friday news conference.

Thomas from Evansville, IN

Thoughts on Rodgers’ style right now? I was really feeling that triple denim he was rocking.

Even a Bears fan would have to admit that was a pretty sweet Canadian tuxedo Rodgers wore on the trip. Danny Vitale also deserves a shout-out. He not only came dressed for the trip, but also wore his all-denim outfit to the game Thursday night. That’s dedication.

Tom from Birmingham, MI

Gentlemen, that Winnipeg game gives "stretch the field" a whole new meaning...

Did anyone else find it mildly amusing a field that’s typically 20 yards longer than the standard NFL stadium was 20 yards shorter for one night or was it just me?

Doug from St. Germain, WI

Wes, if only you'd packed the Lambeau Field laser goalposts in your ditty bag, this never would've happened.

See? Not so irrational, after all.

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