Anthony from Auburn, WA
Without giving too much away, have you noticed many new wrinkles in the offense during practices? There seemed to be a huge jump from Year 1 to Year 2 in the offense in regard to utilizing personnel, movement, formations, checks at the LOS, etc., and it was a lot of fun to watch.
Somewhat. It's the same scheme and everything. It's not like Green Bay is now running the Air Raid. It's just taking what the offense did well the past two years and continuing to evolve. Considering the skill-position players on this roster, this Packers offense has a lot of pieces to build with. Oh, I like that. I got my title off the first submission I opened.
Joe from Wausau, WI
A lot of talk this summer about the improvement of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Thus far in his career, he's never had a catch rate above 55%. A guy like Davante Adams is consistently in the 65-70% range. I imagine other top receivers are similar. Does MVS have it in him to get up into that range, or will he always be more of a deep route specialist?
Based on everything I've seen from MVS this summer, I believe he can become a complete receiver. His speed makes him a home-run threat whenever he's on the field, but Valdes-Scantling has developed nicely as an underneath receiver and overall route-runner. He's also catching the ball cleaner this summer. He's improved every year he's been in Green Bay. I expect that to continue.
Casey from Frisco, TX
Regarding Matt LaFleur's comments the two guard spots have come down to a battle among Royce Newman, Lucas Patrick, and Jon Runyan. It is a little crazy to consider the fact that, barring injuries to others, one of those two who "win" that battle will get bumped to the bench once David Bakhtiari comes back. (Or maybe they will play so well that it will push Billy Turner to the bench with Elgton Jenkins moving to RT). Is there any other NFL team with as deep an OL room as the Packers?
Depth is in the eye of the beholder but this is probably the most versatile offensive line I've covered. While you're not wrong about Jenkins likely retaking the left guard spot at some point, the Packers are going to need all those guards to get through the season. It's about being prepared, not just about who gets their name in the starting lineup.
Sue from Three Lakes, WI
Could you explain the difference between being put on IR in the preseason vs. regular season? One you can return and one you are done for the season? Why the difference if there is one?
It's done so teams can't stash players. If a player is injured, then he must "make" the 53-man roster before he can be placed on injured reserve and designated to return later that season. The Packers did this last year with Kamal Martin and Kabion Ento. They kept them on the active roster for a day and then placed them on IR. A few days later, GB signed Krys Barnes (off the practice squad) and Parry Nickerson to fill those spots.
Al from Green Bay, WI
Wes, there is much to like with the young secondary guys looking to make the 53: Christian Uphoff, Innis Gaines, Henry Black and Vernon Scott. A strong case can be made for each. Will this be sorted out only after Buffalo, or do you believe the pecking order is already pretty much set?
The Bills game will play a big role in who makes the 53, and probably who plays in New Orleans. Scott's case is a little different because of the hamstring injury, but Uphoff, Gaines and Black undoubtedly will see a lot of snaps in Buffalo.
Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI
Because Jace Sternberger will be suspended the first two games, does he have to make the initial 53?
No. Sternberger can be placed directly on reserve/suspended. He does not have to land on the 53 first.
Bill from Clive, IA
Hi Insiders. Are practice-squad contracts individually negotiated with variable compensation schemes, or are they uniform due to provisions of the CBA?
Practice-squad contracts are negotiable, up to a point. But most of those agreements come in at the league minimum.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
After watching the Kevin King video, I can't imagine a team with two more introspective starting corners than Green Bay. In your time interviewing cornerbacks, do you find them to be generally more forgiving of themselves because their misplays are so obvious, especially in the pass-happy NFL?
That's the same Kevin King we got to know in the locker room during his first three seasons. He's a very thoughtful guy. I agreed with Matt LaFleur that the public image of King is a vastly different sentiment than those who actually know him. To answer your question, the best perimeter cornerbacks have a talent for learning from their mistakes, without dwelling on them and letting them change who they are. That's life on an island. All eyes are on you.
Venny from Montgomery, AL
With two weeks between the final preseason game and the first game of the season, how does the next week look from a practice standpoint? Will it be like a bye week or more like a continuation of training camp? Or will practices be modeled similar to a regular season week of practice?
More the latter. My guess is the team will practice until Thursday or Friday and then the coaches will give players the weekend off. This is the last significant break they'll get for three months. After next week, there's 12 games separating the Packers and their bye.
Sawyer from Simpsonville, SC
Mike, you got me thinking with your answer on Josh Myers and stats on Corey Linsley with the All-Pro versus Pro Bowl. What's a greater honor, to be picked to the Pro Bowl or named to the All-Pro list? To me, I think it's the All-Pro. Popularity and entertainment are certainly a consideration with Pro Bowl selections, and between the Super Bowl teams' players being out automatically and so many players saying thanks but no thanks to playing in it, the All-Pro list seems more exclusive and elite.
Pro Bowl earns guys money. All-Pro earns players respect.
Derek from Sheboygan, WI
With the Packers cutting Kamal Martin, is there a plan to bring in another linebacker?
The Packers still face some tough calls at inside linebacker even after Martin's release. They signed De'Vondre Campbell, drafted Isaiah McDuffie and have three returning veterans. The competition continues in Buffalo.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning. Who will be Hunter Bradley's backup at the long-snapper position on the final 53? Thanks.
Tipa Galeai is a pretty darn good snapper. He's the best emergency snapper I can recall.
Emma from Winter Garden, FL
While watching practices this summer, who has stood out to you in regard to their contributions on special teams? So far this preseason, it's been a little less "special" than I'm sure we'd all hope to see heading into the beginning of the season.
Spoff touched on it. It's Innis Gaines and Christian Uphoff. JJ Molson deserves a mention, too. He's risen to the occasion and has made nearly every kick he's attempted in camp. It just so happens he's behind the franchise's all-time leading scorer on the depth chart.
The Green Bay Packers continued training-camp practice on Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.
Greg from Perkasie, PA
I stumbled upon a Barstool Sports podcast on YouTube called "Bussin' With The Boys," and they have an episode with Big Bob Tonyan and George Kittle that I think everyone should watch. Even if you aren't a Packers fan, you will walk away from that episode as a huge fan of Robert Tonyan. They discuss football, motivation, gratitude, awareness, and a bunch of other topics that will make your life better and more enjoyable. I have a new respect and admiration for our tight end, and life in general.
Yes…and if you like that, you could read my profile on Tonyan, as well!
Arthur from Eau Claire, WI
I truly believe that if the Packers can at least match their record from last year that Coach LaFleur should absolutely win Coach of the Year in the NFC; in the AFC, Brian Flores for the same reasons. Do you agree or am I missing something that the voters look for other than regular season records?
The Packers will have a difficult time matching their record from last season. Some would even call it impossible. AP voters only take the regular season into account for Coach of the Year voting, but LaFleur still should've gotten it in 2019.
Dylan from Cary, NC
Do you guys get to travel with the team this year?
Not at the moment. Spoff and I will be covering Saturday's game from lovely Lambeau Field.
Aaron from Scottsdale, AZ
When I see cuts that seem surprising, I don't believe it must be an indictment on the player's performance per se, but more that the GM has a lot of difficult decisions to make and often must split hairs to arrive at a conclusion in his evaluations. Some are looking for specific reasons Martin was cut, but my guess is it was a lot more subtle than that. The talent disparity in the professional ranks is razor thin. Skill, potential, mental acuity, durability, chemistry, etc., all play a role.
Going from 90 to 53 is never easy. Man, that's a good line. I kind of want to save it for Saturday's Inbox header. Maybe I will. Check back tomorrow and see if I plagiarize myself.