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Inbox: To think about 50 is mind-boggling

Not making it with no regrets beats never getting a shot

Larry McCarren
Larry McCarren

Deb from Neenah, WI

Do you think fan viewing will be low for the early morning game in London in October?

Uh, no.

Barbara from Duluth, MN

Any update on video of Kelsey singing National Anthem?

Here she is.

Ted from Las Vegas, NV

I fully realize that the NFL is a huge business, but there is always an emotional side, so who ultimately has to break the emotional news during the preseason to the players that are being waived or released, LaFleur or Gutey? Have you had any experience with a player right at the point of him being released and what can you possibly say to him?

I've never been around players on cut-down day, so I can only imagine the emotion. I know when the 53 is being sorted out after the last preseason game, players getting released here meet with both the GM and head coach. It can be a heartless business, but I know they try to manage that part of it here without the heartlessness, when it can be avoided.

Ron from Broken Arrow, OK

Mike, wonder what your thoughts are regarding there being two bye weeks when the NFL goes to an 18-game season at some point in the future? Would seem to me that the NFLPA would make this a condition of doing same. I know Wes doesn't believe it would happen because of the length of the season, but the NFL previously did two bye weeks in 1993, although with a 16-game season. I realize it's just conjecture at this point but curious of what you think.

I'm with Wes, I don't think it'll happen. The two-bye experiment in '93 was short-lived, and I don't think the NFLPA would insist on it at all. The union looks at how many weeks the players are "on the job," and another bye week would in essence be another week on the job without additional pay.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I know it's preseason, but is 59 yards a Lambeau Field record?

Nope. David Akers made a 63-yarder, off the crossbar, in the 2012 opener for San Francisco.

Gary from Bealeton, VA

Are the Vikings a threat for the NFC North title?

No trio of offensive weapons in the division has a more productive track record than Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. So, certainly.

Matt from Hawthorne, NJ

Good for Larry! Did he know this was coming and were you able to witness the moment?

There were explicit instructions not to tell him in advance, much to his chagrin I'm sure. But it was a cool moment after practice and we all stuck around for it. Going back to my newspaper days, this is probably the 24th training camp I've attended at least a day or two (and 17th in this job being here practically every day). To think about 50 is mind-boggling.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

Wes characterized OL as a "position where longevity reigns." I think you're right, but I also think that, logically, it shouldn't make sense. It's one of the most physically demanding positions, they play every snap, and get hit every snap. Not to mention, many are forced to carry an almost unhealthy amount of extra weight; it's not uncommon for players to lose 50-100 pounds once they retire. Why does it seem that they are more tenured than some other positions then?

Because speed is not required to succeed, and for players at a lot of other positions, age saps speed.

Walt from Manchester, NJ

I was wondering if there is any need for concern with the quiet performance so far from Devonte Wyatt? While other defensive lineman are showing signs of impact and added depth I haven't seen much from Wyatt. Is it his approach or is he having trouble making some noise? As a No. 1 pick I thought he might have been in on a few good defensive stops. Of course sitting in my living room watching the game I could be wrong. What is your take on this?

He hasn't stood out, but he's played just one preseason game at a position where the adjustment in physicality from the college to the pro game is greatest. He spoke to reporters Tuesday about knowing he hasn't made the impact desired, and what he's working through. His head seems to be in the right place to me.

Andy from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Mike, we've talked about how deep the D-line is already, with the three starters not playing in the preseason, and Wyatt only going for a half so far. But the unknown guys who have been playing are showing up, too. It's probably unrealistic to keep more than five, but it'll be interesting to see who makes it and who we can get back on the practice squad. Regardless of position, tough decisions are coming.

I think they're keeping six on the D-line and will have at least one or two on the practice squad.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Can Aaron Rodgers adapt to a run-oriented offense the way Brett Favre did when Mike Sherman and Ahman Green did back in those days? The way we might have to with a great defense, great running backs, and young and inexperienced wide receivers? Being that this is a copycat league, this team is looking more like New England back in the early 2000s version of winning rather that Kansas City's version of winning with Patrick Mahomes.

One game is not yet in the books, so I'll repeat what I've said since the offseason-defining trade in March – this offense will be an evolution from Week 1 all the way through January. The Packers will focus on what they want to do, defenses will try to take it away, and then the counterpunches will emerge.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

I've been following all the tweets from the practices (especially you two, of course), and I've got to say I love the "jawing" going on from Rasul Douglas and Jaire Alexander. It doesn't feel like the Packers have had that attitude on defense in a long time. I'm starting to wonder how good this secondary can actually be. Can't wait to see.

The jawing keeps practice interesting and I'm sure provides a level of energy during the monotony of camp. But they've got 17 games to play in a league whose rules are geared toward offense, with precise execution almost impossible to stop. They understand the challenge, and trash talk isn't gonna mean much over the long haul.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Good morning, it appears reports of the demise of Tyler Davis might have been premature, no?

He was still taking snaps with the No. 1 offense in practice this week, he's on a number of the top special-teams units, and he had a whale of a practice Tuesday. With the mistakes he's made, he might be fortunate the Packers don't have an overabundance of proven NFL talent at his position, but LaFleur indicated he's still viewed as a player who can contribute in two phases.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Seeing Elgton Jenkins as Comeback POY would be awesome, but so would seeing David Bakhtiari or Jaire Alexander. Being able to fill out a stat sheet, wouldn't Jaire's path to CPOY be much easier?

Perhaps. A lot of other readers brought up Bakhtiari, too. It's interesting that Green Bay's candidates are at the positions that haven't won it before. Realistically, it's players like Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Baker Mayfield that have better odds.

John from Temple City, CA

When a team has to pay a player on an injury settlement, does that count against the salary cap?


Joel from Chalfont, PA

It surprised me Jacksonville traded for Van Lanen. Doesn't Jacksonville have the top waiver priority giving them the first shot at claiming Van Lanen if cut? Was there so much demand for Van Lanen Jacksonville thought another team would swoop in with a trade?

Wes and I were asking the same questions. It's a very curious move.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Going into OTAs and camp there was a lot of discussion about who would play the slot corner position. Would you say at this point Rasul Douglas has answered that question?

He's shown he looks pretty comfortable there, which along with Alexander gives Joe Barry options to mix and match in standard nickel if he wants.

Anthony from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Do you believe in any way shape or form having our starters play one or two series will make us play better for the season opener? A full regular-season game with four quarters and a host of nuances has absolutely no comparison to the final preseason game of the year. Well, I guess they are both considered football games?

I fully understand LaFleur's decision not to play the veteran starters, and it's the direction I believe he was leaning all along. I don't see how a dozen snaps 17 days before the opener in Minnesota can have any meaningful impact that outweighs the risk of one regrettable fluke.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Your approval of the Hall of Fame selection process misses the mark. With a mandated minimum of seven inductees each year, it naturally lowers the bar from outstanding to pretty good. Any objective fan can look at the list of honorees and find quite a few head-scratchers. Rather than induct someone because we need a seventh person, let's do what baseball does. If no one hits the 75 percent bar for induction, then sorry no new class for that year. Case closed.

I'm not in favor of minimums either, but for the record, in Canton each year it's four, not seven. The Hall of Fame wants to have an annual induction ceremony because it's connected to the game that kicks off the preseason. But the minimum could just be one or two, in my opinion. I do think the game of football has changed from era to era perhaps more than any other major sport, so the scope of the Hall of Fame process considering modern-era players, senior committee selections and coach/contributor nominees has grown very large and, in some respects, unmanageable.

Steve from Bloomington, IL

It looks like the potential is there for one or more of the Packers' rookie wide receivers to have a good year. Has a rookie ever led the Packers in receptions or receiving yards? If so, who and when?

Sterling Sharpe, 55 catches for 791 yards in 1988. James Lofton, 46 for 818 in '78. Billy Howton, 53 for 1,231 in '52. They led the team in both categories as rookies. Boyd Dowler had a team-best 32 catches in 1959 (but Max McGee had more yards).

Walter from Chippewa Falls, WI

True or false: Sterling Sharpe's team record for most receptions by a rookie WR falls in 2022.

I'm going to say false, because both Greg Jennings (2006) and James Jones ('07) had dynamite rookie seasons but neither reached even 50 catches.

Mike from Toronto, Canada

Wes said on the Training Camp Live Look-In that Love's arm strength is different this year. How so? In a good way? How do you define or measure that? I'm intrigued.

You can just see the ball coming out of his hand with more zip and authority. He was never lacking in arm strength, but what we're seeing I believe is a combination of comfort in the offense, confidence in his reads and improved fundamentals.

Jeff from Ogden, UT

I generally detest the 3-4, 4-3 defense questions that often pop up here. So, with that said … Let's say the D-line is what it looks to be, dominant. Rashan Gary or Preston Smith get injured and look to be out for a while. Do you patch the OLB spot? Put your best 11 on the field and switch to a 4-3? Or is that trying to teach a duck to walk backwards?

You answered your own question. You can't reinvent all the run fits, assignments, stunts, personnel packages and such on the fly. It might be easier to teach a duck to walk backwards.

Bob from Honolulu, HI

Hope it's OK Insiders, but as C-Day approaches, could you share your thoughts on this? Is it better to have been an undrafted free agent who is cut during preseason (and never plays another down in the NFL) or a fringe player who never gets signed and will always wonder what would have happened if he had gotten the chance?

Any true competitor always wants a chance, no matter how slim on paper. Not making it with no regrets beats never getting a shot.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Can you put yourself in the mind of a "bubble player" getting ready for the last preseason game? They know what's on the line, and the results from the KC game have the potential to be life-changing. What is the mindset? How many butterflies are in their stomach?

Nerves and butterflies are natural, but the mindset has to be it's a game they've played for a long time, so going out and giving it everything they've got is all they can ask of themselves. Look at it as an opportunity to cherish, not one to stress over. With that, I'm going to wish all the roster hopefuls the best as the curtain rises and closes on their final audition, and I'll talk to you again from the plane after the game. Happy Wednesday.