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Inbox: We really shouldn't be surprised anymore

Some players just look like they belonged from the beginning 


David from Florence, AZ

Do you think we could double up and work a trade for Mack and Dez? Good morning!

Hey, that's my line!

Curt from Janesville, WI

There was some word about the Packers looking to pick up Khalil Mack. Any truth to that?

World's worst game of telephone ever.

Daniel from Los Angeles, CA

If you want something credible for the Khalil Mack trade, how about this: Reggie McKenzie (Raiders GM) was with the Packers. A connection exists and doesn't exclude this possibility. Chances are small, but if Mack has heard of all the rumors, he might want to capitalize on playing for the Packers over the Raiders.

How many trades has McKenzie swung with the Packers again over the six years he's been Oakland's GM?

Ronny from Rockford, IL

Could someone please slip a Post-It note in the pocket of our GM that says: "Mack no matter what"?

No. No, you didn't. You didn't just do that. Do not ruin "Draft Day" for me, Ronny. Don't do it.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Have you ever had to write an article for an event you couldn't attend and had to watch on television?

I didn't travel to Seattle in 2012. The Press-Gazette opted to send an extra photographer instead. So I covered the "Fail Mary" from the bonus room above our garage.

Gene from Midland, GA

Wes, with the public portion of training camp coming to a close, what or who has surprised you so far?

Tramon Williams still flying around at 35. It's incredible to watch. Knowing Williams' story, however, I guess we really shouldn't be surprised anymore. There are a few other things that have stood out to me, as well. Montravius Adams has had a good camp and will benefit from **working behind those four veteran defensive linemen**. Justin McCray looks like a starting NFL right guard and Bryan Bulaga is a beast. It's incredible he got back on the field in less than nine months.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, who will you be watching most closely Thursday night?

If he plays, Jaire Alexander. Both on defense and possibly on punt returns. I hope fans get a chance to see him against the Steelers. There's an electricity to his game.

Sam from Greendale, WI

There was a question the other day about defensive backs guarding Jimmy Graham and who matched up well. I imagine going up against tough competition in practice makes you a better player when games roll around. Who benefits more from those matchups on a team? A defensive back going up against an elite receiver or tight end, or a receiver or tight end going up against an elite defensive back?

Iron sharpens iron, but I have to say a young defensive back gets twice as much benefit from covering a perennial Pro Bowler like Jimmy Graham, who's getting passes thrown his way from a two-time MVP quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. As Davon House told Rob Demovsky last week, it doesn't get much more difficult in this league than lining up against a Rodgers-led offense.

Roger from Gillette, WY

Does Aaron Jones get to practice with the team the first two weeks of the season?

No. Jones is allowed to stay in Green Bay and work out at Lambeau Field, but he can't participate in meetings or practice.

Stephen from Green Bay, WI

Not a question, just a perspective for Alan from Colorado, as someone whom has driven some of the offensive linemen to practice. They are huge as in a lot of muscle. A certain FA tackle from last year had his knees nearly touching his ears in my Honda's front seat. On the other side, corners seem smaller in real life than they do on television.

Here is some perspective if you have a child, niece or nephew between the ages of 6-8. Stand next to them. That's approximately the same height and size ratio between Marcedes Lewis and me.

The Packers continued practice Monday afternoon at Ray Nitschke Field.

Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ

You often refer to players being a "natural" at a particular position. What are some of the indicators you look for in a player to determine as such, or is it a feel you get from watching numerous reps throughout the offseason and training camp?

It's based on what I see and hear on the field. For example, Davante Adams and Micah Hyde are guys who just looked natural to me during their first training camps. They played instinctively and never had to be told to do something twice. Some guys just look like they belonged from the beginning.

Jeff from Greenville, SC

Still early, but how do you think that Randall/Rollins compares to Alexander/Jackson? (I like the two "J" names).

It's two entirely different draft classes, but what I like about Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson is they're both natural cornerbacks. I think that should expedite their transition to the NFL. Randall just never looked quite right as a boundary corner and Rollins had just one year of college experience under his belt when the Packers drafted him.

Trevor from Carmel, NY

Love the 100 Seasons patch, but let's play a hypothetical game here. What if the Packers make the Super Bowl? Would the captain's patch have to be removed from the six playoff captains? Or would the seamstresses try to fit all three patches on there? Is there a plan in place? Should there be?

The NFL hasn't started allowing teams to place advertisements on their uniforms yet, so I think there's enough room.

Daniel from Wichita, KS

I'm a big fan of what you guys do with the "Three Things" and the Insider Inbox! I really liked what Tim Boyle and Jake Kumerow were doing against the Titans. I know it's a tough battle to make the team, but do you see any chance at all with these two?

I made this point on "Unscripted" Wednesday, but the thing about being an undrafted free agent is you have no margin for error. You have to bring it in every practice and game. This is Kumerow's fourth training camp. He gets that. The Packers want those guys to make their decision difficult on cut-down day. So far, they're accomplishing that.

Jim from Green Bay, WI

Los Angeles, 1965. Dad took me to my first-ever football game at the L.A. Coliseum; Rams vs. Packers. I remember walking through the long tunnel following an old man in a suit topped with fedora, smoking a cigar. I marveled at the size of the stadium, the field, and those green and gold uniforms (the Rams wore all-white then). It was the day I fell in love with football and the Packers. That is why I'll be there Oct. 28 to close the circle. Never pass an opportunity to make memories.

And it's the memories that make us rich, right? I hope you have a great time.

Johnny from San Antonio, TX

I've read several comments of disdain for the amount of flags in Week 1 of preseason for the new lowering-of-the-helmet rule. Playing the Steelers this week, I don't see how some forgot the injury to Shazier a couple of years ago. I would have to imagine his injury factored in to the implementation of the rule. Whether on offense or defense, that kind of hit can drastically change the life of our beloved players, so I support it.

I was watching a video on YouTube Wednesday of career-ending injuries. It seemed almost all of them originated with a player leading with a helmet. The new rules are intended to protect both players. I think emerging improvements to helmet technology and heads-up football will help keep players safe in the long run.

Matt from Tomahawk, WI

No personal offense to Dean Lowry, Ty Montgomery, or any other athletes that have graduated from top academic schools, but during my time at UW-Madison I had quite a few interactions and classes with some stud athletes. Most of them weren't there due to academic acumen. They were there to make the team better. Obviously there are exceptions but I cringe when fans assume an athlete is intelligent because of where they attended school.

I'm not sure when you attended Madison, but Wisconsin probably isn't the best example for your argument. Madison is known for its high academic standards, which leads to a story every few years about Wisconsin missing out on a top prospect. I can't speak on every player who has attended a highly respected institution, but the alumni the Packers have drafted haven't disappointed in terms of mental aptitude. Lowry, Montgomery, Blake Martinez and JC Tretter are some of the sharpest individuals I've come across in the Packers' locker room.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

One of my stories to watch tonight is J'Mon Moore trying to fight back after a fairly rough outing last week.

I won't argue with that. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and E.Q. St. Brown made some big plays against the Titans, and Moore could easily do the same against the Steelers. The natural ability is there. It comes down to consistency with his hands.

Stephen from Doha, Qatar

Wes, great job on the week in review piece! Hope those become a regular thing; keep up the great work!

Thanks Stephen. I tried to do my best Larry impersonation – minus his credentials as a player…and the WBA Hall of Fame career…and the pinkie.

Rick from Antigo, WI

What days are the three public practices that are left?

Monday, Aug. 20, at 12:15 p.m. CT, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 11:45 a.m., and Monday, Aug. 27, at 11:45 a.m.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

I'm on vacation up in Maine and I'd like to give a shout-out to several Packers fans I saw from a distance on Cadillac Mountain (Tues.) and crossing the Bar Island Land Bridge (Wed). Maybe they read the Inbox. Do you think we will ever see redshirts in preseason games, or will it ever be play-at-your-own-risk for stars because teams need full speed to evaluate rookies and roster hopefuls? Would such a change have to be negotiated in a future CBA?

I don't think we'll ever see it because quarterbacks wearing red jerseys in practice isn't football. If that's the case, just get rid of the preseason games and give teams a couple extra padded practices. It would be like a tight-rope walker wearing a safety harness. What's the point?

Tim from Denver, CO

Disappointed to read Mike's response to the ER doctor, especially the snark at the end, so I'll take a stab at "playing." As a pilot, I speak directly to hundreds of people per day, about 100,000 per year. How about I sneak in a little political statement between the weather report and flight time? A couple people upload to YouTube, it goes viral and reaches millions. Or how about you open each Inbox with a political statement? By your logic, you'd be well within your rights to do so.

Celebrities and professional athletes have the platform to create change beyond headlines because it's entertainment-based. Whether you choose to engage with their entertainment is your call, but they're well within their right. If you do that as a pilot, it goes viral because it's unusual. While I haven't changed my political views based on something a pilot has said to me, I was watching when Eminem and Elton John performed together at the 2001 Grammys. I was listening when Lance Kendricks shared the story of his wife's family in Puerto Rico. The message isn't difficult to decipher. It's just whether you choose to hear it.

Josh from Denver, CO

The greatest who ever lived used his platform to make a statement. Politics and sports have been intertwined for decades in this country and will continue to be.

You're absolutely correct. Whatever your personal opinion, it's those individuals' right to exercise that. If trying to see someone else's perspective makes me self-absorbed, then so be it.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Thank you for your voices of reason. Sports and society are inextricable, since sports represent our values. Professional athletes are not just playing a game, they are the manifestation of our societal ideal. The issue is not the anthem, for we have seen LeBron (among others) slammed for voicing his opinions in other venues. People don't like seeing their ideal figures dissent with the society that created them. Shut up and dribble indeed.

Some players keep a low profile. Others prefer to use their celebrity to bring attention to a cause. Either is acceptable. We are all human – behind the face mask, behind the computers and behind the operating table. Me personally, I know several of the wonderful men and women of our local law enforcement who I'm privileged to call friends and work hard to keep our community safe. That's my experience, but I'm also self-aware enough to know that's not everyone's experience around the United States. The playground of life is not lived in a bubble.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

Boar Martinez isn't the only great nickname Wes's Twitter account has given us lately. I'm still hoping Kevin Kong will catch on!

Wrong beat writer.

Matt from Waxhaw, NC

I can't be the only one that thinks "Tywin Lannister" when I hear you talk about "Tyler Lancaster," can I?

The Warden of the North-West-ern.

D from Hustisford, WI

Could anyone ever be a majority shareholder of the Packers?

Uh, no.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Wes, Dez and now Mack. What do you say to a certain colleague who writes a story like yesterday that fills your Inbox with more Mack questions? Thanks, or thanks a lot!?

I told Pete Dougherty I guess we're even now.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2018 roster.

Clay from Avondale, AZ

I find that a witty remark with a dry delivery is exceptional for diffusing a tense situation. I also know that tempers are sometimes short and tension can be high in camp and preseason. Can you think of a time when a confrontation was stopped short and the guys came away laughing instead?

During a dust-up early in camp, there was a player – maybe Lucas Patrick – who started throwing punches on air toward other players (ala pro wrestling) in a completely jovial manner. It was pretty funny.

Jason from Albuquerque, NM

Is it OK to change the depth chart in the new Madden game this time of year? They got it all wrong.

This is acceptable.

Dejan from Kitchener, Ontario

Not to pile on Wes here, but if we could get a video cut up of Davante Adams jumping over a referee next to Wes's attempt of jumping over a garbage can, it would make my week.

This must happen.