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Inbox: You can't teach fearless

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Cheryl from Strawberry Point, IA

Final Thoughts: What’s at “steak”? Typo or a play on words with the advertiser?

The latter, but the initial presentation to connect to the sponsorship wasn’t thoroughly executed. It’s the preseason for us, too.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

And the game ball goes to...

I’d have to give it to Valdes-Scantling in this one. He was getting open consistently, displaying his speed, and making all the catches, except the deep ball he dove for and nearly hauled in. I want to see him follow it up next Thursday with another strong performance.

John from Big Lake, MN

Hey guys,

I know you're going to hear a lot of talk about Boyle. My question is, was his performance because of a late preseason game third-string defense, or did he do what I think he did, and show some signs of being Favre-like cool under pressure, with a little Jay Cutler attitude and smirk to go along with it? I honestly felt he held his own in the pocket and threw well under the rush.

The late-game depth chart is a factor, sure, but what I liked best about Boyle’s outing was the way he stood in there and delivered the ball when he knew the hits were coming. You can’t teach fearless.

Jerad from Minneapolis, MN

What's the bigger WR story: Catches for big gains or drops leading to missed opportunities?

In a preseason opener, it doesn’t matter. What does is whether you learn from both the good and the bad.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

My three things...Tim Boyle is an NFL QB, what an arm! Jake Kumerow is not a fluke and a likely WR4 this year. Kendall Donnerson and Reggie Gilbert stood out to me at OLB. My only question would be if you think Hundley looked any better than 2017?

Hundley looked more confident and smooth than I recall from last year. There’s far less pressure in a preseason game, but he is competing for a job. He made more throws on time and accurately. To look like that, without your top two offensive tackles against a first-string defense, was a good start for him.

Caleb from Bedford, IN

I am so excited to be attending the season opener for my first NFL game! I know the offense is driven by 12, but who is that guy on defense in your opinion?

The less obvious it is, the better this defense might be.

Joe from East Moline, IL

Do you think, in hindsight, that maybe the Packers benefitted from Dallas having successfully converted the two-point play in the '16 playoff game? Had they not, the Packers' next field goal would have put them up by five.  Then Dallas would not have settled for a field goal on fourth and would have been going for the end zone or bust.

Impossible to say. Does McCarthy even try a 56-yard field goal up by two with 1:38 left? One snap earlier, does he call a pass play on third-and-13 from the 38 with the Cowboys down to one timeout if the Packers are winning rather than tied? Really, the whole possession that started with 4:08 left is different if the Cowboys miss the two.

Jack from Manitowoc, WI

Have you guys ever checked out some of Rock's sports broadcasts from the beginning of his after-football career? If not, ya gotta check it out. I have the utmost respect for Rock, but I've gotta say I never thought he'd make it. Now I seek out the video presentations he's in. He's a great color man on the radio, great in the videos, and judging from the way you guys speak of him, a great person. Way cool!

I’ve never talked to Larry about it, but I’ve talked to others who worked with Larry back in the days you’re referring to, and every one of them has mentioned how hard he worked behind the scenes to master a brand new craft. He’s truly a self-made sportscaster.

Jason from Ypsilanti, MI

I feel like the Khalil Mack question wasn't answered in the Inbox from yesterday. Do you have any reason to believe the Packers could actually trade to get him? Sure he would be pricey, but it would certainly be worth the cost.

Gutekunst said again the other day he is involved in all conversations, but by rule he can’t talk specifically about players under contract with other teams. My conjecture? Because nothing has leaked out about what the Raiders might be asking for Mack in a trade, they aren’t really interested in trading him.

Bill from Eagle Lake, MN

Could you add the sort-by-position back on the roster?

It’s still there. Just click on the “Pos” header at the top of the position column.

Glenn from Mechanicsville, VA

What type of cornerback would be the most valuable to team defense: a Darrelle Revis shutdown corner or a Charles Woodson gifted cornerback with immeasurables that improve everyone around him?

I wouldn’t turn down either one, but I think the answer to your question depends on the makeup of the rest of the defense.

Erik from Mansfield, TX

Am I the only one who's been hearing "players not plays" from Pettine all offseason? He keeps saying things like "regardless of the scheme, you gotta beat the guy across from you," and I'm hearing Vic's voice in my head saying, "That's players, not plays." On the other hand, maybe I just need to see a shrink about the voice in my head.

“It’s not what we play, it’s how we play it,” is the mantra I’ve heard repeatedly from Pettine. McCarthy said after the game “mindset over scheme” and “scheme is not a crutch.” They’re harping on that message this summer.

Dan from Grand Rapids, MI

I don't care if Mike Pettine coaches from the sideline, the press box, Hinterland Brewery, or even Casterly Rock. Just get stops, baby.

Can I do my job from Hinterland Brewery?

Patrick from Dover, FL

Preseason equals penalties and too many of them for sure. Lots of work to do for these backups between now and September.

It’s pretty common in these games, but the numbers were really high last night. The officials have a lot to adjust to as well. There’s a lot of attention on the new helmet rule, obviously, but I also thought they were calling illegal contact on the DBs especially tight.

Chase from Yorkville, WI

Greetings, Mike and Wes. An etiquette question, I suppose, for both of you. I have attended training camp inside the practice field fencing via a corporate event for several years and will be again later this month. Since you would be on the clock, are you off limits like the players, coaches, and staff? I have on several occasions seen you both during the visits and wanted to say, "Hello," but was too anxious since I didn't know your protocol.

I think I speak for Wes as well when I say please don’t hesitate to say hello. I just can’t predict whether I’ll have time for a brief chat or if I’ll only be able to wave in acknowledgement. It just depends on the moment. In any event, take nothing personally.

Joe from Parkland County, Canada

With there only being one communication helmet on the field at a time, if someone else needs to step in, can he have a spare helmet with a headset in on the sideline for the next man up? Or do they have to swap a headset into the player that is taking over? My understanding was you're only allowed one helmet per season.

Spare helmets with the speaker system are allowed on the sideline for other players if the team wants or needs to switch. It’s an exception to the rule of not using a different helmet, aside from a damage issue.

Bill from Menominee, MI

If Crosby's chinstrap breaks (I love Pettine's way of avoiding the word injury), I would assume Scott would kick extra points and field goals. Who does that leave as backup holder? I think more eyes would be on their performance as a backup holder than Scott's as a kicker.

Randall Cobb has been a backup holder pretty much his whole career.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

To better protect players, do you think it would be a good or bad idea to outlaw reaching out fully to gain extra yards be it a first down or touchdown? The player opens himself up to be defenseless and a severe injury risk.

I can’t imagine that ever being outlawed. It would fundamentally alter the game and create a huge rules mess in far greater ways than the current player-safety changes have.

Greg from Minneapolis, MN

Do you think some of AR’s frustration with the receivers is related to maybe an improved defensive backfield they are going against?

Rodgers specifically pointed to effort and mental mistakes in practice. Those have nothing to do with the opponent. The young receivers answered the bell in Game 1. Now they have to do it every day.

Robert from Hammond, WI

Is Jake Kumerow the next Adam Thielen?

With all due respect to Kumerow, shouldn’t he at least catch a pass or two in a regular-season game first?

Justin from Titonka, IA

I was surprised that Quinten Rollins was the only one returning punts. Who else has been returning punts in practice?

Trevor Davis, Jaire Alexander and Tramon Williams, none of whom played in the game.

Niels from Knoxville, TN

So where is the pass rush?

Matthews, Perry, Daniels, Wilkerson all sat out, and Pettine showed virtually nothing schematically. Early on, I thought Gilbert was active and Adams made a play or two against the run, but I didn’t gather much else on defense. I don’t think we’re going to get a true feel for this defense until the real games start.

Matt from Cudahy, WI

Doubt this will be published because it’s critical of sports writers. Most are upset T.O. “took a symbolic knee” over the HOF. Same writers praising players taking a knee during the anthem. Seems sports writers only support free speech when it’s not about something THEY hold as sacred. Hypocrites.

I’ve seen this take too many times now to neglect commenting any longer. To ignore the very different reasons and motivations behind the symbolic actions in order to draw a false equivalency contributes nothing to the discussion.

Drew from Oakdale, MN

It’s crazy to think the Brett Favre trade was already 10 years ago. Being only 8 years old at the time, I didn't really understand the business of the NFL yet, and why the Packers would trade away their star player. I remember feeling very betrayed and heartbroken, although it paled in comparison to what I felt the next summer, especially as a Minnesota kid. Nevertheless, it ended up working out in the long run. Did you ever have a similar moment when you were a kid?

I wasn’t a kid, but the business aspect of sports truly hit home for me during college when the Brewers let Paul Molitor go. I eventually realized it was important to process that as a fan before I got into this line of work.

Tyler from Portland, OR

Mike, I apologize for my comment comparing T.O and Ray Lewis. It was a disingenuous comparison at best. They are two completely separate situations. I suppose my issue here is beyond that of Hall of Fame controversies and more with how the NFL is inconsistent in its handling of many, many issues while always trying to claim a moral high ground.

I can respect that. If there’s one thing from a great weekend in Canton that turned me off it was continuing to hear the cliché platitudes from various public speakers about how great the entire induction class was “on and off the field.” I’m perfectly willing to separate the players from the men when necessary, and I understand individuals mature and change over time, but to continually hear that in reference to a Hall of Fame class including Owens, Moss and Lewis started to get nauseating. I’ve dedicated my professional life to words meaning something. They have to. Whether we say ’em, write ’em, read ’em or hear ’em, they have to mean something. When they don’t, it saddens me. Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Happy Friday, everyone.

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