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Inbox: You gotta earn it every summer

WR Jake Kumerow
WR Jake Kumerow

Kent from Lewiston, ID

How did the off day treat you? Did your fingers and brains get rejuvenated for another week?

Ha. Sure. Good morning!

Craig from Laramie. WY

Great article on Jake Kumerow and Trevor Davis. Notably, Matt LaFleur cited "do it consistently" as a need for Davis and as strength for Kumerow. Is that a tip of ML's hand? Such a great battle at WR this year!

Kumerow has set a standard for consistency for unheralded players on the bubble because you gotta earn it every summer. You can’t make the roster once and take your foot off the gas. Kumerow made it impossible for the Packers to cut him last summer and he’s doing it again with his approach and how he catches those 50/50 balls, uh, more than 50 percent of the time. As for Davis, this is the best he’s looked on offense. He just needs to stay on that path. That’s the message.

Russ from Henrico, VA

To what extent are Corey Grant and Trevor Davis competing for the same roster spot?

I don’t look at it like that because they’re two entirely different players, including on special teams. Yes, Grant is a returner, but he also was a productive personal protector on punts. Davis is a solid gunner on top of being a returner and receiver. Both have to show their value, earn a spot on the roster and then the chips will fall from there.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Was yesterday truly an off day or just a day off from on-field work? By that I mean were their meetings, strength and conditioning, rehab, etc., or are players able to do as they please and go out and play golf, fish or go home and spend time with family for the day?

The only players required to come in Monday were those who are injured and scheduled for treatment. The weight room was open to all, but there were no meetings. As Matt LaFleur said Sunday, the coaching staff was putting together its scripts for the next five practices on the “off” day.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Are guards or tackles more important for a running game and vice versa, for a passing game?

I always used to think the answer was guards in the run game, but then I started seeing David Bakhtiari pull on stretch plays and now I’m torn. Road-graders do the heavy lifting inside, but elite tackles can be the X-factor. As for passing, it’s the tackles by unanimous decision. Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga have two of the hardest jobs in football, and they do it better than anyone.

Bob from San Diego, CA

In the past, I recall hearing about how Davante Adams was stellar in practice. Fast forward to now, we all see the player he has become. Which player has stood out in practice that needs to translate to the field now?

Montravius Adams. Mike Pettine was effusive in his praise of the third-year defensive lineman when the Packers’ three coordinators spoke to the media on Monday. He called Adams the most improved defensive player over the past year, a comment several of his teammates echoed dating back to the spring. Adams took his diet seriously this offseason and now needs to take that next step following Mike Daniels’ departure. The defense is counting on him.

Dave from Lafayette, CO

"I thank God that I got cut and I have an opportunity to play with a defensive genius." I find Mike Daniels’ comments a little surprising and a dig on the Packers. I thought he had more character than that. Thoughts? Time to move on and give thanks for his replacement... Montravius Adams or someone else. Make it a GREAT day!

That’s a tantalizing one-liner, but be sure to listen to Daniels’ entire quote. There is some context missing. He also went out of his way to thank Mike Pettine and the Packers for the opportunity. He was gracious in my estimation.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

The draft pick cannot be overlooked when discussing the Mike Daniels transaction. For all the talk about what the Lions paid, they did so without spending a draft pick so that is absolutely better than spending the same amount plus a lost draft pick.

It depends on your cap space. In Detroit’s case, the Lions had room to absorb a big one-year hit. The closer you are to zero, however, the more the dollars and cents matter when making those last-minute calls.

Richard from Clearwater, MN

Among the speculated reasons on why Aaron Jones was not featured more in the offense was his blocking. Any indication it is still a concern potentially limiting his use this season?

I feel Jones took a big step with his pass pro in Year 2, but I think the construct of the offense is going to be different this year, too. I don’t think it’s going to require a running back to plant his heels down in shotgun formations against the blitzing linebacker as frequently as in the past. Jones also is in the best shape of his life. I think that’ll translate.

Matthias from Hartford, WI

Let's pretend I'm a late free-agent signee who needs to eat clean and is paid league minimum, and cannot afford to pay a nutritionist or private chef. How do I eat clean food?

Easy. Don’t leave Lambeau. In team dining, the players are provided with some of the best food in Green Bay three times each day.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

There’s been very little coverage of special-teams work in the four practices so far, other than a couple of missed FG attempts by Sam Ficken on the first day of camp. Are those portions of practice just not focused on, or are they quite seldom practiced as a team? I am really excited to see who is making a push to lead the group of punt gunners and kick returners with all the speed on this roster. Are the preseason games necessary for determining these spots, based on production in live game environments?

Mason Crosby is hurt, Ficken is 8-of-10 on field goals and JK Scott has looked good so far on punts. That’s about all we’ve seen other than who the Packers are using as their first kickoff return team. The preseason games are necessary to an extent. It’s well-documented how James Crawford solidified his roster spot last year in Kansas City.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Has any player ever gotten hurt riding a kid's bike? If not, what would happen to that tradition if one did get hurt?

Not that I’m aware of. If someone ever did, I don’t think it would affect the tradition, though. It’s not like they’re driving dirt bikes to practice.

Chris from Vandalia, IL

I hear a lot of fans think winning the Super Bowl is the only way to have a successful season. I've always thought doing better than the previous season made it successful; if your team had a losing record, get a winning record. Then, it would be make the playoffs. Then, it would be win a playoff game. Then, make the championship game. Then, make the Super Bowl. If you made the Super Bowl last year, then a successful season is only winning the big game. What do you consider to be a successful season?

Progress. Like any successful team or industry, there must be reason for the players/employees to believe tomorrow will be brighter than today. Winning a Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, but teams must build a solid foundation to accomplish it. That’s what this season is about.

Joshua from Houston, TX

I’m guessing both the Packers and Texans will be scouting each other for some good cut candidates, right?

I mean they’d be foolish not to.

David from Appleton, WI

Have you noticed a difference in the number of reps the backup QBs are getting during training camp this year under Matt LaFleur as opposed to previous years under Mike McCarthy?

It’s interesting. There probably have been more reps with the coaches occasionally running two simultaneous team periods, but time of practices has been reduced.

Porky from Middleton, WI

I read that no rookie head coach has ever taken his team to the playoffs in his first year. Someday that streak will be broken. With Rodgers at QB, we have a chance. But looking at the schedule, we could start the year 0-5 and end it 0-3. Then you have the three games against the Chiefs, Chargers and Jacksonville. Do you have the same sense of dread that I have?

I had trepidations posting this question because I’m fairly confident the commenter isn’t actually named “Porky,” but this has been asked of me a few times. Didn’t Bill Callahan take the Raiders to the Super Bowl in his rookie year as a head coach? Am I missing something?

Nicholas from Portland, OR

When will our division rivals realize that signing our castoffs to high-cost deals isn’t a winning mentality?

It is what it is. It certainly creates a few more storylines for the beat corps twice a year.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, can you recall a time that while watching a regular-season game your mind flipped back to something you saw during training camp? Does camp help build your football IQ so you can better connect the dots?

Yes. The time the Packers tried to use the “Quad” 4-3 in the 2014 opener against Seattle after not showing it in any public practices/preseason games. I like to joke Dom tossed that thing in the garbage at halftime of the Packers’ Week 4 game Soldier Field and it’s remained there ever since.

Dale from Wilton, WI

What is your favorite part of Family Night?

The pizza in the press box.

Bret from Hertel, WI

With the 2015 draft being a bust for future rosters, can the addition of free agents and recent drafts (past three years) improve starter quality and improve depth if the Green Bay Packers can get some added players from late-round picks and or free agents such as Madison, Lancaster, Grant, and Kumerow? Great coverage and it was nice seeing you at the first practice.

It was nice to meet you, too. Thanks for stopping to say hello. Yes, but I really think it’s the addition of 2015 draftees Preston Smith, Za'Darius Smith and Adrian Amos that helps fill in the hole that draft left on this roster. With how successful the 2016 draft has been for Green Bay, the moves Brian Gutekunst made this offseason put the Packers right back in position to compete this year.

Mark from Green Bay, WI

According to Spoff yesterday, a day in training camp is about 12 hours. How much opportunity do you and other media have access to players? Is there just a small window or can you make an appointment, if you will, to meet with them anytime they are willing to talk with someone? Does the Packers’ web staff have more, less or the same access as any other reporter?

There is about a 45-minute window we have access to players with the rest of the media after practice wraps up. That time also coincides with lunch for the players. If that time doesn’t work for a particular player we need, our department can arrange to talk with him at a later time.

James from Clarkston, MI

Insiders, we have a problem! IT at my work has blocked the packers.com website on the WiFi network plus my desktop. What should I do? How else am I going to enjoy my lunch break if I can’t read II?

You need a new IT department or a new job, bro. Seriously, who blocks an NFL team website?

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, do you prefer to be the man who asks the questions (interviews) or the man who provides the answers (writes II)?

Definitely the former. I’m inquisitive by nature.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Is Miller Park big enough to host a NFL game like County Stadium did or will all games be at home at Lambeau?

Miller Park probably would be large enough, but I’d venture to guess we’ve seen the last time the Packers will ever leave Green Bay for a “home” game.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

So great to have “Packers Unscripted” back! Was Mike wearing his Bose noise-cancelling headphones while forgetting to mention his lunch of Campbell’s Chunky Soup or is “Packers Unscripted” in need of some new sponsorship?

I cannot believe you actually picked up on that, Derek. Our ad reads don’t start again until next week.

Chris from Mankato, MN

How does it work with small schools who don’t have a pro day? David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals, who played for Northern Iowa, attended the University of Minnesota’s pro day (Jerry Kill as head coach). My cousin was an All-American WR at Division II Winona State (MN) with similar measurables to Jordy Nelson, but did not participate in the University of Minnesota’s pro day in 2008 (Tim Brewster as HC). Is it up to the host college coach who may participate in their pro day?

*It can be a “who-you-know” deal. Justin and Jordan McCray were able to do a second pro day at UCF because of their connections to the program, which led to Justin’s contract with the Packers in 2017. I think NFL scouts also can place requests for state school kids to come work out. *

Jeff from Cedarburg, WI

Is there a Packers YouTube channel to which I can subscribe and binge-watch “Three Things,” “The Rock Report,” etc.?

There is now.

David from Janesville, WI

Guys, with "Optimism without expectations" added, how many embroidered pillows are we up to now?

Enough that it’s starting to make the closet difficult to shut.

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