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Is Randall Cobb headed for a big year?

Here's a potential new Pro Bowl pick on the Packers’ defense


Kyle from Spooner, WI

Mike, Vic always says "the baloney stops now," only he doesn't say baloney. What will you say at the opening kickoff Sunday and to whom will you say it?

I won't say anything. I'll be looking at my phone, and if I don't see that in a text message from Vic, I'll be very disappointed.

Dominic from London, UK

Hi, Insiders. Everyone seems really high on Jared Cook, and hopefully he can bring back the strong receiving TE presence Finley had. My question is, if he is as good as is being reported, why did the Rams cut him?

The Rams felt his salary was out of whack with his production, and they wanted the cap room. The Packers signed him for less than half the cap charge the Rams were going to incur by keeping him. What the Packers are banking on is that his statistics have been more a reflection of a slew of mediocre QBs throwing to him over the last seven years. He's never run a route for anyone approaching Aaron Rodgers' caliber.

Jay from Altoona, WI

With all the attention on the release of Sitton, the return of Brett Goode has seemingly been lost in the shuffle. How is it that Goode was able to return from an ACL injury after nine months while Jordy is well over a year past his injury?

No two ACL recoveries follow the same timeline. It really is true that every injury is different, even those with the same name. The positions played also could be a factor here.

Ronald from Tama, IA

Guys, with all the talk about Nelson and Cook I feel this will be a big year for Randall Cobb. What do you think?

I concur. Everything about Cobb's approach and demeanor, plus his training camp and preseason, point toward that for me. I wrote about it**way back in the spring**. I really liked Tom Clements' comment yesterday to the media: "Randall is not the biggest guy on our team, obviously, but he's one of the tougher guys. He played through a lot of pain last year, and you have to take your hat off to him for that. He's a dynamic player when he's healthy."

Ben from Hattiesburg, MS

Do you expect any increased difficulty re-signing guys like Lang, Tretter, or Bakhtiari after the Sitton release?

It's possible. Then again, I would think when push comes to shove, if the financial offer is in line with the market and those players will continue to have the opportunity to block for Aaron Rodgers and play for a perennial playoff contender, that would carry the day. But I can't speak for those guys.

Paul from Hewitt, WI

Under league rules, what team activities if any are those players on injured reserve allowed to do? Are the restrictions the same for Corey Linsley, who is on physically unable to perform?

Linsley included, they can do pretty much everything except practice.

Mike from Nashville, TN

Mike, do the Packers address grief and loss issues in situations like Sitton and the bond he had with his front line? Is sports psychology relevant here?

I don't know. I think the players understand if they let a business decision affect their play, another business decision could be coming, ya know?

Mike from Oklahoma City, OK

After the Sitton cut, and the mention made of the money our cap saves, it got me thinking about who Ted might re-sign, if anyone, during this season? Any leading candidates? Where can I find a list of all of Ted's midseason extensions?

I don't have that list in front of me, but Thompson has done it both ways. Both of Jordy Nelson's contract extensions (in 2011 and '14) were done well before the season was over. Last year, Mike Daniels was re-signed in December. On the flip side, Sam Shields, Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga are examples of re-signings that went right up to the start of free agency.

Jason from San Jose, CA

It sounds like Mike Daniels is setting the tone for the season right out of the gate. He wants to hit them in the mouth. I love his old-school mentality.

Daniels can give the quippy soundbite or the introspective analysis, depending on the setting and his mood. That's one thing I love about him.

John from Fairborn, OH

On Oct. 20, who is your pick? Mike Daniels or Josh Sitton?

No idea, but on Oct. 21 I promise to review the game film with a keen eye.

Alex from Kaukauna, WI

Insiders, I sure hope 87 is ready for the "Jordy Stopper." Always heard D. House gave him trouble.

That's been a cute storyline this week, but I don't think it means anything. The offense doesn't game plan for the defense in training camp, and vice versa. I'm more curious to see how the Jaguars employ their top pick, corner Jalen Ramsey. Will he shadow anyone or play one side of the field?

Matthew from Whitewater, WI

Hey guys! My band is playing at 1919 Kitchen & Tap this Friday and it would be super awesome if you guys came downstairs and checked us out! We play from 6-9!

Only if Wes pays for my beer. I've told him he owes me one for every Oxford comma he misses.

Mike from White, MT

Wes/Mike, please help me understand. Don Jackson makes the practice squad while Brandon Burks and Brandon Ross end up getting released despite surviving until September, instead of being released back in July like Jackson was. Burks seemingly had a respectable camp. How does Jackson rate the opportunity?

Jackson was waived early due to a non-football injury. He's healthy again, so the Packers want to see what he's got. Burks is now a known quantity, so we'll see what develops from here.

Chris from Roswell, GA

U.S. men's soccer played a Tuesday night game at EverBank Field in Jacksonville. Have you heard any concern about the field being ready to go on Sunday? Seems like an awfully quick turnaround for an NFL home opener.

As long as the paint supplier isn't from Canton, Ohio, it should be fine.

Ed from Henryville, IN

I hate to beat a dead horse but with Sunday being 9/11, I'm not sure if the Niners are playing, but if Kaepernick chooses to sit for the national anthem I know I will be severely ticked off. Freedom to protest and speech is his right. Doing that on 9/11 would be extremely distasteful. I'd like to hear your opinion on the situation.

I agree it would be in extremely poor taste, and he would deserve every ounce of criticism that comes his way. But I will reiterate that outside of a team or league conduct rule being in place, no one who does so should be punished or disciplined. Not in America. Turns out San Francisco plays on Monday night anyway, so he (we?) are spared his potential dilemma.

Adam from Wausau, WI

If Jimmy G plays well and the Patriots are 4-0 by the time Tom Brady is eligible to return, who starts in Week 5?

Joe Callahan.

Devin from Portland, OR

Insiders, which of the rookie DBs (Brice, Evans, Hawkins) on the final roster has impressed you the most and why?

Unlike the other two, Brice didn't have an interception in the preseason, but I thought he stood out on special teams the most. His athleticism also jumped out on the field the earliest in training camp to me, so I was watching him more, but it turned out those other two are no less athletic.

Andrew from Milwaukee, WI

After watching the Badgers kick butt at Lambeau, my thoughts immediately turned to how cool would it be if the Packers returned the favor and played a game at Camp Randall? What do you think the odds are of this ever happening?

Slim to none, and Slim's on vacation. The Packers are the economic lifeblood of the community here, so moving a home game simply isn't on the radar. The Packers used to play a preseason game at Camp Randall regularly, doing so 12 times in a 14-year span (1986-99), but not since. I don't know this for a fact, but I'd surmise they stopped the Madison trips when they needed to get the referendum on the ballot for public financing for Lambeau's renovation.

Eric from St. Louis, MO

When the Packers traded up to the spot in front of the Bears to grab Spriggs, the Bears immediately traded back, implying the Bears were going to draft Spriggs. Now they got the old lineman we couldn't sign and we got the young guy they wanted.

Now there's a healthy perspective.

Paul from Middleton

Donald Driver spent two years I believe on the practice squad. Now he's the Packers all-time receiving leader. What would you tell the kids on the practice squad?

Driver was never on the practice squad, but the Packers' all-time leader in sacks, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, was. All those guys have to do is look at players in the current locker room, like Jared Abbrederis, Justin Perillo, Christian Ringo, Joe Thomas and Chris Banjo, to find some inspiration. In addition to KGB, players from past years who began their careers on Green Bay's practice squad include Matt Hasselbeck, Craig Hentrich, John Jurkovic, Bill Schroeder, Scott Wells and Tramon Williams. There's a few Pro Bowl appearances in that list.

Kevin from Rice Lake, WI

Jacksonville gets to wear their away jerseys in a home game? I guess their advantage of lighter jerseys in the sun gets countered when they have to wear white in the snow. Is there a specific rule for jersey selection?

Home team picks.

Sam from Janesville, WI

Did Duke Bobber take a jab at Vic when he said "heat-absorbing home jerseys"? I haven't heard much about this topic this year.

Damn, he beat me to it.

Dave from Graham, WA

What is the rule on the third QB getting into the game if he's inactive that week? Do both the starter and backup have to be injured?

It doesn't work that way anymore. Back in 2011, the NFL expanded the active gameday roster from 45 to 46 players. Previously, at 45 players, a "third QB" could be designated as one of eight inactive players, and if he entered the game before the fourth quarter, the first two QBs were ineligible to return to the game. Now, if a team wants to have the ability to put a third QB in the game, he must be active on the 46-man gameday roster. There's no special provision.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Mike, I don't see Pressley on the 46 this Sunday, but moving forward as he learns the offense, if Lacy and Starks are healthy, do you see him active as a change-of-pace third back and pass-catcher, or is he just an insurance policy if Starks or Lacy gets injured?

Whether or not Pressley is active on a given Sunday will depend on his potential contributions on special teams first. After that, I think he could be a change-of-pace back, but the Packers prefer their backs to be every-down guys so they can function in the no-huddle. He's got a lot to absorb.

Ben from Radford, VA

Insiders, give me one player who did not make the Pro Bowl last year that you feel has a good shot of making it this year.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Louis from Coral Springs, FL

Hey guys, no Josh Sitton questions I promise. Do the Packers have a "Swiss army knife" player? If so who is it or who could it potentially be?

My first response is to say Micah Hyde. He can play any position in the defensive backfield, return punts and kicks, and if the offense needed a skill player in a dire emergency, I have no doubt he could fill in there, too.

Josh from New Berlin, WI

Insiders, I read Biff's article on inside linebackers, and I am amazed at the trust Dom Capers is placing in Martinez and Ryan. I am worried, that the defense is relying so heavily on first- and second-year talent (Clark, Martinez, Ryan, Rollins, and Randall). I understand it is a young man's game, but they're called "rookie mistakes" for a reason. My question is this: Do you still see the Packers' defense as being capable of making the top 10, or are we looking at yet another season of shootouts?

I think those are two extremes without much middle ground, so I don't look at it that way. Matthews, Peppers, Guion, Daniels, Perry, Burnett and Shields provide a ton of experience on defense, and no team can have seasoned veterans everywhere. The cap won't allow it. The defense has been on the rise the last couple of years. Let's see how this version comes together.

Chad from La Crosse, WI

With regards to the communication devices in the helmets, can Mike McCarthy hear the defensive play calls from Dom Capers to the defensive play-caller? Can McCarthy also talk to Blake Martinez, or is Capers the only one who can talk to the defense and McCarthy the only one able to talk to the offense?

The communication helmet on the field is a one-way radio from the coach to the player. In the Packers' case, that's Capers to Martinez and McCarthy to Rodgers. The defensive and offensive coaches are also in communication via their headsets on separate channels, and I believe McCarthy has a channel switch that allows him to listen in, or jump into, any of the ongoing conversations.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

Guys: I, for one, would very much like to hear how Joe Callahan became a Packer. How did Ted and his scouts unearth this gem? This sounds like a great off-the-beaten-path story.

They're never going to tell us, even if we had access to the scouts. QB coach Alex Van Pelt**had a great comment**yesterday, though, when asked what he thought when he was asked by the scouts to take a look at the film of a Division III prospect. He said, "Hey, you don't luck into throwing 130 touchdown passes."

Matt from Fort Bragg, NC

Hey Vic, did you know that when you look up Edisto Island on Wikipedia, you are listed as a notable resident?

Are Flip and Flop on there, too?

Billy from Hoboken, NJ

When is Spoff's next day off, so we can plan for big news?

It's the regular season now, so it'll be a while, but I'll try to give you a heads-up.

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