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It's the game within the game

A lot can hinge on who wins the quarterback and cornerback battle


Eric from Maplewood, MN

Irons that need to be wrinkled out? Is inverting metaphors the new mixing metaphors?

I've always enjoyed playing around with common phrases in my every day speech. I guess I let it seep into the Inbox a little. Thank you very little.

Drake from Owens Cross Roads, AL

Hopefully, this should be the last about shutdown corners. Coldhardfootballfacts.com describes the passer rating differential (your QB's passer rating minus the other team's QB passer rating) as the mother of all stats because it is the single stat most closely correlated with victory. Driving the other QB's passer rating down, thus increasing the PRD, is a team effort, but it starts with the shutdown corner.

That's Dom Capers' creed. Cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt also likes to talk about how the play of your quarterbacks and cornerbacks are a strong indication of how far your team is going to go. I'd have to say he's correct based on recent years in the NFL. Dynamics between the quarterback and cornerbacks represent the game within the game. A lot can hinge on who wins that battle every Sunday.

Matt from La Crosse, WI

I came across an NFC East Q&A on ESPN about whether the Giants receiving corps is the best in the NFL or not. While all the writers acknowledged that the Giants don't have the best receivers in the league, only one of them even mentioned Green Bay. To me, it feels like our receivers are getting the respect that they deserve. Am I wrong for feeling that way?

I think they have to be in the conversation. Jordy Nelson is one of the best in the game, Davante Adams is a budding star and everyone has seen what Randall Cobb can do when healthy. I guess it depends on how far down the depth chart we're talking, but I can see the argument regarding the Giants' WR corps. If Brandon Marshall (now 33 years old) reverts back to his 2015 form, they could be as good as any trio in the league.

Kyle from Green Valley, IL

The scout team has always confused me. If there need to be 11 defensive players to give a scout team look, but there are only 10 practice-squad players (and not all of them play defense), who else participates? Coaches or third-string players? Or do they not have eleven guys out there?

Backup quarterbacks, assistants or anybody else who isn't busy with another task during that particular period.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

I thought the Jeff Janis/Jarrett Bush comparison was great due to their special teams play. Bush ended up coming in for Woodson after his injury and making a huge interception for us in the Super Bowl. The only difference between the two is that I felt as though every fan hated Bush (until that SB moment) and wanted him to be cut every year, while fans want Jeff Janis to be their No. 1 WR, CB, and POTUS, all while curing cancer.

That's a good way of putting it. Janis is talented, but it's interesting how fans and media have shoved these high expectations on his shoulders. I don't know of another seventh-round pick who has generated more buzz during my time following the team. I'm guessing it has something to do with his ridiculous testing numbers at the combine and his Midwest roots.

Tyler from Calhoun, GA

How come there are so few CFLers that make it to the NFL? Is the talent gap really that wide?

This is completely speculation on my part, but I've always felt the CFL and AFL seasons don't line up well with the NFL. The NFL offseason is usually in full motion at the time the minor leagues are beginning, and when they end, the NFL is in the regular season. That being said, the Packers seem to have an arena player or two in camp every summer. They've just been inactive for some time.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

Peters, Talib, and Gilmore? How soon we forget Sherman, Sherman, and Sherman.

Sure, man. Put him in that conversation, too. I guess I was thinking more of cornerbacks who have traditionally traveled against a No. 1 receiver. I'm not sure what the breakdown was last year, but Sherman used to be stationed on the left side in Seattle in the past. There are a handful of established cornerbacks who fall into that "shutdown" category. I was just wanted to mention a few who often get overlooked in the national narrative.

Tony from River Falls, WI

Besides the Packers' Super Bowl wins, which Super Bowl games are you favorites?

I hate to be that millennial who thinks the most recent game was the greatest, but this past year is going to be tough to beat considering it was the first overtime game and the greatest comeback in the game's history. I thought XLIX (Pats over Seahawks), XLVII (Har-Bowl) and XXXIV (Rams over Titans) were thoroughly entertaining and memorable, as well.

Patrick from Wallace, MI

Remember when Reggie Bush was drafted and he petitioned the league to wear his number 5 from college? With what we learned this year couldn't the Saints have listed him at QB or WR during his rookie year and then do a "position change" to RB? Wouldn't that make it a similar situation to Ty Montgomery?

As I understand the rule, Bush would have actually needed to play quarterback or receiver all year long to keep No. 5. I doubt the Saints were willing to go to those extreme measures for the sake of a number.

Ron from Andrew, IA

Will we see all new faces on kick and punt returns this year?

Micah Hyde's departure means the Packers likely will be looking at another punt returner to pair with Randall Cobb, who returned to the unit in a situational capacity late in the season. While Christine Michael was released, the Packers have Jeff Janis coming back on kickoffs. Once camp begins, I'll be looking to see whether Trevor Davis could make a run at a role on either return team. He certainly has the necessary speed for the job.

Paul from De Pere, WI

I read the article about . I understand versatility makes him valuable, however he is not good enough to start for GB at any one position. Would he start elsewhere? How do you value a reserve offensive lineman? What factors into it? If there was an overall depth chart for NFL linemen, where would he fall?

Barclay epitomizes what NFL teams look for in a utility lineman. He has experience playing all five positions and started for the better part of two seasons at right tackle. I think Barclay got a bum rap for what happened in 2015. He looked more like himself another year removed from that knee injury. I don't know where he'd fit on other NFL lines, but there is a dearth of starters in the league right now.

Tim from Singapore

What is the status on the Vince Biegel ankle issue? He can serve as a good bit player in 2017 if healthy. Will he be ready for the opening of training camp?

Mike McCarthy said at his charity golf invitational last month he expects Biegel to be back during training camp. Your guess is as good as mine whether he'll be cleared for the first practice on July 27.

Ken from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Do all practice-squad players have the same salary, and if so, what is their income?

There is a minimum all practice-squad players must be paid. It's roughly a quarter of what the league minimum is for rookies on the active roster. There is no maximum for how much you can pay a practice-squad player, though. The only catch is that salary counts against your cap. Some NFL teams will pay players the minimum base salary for a player on the 53-man roster to keep them from signing elsewhere.

Tom from Grafton, WI

Who are the best players around the NFL right now that started out on the practice squad?

I'd say James Harrison, Brent Grimes, Jason Peters, Cameron Wake, Danny Amendola, Danny Woodhead, Alex Boone, Malcolm Floyd, Larry Donnell, Marcus Sherels and Brandon Marshall (the linebacker) to name a few.

Doug from Cape Coral, FL

I've always admired Edgar Bennett, the smiling running back. He has risen up the Packers ranks from running backs coach, receivers coach and now offensive coordinator. What else should we know about Edgar? Any favorite stories about him?

My favorite Edgar story was during my first year on the beat when he and I traded glasses to see which one was blinder. I think I won, but his frames were cooler.

Clay from Des Moines, IA

I was thinking this morning about Micah Hyde. I wanted to read something about how he was doing, and all I could find was a small article debating who would be returning kicks this season in Buffalo. Thanks for all the great player articles you write, I enjoy the perspective and the opportunity to know more about each person on our roster.

We try. Thank you.

Myles from Phoenix, AZ

Since you have refused to address the issue, can you please let us know Ty Montgomery's new number? It will be too bad if I have to wear my No. 88 jersey all season.

This may be my new favorite Montgomery jersey question. I actually laughed out loud at this one.

Ben from Hilo, HI

Wes: Limonata, Aranciata or Pomplemo?


Jared from Pewaukee, WI

Which other profession most closely mirrors your current: Counselor or teacher?

I tend to see myself as a teacher in need of counseling depending on the day.

Tracy from Sioux Falls, SD

Wrinkled irons? Whose golf clubs does this describe?

I've always struggled to strike the ball consistently with my fairway woods. I'll never forget breaking my three-wood after plowing it into the ground at Pine Acres in the late 90s. My dad was less than pleased. Let's just say it never happened again.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Wes, tell us more about this nun. Was it a relative? A very chaste friend date? Was there just a nun in the theater and you sat next to her so you wouldn't be that guy alone in a movie theater?

It was my wife's aunt. She was visiting for the week and we decided to go to a movie. The fact we picked 'Nacho Libre' was a total coincidence.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Where does "I think we can run the table" rank on the Top 100 Sports Guarantees list? Is Joe Namath #1 or am I missing a different one?

I think No. 1 has to be Babe Ruth pointing his bat to the outfield before a home run, right? I'm not sure where "Run the table" ranks, though. What do y'all think?

John from Belleview, FL

I moved from Fond du Lac to Eureka, CA, in 1985 for a job opportunity with the local daily newspaper. I'll never forget getting to Redding and (after looking at the atlas) thinking, "we're almost there," not realizing I had three hours of zig-zag highway down the mountains to get to Eureka. I loved that town. No one judged you. I take it you have relatives there? I loved driving the highway with the misty mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Pure heaven.

It's a daunting drive. The last 12 hours from Spokane to Eureka were beautiful, but also stomach-churning at times with the constant zig-zagging through the mountains. It was totally worth it, though. I hadn't been out there to see my in-laws and godchildren in seven years. It's no Edisto, but you can't beat the ocean views.

Thomas from Vista, CA

Did you see the Avenue of the Giants? Enjoy a family meal at the Old Samoan Cookhouse?

Samoan Cookhouse is an absolute must. I've eaten breakfast there during each of our previous trips.

Larry from Portland, OR

It's not nice to tease us with the mention of going to Voodoo Doughnut without telling what your group had. Was it the Memphis Mafia or maybe Grape Ape, or the little guy with a pretzel thru his heart oozing red jelly?

I had the voodoo donut with the little pretzel in his abdomen. I'm a sucker for jelly-filled donuts.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, while discussing your vacation you mentioned you "...hauled a bunch of baby stuff back to Green Bay." Are you announcing a big event? Congratulations!

Thanks. It's been a long and exhausting journey at times, but my wife and I are thrilled.

Monty from Hazen, ND

Hey Wes, did you stop anywhere in North Dakota? Been here my whole life and absolutely love it here.

We stopped in Fargo, Jamestown, Bismarck and Beach. It was all very beautiful. It's also a pleasure to legally drive 80 miles per hour when traveling more than 2,000 miles to your destination.

Steven from La Crosse, WI

Biff, your comment about being surprised by the number of readers and questions for Ask Vic / Insider Inbox is definitely an interesting perspective into Packers fans' religious following of the team. What do the key stats for the Insider Inbox look like? What stat sticks out the most for you?

The most impressive thing to me is how quickly the numbers spike as soon as the column is posted in the morning. We're talking hundreds upon hundreds of readers in a matter of minutes. It's a credit to Vic and the community you guys have built here. I've grown to appreciate my small place in it.

Brian from Urbana, IL

Utililitarians say we're here to get the most happiness for all people. Stoics believed we were here to imitate nature and live a noble life. Many religious groups are founded on the idea of worship and sacrifice, though Buddhism focuses more on the purging of desire and self-identification. Existentialists claim we create life's meaning all on our own. Ketchmanists believe we should just win baby.


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