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Life has its tradeoffs

A lot of development to watch at wide receiver


Stephen from Chicago, IL

Insiders, Alex Honnold recently climbed El Capitan (a 3,000-foot climb) in four hours...with NO ROPE! I can't think of a better speaker for a team to listen to on the importance of preparation and doing EVERYTHING right the first time. That said, what is the most unusual, non-football speaker, you've ever heard a coach bringing in to talk to his or her team?

Two years ago during training camp, McCarthy had Erik Weihenmeyer – the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest – speak to the team. I wish I'd gotten to hear that speech.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

Seth from Stevens Point, WI, must not realize how healthy the Packers were at the end of 2014.

They were as healthy as could be, except for the QB's calf. As others have pointed out, the Packers weren't exactly healthy in 2010, either, but they were healthy at the right time.

Monty from Hazen, ND

For the most part, All-Pro kickers and punters play in warm-weather or domed stadiums. I think it's time to give Mason Crosby the props he deserves. Shouldn't he be considered as one of the great kickers in the game?

I think he is, even though he doesn't have the Pro Bowl selections on his resume. Your question prompted me to look into why he's never been chosen, and I realized how tough a nut it can be to crack. Only two make it, first of all, and Crosby's best chance, statistically, was in the 2013 season when he came back strong from his rough year. He was 33-of-37 (89.2 percent), including a perfect 22-of-22 from under 40 yards and a career-high five makes (out of seven) from 50-plus. The picks that year were Baltimore's Tucker (38/41, 92.7, incl. 6/7 50-plus) and Denver's Prater (25/26, 96.2, 6/7 50-plus). With Prater in the Super Bowl, New England's Gostkowski was the alternate (38/41, 92.7, 5/6 50-plus). Not an easy crowd. But it's all good, because if Tucker doesn't make the 61-yarder on Monday night at Ford Field in the last minute to beat the Lions in Week 15, the Packers probably don't make the playoffs. Life has its tradeoffs.

Bill from Oskaloosa, IA

Mike, that was hilarious how you spotted the judge looking at the back of the dictionary. Kind of like Aaron looking at the defense pre-snap. You missed your calling!

My football mind could not, would not, will not, cannot, won't not ever compare to Aaron's.

Matt from East Lansing, MI

Mike, as for future Hall of Fame QB/RB combos, the first that came to my mind was Favre/Peterson. I really feel like Minnesota had the strong defense and QB/RB combo of the 21st century to take them the distance in 2009, but I cannot say I lost sleep over what happened to them in New Orleans that year.

I didn't consider that one because they were together only two years, and Peterson is not in the HOF yet (though he obviously will be). That game against the Saints depicted so much about Favre's career on both sides of the coin, and Peterson's fumbles that day were a huge problem. If he ever gets another shot at a Super Bowl, he will have a ton of personal redemption on the line.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Guys, speaking of flex scheduling and Monday Night Football ratings, will the day ever come where Monday Night Football will get to flex their games?

I don't see how the NFL could change the day of a game on 12 days' notice like that. What the league does to ticketholders with the Sunday flexing is inconvenient enough.

Steve from Broadstairs, England

How many prime-time games have the Packers been given for this upcoming season?

Five, as of now. Same as last year, and it went to six when Week 17 was flexed. This year, I see three potentially "flex-able" noon games in December depending on the NFC playoff picture, but we're a long way from that. For those wondering, to my recollection, the Packers have been flexed out of a scheduled Sunday night game only once, in 2013 when Rodgers was injured.

Del from Sterling, IL

What do you think about Cutler moving to the broadcast booth?

I hope he doesn't lose his unfiltered honesty.

Tim from La Crosse, WI

Back in July they were talking about Golden State vs. the Cavs in a rematch and in the playoffs there was little resistance for each of them to meet each other for a third straight time. The lack of parity can't be good for the NBA. Do you think the parity in the NFL is one of the main reasons why the NFL continues to be the most popular sport?

It's one of them. One game a week to gear up for and the fantasy football craze, along with a healthy dose of competitive balance, are key elements.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

Let me ask you something, how 'bout them Brewers?

Would have been nice to see them finish off that ninth-inning comeback yesterday, but they're hanging in there.

Jeff from Albuquerque, NM

I'm loving "The Rock Report." I want more. Any way you guys could double the length?

That's up to Larry, but anyone in a hurry who wants a two-minute Packers fix, you can't beat it. He and his crew have produced**a half dozen in the last two weeks**. They're gold.

Zach from Honolulu, HI

Guys, with all the talk about football movies I'm surprised "Friday Night Lights" doesn't get more mention. I've always considered it one of the better football movies ever made precisely because it has genuine drama, a star athlete breaking down crying after an injury ends his career, and the human confrontation of that final drive which just fell short.

The book that started it all – the movie, the TV show – was a gem.

Wesley from York, UK

I think the tanking "problem" is solved already, by the salary cap floor, 89 percent. However this is over four years. Maybe it could be tightened up, if there is strong evidence of teams tanking. The main issue is where do you draw the line between willfully losing games for draft picks, and cutting guys on high salaries to rebuild your roster?

Exactly. That's why I think any potential league intervention would be prompted by how things play out on Sundays, not in offseasons in front offices.

Daniel from Albuquerque, NM

Insiders, any idea when training camp opens and what days will be open to the public? My family and I are coming to Wisconsin this summer and want to visit Lambeau. Lining that up with an open training camp practice would be great.

Players will report for camp July 26, with the first practice slated for the next day. That, and**Family Night**, are the only things announced so far, but we should get the full camp schedule soon. Most practices in camp are open. Generally speaking, the only ones that aren't are the day before preseason games.

Babarinde from La Habra, CA

Do you believe Ty Montgomery is really a full-time running back or do you think Mike McCarthy is planning on using Ty's ability to motion out and play wide receiver as a tool in this offense?


Mike from Beloit, WI

Hey, Mike! Brandon from Appleton had a question yesterday in regard to Holmgren leaving. I've always wondered about that split. Do you believe if Holmgren knew that Wolf was thinking retirement he would have stayed and filled both positions? Conversely, if Wolf had known of Holmgren's intention to leave would he have retained Andy Reid? I guess I have always believed both to be true.

I'm not sure what Wolf's thoughts were on Reid at the time, but regarding Holmgren, I don't think Wolf had any thoughts of retiring in a couple of years after Holmgren left. So there was nothing for Holmgren to know or discuss.

Sam from Sussex, WI

Does having Martellus Bennett (and company) help the defense prepare to defend the middle when it comes to game day? I like the idea of both sides of the ball improving because of the talent at the tight end position.

It certainly doesn't hurt.

Lucas from Stevens Point, WI

I've had some buddies, as well as seeing a few podcasts, saying the Packers should pick up Maclin. While he's super quick, and they argue he could be our field-stretcher, I really don't like the idea. I'm expecting Geronimo to make a jump, and while he doesn't seem to be super-fast, he's a glider just like A.J. Green, whose long strides beat DBs.

Let's not start comparing Allison to one of the game's best, but I'm with you on seeing what develops in the young guys you have, barring a rash of injuries. I'm not sure there's room on the roster for all the investments the Packers have made at receiver the last two years – Allison, Davis, Dupre, Yancey – but you're not going to help their growth by taking their reps away.

Nicholas from Asheville, NC

So, at what point does Kaepernick sign with a team? Does it take a major injury to a playoff team without a capable backup? Or does someone like the Browns wait till they realize they literally have no QB during the preseason and take a chance on him? Are the terrible teams trying stall in order to sell as many tickets as they can before taking the inevitable PR beating? It's like Tim Tebow all over again. The man's become untouchable.

I think your first scenario is the most likely.

Joshua from Mankato, MN

All these stories about being picked last are pathetic. When I was in junior high, we held an annual intra-school track meet. I was a miserable athlete, so I went for broke and tried to lose all three of my events (100-meter dash, long jump, 400-meter relay). I spent weeks recruiting the worst relay team possible. On the day of meet, I lost my solo events with ease. The relay was tighter, but I ran anchor to assure we'd place last, which we did ... until the officials announced another team had been disqualified. And so it was, I had tried to fail and failed trying. You don't know failure until you fail at failing. Also, I once split the seam of my gym shorts doing squats in weights class. The only saving grace was I'd borrowed another boy's shorts that day. He had weights class the following period. Tough day for him. Can we be done with the sob stories now? None of you losers loses better than me.

So you've got that going for you, which is nice.

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