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Opportunity is what you make of it

The summer will showcase the Packers' plans for defense


Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, what's the balance for fans in watching the roster with interest without getting attached to certain players on the fringe, i.e., the RBs? I love the good work you've put out on who they are and their talents.

Everyone knows my opinion when it comes to young players – be excited, but also realistic. It's better to keep your expectations modest and be surprised than be let down by rookies being rookies. At the same time, this is an interesting collection of talent the Packers have assembled, particularly at running back.

Maxwell from Milwaukee, WI

Davante Adams was the 101st rated player, so he just missed out on the "Top 100." What I love about the show is the copious amounts of Mike Daniels' commentary they are using. I think he has a future on TV.

Daniels has a larger-than-life personality, which I think has been showcased during his few appearances on "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network. He's passionate but articulates his viewpoint in a way that isn't just a meaningless hot take. I've always felt he and T.J. Lang could do well for television once their careers are over.

Malte from Odense, Denmark

As we know the Packers drafted four defensive players this year. Who do you think fits the best in Dom Capers defense?

They all fit, but I'm going to put Kevin King at the top of that list after talking with Washington defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake this past week. He said King is perfect for the kind of system Green Bay runs. He's strong enough to press receivers at the line, can run step-for-step with guys down the field and is versatile enough to move inside if you need him to match up with a tight end.

Joe from Hartford, CT

My question keeps sliding down the board and I think it is at least second-round material. Who was the last "tryout" player to make the 53-man roster?

*It's complicated. Technically, I guess the answer to your question is Brandon Burks, a rookie out of Troy in 2016. He survived the cut to 53, but was released the following day after the Packers claimed Jhurrel Pressley. Prior to that, I think it was former Miami (Fla.) defensive end Luther Robinson, who was promoted to the active roster midway through the 2014 season. *

Sean from Saint Peters, MO

There seems to be a lot of talk about King being a rare talent at the position of CB, but yet he wasn't selected by any team in the first round with several CBs taken before him. Was the CB talent that strong this year?

Yes and it would've been stronger if it hadn't been for Sidney Jones' torn Achilles. You're right. King wasn't a first-rounder, but the league thought enough of him to extend an invite to the draft. He could've just as easily gone in Round 1 in a redraft.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, over the past week I've read several comments that this year's draft and FA moves received a heavy input from Eliot Wolf and Coach McCarthy. What are your thoughts on this?

I don't think that's unusual. Wolf is one of the most respected personnel evaluators in the league and Ted Thompson always has had open lines of communication with McCarthy. Thompson makes the final decision, but he carefully weighs the opinions of his scouts and coaches.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

In an 18-game schedule, does six division games feel like enough? Could they add one or even two?

I personally love the balance of a 16-game schedule with 32 teams. Six division games, a round of games against an NFC division, another against an AFC division and two matchups with comparable NFC division opponents. Could something be worked out where you face two comparable AFC opponents whom you're not facing in the non-common matchup? That's the only way it would be formulaically fair in my estimation.

Tom from Raymond, WI

Do some players immediately stick out and show they belong or don't belong? There have been some highly drafted players that I've seen play in August and I thought, man, that was a waste of a draft pick. Conversely, I've seen UDFAs look like studs and have good careers. How soon is this apparent to coaches?

That's one of the most fun things about training camp. For instance, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is a guy who looked the part from the beginning. Did he make mistakes at times? Of course, but his athleticism was obvious to even the most casual observer. There also have been times where you can tell early on a rookie draft pick might not be able to play at this level. Sometimes they turn it around and sometimes they don't.

Tony from Menasha, WI

The topic of Josh Jones and the S/LB hybrid player is interesting to me. The biggest piece returning to my mind is, which player typically defends a tight end? Usually a safety (usually quicker but maybe not as strong of a tackler) or a linebacker (usually slower but can hit harder). With more of the big, athletic, physical tight ends playing (Gronk, Bennett, Graham, etc.), doesn't a S/LB hybrid make perfect sense?

The Packers now have three different players with unique skillsets – Morgan Burnett, Jones and King – who could potentially line up across from athletic tight ends depending on matchups. I was asked the other day what the starting defense looks like on paper right now. I honestly couldn't tell you and I think that's the most exciting part. The summer will showcase the Packers' plans for defense.

Matt from Hartford, WI

Five running backs all competing for three spots. How can one distinguish themselves if they are a free agent, the incumbent is 99.9 percent guaranteed to stay, and playing time is difficult to split evenly among just three running backs in preseason?

The same way Kentrell Brice, Geronimo Allison and Marwin Evans distinguished themselves at crowded positions last summer. You have to make the most of your snaps regardless of whether you get 10 or 50. The opportunity is what you make of it.

Steve from Barnhart, MO

A lot of attention has been focused on the replacement of Lang right guard. Seems like there are a number of players to compete for the starting role as well as backup. However, I have not heard the plan for center to back up Linsley should he get injured. Is there a viable replacement on the roster since Tretter has left?

Don Barclay played a lot better at center than people gave him credit for last preseason and was the backup for the first two months of the season when Linsley was out. The Packers also return Jacob Flores on the practice squad. My guess is Kofi Amichia will get a chance to work there, as well.

Ron from Stamping Ground, KY

My question is concerning the trade of Lerentee McCray last year to the Bills for a conditional seventh-round pick. Were the terms of the trade met and did the Packers receive that selection, or do the Bills keep their pick?

I don't know it for a fact, but my guess is the conditions were met. McCray was on the Bills' roster all season, recording 16 tackles in 13 regular-season games.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Was Brett Goode released or just not re-signed? Is there a technical or semantic difference? I don't see him on the roster.

Goode became a free agent at the end of the 2016 season. Derek Hart is currently the only long-snapper on the roster, but that doesn't necessarily mean the door is closed on Goode returning. He was re-signed Week 1 of last year.

Dave from Sparta, WI

JD's question got me thinking yesterday. When will we see helmet or body cameras incorporated into the game? Plenty of issues on safety, concealing team signals/huddle secrets to get around...but that would sure bring action to my living room!

That seems to be the way things are going. Everyone wants to be closer to the action, whether it's the information they're consuming on TV or with handheld devices, like Snapchat.

Andy from Columbus, TX

I do applaud, in a philosophical sense, Coach M. showing a video and expounding on the rich tradition of the Packers. If however, I am a tryout player, I would much rather be spending that time showing off my skills as there is such a small window of opportunity. Have any of the tryout people said as much?

First, tryout players aren't available to the media because they're not under contract with the Packers. Second, I don't think they would mind learning about the organization they're trying to play for. Third, the video was shown on the first night players were in Green Bay. The on-field work didn't begin until Friday.

Matt from Kansasville, WI

Just thinking outside the box like my man TT this morning. With the recent guys drafted at D-back I was thinking Mr. Janis would look good on the other side of the ball. He's got the speed, he is a demon on special teams that can tackle and we all know how the Pack like their projects.

Janis isn't moving, y'all.

Sean from Eustis, FL

Insiders, I've asked before, can you name UFAs we've lost over the last six or seven years and the names of compensatory picks we chose?

2017: CB Casey Hayward (RB Aaron Jones)

2016: CB Davon House (LB Blake Martinez), CB Tramon Williams (DE Dean Lowry)

2015: OL Evan Smith (DL Christian Ringo), WR James Jones (TE Kennard Backman)

2014: WR Greg Jennings (TE Richard Rodgers), LB Erik Walden (WR Jared Abbrederis)

2013: DE Matt Flynn (DL Josh Boyd)

2012: Lost seven players (Mike Daniels, Jerron McMillian, Andrew Datko and B.J. Coleman)

Jeff from Arlington, VA

Can a team sign players off another team's practice squad? Is the original team compensated somehow?

Every player on the practice squad is technically a free agent. They can sign onto the active roster of any team at any time, though many teams will try to keep players by either promoting them to their own 53 or giving them a raise to stay. If a player leaves, the new team must pay that player for at least three weeks.

Michael from Federal Way, WA

Hey Insiders, I read a rumor recently that the Pack could be interested in signing Elvis Dumervil to help build up the pass rush. I immediately thought "sounds good to me."

I despise rumors. Credible reports? Fine, let's talk, but most of these so-called rumors are just drummed-up content websites used to lure clicks. I'm not a fan.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Do you think Julius Peppers believes he has a better shot at getting that elusive Super Bowl ring with the Panthers, or is it always about the money?

I think it's about finishing where he started. There's something poetic about coming full circle in an NFL career that's already spanned 16 seasons.

Richard from Yankton, SD

Do you think it's possible to have two RBs that go over 1,000 yards in the same season?

I don't think we're going to see it anytime soon. Everyone is passing the ball and putting the future of their franchise in the hands of a quarterback. It would take pretty unique circumstances for two running backs to get that many opportunities.

Lester from Plymouth, MN

Hypothetically, if the Packers and Vikings met in the NFC Championship Game played in MN and the Packers won, would they have a "home field" type advantage for the Super Bowl?

Well, they certainly wouldn't be jet-lagged.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Break out your crystal ball and give us the under/over on 11 wins this season.


Todd from Raleigh, NC

Insiders, of those who were on IR last year, who will make the biggest impact coming off injury this season?

Demetri Goodson is the only player still on the roster out of the seven who finished the season injured reserve. So I guess I'll go with Meech.

Dan from Houston, TX

What would you be if you weren't a reporter?

My backup plans were NFL agent or history professor. After getting to know agents over the last five years and understanding the business more, I'd definitely go the history route if this line of work falls through.

Darin from Madisonville, KY

In response to Larry's question yesterday about the 1-3-7 package, I think it's important to keep in mind that likely one or two of those guys won't be available at some point during the season, possibly even the beginning.

I miss Psycho. 1-5-5 for the win, baby.

Michael from Fredonia, WI

Wes, please tell Mike about the greatest cereal ever: mini Frosted Mini-Wheats. His son will thank you.

My wife is a fan. I usually only eat it when I run out of Wheaties.

Mike from Hartland, WI

Wes, Aaron Rodgers is The Dude. Who, on the Packers is Walter? I hate to even ask who, on the Packers, is most like Donny, but it would have to be one of these new punters, right?

Great question. If he were on the team, I'd definitely say Tom Crabtree. Maybe David Bakhtiari?

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Is it true that Monday through Saturday the BAW (Best Available Writer) gives the BAA (Best Available Answer) to the BAQ?

Pretty much. Next writer up.

Matt from Lansing, MI

When I was attending college at UW-Stevens Point I once went to a talk about statistics in sports scheduling. It is crazy the amount of stuff that goes into creating these schedules.

I watched the video on last month where**the head of NFL scheduling explained the process**. I then developed an enormous headache in my eye. Class dismissed.

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