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Resiliency has defined this team

New weapons should help open up the Packers' call sheets


Neil from South Range, WI

Ask any coach or player … they are referring to catching the ball at the high point of their jump. It's about the timing of the leap. This whole discussion on it is so maddening that I am sure that I just took the bait. But you guys seemed so serious.

I just want to mention this topic seriously brought out everybody. Unfortunately, I don't have much to add other than I've always kind of liked the phrase. Moving on.

Tim from Normal, IL

The hybrid role may seem cool on paper, but Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones are giving away 100 pounds to offensive linemen. Won't they get crushed on running plays?

There's an obvious disadvantage, but the best safetybackers can close the gap. One reason I felt good about the Packers moving Burnett to the line of scrimmage was how well he defended the run to that point of his career. Burnett mostly was used in only pass situations last year. The key is being able to fill your gap if the offense checks into a run. Burnett does that.

Collin from Mechanicsville, VA

Which three players have to stay healthy and have career years to return the Packers to the promised land? My votes go to Matthews, Clark, Burnett, and Cobb.

I have to point out that you asked me for three players and gave me four. A healthy Clay Matthews and Nick Perry on defense, and Randall Cobb on offense and special teams would be huge for the Packers. All three tilt the field. I'm excited to see how Green Bay plans to use Cobb this year with all the new weapons on offense.

Lee from Marshfield, WI

Since the first four games of a season are really about offenses getting into rhythm, in turn defenses don't truly come around until the fall air takes hold. What can we look for to see improvement on our defense? I know I am looking for speed and playing smart. What more can we look for?

I think this defense is going to be much more complex and difficult for opponents to prepare for. I like the balance at defensive line, cornerback and safety. Dom Capers can expand his call sheet depending on whom the Packers are playing.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

Now that Adams is out for a bit because of the foot injury, who gets his reps? Is it Price or Ringo? Or someone else I forgot to mention? Will the Packers also put Adams on PUP as well with Biegel and Goodson?

The Packers tend to work their rookies in at a slower pace at the beginning of camp, so it's not like Adams was taking a lion's share of the reps to begin with. It is still a chance for Ringo, Price and Izaah Lunsford to get a few more reps in individual and team periods. Adams is not eligible for the PUP list because he practiced during camp for two days.

Richard from Bradenton, FL

We know OL players talk and learn from each other and their coaches, but, do they talk with their DL teammates/coaches about improving skills, etc., and vice-versa? Vic blazed quite a trail, but you guys are blazing an impressive trail also. Thanks for all that you do.

Thank you. We try. The Packers routinely hold "across-the-hall" meetings, where the offensive and defensive coaches and players will get feedback from one another on a variety of things. If you've ever watched practice, you'll also see how often the two positions work with each other.

Trent from Green Bay, WI

In regards to all the "staying healthy" talk, maybe we should be taking a deeper look into players' conditioning. I rarely, if at all, hear any mention of yoga being a mainstream practice. Being a personal trainer and studying kinesiology for over a decade it seems incredibly beneficial to implement yoga as a regular activity in the NFL. Do you guys hear of or know any Packers that actively do yoga?

There are several Packers who do yoga to help with flexibility and injury prevention, including Mike Daniels and Randall Cobb. I'm no expert, but it seems to go a long way in preventing muscle-related injuries based on the stories I've done.

Sean from Portland, ME

Burnett and Clinton-Dix are likely the starting safeties and Jones and Brice could be Nos. 3 and 4 on the depth chart. My question is, is the third guy the first one off the bench regardless? Or does Jones specifically back up Burnett (or Clinton-Dix)?

The Packers cross-train their safeties, so one player has to sub in for another at a specific spot. That being said, Brice has been rotating in when Burnett moves to inside linebacker with Josh Jones backing up Clinton-Dix.

Tom from Chesterfield, VA

Jahri Evans has some serious mileage on him. Do you think it's likely that we'll get a full season at RG from him? I remember when we signed center Jeff Saturday under similar circumstances. He just wasn't up to it.

I don't see any reason why Evans wouldn't be up for it. He surprised a lot of people with how well he played for New Orleans last season. Evans is durable and should fit in well, especially in pass protection. As for the comparison, Saturday already was 37 years old in 2012. Evans will play this season at 34.

Taylor from Draper, UT

Lifelong Packer and BYU fan. How has Taysom Hill looked and how close is that third-string battle? Does his injury history scare the coaching staff? Anxious to see Taysom handing the ball off to Jamaal in green and gold this preseason.

It's early to give an in-depth report on Hill, but I've liked what I've seen. He's athletic and possesses a live arm. It was neat seeing him complete a deep pass to Williams during an individual period on Monday.

Mike from Somerset, WI

I am cautiously optimistic on the impact Josh Jones can have on the 2017 season. After all, he is a rookie. Who was the last defensive rookie on the Packers to make a huge impact on a season?

I guess you'd have to define "huge," but I thought Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made a very sizable impact during his rookie year. Casey Hayward was a finalist for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 after picking off six passes.

Nicholas from Asheville, NC

In regards to stashing players, the one that I'm suspicious about is injured reserve. How often are prospects placed on season-ending IR so they don't factor into the 53, when they'd probably recover in six weeks?

It's fairly common practice. Teams place injured players on IR at the end of the preseason until they can work out an injury settlement with the player.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

How is Justin Vogel doing with his punting opportunities so far?

He has a nice leg. Spoff made a pretty astute observation Monday. If you give him time, Vogel can punt the ball a country mile. All of his mishits tend to come when protection breaks down. He's making the most out of taking all the reps, though.

George from Hutchinson, MN

The Seahawks are tough and resilient. The Falcons are fast and explosive. The Cowboys are strong and powerful. The Patriots are well-balanced and consistent. Which one of the combined virtues above are the Packers most likely to possess?

It takes time for a team to forge its identity, but resiliency has defined Mike McCarthy's teams when you look at how the Packers bounced back in 2010, 2013, and the past two seasons. I think resiliency feeds into all the other adjectives you equated to those four teams, especially when it comes to consistency. It doesn't matter how talented a team is if it can't rebound from adversity.

Craig from Genoa, IL

What do you think the Packers need to do defensively to get off the field on third down? Seems like the last few years once the opponent starts driving, the Packers have a tough time stopping them until they get a field goal or touchdown; puts a lot of pressure on the offense to be consistently productive.

It's not just one thing, but it starts up front. The fastest way to pour sand out of the hourglass is to put pressure on the quarterback.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

Please get out your Sharpie and circle one game on the schedule. I was tempted to circle SEA Week 1, but that's emotional, knee-jerk stuff. I've got MIN, Week 16 at Lambeau circled up. That'll be the most important game of the season, in my opinion.

I'm circling the Week 17 game against Detroit. If the past five years have taught us anything, that's going to be a mighty important game.

Max from Milwaukee, WI

I agree with the Insiders on the importance of home-field advantage. Tom Brady's Patriots have never made the Super Bowl as a wild card and only twice out of six tries have they made the Super Bowl playing an away game for the AFC championship. The Patriots' success is in part due to the fact they get home-field advantage and a bye most seasons.

I agree. I'd also argue the Packers' route to the No. 1 seed has been more complicated due to their division, which is highly underrated. I don't think the North gets nearly enough respect considering it's sent seven teams to the postseason as wild cards since 2009. The South is next in the NFC with four. In the same span, the AFC East has had three wild-card playoff teams.

Brad from Mounds View, MN

Insiders, we've never got a good answer on why Montgomery was handed the starting running back position, especially when you draft three running backs. In my opinion Montgomery hasn't proved anything at this point. What are your thoughts?

Did you watch last season? Everything is fluid this time of year, but I think Montgomery did more than enough to be considered the starting running back. Receiver, running back or returner, Montgomery is a dynamic football player.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

To me statistics are nonsense for the two-point conversion. For a single conversion it depends on how likely you are to score against that opponent, and for the whole game it depends on how many touchdowns you're likely to score. A more interesting question is could a team successfully build a roster that would score a lot of touchdowns and make most of the two-point conversions?

Yes…but only if they signed Tebow.

Tony from River Falls, WI

I visited Lambeau this past Friday and it was great to be back in Green Bay! When I was a kid, my grandparents lived half a mile from Lambeau Field. I remember being able to hear the crowd from their house on game days, especially when the Packers scored a touchdown. One of my fondest early Packers memories. What is your favorite football memory when you were a kid?

Christmas games at Lambeau. It doesn't get any better.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Well, guys, football starts THIS Thursday. That is if they can figure out this whole paint thing. My question is, are you ready for some football?

I've tried to block that memory from my mind, Chris. Thanks for reminding me. Yes, I'm ready for football.

Doug from Union Grove, WI

Before I ask a question for my 97-year-old mother, who like me, attended the "Ice Bowl," I'd like to clarify something. Prior to Ty Montgomery wearing No. 88, there were 22 former Packers who wore No. 88, and only one, Eugene White, was not a receiver. He was a DB in 1954. All the rest were WRs or TEs. As you might guess, she was a fan of big Ron Kramer, also No. 88. Her question, with regards to Ty wearing No. 88 as a RB is, "What's up with that?"

Is that a direct quote? I sure hope so.

Dan from Norfolk, VA

Just saw "Three Things." How come Larry and Mike get microphones but Wes doesn't?

Spoff beat me in an arm-wrestling competition for the mic on Saturday. Fortunately, we switched to shuffleboard Monday and I reclaimed it.

Collin from Omaha, NE

Hey guys, I love the column and how you two have filled in after Vic's retirement, but it dawned on me that there will soon be a whole generation of readers who don't know who Vic is and will have no idea what we are talking about when he is brought up.

Then it's up to Spoff and me to make sure that doesn't happen.

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