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The first two games will reveal things

How many receivers do the Packers keep?


Sherman from Blue Lake, CA

Mike, you wrote that more than anything, you'll miss your office arguments with Vic though the rest of your floor surely won't. So who had the louder voice, Vic or you?

Do you really have to ask that? Did you not watch the five years of videos we did together?

Paul from De Pere, WI

How did we get here? Can you give us any details on the evolution of the team (Vic, Mike, Wes) on the website?

As short as I can make this, I was the first full-time writer hired for back in 2006. I did the job solo for two seasons, with occasional free-lance help. Tom Fanning joined me in 2008 for three seasons. Vic arrived in 2011 as Tom moved into a non-web communications role, and now Wes came on board this past spring. But that's just the writers. The creation and evolution of our broadcast division is a whole 'nother story of this site's changes.

Sam from Evansville, IN

Am I crazy to say I think the first two games will decide how the Packers will perform this season? A Jaguars team on the rise with young talent and the Vikings' run game against our front line that is very young.

The first two games won't decide anything, but they will reveal just where the Packers' defensive line stands, to piggyback off of another question (Joe from Hartford, CT). It's the unit on the roster facing the most uncertainty early, I think, with one veteran suspended and two rookie draft picks needing to step in right away. The first two games also will signal whether the Packers are chasing the Vikings in the division, or vice versa.

Artemis from Bullhead City, AZ

Vic, if you could change one rule, for one position, what would it be? Thanks.

I would get rid of the illegal contact penalty on defensive backs beyond the 5-yard zone before the ball is thrown. As long as the receiver isn't being held and the ball isn't in the air yet, downfield contact should not be flagged, and certainly shouldn't be an automatic first down. Make it a true impediment to be a move-the-chains penalty.

Dan from Pyeongtaek, South Korea

We know of Vic's penchant for "Christmas Vacation." What's the trigger movie for you guys?

I'm very much in the Chevy Chase realm as well with "Fletch," "Caddyshack," and the original "Vacation." I could always drop a line from "Caddyshack" on Vic and make him smile, and if you read my Tuesday column, you know I'm a fan of "Bull Durham" among many baseball movies.

Corey of Whitehall, PA

Are we overlooking the significance of Sam Barrington returning from injury? I feel he was just beginning to make his mark in the league before he got hurt.

I agree, but you never know how a season-ending injury might affect a player's career. We just have to wait and see on Barrington. The important thing is the Packers have more viable options at inside linebacker now, with the development of Jake Ryan and the drafting of Blake Martinez, which hopefully would prevent one injury from sending Clay Matthews back inside.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Do you think five preseason games is an overall net positive or net negative for the team?

Ask me after the five games are over.

Jay from West Palm Beach, FL

Greetings from sunny Florida. Do you think it would be better to keep seven receivers on the Packers' roster rather than keeping that third running back? I feel like we'd be more dangerous by keeping all seven receivers and use Ty Montgomery or Randall Cobb in the backfield on occasion.

I don't discount that possibility. Wes and I have talked about it. But if the Packers keep only two QBs and one fullback, that's two extra roster spots that didn't exist last year to potentially keep seven receivers. So there are different ways to go about it. By the way, a heat wave of 90-plus temps begins today in Green Bay. I'll be glad when it's over.

William from Pittsburgh, PA

We know all about Vic's, but what are some of your formative football memories?

I've told a few stories in this space before. The first NFL game I attended was Packers-Bears at Soldier Field in December of 1984, the first year the Bears began holding their training camp in my hometown of Platteville, Wis. The QBs for both teams were so banged up that day, Walter Payton took a few shotgun snaps before anybody had uttered the word "wildcat," and Rich Campbell threw a game-winning TD pass in the final minute. As an aside, there was no "bike riding" tradition at Bears camp, but the thing to do was chase down players on their motor scooters, and coaches on their golf carts, for autographs.

Mark from Colorado Springs, CO

Love the new format and appreciate the different perspectives from Mike, Wes and Vic. Will Jared Cook be a "go" to kick off camp? He and Rodgers need to develop some chemistry and it could be a look-out season with this offense.

We won't know about the health of any players until Monday at the earliest, when McCarthy addresses the media, or Tuesday morning at the first practice. Your point about chemistry development is well-taken. I've been calling Cook the wild card for this Green Bay offense in 2016.

Bill from Bernards, NJ

Vic did his best to describe the difference between being a fan and working for a team. Mike and Wes, you grew up in Wisconsin. Do you view the Packers with the same detachment as Vic?

I'll be straightforward here, and it frankly has nothing to do with my roots: Working at Lambeau Field every day for 10 years now, this job is a lot more fun when the Packers win, but a victory or defeat doesn't change how I go about my work. It can't or I'm not being fair to the fans/readers. There was a job to do on that bus and plane in Seattle on Jan. 18, 2015, just as there was a job to do coming back from Chicago on Jan. 23, 2011. I don't share all the emotions of the typical fan, but I'm not completely emotionless about it, and I don't think Vic was, either. It's about holding yourself to a professional standard when it's called for, and I'd like to think I've done some of my best work after the toughest losses because it forces heightened focus. I leave you to be the judge.

Lee from Marshfield, WI

Hi Wes and Mike. I am always thinking ahead. With Sitton/Lang/Bakhtiari all up next year, the choice to me is obvious. David is the highest priority. Who would you choose?

The left tackle will command the biggest chunk of your salary cap, so you probably start there, but the cap is a puzzle with ever-changing sizes, both regarding the whole and its pieces. There are a lot of ways to make things fit.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Mike and Wes, please both answer this: One adjective, one adjective only. Describe soccer.


Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Hi Mike and Wes. If Brett Hundley turns out to be a potential successor to Rodgers, do the Packers pay up after his rookie contract and ask him to stay on as a backup for a couple more years? I realize conventional wisdom is to trade him for a first- or second-round draft choice, but is that penny wise and pound foolish? I mean if he is the real deal, pay him to stay!

If he's the real deal and Rodgers is still under 35, why would Hundley stay? As Ted Thompson likes to say, it takes two to tango.

Jim from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Wes or Spoff, are either of you occupying Vic's old office? Did he leave anything behind for you? Maybe a letter like the outgoing president does for the new guy?

Wes and I have cubes near each other, and Vic's office door has remained closed since he left for Edisto two days after the loss in Arizona. I'm sort of afraid to open it, you know what I mean?

Art from Williamson, SC

I don't like the style so far. It is more like a chat room than a sports column. I hope it gets better soon or I'm out of here.

Hang with us, Art. Let it grow on you. Different angles give us all greater depth.

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