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The most dangerous chip often is undrafted

The potential is there on the defensive line


Spencer from Golden, CO

Hey Insiders, how much do you agree or disagree with the sentiment that pro football players don't have the same passion for the game as college players?

Somebody show me a college player with more passion than Mike Daniels. I'll wait.

Evan from Rochester, NY

Is it just me or is our defensive line going to be nasty good this year?

I had a chance to talk with Ricky Jean Francois for a quite a while Thursday with a few other reporters. He talked about a meeting where the new defensive linemen were asked to stand up and only three did. I think that underscores the experience the Packers return at that position. If it can stay healthy, that group could be a major strength for this defense in 2017. The potential is there.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

I have more of a statement than a question and would like your opinion on it, please. I for one think Randall and Rollins will play with a chip this season. Both had significant injuries last year and didn't play up to par, so some fans want to throw them under the bus, Being a first- and second-round pick, I'm sure McCarthy will give them every chance to show they can play at a high level.

Groin and core muscle injuries don't heal overnight. At the same time, as a team, you have to play with the cards you're dealt. It was a long, rough season for Randall and Rollins, but nobody is questioning their potential. Who knows? Maybe we'll be talking about one or both of them the way we are about Davante Adams at this time next year.

Bryce from Ames, IA

Wow, Davante Adams had a heck of a season and him not making the "Top 100" surprised me. Do you think he could be even better in production next season?

I think the most promising aspect of Adams' game is he doesn't turn 25 until Christmas Eve. The future is bright for the young receiver. He's putting everything he has into fulfilling it.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

What's the biggest adjustment for kickers and punters from college to the NFL?

There are big adjustments all specialists have to make going into the pros. Kickers have to get used to different hash marks and pressure. Punters have new formations and alignments. Long-snappers have to block a lot more than they did in college. It's a whole new world.

Robert from Orem, UT

Many people claim they are the biggest fans of the Packers. What's a story of one of the biggest you have met or heard of?

Easily Frank Lamping, who was inducted into the Packers Fan Hall of Fame earlier this year. You can**read the entire story of his journey**, but Frank has to be one of the most upbeat, positive and inspirational individuals I've ever met. I'm a better person for having met him in February.

Mike from McFarland, WI

When I'm thinking about taking a new job, I call friends who used to work there to get their honest take on the new boss. Are free agents the same way? Do they call someone on another team to ask what it was like working with the position coach? Or do they fear their decision being leaked to the press?

Players are always talking to one another about potential landing spots. You have to. These decisions have such major implications both personally and professionally. It's only human to want to gain as much information as possible to make an informed choice.

Paul from Minneapolis, MN

I look forward to Cliff's weekly Packers history lessons as much as I look forward to your daily column. Do other teams have someone like Cliff to keep tabs on their history like the Packers?

There is only one Cliff Christl. He's a bulldog. He's tenacious. He's a legend and one of the best to ever pick up a notepad. is lucky to have someone of his stature on staff. I've never met anyone who knows more about the team or its history.

Bruce from Cable, WI

I have expressed my opinion on this earlier; however, when the question about all of the successful No. 12s came up it reminded me again. Lynn Dickey also wore No. 12. I honestly believe had it not been for a series of severe injuries he would have been in the top five all-time Packers quarterbacks. Your thoughts?

This is Cliff's territory, but I'd argue Dickey is on the cusp of being one of the top five all-time quarterbacks in Packers history if you're basing it strictly on production in Green Bay. Starr, Rodgers, Favre and Herber are locks. It's probably Dickey or Isbell, no? Am I missing anyone?

Nick from Lima, OH

Earlier in the Inbox it was mentioned that you can patch but favor youth. With a group like the Packers that is one or two players away from a Super Bowl, why wouldn't we patch the ILB spot with a veteran free agent?

If only it were that simple. The NFL is not checkers. Just because you may think position X is the position where the Packers need to improve, it doesn't necessarily mean that's the spot that's going to make the ultimate difference eight months from now.

Bill from Iowa City, IA

If injuries pile up at outside linebacker, how well could the defensive lineman provide an outside rush?

Don't mistake unproven depth for lack of depth. The Packers have options behind Nick Perry and Clay Matthews in Kyler Fackrell, Jayrone Elliott and Vince Biegel. Let's see how training camp plays out before we start penciling in emergency backups. They cross-train for those situations, but that's not the driving force this time of year.

Scott from Palatine, IL

Is there a possibility Jamaal Williams had anything to do with them bringing in Pearson for a look? They were college teammates; would the front office ask players from the current draft class about undrafted players to get an inside scoop on their work ethic, football IQ, etc.?

The Packers' personnel department handles everything related to player acquisitions, but I, too, found it coincidental they now have Taysom Hill, Williams and Pearson all on the roster.

Zach from Honolulu, HI

With Jake Schum gone, it leaves the team with a UDFA rookie out of Miami as our only punter. I'm guessing the Pack will bring in some competition, but what have you guys seen out of Vogel during OTAs so far?

I can't say I've seen much yet since the Packers haven't punted during the two public practices. Everything out of Miami (Fla.) suggests he has the proper tools and leg talent. It is **a huge opportunity for Vogel**. You never know what the future will hold, but this is his chance to state his case for the job.

Tom from New York, NY

An alien race has taken over Earth and they give you one question to save humanity. Do you choose a punter who is a master of placement or distance? Choose wisely.

Placement. Accuracy beats power every time.

Jeff from Marquette, MI

I have a feeling that this is the year the defense makes a big jump. They did well against the run last year but were torched in passing. Do you guys have the feeling that this is the year they crack the top 10 overall? I do. Can't wait for the offseason to be over.

The "Top 10" label doesn't really matter too much to me other than it demonstrates consistency. I won't argue that's the most important attribute for a team at any level. There is good reason to be optimistic about the defense based on the moves the Packers made this offseason. There's no reason they shouldn't be shooting for that goal.

Robyn from Bethesda, MD

Hi Spoff, Wes, and Vic. How is Kentrell Brice doing during OTAs? I'm hearing he's been getting a lot of work in along with Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. I'm still impressed by how hard that kid can hit. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him this season.

As important as Burnett and Clinton-Dix are to the defense, Brice and Evans could be serious wild cards for the Packers. Both players contributed last year on special teams and will be competing for roles on defense this summer. Brice got off to a nice start last year in that dime package. He hits like a truck and has that chip on his shoulder. The most dangerous chip is often undrafted.

Jason from San Jose, CA

So to piggyback on the Kuhn question, when the Saints come to Lambeau and the possibility that he scores, will the Packers fans still chant Kuhn? At the very least maybe for a short run they would?

I don't think there's any doubt he'll get a proper ovation the first time he hits the field. Once the game starts, however, I'm guessing the loyalties will shift back to the home team. After all, there's a game to win.

Jay from Land O Lakes, FL

Hi guys, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most important, how would you rate the importance of "starting player health" to the team's success in that year? I am referring to the overall health of the starting team, excluding the QB position (that is a 10 for sure). I would rate player health a 9 out of 10 as far as its importance to any team's success.

No question about it. The investment every NFL team is making in recent years into the research and development of strength and conditioning speaks to that.

Collin from Naperville, IL

Where does Calvin Johnson rank in your all-time receivers? I missed Jerry Rice in his prime and only got to witness him as a Seahawk, but it's hard for me not to put Calvin in my Top two if not first. Obviously retiring after nine years eliminates his chances of being in the greatest-of-all-time conversation due to an incomplete resume, but the closest physically to him I've ever seen is LeBron.

Like you, I caught the tail end of Jerry Rice's career, so it's hard for me to compare generations. However, Johnson is the greatest receiver I've covered as a writer. I used to love watching the chess match between him, and Sam Shields and Tramon Williams. It was football at its finest.

Eric from Rothschild, WI

With all the discussion here and on about best receivers, why is Don Hutson omitted? Given the stats (just shy of 8,000 yards, 99 TDs, 16.4 yards per catch average). His 1942 season really stands out, especially in the era of football it was. Last reason, some of his records still stand to this day (consecutive league leaders and touchdowns/points in a quarter). Thanks for reading and I will gladly keep reading the Inbox.

Any list of all-time great receivers that doesn't include Don Hutson isn't a true list of all-time great receivers.

Woody from Crawfordsville, IN

Montgomery is now a running back. Four-year life span, WR is a 10-year gig. Good for the Pack, is it the best move for him?

Where on earth did you get those figures? Montgomery understands playing running back is what's best for his future. He spent all day on ESPN earlier this week and projects as a starter in the backfield. I'd say he's doing OK.

Jimmy from New Richmond, WI

Biff, I've recently been getting into baseball as I need some sort of hobby while there is no football. I'm heading to Milwaukee for a game in a couple weeks. What would you recommend doing while I'm there? And what advice would you give an up and coming Brewers fan?

Be passionate and be patient. Milwaukee is a great city. There are so many great things to do there. I would live in the Third Ward if the Packers allowed me to work remotely.

Adam from Pittsburgh, PA

Mike from Mt Prospect, as the only questions I've ever gotten posted involve bad puns or lame references, I'm afraid it will be a while before either you or I truly arrive.

You may now add "completely random observations" to the list, as well. Congrats!

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

Fun Friday: Twice-baked or au gratin? Lasagna or fettuccini alfredo? NES or Sega Genesis? Hot dog or cheddarwurst/better cheddar? Honesty or others' feelings? Liquor, beer, or wine? Ninjas or pirates? Tamale or ceviche? Batman or Superman?

Twice-baked. Lasagna. NES. Brat. Honesty. Club soda. Pirates. Ceviche. Batman.

David from Rogers City, MI

Not a question, so much as a comment about Insider questions. I was reading the question about Jordy Nelson's placement in the "Top 100." The question centered on the writer's belief that Jordy should have placed higher. When we read a question or an article that supports our views, we smile and call it great writing. When we read something that challenges our thinking, we dismiss it as uninformed rubbish. The beauty of the Insider format, as I see it, is that as ideas are bounced around, the reader benefits by growing in football knowledge. My mentor wisely observed, "David, if we both agree on everything, one of us isn't necessary!"

Good observations. I don't have Vic's wisdom or wit, but I try to bring perspective to my writing. You may not always agree with what I'm saying and I may not always concur with your viewpoint, but the exchanging of ideas and knowledge is what makes this work.

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