Powered by

This battle is going to be so much fun to watch

The preseason is so valuable for these young players


Nancy from Mt. Kisco, NY

Wes, avoid using the word "so" because it's lazy. A man is not "so" tired, he is exhausted. Don't use "so" sad, use morose. The drama of HBO's "Hard Knocks" is not so real, it is palpable. We don't pay so much attention to the hybrid nickel defense, we fixate on it. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won't do at Insider Inbox.

So what are you trying to say?

Paulette from Paris, France

Wow, so refreshing and exciting to see a punt returned for a TD. Don't remember too many times where the Pack returned a punt or kickoff for a TD. Can you share the stats of how often the team has done this over past 10 years?

Trevor Davis looked so good Thursday night. His explosiveness showed. The last time the Packers returned a punt for a touchdown was Micah Hyde against Detroit on Dec. 28, 2014. Their last kickoff return for a touchdown was Randall Cobb's 108-yarder against New Orleans on Sept. 8, 2011.

Austin from Schuylerville, NY

We all knew about Trevor Davis' speed, but his decisiveness and ability to keep his shoulders straight and run north/south is impressive.

Davis was quick to credit his coaches and blockers for the touchdown, but the play wasn't as easy as he made it look. He showed a lot of moxie on the catch. There were so many things going on in front of him, but he maintained his concentration and made the first guy miss. Once that happened, it was off to the end zone.

Richard from Madison, WI

For many years, the Bears carried Devin Hester on their roster as a wide receiver, even though everyone knew he was there because he was a superb return guy. Do you think the Packers would be willing to devote a similar roster spot to Trevor Davis? In preseason games, are the Packers more likely to run kickoffs back from deep in the end zone just for practice (and to get some good film) than they would be in a regular-season game?

Hester is one of the best returners to ever do it, but he didn't have a natural position. Davis is a legitimate receiving prospect. Special teams are so important, but they're just a starting point. The Packers see more in him than just returns.

Josh from New Berlin, WI

Remember when Jordy Nelson tore his ACL in the second preseason game of 2015? Remember the fan outrage over the Packers losing him in a meaningless game? Remember how the passing game never fully recovered from that loss? Now tell me again why Aaron Rodgers, one of the greatest QBs of all time, needs more reps in the preseason.

Rodgers threw 24 passes in the first two preseason games in 2015 and still had 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first four regular-season games. I didn't hear anyone chirping about his workload when the Packers started 6-0 that year. People just need something to talk about. Rodgers has played thousands of snaps, so what's the value of an extra dozen in a meaningless game?

Josh from Pullman, WA

I'm not a Jeff Janis maniac, but he always makes big plays in preseason. Do you think he breaks out this year with double-digit catches and at least 300 yards receiving? That would be huge from a No. 4 and No. 5 receiver.

It's too early to say how the depth chart is going to sort out after the top three, but the pass and catch from Hundley to Janis caught my attention. It was one of several big plays the young receivers made in that game. This battle is going to be so much fun to watch as the preseason unfolds.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

Marwin Evans – great game or is the block on the punt return just not called a block in the back, and if he drops the interception is he called for pass interference? Can anyone say game/career of inches?

At first, I wondered if it was a block in the back based on how the coverage player fell forward, but Evans showed perfect technique. He got his hand on the front of the uniform and took a great angle. His interception was a thing of beauty, too. The preseason is so valuable for these young players and Evans maximized his chances Thursday. The guy can play.

Chris from Marshfield, WI

I, for one, have heard enough concerns about player safety. I am not saying it isn't important, but the truth is this game is a violent, full-contact sport, and if you want that to change please choose a new sport to watch. The players know what they are getting into and they are paid extremely well for it. No job is without hazards; are we going to stop logging because it's not safe? How about any industrial job?

There's inherent risk in football, but there's no place in the sport for excessive hits. Collisions leading with the helmet and crack-back blocks have endangered so many players. You're right. There are other occupations with hazards, but you can reduce the risk of injury if you follow rules and regulations.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

Which one player on offense and one on defense stood out most to you during last night's game?

I thought Justin Vogel showed up big-time after a so-so performance on Family Night. We've seen how strong his leg is, but his Aussie punts were exceptional (five of six punts inside the 20-yard line). Plus, Mason Crosby made all four of his kicks. It was a good night for the undrafted rookie.

Mark from Iron Mountain, MI

If the league is so interested in player safety, why isn't something done about the cheap shots like Sullivan took on McCaffrey? He could have easily pulled up.

It was a hard hit. However, it was legal, so it didn't draw the flag. Sullivan threw his shoulder into McCaffrey rather than leading with the helmet. I had a bigger issue with the angle he took on the Malachi Dupre hit.

Rick from Selinsgrove, PA

Do referees use preseason the same way teams do (i.e., to develop rookies)? Watching Sullivan deliver a vicious hit on Dupre, and then another attempt following an incomplete pass makes me think the refs missed a call on the second one. Your thoughts?

The roster of officials is set for the 2017 season, but the preseason allows them to zero in on emphases for the upcoming season. I felt the hit on Dupre warranted a flag, but that's not my call to make. What I do know is it's so important for these coaches, teams and referees to get on the same page. The preseason is part of that.

John from Green Bay, WI

There is only one big question stemming from last night. How is the injury situation unfolding as of today?

Dupre and Damarious Randall are currently in the concussion protocol. Dupre tweeted Friday he rejoined the team after undergoing tests at a local hospital, so that's obviously good news.

Jay from Land O Lakes, FL

Guys, the defense seemed to be moving faster to the ball last night. The tackling itself wasn't robust, but they were there to make those tackles. Also, Josh Jones has Mike Singletary eyes.

It's the first preseason game, so I think the missed tackles are to be expected. I'd imagine there'll be progress next week in Washington. There's always going to be a little rust to knock off.

Josh from Platteville, WI

Some missed tackles by the starting defense but to me it looked like a lot of fast safety-backers flying around. I thought teams played pretty vanilla in the preseason?

Capers admitted he probably made a mistake not taking any reps with the "quad" 4-3 defense during the 2014 preseason. The "nitro" nickel obviously is nothing new to Burnett. He's so used to it by now, but those early snaps are still beneficial for the defense as a whole.

Adam from Costa Mesa, CA

What are your thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott's suspension? When I first heard the news, I went right to the schedule and see that he will miss the home game against the Packers. I want to feel relieved but like watching the best play the best.

I was surprised the six-game suspension was announced prior to the appeal. I might be missing something here – so forgive me if there's a misunderstanding – but I thought that process typically is played out by the time the league makes an announcement. There are implications for the Packers, who travel to Dallas in Week 5.

Jacob from Kalamazoo, MI

With 88's fumble, general lack of overall RB experience, and a wealth of newbs fighting for game time, including an impressive Jamaal Williams showing so far, what do you think the chances are that Ty doesn't actually play much this year?

I'd say they're low because Montgomery is so valuable to this offense. There's undoubtedly a learning curve, but he's a natural-born playmaker. Playmakers play.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

We drafted three running backs right? Only one played and then two undrafted rookies played. What's up with that?

They actually all played, though they cycled through the draft picks quickly. It probably wasn't enough to draw conclusions, but I did have a few observations. Jamaal Williams looks so smooth between the tackles and Devante Mays is shifty for a 230-pound running back.

Gerbschmidt from Elk Mound, WI

Taysom Hill had an almost perfect passer rating. When should we start discussing when he will replace Rodgers?

Hill actually did have a perfect passer rating (158.3). He looked so comfortable running the two-minute offense, which is to be expected. He's a rookie, but experienced. I was happy we got a glimpse of both his legs and his arm. That battle for the third QB job has the potential to be as competitive as any that I've covered.

Alan from Jefferson City, MO

Couldn't watch. Was there any constant QB pressure? Fifty-ish passes and one sack is a concern.

Pressure contributed to the Eagles finishing with a 68.7 passer rating. Nick Perry got home early, Clay Matthews was so close to another. Once the starters exited, I thought Reggie Gilbert kept the pocket warm for Matt McGloin. It comes down to finishing.

Tom from Minneapolis, MN

What are your first impressions on our secondary in live action?

Kevin King got some much needed snaps. He knows how to use that 6-foot-3, 200-pound body with a couple nice open-field tackles. I also liked what I saw from the backup safeties and Lenzy Pipkins in the second half. Guys were flying to the ball. So I guess what I'm trying to say is I was impressed.

Jamie from Duluth, MN

A lot will probably be said about King giving up the big play. I'd rather focus on his physicality. Wow! He can hit and isn't afraid of contact. Shore up some tackling and this defense is playing angry.

I'm so with you. King stands out in all the areas you can't coach – height, length, speed and fearlessness.

Brian from Spring Valley, WI

In the preseason, is it better to win the game or play better than your opponent? Up until the very end it seemed like we were getting beat on the field but winning on the scoreboard. The punt return and turnovers were big plays that tilted the field for us. But on standard plays we were having difficulties tackling and blocking. Which would you rather have, good play or a victory?

I rarely look at the scoreboard during a preseason game. I'm so focused on watching individual players and positions. The outcome may be irrelevant, but I'm looking for plays and moments that will help the team win when it matters.

Scott from Minneapolis, MN

Hey guys, I wasn't able to watch the game but was wondering how the front seven looked on defense in the game? Particularly the backups.

Dean Lowry continues to show up. I don't want to create out-of-this-world expectations for him, but he looks significantly stronger this year. Ricky Jean Francois also had a nice night, causing some havoc on the line and even stopping a run for a 2-yard loss. There's so much potential with that group.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

Before Thursday, had anyone done the Lambeau Leap who didn't actually score the touchdown? When are we going to see Mason Crosby do it after a big kick?

Good question. There is that 40-second clock, though. So Crosby would have to turn on the jets to do the leap after a long field goal.

Todd from Saint Paul, MN

This question is for Wes. Do you still play with toys?

So what? The creative adult is the child who survived.

Carl from Lincoln, NE

Mike, your one line on Friday, "Preseason rants are the best," made me laugh out loud. How many times a day do you laugh at some of the ridiculous emails you get?

That line was so great. I'd say at least once a day there's a line that makes me legitimately laugh, particularly after games.

Jason from Lake View, NY

Larry from Green Bay needs to calm down a bit. He is predicting an 8-8 season based on one preseason game that didn't have the starters in for the whole game. I am just as excited about football being back as the next guy but people need to "simmer down now!"

So what outcome would've satisfied Lawrence? 52-0? The 2008 Lions went 4-0 in the preseason. A lot of good it did them once the games matter. The preseason is about players – not prognostication.

Ken from Wolcott, CT

Yes, the turnovers where nice to see but with that said, don't you think we should have run away with this game? Did they fail in taking advantage of that? Also, I must say I think we will still have an issue at our CB position and not in a good way. If a game comes down to our defense having to make a stop with time running out, I see the other team going right down the field on us. Be true to yourself and admit what I'm saying is true.

Larry, meet Ken. So long.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.