Skip to main content
Powered by

This promises to be an interesting day

Lots of hopefuls who could make the Packers' roster, but there isn’t room for everyone


Tim from Madison, WI

Is this the best class of undrafted free agents in recent memory?

There are five, maybe six, undrafted rookies that would not be shocks to make the 53-man roster, in my view. There's no way all of them can make it, and maybe only two or so will, but I can't ever remember having a "no-surprise" list this long after the final preseason game.

Zach from Richmond, VA

What position group still has the biggest question mark on it? And outside of, is Jordy still Jordy, what other questions haven't been answered by the four preseason games? Love the new format and perspectives of three writers.

I think the toughest decisions to make are in the secondary, because so many young guys look like they can play. The unanswered question is on the defensive line, and whether or not they have the horses for the first month with Pennel suspended. A waiver claim or new signing on the defensive line could happen. At running back it's not out of the question, either. It promises to be a very interesting day.

Simon from Mountain View, CA

If the Vikings offer a first-round pick for Brett Hundley, do you take the deal?

I don't.

Tom from Dollar Bay, MI

Do teams such as the Packers allow fandom to sway tough cut choices? We as fans already lost Kuhn. Would they allow the fan favoritism of Janis after a couple of heroics last season serve as a tie-breaker between him and a comparable receiver?

So, you're asking if a GM who has never listened to the fans regarding free agency is going to listen to those same fans at roster cut-down time? Really?

Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA

Spoff, you often say the Packers will make it to the playoffs and then "roll the dice." Can you elaborate on that a little more? How could playoff rules change so that the best team makes it to the Super Bowl and not the luckiest?

My "roll the dice" playoff mantra (I also use the word "crapshoot" a lot) is not to be interpreted as the luckiest team wins. It's that you need to have at least some good fortune along the way, because it's such a crazy game and the margin separating teams at that stage is so small. There's no changing the rules, and no need to. It's how it is and why it's so compelling. Back in 2010 in Philly, Michael Vick had first down on the Green Bay 27-yard line with 44 seconds on the clock. One underthrown pass to the end zone and the Packers were on their way. In 2011, a 49ers punt returner muffed not one, but two, the second in overtime to lose to the Giants. In 2012, Joe Flacco's 70-yard bomb in Denver that a safety inexplicably allowed to go over his head in the final minute of the fourth quarter changed everything. Back to the Packers, you have Dez Bryant's non-catch and the Seattle onside kick in consecutive weeks in 2014. So many things at those do-or-die postseason moments can go either way, and there's some luck involved. That's my point, and yes, the team that plays the best on a given day wins, but catching a break here or there sure doesn't hurt.

Carl from Spring Hill, FL

You used the word "winsome" in your Aug. 31 article. Please tell me that was simply a subtle reference to Vic's overuse of the word and it will be the last time you will use it.

Duly noted.

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

Regarding compensation for backup QBs, other websites are saying there's a chance the Packers could get a pick next year for Scott Tolzien. How likely does this seem to you?

I'm not sure if Tolzien alone would constitute a comp pick, but he will be factored into the calculations that determine whatever comp pick or picks the Packers get. The formula is not a one-for-one deal.

John from Pewaukee, WI

If for a team-building exercise the Packers had an arm wrestling contest, what player would be the champion?

That might be the most ridiculous team-building idea I've ever heard, but if I had to handicap it, my initial favorites would be Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion and Corey Linsley.

Jim from Manteca, CA

I was a paramedic for almost 40 years. I can tell you that the injury Bridgewater received is one of the most horrific looking injuries you'll ever see. It is instantly and grossly deformed, and shocking even to medical personnel, let alone non-medical teammates. I can well understand why no one would want to practice after seeing that.

Hadn't considered that perspective.

Garth from Portland, OR

How do you think A.D. will hold up since teams will load the box now that Teddy done for the year?

Four years ago, Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards with Christian Ponder posting an 81.2 passer rating in 16 starts. The Vikings were ranked second in the league in rushing offense and second-to-last in passing. Ponder's top receivers were Percy Harvin and Michael Jenkins, and Minnesota's defense ranked 16th in the league. Shaun Hill (or whoever they go with) will have two rising stars in Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell at wideout and a better defense. Much will be demanded of Peterson, who's coming off a nearly 1,500-yard season, and I expect much will be delivered. The QB won't have to set the world on fire to keep the Vikings in contention.

Steve from Inverness, IL

Do you ever get to ask TT questions? People want to know the real reason why. For instance, why Schum instead of Mortell? Try to pin him down on the real reason and don't take the usual "at this point we felt he was our best option" or "we had our eye on him the whole time." You are our window into what is going on.

You're right, and I take that responsibility to heart. But neither I, nor anyone else in the media, can make anyone answer a question, no matter how many times or in what form it is asked. If Thompson doesn't want anyone to know exactly why, he's not going to say.

Dave from Ferndale, MD

I can't worry about what other readers are asking, I can only concentrate on my own questions and everything else will take care of itself. I just got to go out there and ask better questions every day. I just want to make this column better. Just contribute, whether it be with a cap question, a personnel question, or a play-calling question. That said, I'm happy that the trite answers players give in the preseason will now be behind us so we can move on to the trite responses they give in the regular season.

Nicely done, though you just dampened a bit of my enthusiasm for Week 1 finally being on the horizon. On another note, did anyone else notice that yesterday Vic actually answered Margo's question for once?

Dave from Sparta, WI

With Clay and Julius being cleared of any wrongdoing, could there be a defamation case against the NFL?

I would think, if they wanted to, they'd go after Al Jazeera America. The irony is the NFL's investigation, and subsequent clearing, probably hurts their chances in a defamation action, should they be interested in pursuing one.

Mez from Milton, WI

Guys, we had become pretty familiar with Vic's game-day routine. Could you give us a look at yours?

Wes and I are having a good time with the live Periscope webcasts we're doing a couple of hours before kickoff. If you haven't caught one yet, be sure to watch the Packers Twitter account for the timing and link. After that, I get set up in the press box, post the "Pregame warmup" blog and grab a bite to eat. For a home game, I usually hop down to the concourse shortly before kickoff to say hi to my wife and any other family or friends who might be in attendance. After the game, I used to head to the Packers' locker room for interviews, but now I'll be going to the Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers press conferences (where Vic used to go), while Wes goes to the locker room. Then it's time to write stories, either at my desk or on the bus and plane, and edit my cohort's work, too. It's all a stressful blast, if you get my drift.

John from Jefferson, WI

Insiders, I haven't written in since Vic kicked five-sixths of his work habit, but I felt it necessary to say we must part ways. I dealt with the change up until Wes suggested Janis might heal at the same rate as all us average humans, and I just can't see coming back anymore. I'd wish you all luck, but I honestly don't see a bright future.

Sorry to disappoint you. I have to teach Wes which buttons not to push.

Adam from Atlanta, GA

How do the Packers (or any team) scout third- or fourth-string players that are released from other teams? Can they bring people in to work out, or go see them in person prior to signing them, or is it purely based on studying film?

They have files and reports on everyone from the pre-draft process, and scouts go to other teams' preseason games to get a first-hand look. All preseason game film across the league is also accessible. You can't conduct a private workout for a player if you want to claim him off waivers. There's no time. Waiver claims must be put in within 24 hours of the player being released, and the team awarded the player must immediately put him on the 53-man roster. If a player clears waivers, he could be brought in for a workout before being signed, because then he's technically a free agent.

Allen from Zephyrhills, FL

Any explanation on how Bridgewater could sustain such a significant injury standing in the pocket on a non-contact play?

Because this isn't Madden?

Kevin from Arlington, TX

What's the vibe in Green Bay with all of the LSU Tiger fans in town?

There was a ton of purple and gold in and around the stadium when I came to work on Friday, and I definitely want to scope out the scene today, to see what a Cajun tailgate is like. I also want to catch at least the end of the ESPN College GameDay broadcast across the street, to see Corso put the headgear on live. Don't ask me why, but it's just something I feel I need to witness.

Shane from Iowa City, IA

I hated seeing Masthay go, but wow, Schum looked great, from his hang time to his placement inside the 20. Goes to show Ted and Co. always have a plan.

Did you think they were just winging it? That said, I still consider the punting situation a fluid one.

The Packers wrapped up the 2016 preseason in Kansas City on Sept. 1. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Matt from Kansas City, KS

Sitting in the second level of Arrowhead, I found myself checking pre-snap whether the corners were pressing or not, and then looking to see how the safeties were lining up, trying to figure out what type of play they were running and how I would try to beat it. In your time in the press box, what things, if anything, do you look at before the snap?

I'm always looking at the offensive formation (how many wide? who's in the slot? where's the tight end?), the number of defenders in the box, and if the defense is adding to or subtracting from the box in the last few seconds. The second level at Arrowhead must have been a great view. The press box there is super high, too high to read some of the uniform numbers. I think the only press box I've been in elevated higher was at the old Meadowlands in New Jersey.

Mac from Las Vegas, NV

Insiders, I have been a Packers fan for as long as I can remember. My wife even more so. Our house bleeds gold and green. Why am I taking Teddy Bridgewater's injury so hard? It really has me down.

It must be because you're a football fan, and you feel the 2016 season won't be the same without the starting QB of a playoff contender. Vic might say you've achieved perspective.

Doug from Wausau, WI

With all this talk of keeping seven receivers, it's probably good that Vic has stepped back. He'd accuse Packers fans (accurately) of having the world's worst case of wide receiver fever. Or, to paraphrase rock legend Bruce Dickinson, "We've got a fever! And the only prescription is more receivers!" No way Ted Thompson keeps seven receivers on the active roster.

Personally, I need more cowbell. We shall see. Trevor Davis' shoulder injury could play into this. It's interesting to me that when camp started, many thought Abbrederis would be the odd man out at receiver, but – at the risk of sounding like a fool, because I never really know what's going to happen – after the camp and preseason he's had, I can't see how he's not on this roster. I don't know what else he could have done to make the team, and when I sense that about a player, I start to wonder what kind of message it sends about your operation if a guy like that doesn't make it.

Logan from Shoreview, WI

Spoff, did you ever take Vic out for a fish fry?

No. I wouldn't have been able to afford the helicopter ride.

PB from Minneapolis, MN

Fitzgerald crossed the goal line, after which you promptly fell into a deep slumber. Only this morning did you stir and finally wake. You missed all of the offseason – the draft, OTAs, minicamp, the Dead Zone, training camp, preseason. What's the first question you'd want answered?
Is Rodgers ready to go?


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.