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Which receivers will emerge for Packers in 2016?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered your questions in his weekly chat


Hi everybody. Welcome back! Week 1 is finally here. Let's get going.

Comment From Don H

Hi Mike. Welcome back. Game time. Packers will be on the road for 4 straight weeks, including last two pre-season games. While I have no idea what life on the road is like for an NFL franchise, that seems disruptive and sets up for a challenging start to the regular season. Is this a big deal ?? A non-issue ?? 2 - 0 start would be impressive, IMO.

A 2-0 start would be impressive and set the Packers up well to make some hay with five home games in their next six contests after this early stretch of road games. I don't think the last two preseason games being on the road is that big a deal, because the starters basically didn't play in KC, and then they had the weekend off. But a hot one in Jax followed by another road game the following week is a daunting task.

Comment From tom

Where was Don Jackson between July 25th and Sept. 5th?

He had been released for a non football injury I believe.

Comment From Waynes World

Will Lane Taylor be the G for the season or will Linsley fill that role when he returns?

It's Lane Taylor's job for now, and I think that's all that matters. Linsley won't be able to return to practice for at least six weeks now, so no telling when he'll be ready for a game, and how that will shake out between him, Tretter, etc. We're a long way off from concerning ourselves with that.

Comment From Nick D

Mike! Love these chats. So is it fair to still be scratching my head on the Josh Sitton news?

Yeah, it's fair. I'm not sure we'll ever get the whole story. McCarthy suggested there were multiple layers to it on Monday. I guess we'll see over time if we learn anything more.

Comment From Nick D

What are you expecting from Davante this season? Bounce back?

I am. He's healthy, which is the main thing. He got hurt early last year and was never really right, I don't think. Rodgers has said he likes what he sees from Adams, and he knows it's time to produce.

Comment From Chas

Mike, Will Jordy have to come out of games because of conditioning factors in the first game?

I can't answer that. I'd think it would be hard for Nelson to play 70 snaps or so when he hasn't played a full game of football since the NFC title game in Seattle a year and a half ago, but who am I to say.

Comment From Linda P

Mike, Glad that you are continuing to do this chat. Will this be yours exclusively or will Wes do it once in awhile? I am still shocked and saddened about Josh..were you as shocked about Robbie Gold as I was?

No, this will still be my gig on Tuesdays (or whatever day it works best). I was surprised by the Gould move, too. I know his salary was pretty high, but making field goals at Soldier Field in November and December is not an easy thing, and Gould was pretty darn reliable over all those years.

Comment From Wendell

If you imagine Josh Sitton wouldn't re-sign, why wouldn't you draft Jason Spriggs and a seventh-round guard instead of draft two tackles?

Pretty much every lineman the Packers have was a tackle in college, except Linsley. Tretter, Sitton and Lang were all tackles when they were drafted and became interior players after arriving here.

Comment From Adam B

Something I've missed over the past week is the status of our returner positions. Are those set or fluid from what you've seen?

I'm interested to see whom the Packers settle on. They have options, and they didn't seem concerned with nailing down "the guys" in the preseason. They're going to pick guys for this week and go from there.

Comment From Ryan

Hey, Mike, I think it is particularly corrosive for a GM to release a pro-bowler, beloved by his team and fans, like Sitton and remain radio silent to the press about the issue. This isn't the same as a releasing a bubble player. And if there are problems with protection this year, the fans have a right to be upset with the front office without any further explanation. Has there been any efforts by you at to get answers from Thompson et. al.?

I don't have any special access to the GM, if that's what you're asking. Thompson answers questions only when he wants to. Agree or disagree with his methods, it's his way. As I said, we may have to accept that we won't ever know the whole story here.

Comment From yenssen

mike, how many inside LB do we have in the 53 man roster?

Three -- Ryan, Martinez and Thomas -- plus two more on the practice squad in Bradford and Brown.

Comment From Matt

Why are Wes's answers so long? Can you have a talk with him.

He likes to wax eloquently

Comment From Guest

What is your impression so far of the NFCE? Doug Pederson chances in his rookie season as HC?

I think that division is as wide open as there is in the NFL, and the Romo injury doesn't really change that. I could see any one of those four teams winning it, and any one of those four placing last.

Comment From James R

Who do you see getting a new contract before season ends?

Based on what we've seen, it would appear Bakhtiari would be the highest priority. He'll also have the highest price tag of any of the pending free agents.

Comment From Matt

Are any players visibly upset about losing Sitton?

They're not happy, but they've been reminded who's in charge, for sure.

Comment From Molly

How did you enjoy the Badger game? Any observations from being at Lambeau as a fan?

Oh, wow, I had a blast. Camp Randall always has a special atmosphere, but that game at Lambeau it was something else. Really cool to see all the LSU folks in the stands. Just a neat event to see, and Wisconsin pulling the upset made it even better.

Comment From Guest

If I'm the coach, Adams is on a pretty short leash. Do you get the same impression?

There are certainly other players waiting to step on the field, provided they're healthy, yes.

Comment From Guest

you don't think Cook will be target #3?

It wouldn't surprise me if Cook is target No. 1. I was talking before strictly about the WR position, but what's not to like about how Cook looked this preseason? He's a potential game-changer.

Comment From Lee

I still think Sam Bradford is a very good QB, if Vikings can get him going, they will be a very dangerous team.

The Vikings aren't going anywhere. With that defense and Peterson, all they need is a quarterback who doesn't screw up and they'll be in every game they play. I still expect Minnesota to make the playoffs.

Comment From Bob H

Does the team dictate such things as "Hydration" or are the players on their own to best manage these things?

They are given a lot of advice and instruction.

Comment From Greg

I enjoyed watching Kentrell Brice play this preseason. Is Micah Hyde, in your estimation, the next man up should one of the starting safeties miss time?

Yes, Hyde is the No. 3 there, but Brice and Evans, the two undrafted rookies who made the team, have a lot of athletic talent and it will be fun to watch them develop.

Comment From Daniel

I have a feeling Ty Montgomery should get plenty of opportunity and, if he can pick up where he left off, might be the surprise of the year. Am I way off base?

Not at all. I still don't think Montgomery is totally back to himself after the long layoff, but it's a long season and I expect him to get his chances.

Comment From Adam B

Would you expect our defense to play less base this year than in the past? How do you expect that to shake out? It's something I always try to pay attention to but never do as a "watch where the ball goes guy".

It seems the Packers play less and less base every year. Nickel is the new base, really. That said, if a team lines up with multiple tight ends and wants to run the ball, the Packers will play their base.

Comment From Theodore

NFC North goes to...because...?

The Packers. Before the Bridgewater injury, I thought it was a toss-up between GB and Minn. Now, the edge has to go to Green Bay.

Comment From Mark

Is the roster and practice squad still a "fluid" situation?


Comment From Dogface

Hey, Mike! Will there be "Insider Inbox Extra" now that we're into the regular season?

No, sorry if that disappoints you. Wes and I have a lot of coverage plans that won't allow for two Inboxes per day. It will post in the morning, and that's it.

Comment From Mike

Will you still be doing the "What you might have missed" this season?

I plan to, though it might take on a different form this year. Still in the process of working that out, so stay tuned come next week.

Comment From Mike

Besides Packers-Jaguars, which opening-week game has you most intrigued?

Cardinals-Patriots. I'm really interested to see how New England looks with Jimmy G against that Arizona D. I'm hoping we get back from Jacksonville in time so I can catch the second half at home.

Comment From Ben C

Does Sitton's departure leave a leadership void?

I think it does, certainly in the OL room more than anywhere, but there are a lot of leaders in that locker room.

Comment From Tim

What are the greatest challenges you see in the Jaguars for this week?

Stopping the run. I think the Jags are going to come out trying to pound the ball to keep their defense off the field, and the Packers are thin numbers-wise on the D-line. If the Packers stop the run, they'll win the game.

Comment From Carol

Which NFL city is your favorite to visit?

I always enjoy the cities where I have family and friends to visit, so my top list is Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle and DC.

Comment From James

Is Peppers going to play a less of a role with the defense?

I can see his snaps being limited at times so he can be on the field in crucial pass-rush situations, third downs, fourth quarters, that kind of thing.

Comment From Jesse

Mike, I watched Lane Taylor during Oakland preseason game and he seemed to have a different stance for a pass play than a run play. Is this normal? Doesn't that tip off the defense?

I haven't watched any film from preseason that closely. If that's true, opponents will spot it. GB's coaches will spot it, too.

Comment From Nathan

Im not too familiar with the Jaguars, which guy is lickin his chops across from Taylor to put our QB in the dirt?

They signed Malik Jackson from the Broncos to a big FA contract. He's probably the guy.

Comment From Sam

Mike, any worries about Sitton revealing the Packers offensive checks/wrinkles to the Bears defensive coaches?

I see this question all over. The Bears play the Packers twice a year. They know plenty about Green Bay from all the film they watch and how often they have to prepare for the Packers. All Sitton would be able to give them would be some insight into hand signals and dummy calls, and those are easily changed for situations just like this.

Comment From Brian

Will you be signing autographs in Jacksonville before the game? It would be fun to meet you and Biff

We will be at the pep rally in Jacksonville on Saturday night. Autographs? Anything with my signature instantly declines in value.

Comment From KD

Who would take Peppers place on early downs?

Nick Perry and/or Datone Jones would be options.

Comment From Bob

Is Carolina the team to beat in the NFC again this season or do you see them slipping? Thanks, Mike.

The biggest change for Carolina is the loss of CB Josh Norman. He was a key piece on a tough defense. The Panthers are going to be young at corner.

Comment From Matt

How can we be thin on the D Line when the past years have been all about rebuilding the D?

Mike Pennel's absence the first four weeks due to a suspension has them a little shorthanded right now.

Comment From Jeff B

Hello Mike, Any word on Color Rush uniforms?

I believe the announcement is coming a week from today, but don't hold me to that.

Comment From Barb

Mike, for the life of me, I don't understand why teams, including the Packers refuse too put a second punt returner back on coverage? There is so many short punts in every game, that a team in some cases can save themselves 15 too 20 years.

I hear what you're saying. The drawback is at least one coverage guy will be totally free to run down the field and force a fair catch, so that's the flip side of it.

Comment From KD

Both Ivory and Yeldon are very large backs and they run tough. No matter who they choose to go with, it sounds like a rough day for our defense if the Jaguars decide to focus on the run.

The run D will be tested. If the Packers can get a lead, that might help, but I don't expect the Jags to give up on the run even if they fall behind early.

Comment From Jeffrey

Do you enjoy doing the insider box?

Yeah, it's fun, a different way to express some thoughts. Just like this is. I enjoy the variety of the fan interactions.

Comment From PB

I have incredibly high expectations to Jared Cook. I think Rodgers knows how to work a tight-end better than any QB if you look at his work with Finley, and I consider Cook to be an upgraded version of Finley. Does the league understand what's about to happen to the pass-catching tight end role?

Everybody is seeing it with guys like Gronk. I think to expect Cook to be an upgrade over Finley might be too much. Finley was different with his open-field speed, but Cook is as equivalent to Finley as the Packers could have asked for.

Comment From Zac

I went to High School with Lane Taylor, he is a great guy and I am excited he is getting this opportunity. I know he will do well. My question is, who is holding for Crosby? Can Schum hold? Or, maybe Callahan?

Schum will be the holder, as far as I know. Provided Hundley is healthy, which McCarthy said he now is, I would expect Callahan to be inactive on gameday. Hard to see 3 healthy QBs on the 46.

Comment From Bob H

Are you and Biff under a lot of pressure to be old and salty?

Some fans would like to see that, but I'm just going to be myself. That's how I was before Vic got here, and now after he has left. I hope that's good enough.

Comment From Jamie

Any idea of what is happening with the Starr, Favre, and Rodgers picture from Thanksgiving before the game?

I haven't heard anything. Many are curious, I understand

Comment From James

I like Pennel a lot, but he alone does not make or break a defensive line. Is the development of the draft picks more significant?

They're both significant in my view. They need Pennel, and they need Clark and Lowry to come along quickly.

Comment From Willie

Why is there no reunion plans for the 1996 Super Bowl Team?

Not that I know of. I think they might be waiting for the 25-year mark for that.

Comment From Larry

If you could cover one Packers' season from the past, which would it be?

I'd have to say 1967. To be at the Ice Bowl would have really been something.

Comment From Lori

What did you think of Aaron Rodgers on ESPN prior to the Badgers' game?

I thought he was great. Typical Aaron the way he bantered back and forth with those guys. I was part of that crowd behind the stage for the last half-hour or so of the show. Fun to see how that all works.

Comment From Larry

The Packers win the Super Bowl if ___?

They're healthy in January and they catch a break somewhere along the line.

Comment From Bagger Vance

Do you golf Spoff? What's your handicap?

I played on my college team back in the day, but I haven't been a regular golfer for years now.

Comment From Sal

Mike, which second year player will we be talking about next week?

Damarious Randall. I think he's going to be a big part of this defense in 2016.

Comment From J-Rod

Hey mike, thoughts on HHCD for the up coming year.

If he continues the climb he's shown his first two years, this defense goes to another level. The Packers need him to be a difference-maker, and he's shown he's on his way to becoming that.

Comment From Ben

(Sorry more Sitton). When a guy gets cut, even a tier 1 guy, you typically see the PC response from players saying "this is a tough business, etc." But with Sitton's release I got a different vibe. Players seemed legitimately surprised. They sounded (and looked) more like fans than I've ever seen before. Do you have any other examples where players were disarmed like this?

In my 11 seasons covering this team, I've never been more surprised by a cut-down day decision. Never saw it coming.

Comment From Guest

I don't care about you and Biff being old and salty. What Vic brought was a look through a lens bigger and broader than just Wisconsin and The Packers. That's the big void I miss. The other team / history perspective that he brought. Is there any way to get some of that back?

Hey, I grew up in Wisconsin, so did Wes. Vic had life experiences in Jacksonville and Pittsburgh that are unique to someone coming to little ol' Green Bay to work here. It made things special, but to ask for that to be replicated, I don't see how.

Comment From Biil the (PBR) Cat

"....and they catch a break somewhere along the line." I'd say avoid overtime at all cost!

At some point, the worm has to turn there, right?

Comment From big guy

jordy ready to go?

Sounds like it. McCarthy pronounced him full-go yesterday.

Comment From J-Rod

Do you expect a lot of Cook & R. Rogers on the field together in the red zone this year?

I'm sure it's one of the red zone packages, but the Packers will have several.

Comment From Nathan

Who is the best Packers defensive player besides Clay and Peppers?

Mike Daniels comes to mind right away.

Comment From Rick James

What was your take on the cheap shot during the Badger game?

Pretty bush league play. I heard LSU suspended the guy for a game over it.

Comment From Biil the (PBR) Cat

Who will wear the miked helmet on the D this year now that Clay is moving back outside? Martinez had it in pre-season, didn't he?

Yes, he did.

Comment From Matt

What does the new injury reporting rule mean for mid-week injury lists? Will they still be provided? Will the new lists be even more vague or provide a better list of who is really hurt?

The mid-week practice participation reports aren't changing. The only change is on Friday, when a game status must be given, "probable" is no longer an option. Players who in past years would be listed as "probable" can either be removed from the report altogether, or they'll be listed as "questionable." Different teams may handle this differently.

Comment From J-Rod

Do you expect to see the new guy they claimed from Minnesota returning kicks?

Not right away, but maybe down the line.

Comment From Howie

Who were your favorite football broadcasters growing up?

I always loved the games called by Summerall and Madden, before Madden became almost a parody of himself with the grease pen and all the catchphrases. When he was first getting into the business, and getting good, I learned a lot about football from him. I stopped learning when he made himself into his own show.

Comment From Michael

Hey Mike. Any good insight on how the LSU fans took in Lambeau and the Packers fans? Not often that the Bayou comes to GB and both know how to host a good party. Hopefully we welcomed those fans with grace and hospitality. What a great weekend for opening the Badgers season!

By all accounts, there was a lot of hospitality to go around.

OK, I've gone almost an hour. A few more. Thanks for all the questions everybody.

Comment From Chase

Is Morgan Burnett going to be ready week 1? I haven't seen him all preseason

He was back on the practice field last week, even though he didn't play in KC. Provided he's had no setbacks, I expect him to be ready.

Comment From Bob H

What is the favorite part of your job?

Having a great birds-eye view of every game. There's a ton of work to do during the week and right after every game, but those 3 hours every week make it worth it for me.

Comment From Chris

With the new structure of the writing staff, what are you most looking forward to on game day?

Doing something different. We're going to start with me going to the McCarthy and Rodgers press conferences, which is what Vic used to do, while Wes goes into the locker room for interviews. It'll be a nice change of pace.

Comment From Vic K.

Have you found the Thing yet?

Nope, but haven't looked. Been a little busy.

Comment From Anthony

Super Bowl!

We'll let that be the last word for the first chat of the regular season. Hey folks, if you like the live internet stuff, be sure to catch me and Wes on Periscope about 2 1/2 hours before kickoff on Sunday for a game preview segment, answering your questions, and I'm also going to try to do a halftime chat each week during the game. Take care for now, talk again soon. Best, Mike

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