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Young receivers on display this Saturday

Patch or develop? It's a matter of philosophy


Matt from Bloomington, MN

Vic, with Jordy now down for the season, do you think Davante will be the man for the usual Rodgers to Jordy downfield connections? And will it be a committee effort to make up Jordy's production or can someone step up and be that guy?

Davante Adams' production is certain to increase. He'll pick up the bulk of the slack. I think he proved last season he can be a top target. Randall Cobb, of course, is one of the league's premier pass catchers. The issue now is depth at wide receiver. Can the young receivers provide it? I think we'll begin answering that question this Saturday. I expect Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Myles White to get a lot of playing time against the Eagles.

Ben from Hudson, WI

Why is everyone blaming preseason games for injuries? The preseason is essential for a lot of players. Don't play your starters or accept the risk they'll get injured. It's a tough game.

I detect a greater sensitivity for injuries among Packers fans than I do among other fan bases. I don't know why that is. The Packers were one of the healthiest teams in the league last season, but I still get questions wanting to know why the Packers suffer more injuries than other teams do. It's football. You WILL get hurt. The Steelers lost two starters and a backup quarterback on Sunday.

Dave from Brookings, SD

Why do you think the Patriots aren't shy to sign veteran players like Reggie Wayne? It seems like the opposite of our strategy.

The Patriots are the best one-year-patch team in the league. It's a big part of their strategy for sustaining a roster. The Packers rely on a draft-and-develop strategy. They're more likely to turn to their young depth in time of need. Davante Adams is a product of that philosophy. He's being counted on to replace Nelson. Who'll replace Adams? Apparently, you want a one-year-patch player. I think every team needs to do a little of that, but the problem with it is you'll probably have to do it again next year.

Justin from Great Falls, MT

I'm really liking Gunter. Every time the ball comes near him he seems like he's making a play. What are the chances he not only makes the roster, but could at least start in a nickel or dime package?

I'm giving you a speeding ticket. We're only halfway through the preseason. Why increase the expectations now? Give him time to make the team.

Norma-Gene from Rolla, MO

The Pittsburgh announcer kept referring to a twist play on defense. What is it?

Twist is a pass-rush term. It refers to one pass rusher looping behind another one. The Steelers are famous for twisting their inside linebackers so their pass-rush paths form an X. It's known as a cross blitz.

Jon from Bath, England

So, would GM Vic rely on his roster or go shake the WR tree out back?

GM Vic always turns to his roster first. If the answer isn't there, then he shakes the tree.

Phil from Battle Mountain, NV

It seemed the quick slant pass was a staple of the Brett Favre Packers. I don't seem to see it as much anymore. Have defenses neutralized that play?

The quick slant is a staple of every offense, but it needs to be used sparingly because it carries with it a high degree of interception. You're throwing into traffic. It's a pass that is often tipped at the line of scrimmage. It was a pass the Seahawks shouldn't have thrown in the Super Bowl.

Jerry from Wausau, WI

Vic, how is the salary cap affected when a player in the $10 million pay range is sidelined for the year? I believe we have some cap room, but do we get any break on the hit to our cap should we need to sign from outside the organization?

Nothing changes. Your cap bears a full hit and you don't get any extra money to spend. The Packers provided for this emergency by keeping room on their cap. I got a lot of questions in the spring asking why the Packers didn't spend all of their cap money. This is why. They might need to spend some of that money on a veteran replacement.

Dave from Bryant, WI

Players' 40 times are always used from the combine or other test when drafted. How much does player speed change up or down once they are pros and enhance their conditioning?

If a player went back and ran the 40 in Indy later in his career, he probably wouldn't run as fast as he did at the combine. Why? Because he trained to run the 40 at the combine when he was a draft prospect. He practiced getting out of his stance. He practiced specifically for running a fast 40, as though he was practicing for a track event, instead of for football. Once he's in the league, the track stuff stops. He's judged by his playing speed.

Doug from Nashville, TN

Tom Clements is now calling the plays for the offense, not Coach McCarthy. In the long run, how do you see this as an overall benefit to the Packers on game day?

I think last Sunday's game is a good example of how it might benefit Mike McCarthy to be free of play-calling duties. In the case of injury to a key player, he can confer with the medical team on the injury and strategize how to react to it. If he's calling plays during a drive, he can't do that. Being the head coach of a football team means having to be in control of every facet of the team's existence. Play-calling is a full-time job.

Dirk from Pleasanton, CA

With only a few weeks left of preseason, what do you think are the three most important evaluations remaining?

In terms of positions, I think it's wide receiver, linebacker and No. 3 quarterback.

Caleb from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, when a player such as Tim Masthay has his competition cut early in camp, does that mean he's passed his evaluation early?

Masthay will tell you he is in constant competition with every punter not in the league.

Gus from Eau Claire, WI

If you were to eliminate two preseason games, you'd drop the first and last. The first game would be evaluation and the second game would be to get the starters rolling (just like the third game is now), with initial cuts after the first game and final cuts after the second. Is that enough time to properly evaluate your players before cuts?

So you create a four-game schedule and then you throw out the first and last games? I'm sorry, but this is all so silly. Let's go back to the roots of what the preseason was all about and why we still have it. A long time ago, the NFL played six preseason games. Why so many? Because it was a wonderful way for owners to make money before the players began receiving their salaries. It wasn't a problem when teams played a lot of neutral-site games, because those games weren't part of a season-ticket package. It didn't become a problem until the neutral-site games went away and fans began to complain about paying full price for preseason games. That's when two preseason games were cut and two games were added to the regular season. The owners kept their revenue and the players began drawing their salaries two weeks earlier. All these years later, money is still the issue. The players don't want an 18-game schedule, and the owners don't want to lose two games worth of revenue. That's the issue. Forget about all of that injury stuff. Injuries are going to happen, whether it's the preseason or the regular season.

Travis from Roxboro, NC

Vic, how do you view the game this weekend going?

I think the Packers are going to throw a lot of passes to a lot of young receivers.

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