Stephen from Chicago, IL
Was there any chance the first training camp fight would be between anyone other than Barclay and Daniels?
It was pretty fitting, wasn’t it? After practice, they were walking off the field chatting and laughing. You would never have known. Training camp is a time all its own.
Dave from Sparta, WI
Can a team send "spies" to other teams training camps when they are open to the public to view?
Only if the team is charging admission to the practice, as the Packers do for Family Night. There will be scouts in the press box for that. There always are. It was pretty humorous back when Dan Snyder first took over the Redskins and announced he wanted to charge $10 daily for fans to watch training camp practices. Then his football people told him that meant every opponent on their schedule could come watch every one of their workouts.
Rod from Chugiak, AK
Hi Wes/Mike, I noticed you mentioned Green's "1,800" yards. As long as you were rounding it off, I wish you'd have used 1,900. He was only a carry or two away from topping that rarified-air high bar cleared by only a scant handful in NFL history.
He was indeed so close, at 1,883. One more yard in Philly in January and who knows? But regardless, he broke Jim Taylor’s 41-year-old franchise record of 1,474 rushing yards in 1962, and the way the game has evolved in the past decade makes me wonder if Green’s mark will stand even longer, or if it’ll ever be broken.
Andrew from San Diego, CA
Keep up the great work guys. I am looking for Richard Rodgers to really thrive in his role this year and Letroy Guion to be the surprise impact player of the season. What player do you think it will be?
Surprise impact player? I’m not rooting for any injuries, mind you, but LaDarius Gunter is one injury away from playing a key role on this defense, and I think if needed he’ll be up to the task.
Joey from Columbus, OH
Just like I predicted Janis's potential being overlooked last year, what's your opinion on Elliott being this year's standout man coming off the bench? (I'm rarely wrong, but I'm more of an offensive genius than defense...)
A humble genius, I imagine. I thought about saying Elliott for the previous question, but I couldn’t possibly be as smart as you.
Tim from Madison, WI
Vic, the kids are knowledgeable, thoughtful, and eager. But they need more edge. I thought you would have rubbed off on them more.
Thanks. I’m taking all of that as a compliment, especially the rubbed off part and the kid part.
Dave from Porterville, CA
Do you ever see the NFL getting rid of kickoffs? If it happened, how could a team down by a touchdown or field goal have an opportunity for an onside kick? Or an onside kick early in the game as an element of surprise? I do not see it ever happening.
Figuring out an onside kick alternative is the biggest impediment to getting rid of kickoffs, which I do think is coming. I’ve seen some suggestions floated, such as the “kicking” team getting the option to run one play from scrimmage from its own 30- or 35-yard line, needing 10 yards to keep the ball. If they opt not to try, the “receiving” team gets the ball at its own 20 or 25.
Paul from Ellensburg, WA
Hey fellas, in trying to bring the 2014 offense to the 2016 season, what do you think is the biggest difference-maker? Slimmer Lacy to get the run game going or returned Nelson to stretch the field?
Nelson is difference No. 1, and Lacy is 1A. If Cook can perform as advertised, the offense might be better than in 2014.
Matt from Verona, WI
Yous guys sure sound like you're from Up Nort', ya know? Dis new format feels like home. Please find your edge, I feel too comfortable.
Sorry, can’t help it. I’ve only lived two brief stints of my life outside Wisconsin – a semester of college in Spain, and one year of grad school split between Chicago and D.C. Any efforts to be blatantly mean would be embarrassingly transparent.
Duncan from Fort McMurray, Canada
Mike, you mentioned Al Harris in your last column. He's one of my all-time favorites (my son is not really but kind of named after him). Any good Harris stories?
I remember talking to him by phone once when he was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. I asked him if he was going to take any surfing lessons, and he couldn’t say no fast enough. He could be pretty funny that way, but when it came to the media in general, Al did not suffer fools gladly. You’d better come with a good question or you were getting dressed down in front of your colleagues and competition.
Scott from Gainesville, FL
Insiders, I can't help but correct Spoff. "Mike, let's say Vic is Julius Peppers (limit his stroke count to maximize production) and Wes is Nick Perry (top draft choice with a chance to shine). Who are you? Sam Shields?" Spoff, come on now. You're Mason Crosby, already "locked in." See you in the pond.
Dave from Durham, England
Eddie Lacy, Josh Sitton, Richard Rodgers, Aaron Rodgers, Datone Jones, Jake Ryan...was "maybe you should drop a couple pounds" McCarthy's tagline at the end of every exit interview last season?
For some it was a necessity, for some it was by choice. In my experience with professional athletes, the source of the motivation is immaterial. It’s the motivation itself, wherever it comes from, that matters most.
Del from Sterling, IL
Is there any division that’s more wide open than the NFC East?
As far as realistically envisioning any one of the four teams winning it, and any one of the four placing last, probably not.
Steve from Scottsdale, AZ
OK, I kept an open mind. I went with the whole "change is good" thing long enough. Despite your best intentions, you guys fall short. No need to print this. I won’t see it, unless it shows up on a Monday column. Best of luck.
Bye, Steve. Everybody wave. Is this the part where I’m supposed to say I’ll cry all night?
Adam from Racine, WI
The Vikings can really request who they want to open their new stadium against? I had no idea! I think it's kind of an honor that they chose us! They like to dislike us the most!
When you can create a potential prime-time ratings bonanza for an early-season Sunday night, the league will find a way to oblige.
Chris from Brown Deer, WI
I just can't see any other option than Green Bay keeping seven WRs this year. Individually, all of those guys have value to the team. Rodgers and McCarthy love Abby. Janis' special teams contributions at the very least make him invaluable. Davis didn't get drafted where he did to get cut, and he wouldn't last on the practice squad. Who could be odd man out?
No shortage of questions on this. It’s the biggest early storyline of camp, and we’re just getting started. I’m going to take Vic’s advice here and just watch.
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