Dale from Owatonna, MN
I nominate Chad and Mike Johnson for immediate entry into the Packers FAN Hall of Fame. I am sure many of us would have done it, but they are now famous for actually picking Davon House up and driving him four hours to Titletown. At the end of the day isn't being famous what fame is all about?
It’s an awesome story and what the game is truly all about. The connection between fans and players is what has made the NFL the most popular sport in this country. It also speaks to the unique bond between the Packers and their fan base. As someone who likes to go to bed by 10 p.m., I salute Chad and Mike Johnson for their willingness to give up a night of sleep to create a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Braxton from Muncie, IN
How do you think the new CBs will perform this season facing guys like Julio Jones and Dez Bryant in the early part of the season?
It’s a big test, but trial by fire isn’t really anything new for Packers cornerbacks. Before last year, they always could count on two games a year against one of the all-time greats in Calvin Johnson. You’re going to face a lot of premier receivers in the NFC. Experience is a cornerback’s best friend.
Braden from Brookfield, WI
A lot of people are quick to voice their loathing for a player when he doesn't live up to expectations. I will admit I was one of those that said Davante Adams should see the bench after his second year. Wow, was I wrong. Adams had a quietly productive year last year – 12 touchdowns was tied for the second most by a receiver (14 by Jordy led the league) and he ranked 24th in total yards (997). Though I remember him playing well, I didn't realize his numbers were that good.
Every fan wants the prospect who turns into a Pro Bowler and then helps guide their team to a Super Bowl. There is no simple formula, however. Every player travels a different path. I’ll admit I, too, was one of the naysayers after 2015, but Adams proved he’s the real deal. He’s as dangerous as any receiver in the league and only going to get better.
Nick from Lima, OH
Honestly I didn't like the picking of Fackrell last year. I didn't know much about him or how good he was. I'm glad we picked him now because it sounds like he could have a sneaky good season. How productive do you think he will be this year?
That’s tough to say because every player develops at a different pace. Fackrell will have every opportunity to be a factor in this defense, though. He flashed early last season and likely would’ve had a legitimate shot at four or five sacks if he didn’t injure his hamstring.
Paul from Peoria, IL
Are there any FA vet, quality pass-rushers out there that TT may consider adding for this next season? Or is he done with FA?
Never say never – the Packers once signed Vince Young and Cedric Benson during training camp – but they seem pretty content with their 90-man roster at the moment.
Ollie from Luton, United Kingdom
How much do you see the inside linebackers progressing this upcoming season?
I expect all three of those inside linebackers to take a big jump this summer. They aren’t rookies anymore. Jake Ryan, Joe Thomas and Blake Martinez each have played significant snaps in the NFL. As the game slows down, the faster each of them is going to play.
Jason from Wayne, OH
It seems that speed is what everyone is looking for at all the positions (based on all the hype about how fast guys are at the draft). Can a player get faster over the years? Do they train to run faster than the year before? Or do they hit a terminal velocity and just can't get any faster? If they can get faster, tell Jordy to get to work on that. I want to see more deep passes this year.
There are some things you can do to help increase your speed. Ty Montgomery talked about how he used to try to stay in the 210-215 range to not sacrifice his explosiveness for size. However, there also is a reason why you always hear coaches talk about how you can’t teach speed. Sometimes you either have it or you don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful, but you just have to go about the game a different way.
Joseph from East Moline, IL
Obviously I am biased, but I think that, in regards to Ryan winning MVP, watching Matt Ryan's 2016 highlights and then watching Aaron Rodgers' 2016 highlights is a good example of why stats aren't everything.
You could debate the MVP award until you’re blue in the face. I didn’t watch Ryan very often last year. I’m guessing most of the voters didn’t get a chance to follow him on a weekly basis, either. His production is undeniable, though. You tip your cap to the season he had. Although Rodgers didn’t get the ultimate accolade, 2016 made for some of his finest work.
Carter from Moscow, ID
How would you feel about a best-of-three playoff series for the NFL?
I think you would be robbing the NFL of its best trait – the winner-take-all mindset. You have to be on the top of your game that day or it could all be over. The stakes are as high as any game on the planet. Plus, there really isn’t time for best-of-three.
Davey from Hustisford, WI
Sometimes when I watch professional sports conferences, I see news reporters ask the stupidest questions. If I think I have better questions to ask, where should I go – hoping for this to be my occupation – and aside from the Insider Inbox? Is all I need a cameraman?
It’s not easy to ask thought-provoking questions. It’s much easier to fall into the routine of starting with “Talk about.” I spent a lot of time as a young writer watching news conference and took a lot of notes on how the beat writers structured their questions after I started covering the Packers. Everyone wants to talk, but reporters like to listen.
Kevin from Tucson, AZ
Having taught, led, and coached quite a bit in my life I've noticed each new group has their own unique identity. How would you characterize this year's 90-man roster as you watch them wrap up OTAs? Does any broad characterization stand out to you guys?
It’s hard to pinpoint a team’s identity in non-contact OTAs, but it really has stood out to me how much this year’s team is unified in its excitement about the possibilities. It’s a team confident in both its makeup and direction.
Matt from Hartford, WI
Seems like the 2-4 nickel loses the surprise rusher that the 3-4 features. Is it time to experiment to find the right nickel package for the personnel we have?
There is only so much you can do on the defensive front. You can throw different twists, stunts and combinations, but it really comes down to four or five rushers defeating their blockers. It’s at the second level where you’re seeing more adjustments to better handle athletic tight ends and larger receivers in the middle of the field. Those experiments are ongoing.
Brandon from Tulsa, OK
Regarding a question about being skeptical about our depth at OLB, Wes said there was reason to believe the group could be a strength for this defense. Playing devil’s advocate, is there any reason to believe that OLB could be a weakness for this defense?
Sure, but we won’t know the answer for sure until we see it unfold on the field. A year ago, a lot of fans were nervous about the defensive line and it turned out to be a catalyst to the Packers finishing eighth in run defense.
Dave from Sparta, WI
Besides the press box, where is your favorite spot to watch the Packers at Lambeau Field? From a fan’s perspective.
I’ve been fortunate to watch a few games at field level and there’s nothing else quite like it. You really get a feel for how fast and athletic all 22 guys on the field are.
David from Madison, WI
Matthew from New Berlin, WI, was told by Insider Inbox that pushing the 90-man cutdown back was a "positive for all parties involved." I think Vic once answered a question on the value of the early 90-man cutdown a few summers ago by writing that the cutdown's timing was beneficial to players because it allowed a player the chance to be picked up sooner by another roster in need of the player's services. Perhaps disequilibrium has been found on the Insider roster?
I can’t speak for Vic. He’s certainly been doing this a heck of a lot longer than me. I only know what agents have told me over the years and many disliked the 75-man cutdown because they felt it made their clients – typically undrafted rookies – look unwanted. I believe it’s a positive those players will now get an extra game to put on film.
Matt from Roanoke, VA
Hello Insiders! I hate living in the past, but do you think we will ever see another Nick Collins-caliber player in our secondary? He was one of the best at the safety position I have ever seen.
Nick Collins was a three-time Pro Bowler in the prime of his career at the time of his injury. Those types of players don’t come around often, but the Packers have developed several talented safeties over the years with Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix leading the bunch. Kentrell Brice, Josh Jones and Marwin Evans bring a lot to the table, as well.
Derek from Olney, IL
It's early but I definitely think the Packers need to draft Alvin Jones next year and get that team of twins! I think he’d be a great addition to our depth at LB.
I can’t think of another time the Packers have had twins on the roster, though they’ve had Jordan and Justin McCray on the roster at different times.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
I agree that Favre would be a Hall of Famer in any era. Do you think his TD/INT ratio would be better if McCarthy had coached him longer? Can we attribute a tiny bit of Rodgers' success in that area to McCarthy?
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people over the years who have lauded McCarthy’s work with Favre, overseeing one of the Pro Football Hall of Famer’s best seasons in 2007. Rodgers always has placed a lot of emphasis on protecting the football, but he and McCarthy together have taken it to the next level in Green Bay.
Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI
Is anything happening with the Titletown development yet that will give fans more things to do during training camp?
Hinterland is up and running, so you definitely can check that out. Lodge Kohler also is scheduled to be operational by the end of July.
Paul from Minneapolis, MN
Here is a Johnnie Gray story: As snot-nosed teenagers growing up in Green Bay during the late ’70s, some friends and I joined a small gym near the corner of 9th and Military. We were just learning how to lift. Every now and then Johnnie would be in there working out. He had muscles upon muscles. He was very approachable and often gave us advice on the proper way to lift. One day we all wore No. 24 T-shirts (no jerseys back then) in his honor, which brought a huge smile to his face. Surely he needs to go on your list as one of the most successful "undrafted" players to have success with the Packers.
That’s an awesome story and good example of how solid a human being Johnnie is. Thanks for sharing.
Paula from Billings, MT
What are the dates of training camp this summer? We are making a special trip to visit Green Bay and don't want to miss it.
The fun begins July 26. The rest is yet to be determined. Stay tuned to packers.com. It’ll be on the site for all to see once it’s formally announced.
Bob from Colby, KS
When the Pack play an evening game I don't watch much of it because it gets me too wound up and I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. Am I now a casual fan? Do I need counseling?
No. That’s life. My only advice would be to maybe get a full eight hours of sleep the night before.
Dave from Montello, WI
I agree that Charles Woodson has a great football mind. If he were to become a coach at Green Bay, what would he start out as, and would he become a great leader and coach?
Woodson is a brilliant mind, but I don’t think we’re going to see him on an NFL sideline with a coaching headset anytime soon. His personality was made for TV.
Mitch from Milwaukee, WI
Who can throw a ball better than Aaron Rodgers? I can.
Is that you, Uncle Rico?
Adam from Winnipeg, Manitoba
With all the talk of football movies, I'm surprised there isn't a little more love for “The Replacements.” Is it perfect? No, but it's one of those movies that if it's on, I have to watch it every time. What's your favorite?
I’m with you. I watch it every time it’s on. Any movie starring Gene Hackman has my attention. Sure, it’s no “Draft Day,” but it’s still an entertaining film.
Rich from Chicago, IL
Wes, DC or Marvel?
Nate from Pueblo, CO
Don't feel bad about being passed up by your neighbor. I was actually the No. 1 overall pick in our Little League draft. Turned out the coach was a hothead, yelled all the time, made us cry. My baseball career fizzled out before I hit junior high. It probably worked out the way it should have for you.
Ouch. That’s what was nice about always being picked last or not at all. I never had to deal with expectations. Anything I added to the team was extra credit.
Tim from Woodbury, MN
Wes, I'm sure the movie "The Benchwarmers" hits home for you, am I right?
It’s practically a documentary of my athletic career.
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