Braden from Brookfield, WI
Ever catch a pass from Rodgers?
No, but I think it was Spoff who might have taken a ricocheted Rodgers pass off his calf last year in practice.
Mohammed from Teaneck, NJ
Do you guys ever get tired of fans clamoring for what should have been the right moves in the offseason knowing that TT and MM have been consistently winning? Do you just want to pull your hair out at some of these questions and just tell the fans to R-E-L-A-X?
I don’t waste hairs, Mohammed. I need every last one I have. Nah, I appreciate the opinions. We all have them. I don’t like the people who get pushy about it, but I enjoy thoughtful and constructive argumentation.
Steve from Green Bay, WI
I have been a big fan of Davon House since he was drafted by the Packers. I am very happy that he has now returned. I have read a lot recently about the Packers now needing to address the speed of their secondary, but isn't that one of the things that House brings to the table, with sub 4.4 speed? I think our secondary is better than many believe. I would love to read your thoughts on that.
House’s speed-size combination is what propelled him into the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft despite not coming from a Power-five program. While technically this will be his seventh NFL season, there still is a lot of untapped potential to House’s game. This is his opportunity to show everyone what he can do and pass on some of the wisdom he gained from playing with the likes of Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams.
Paulette from Paris, France
I am young and new to America. I have studied your American football game for three years now. Do you think is harder on a defense physically and psychologically to give up 150 running yards versus 150 of passing yards? Thank you for taking my question.
Thank you for your question. If you limit a quarterback to 150 passing yards, you’ve had a nice day on defense. It probably would have to be 150 rushing yards versus 300 or 350 passing yards. Regardless, I’m still going to go with allowing 150 rushing yards. It can be demoralizing to a defense giving up that much production on the ground and usually sets the table for the rest of the opponent’s offense. Stopping the run makes an offense one-dimensional.
Bill from Raleigh, NC
This draft and develop thing is such an exercise in patience. Just about every Packer fan loves the way Jordy Nelson plays. I was looking at his NFL career stats and was expecting to see he was a star player right from the start, but I was surprised. For his first 3 years, he played in 45 of 48 regular season games, had 1,268 total yards, 6 TDs, and 6 fumbles. If you told me that a receiver was averaging 423 yards and 2 TDs per year then I might have responded he was closer to a wasted second round pick than a star. I sure am glad the key Packer coaches and TT saw "it" in Jordy. I hope we have a lot of second and third year players with "it" on the roster right now!
That’s why they call it draft and develop. Some players step into the building and immediately show they belong – Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiari and Eddie Lacy. Others take more time to develop. Nelson, a former walk-on safety at Kansas State, still had a long way to go as a receiver when he came to Green Bay. Nick Collins didn’t become a Pro Bowl safety until his fourth season. You have to know your players and trust the process.
Clint from Port Washington, WI
I've figured out my worry about Montgomery being a running back. My perception is that WRs run more upright and RBs more shoulder down. As someone who watches a lot more practices and games than I, do you see that? Or is it just my imagination?
I know what you’re saying, but I think Montgomery showed he could make the proper adjustments and thrive in his new position. There’s no question it was a big shift to make in-season. Yet, he put in the time with running backs coach Ben Sirmans to make all the pieces fit. The more I saw him run between the tackles last year, the more convinced I was the Packers made the right call.
Randy from Colleyville, TX
Love the TE pickups. Great to see Kendricks come home to WI. Still hoping to see a running back and some defensive players. Peterson and Blount are still out there and prices should be dropping, I also suspect running back will be addressed in the draft. Zach Brown is also an interesting LB still out there. Thoughts on these 3? Of course price is the concern.
Peterson has a lot to prove – can he bounce back from another knee injury? Will he be able to fend off Father Time for another year? How much is left in the tank? Blount’s situation is a little different with him coming off a career year at 30 years old. His situation is going to take time to figure out. I don’t know what the deal with Brown is. The market for inside linebackers can be confounding.
Jeff from Kenosha, WI
Would I be right if I said that it is just the nature of the game that some positions are easier to play and, therefore, easier to fill than other positions? If so, are those positions on offense interior linemen and running back? If that's right, then what Ted Thompson has done this offseason on offense makes a lot of sense.
You often see some of the top college guards go undrafted (e.g. Lane Taylor in 2013) because they’re competing with college tackles who are making transitions inside. It doesn’t usually work the other way around with college guards moving to tackle in the pros. Recent history shows how premier running backs can be found in the later rounds, which I believe is why the Packers haven’t taken one in the first since Brent Fullwood in 1987.
Jeff from Green Bay, WI
I was intrigued seeing that a former draft pick of the Packers (Lawrence Guy) got a big contract in free agency after very limited career stats. How does a 5-technique DT make himself valuable when not showing up in the stat lines and is Dean Lowry that valuable in our scheme as a similar type of player? He is my Packer to watch in 2017 that no one will be paying attention to. Guion getting suspended will only add to his opportunity, in my opinion.
Sometimes you have to look past the numbers. Ryan Pickett’s numbers with the Packers won’t jump off the page, but he was a catalyst to their run defense for many years with the way he ate up blockers and glided with the back down the line of scrimmage. I honestly haven’t seen much of Guy since he left Green Bay, but I know he carved out a nice career for himself. His size always has been intriguing at 6-4, 305. I, too, am interested to see what Lowry does after an active rookie year.
Ron from Tama, IA
What players on the practice squad look to make the roster this season, and to make an impact?
The Packers like Lucas Patrick, an undrafted free agent out of Duke who spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad. Reggie Gilbert also stuck around all of last year and has the size you look for in a pass-rusher (6-3, 261). They’ll both have a chance to impress when the team returns in April.
Jim from Des Peres, MO
Could Tripp have a role at inside linebacker, or is he strictly a special-teams guy?
Special teams will be Tripp’s starting point, but I see upside on defense with his game. He has good size and work ethic.
Rishit from Clarington, Canada
I think that Don Barclay is a liability on the offensive line but do you think he can prove all the haters wrong? As a packers fan I really hope he does.
Barclay looked significantly better in 2016 than 2015 when he was coming off a major knee injury. With Jason Spriggs in the fold, Barclay made himself valuable as a reserve on the interior line. He picked up the center position and improved every week during the preseason. I don’t know what the Packers are thinking as far as the starting spot at right guard is concerned, but Barclay gives them across-the-board versatility.
Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI
UFAs have been the best source of our DB roster for years and years (so no worries for next year), but I can't remember any major UFA pass rushers that played a major role, can you?
It depends on your definition of “major role.” They haven’t found another Clay Matthews, but the Packers have had several undrafted rushers make an impact through the years. Frank Zombo started eight games and had four sacks when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2010. Dezman Moses had four sacks in 2012. It’s well-documented what Jayrone Elliott has done in addition to his special-teams contributions.
Nick from State College, PA
Do you think Randall and Rollins were bothered more by injury than they let on? I think the coaches know they'll make jumps with a healthy year.
Both were in a tough spot. Soft-muscle injuries are so difficult to judge because they don’t just instantly heal. They take time. You don’t just wake up like, ‘OK, I’m good to go.’ It’s more complicated than that. It did remind me of what Casey Hayward battled in his second season with the hamstring. The Packers are looking for both Randall and Rollins to bounce back in 2017.
Thiago from Houghton, MI
Good morning Wes. How do GMs in the NFL value age on draft prospects? Is it a tie-breaking procedure for players with similar grades? After all, younger players might have a longer career.
Thompson has been pretty open-minded to drafting players regardless of age. He’s taken a pair of 20-year-olds (Randall Cobb and Kenny Clark) early in drafts, but also targeted older players such as Demetri Goodson, Kyler Fackrell and Brady Poppinga. Talent is talent. If it’s me and I had the same draft grade on two players, I’d probably give the tie to the younger guy.
Nick from Chicago, IL
I love how Adams stuck up for Lacy. Too many Packer fans are undervaluing the hype and grit he brought to the gridiron. Not to mention his countless hurdles in the Dallas games (those throwbacks though).
I don’t think Lacy gets enough credit for what he played through. He gritted through some tough ankle injuries without complaint. Those who question his durability – he played in 51 of a possible 53 games (including playoffs) before going on injured reserve. Eddie Lacy gave the Packers everything he had and was popular in the locker room. Don’t forget the long stretch of games the Packers had without a 100-yard rusher before Lacy came on board in 2013. He brought it every Sunday.
Michael from Manitowoc, WI
I always wonder why so many people buy a player’s jersey knowing they are not going to be with a team for long, Rodgers and a few being the exceptions. I buy a Packers shirt/hat, but never a player jersey. I haven't bought one since the 60s-70s.
I’ve always enjoyed jerseys. I wouldn’t advise investing in the 53rd player on the roster, but the Packers’ tradition makes their jerseys timeless. To each their own, but I don’t see anything wrong with still wearing your Reggie White, LeRoy Butler or Brett Favre jerseys on game days.
Sean from Baltimore, MD
Harder for a team to win the NCAA men’s basketball tournament or to win the Super Bowl?
Good question. I’d say the Super Bowl in the free-agency era based on the fact there hasn’t been a back-to-back champion since 2004. There’s obviously fewer teams, but so much parity.
Jan from Cologne, Germany
Right now we should have above 20 million in cap space after the draft right? Will that money be available in 2018?
NFL salary caps come with to-go boxes. Whatever you don’t use, you may carry over into the following season.
Dan from Golden, CO
A lot of Draftniks slated Sidney Jones to the Packers. Given his terrible injury at Pro Day and likelihood to miss most of the upcoming season, how far down does he drop from being a first-round pick?
Unfortunate timing after what I felt was a pretty impressive body of work at the combine. He probably falls into that same category as Jaylon Smith last year. One month from now, teams will have to gauge where he’s at in his recovery and make a calculated decision.
Chris from Katy, TX
Do you think the NFL will adopt a salary cap or "roster" limit for coaching staffs any time soon? Aside from program profitability, is there anything stopping a team from having a coach for every player on the roster?
I don’t see it happening anytime soon. It’s up to each team’s ownership structure to determine the perimeters of its coaching staff, personnel departments and resources.
John from Naples, FL
How big of a role does luck or chance play in determining who wins the Super Bowl each year?
You can’t ignore the influence of good fortune in determining a champion in any sport, but there’s also something to be said for putting yourself in position to be lucky.
Gary from Tompkinsville, KY
When will the NFL release the 2017 schedule?
It usually drops in mid-April.
Dave from Millerton, NY
Why is the topic headlined on your site “The first wave of free agency crashes hardest” and then when you scroll down there is no article on that. Your site sucks.
Rudy from La Crosse, WI
Free agent questions are the worst and I'm sorry to be bothering you with them, but I'm wondering if you can tell me why Zach Brown hasn't been signed by anybody. He had a really good year with the Bills, so I assume his asking price is way too high. If he stays on the market any longer it'll have to significantly drop, I assume. Is that an accurate assessment of the situation?
The first wave of free agency crashes hardest…
Lance from Scappoose, OR
The Insiders comment section is impossible. It's just 10 people having a chat room all day. It's less of a "community" as you've called it, and more of a coffee klatsch.
Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your (user) name.
Ryan from Elmhurst, IL
A fun question while Mike is away: Wes, what's your favorite non-Madden video game?
NCAA Football 14 and Grand Theft Auto.
Jake from Georgetown, TX
Insiders, I love your column! Definitely one of my favorite reads. My favorite part is reading the ridiculous things people say, reading your shut down responses, and in my mind saying, "OOOhhhhh Burn!" Keep up the great work.
That’s my favorite part, too.
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