Is there still time? I can’t wait any longer…GPG
I’m driving as fast as I can, Earl. Do you want us to be arrested? There is the sign indicating the Nitschke campsite. Another eleven days. You’re just gonna have to hold it.
Steve from Colorado Springs, CO
With all the talk of the running game, what are the chances of us kicking the ball to start the season? Element of surprise, seeing what we have, showing we’re not scared without Davante Adams… I’m just a fan, standing in front of a reporter, asking for an answer…
It’s not a crazy thought, especially with the refined pass-catching ability of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones. And regardless of the outward sentiment regarding the Packers’ harvests, I promise you Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur and the rest of this organization love the cards they’re holding. The Green Bay Packers don’t need another receiver to get this offense ready for Week 1. All they need is for the umpire toss the coin and this thing already starts.
Made a play on Wednesday and got noticed by the coach. It was amazing! Made me think of all those young men about to realize their dream of playing in the NFL. How exciting it must be for them to play a thrilling game at camp and get that affirmation. Have you ever seen a player not being able to contain their joy in a situation like this or do they all play like it happens every day?
It’s usually not the player but his teammates. Most rookies and roster bubble guys know their job is to finish the game and get back to huddle. But it’s cool to see an established player like Randall Cobb or Jaire Alexander get upset and praise a young guy for a big touchdown catch or a key interception. That’s what makes boot camp special.
Dominic from Chesapeake, Virginia
I’ve been a fan since 1965, but I’ve followed the Packers very closely since 2010. With Rodgers, trades and draft picks, I’m excited every year for the season ahead, but I know how to temper expectations. My expectations this year are higher than ever. Do you feel the same? If not, in which year were they higher for you?
Probably 2011 based on how many players the Packers returned from the Super Bowl XLV team, but last year was there too. What impresses me most about the construction of the 2022 squad is its improbability. I didn’t see any scenario where Green Bay could keep De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas, while getting a long-term extension with Alexander. While I obviously didn’t expect Davante Adams to leave, Brian Gutekunst has kept most of a young and talented squad intact. Rodgers is still the QB and the Packers are still contenders.
Great reference to “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” Wes! Let’s see if it will pay off! So what would be the “bolder” strategy, keeping an extra lineman or defensive receiver on the Opening Day roster?
Three times in the past six years, the Packers have had seven receivers on their initial roster of 53 players. During the same period, they also kept six defensive linemen on three occasions. So neither would be a total stretch.
Grant from Janesville, WI
Do you think Sammy Watkins is on the team? I read an article that recalled Devin Funchess and speculated that Watkins might not beat rookies. But wasn’t Funchess’ situation more the product of a COVID-filled year, not so much that he wasn’t on the team?
Watkins and Funchess are different receivers who came to Green Bay under different circumstances. Funchess had played one game in two years and then suffered a hamstring injury. Watkins also suffered from injuries, but he also had great moments every year he was in the NFL. I’m not making any predictions on the roster on July 16. There are plenty of other outlets ready to do it, but the fact is Watkins is a former top five talent who is still on the right side of 30 and motivated to prove there is plenty left in the tank. .
Dennis from Beavercreek, Ohio
I like to think I know more about football than the average bear (no I don’t mean a bear fan) but last week I came across something I must have missed in the past. It was the UFA tender that was placed on at least two players this year. Seems to me this is where a team tells a UFA to go test the waters and if you find it cold come back here and we have that contract waiting for you. Am I right?
The UFA bidding is just one way to extend the window to receive a compensatory pick once unrestricted free agency ends in early May. New England used the layout to retain LeGarrette Blount a few years ago. In this case, Justin Houston could still negotiate with other teams before signing his UFA tender with Baltimore. But if he didn’t sign anywhere by the deadline, Houston had to play on the tender the Ravens offered him.
Craig from Brookfield, WI
Speaking of the evolution of the game…there are several “shooting star” formations on the attacking side of the ball. By that I mean the new trends that burn for a few years until the defensive coordinators figure them out or the element of surprise wears off. The Wildcat and the playback option come to mind. Can you think of anything comparable on the defensive side of the ball? Hybrid backs and 3-4 defenses lasted long enough.
Yes, but not like six or seven years ago. Safeties still line up in the box at times, especially in pennies, but the NFL has slowly moved away from having hybrid defensemen such as Deone Bucannon and Mark Barron playing linebacker exclusively. With rushing offense and group formations all the rage, teams are placing more emphasis on inside linebackers who can do it all and not leave the field.
Jeremy from Red Deer, Canada
Wes, I was surprised to read that Marcedes Lewis has the longest current starting streak among NFL tight ends at just 28 games. Is it because of the prevalence of injuries in the position, or more simply a quirk of the way departures are calculated?
It’s a combination of injuries and fewer tight ends. We talk so much about appearing in committee. The league is really all about committee tight ends now. When Lewis says he’s the last of a dying breed, it’s not just a convenient catchphrase – it’s the truth. There are fewer tight ends lining up on the first snap of every game.
When was the last time a rookie quarterback started a game for the Packers? Is it Don Majkowski? If so, I imagine it’s one of the longest streaks in the NFL.
Ding, ding, ding. Don Majkowksi in 1987. It’s quite a journey.