You want your best offensive linemen blocking the quarterback’s blindside Wes Hodkiewicz
Bill from Burbank, CA
Wes, are you okay? More spelling/grammatical errors in Saturday's column than almost all other columns combined. Be well - you guys are fantastic!
The honest answer to that is, "No. I'm not OK," but I do sincerely apologize for the errors last week, specifically in Saturday's Inbox. I stretched myself too thin and ran into a time crunch on almost every edition of Inbox. So, I'm going to scale back on how many questions I take until Spoff gets back. Thanks for your understanding.
Jake from Lake Mills, WI
I have questions about the PUP list as it may pertain to David Bakhtiarior Josiah Deguara. Is any player automatically added to the list if they aren't healthy enough to practice the first day of camp? If they become healthy enough to practice before the end of the preseason, they can be added to the roster immediately with a complimentary roster cut, correct? There's an automatic six weeks of unavailability if they aren't healthy by Week 1?
Yes, yes and yes. The PUP list is for any player who is unable to practice the first day of training camp because of a pre-existing injury suffered either last season or during the Packers' offseason program. The player can return to practice at any time until the end of camp. But if he isn't activated during the cut to 53, then the player starts the season on the PUP/reserve list. During that time, the player doesn't count towards the 53-man roster but he is required to miss the first six weeks. He can practice after three.
Preston from Tallahassee, FL
With the most recent player stories, how much noise does there need to be before the organization is forced to address it? There are a lot of things I wish were different, but the reality is the "owners" have a right to some clarity regarding what the heck is going on.
But what do you suggest, Preston? Did you want an impromptu news conference Sunday afternoon to address reports? The shareholders meeting is today and training camp starts Wednesday. We're about to embark on five straight months of interviews and news conferences. You're going to get the answers you seek soon enough, one way or another.
Joshua from Houston, TX
What is your favorite part of training camp?
Watching young players dismount their bikes, sign a few autographs, and run out on the practice field. It's simple but there's something magical about it. We probably won't get that tradition back in full this summer, but it'll be neat to see people back out at practice again. Last year was lonely.
Chris from West Allis, WI
The response about David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkinsmaking the best offensive left side in football got me thinking. Assuming limited resources (which is always the case) and given the choice, is it a better strategy to concentrate your best players on one side or spread out the talent to "even out" the strength across your offensive front?
The first question is where is the player most comfortable? If the O-lineman performs at an optimum level in a certain spot, that's where you better play him. But if a player proves versatile enough to flip sides (e.g. Josh Sitton in 2013), then it makes sense to have your best tackle and guard on the QB's blind side.
Anthony from Sturgeon Bay, WI
Coming from a neutral observer, it seems to me the potentially best move the Packers made was drafting Jordan Love. Nobody really seems to know why AR is unhappy, possibly including the Packers. He hasn't said a whole lot about what it, so what is it? Wise executives know to "expect the unexpected." Weren't the Packers execs simply following this mantra?
I can't speak on the decision to draft Love and how it might have affected Aaron Rodgers. I do know the Packers felt strongly about Love to trade up to take him last year. Like I always say, recent history is all we have to go off and the first three players Brian Gutekunst drafted - Jaire Alexander, Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage - have all paid dividends for the Packers. If Gutekunst saw that type of upside in Love, who am I to disagree with it until I see this guy take padded reps?
Johnny from Jupiter, FL
Morning Wes! Wow...am I getting tired of all this front office must go stuff! Many national articles say how bad the Packers are handling Aaron Rodgers and now Davante Adamscontract situations. The Packers have been consistent winners for years. I, too, would have liked another Super Bowl but come on! Almost every team and their fans would take our recent history and that's in big part due to the front office! Sorry for the rant and thanks for all you do!
Ha. I wouldn't call that a rant. I won't begrudge fans for however they feel about the situation. They're entitled to that. Just keep in mind, Rodgers and Adams were this past year's winners of the Tom Mulhern Stand-Up Guy Award, which is given to the player(s) who help reporters do their jobs to the fullest. For Adams, it was the second time winning the award. So, it's not like we're talking about irrational, screaming malcontents. Rodgers and Adams are good people who are beloved in the locker room and do a lot of good in both this community and in California. It's no different than Brian Gutekunst and his scouts, and Matt LaFleur and his coaches. So, I still hold out hope cooler heads can prevail. I know that makes me an idealist. But if a vase shatters into 100 pieces, I'm still the guy sitting on the floor with the gorilla glue, trying to put it back together.
Matt from Burlington, WI
II, what's the downside to having additional competition in camp, other than a lack of reps?
The tough calls teams must make at the end of training camp - and not just at a set position. For example, the decision to carry an extra tight end or defensive lineman could result in a team cutting a third-string quarterback or fourth-string RB who turns out to be a really good player down the road. I remember years ago Gary Kubiak, head coach of the Texans at the time, talking about how cutting Tramon Williams still haunted them. That's the business.
Hannes from Glendale, WI
I'm blown away by "Take Your Eyes Off the Ball 2.0." I used to be frustrated by the Packers running the play clock down to the last second. Now I realize the amount of information Aaron Rodgers was processing a little better. I think you guys bringing up this book in the Inbox will trigger some elaborate questions. Tell me, was that part of the intent?
Bingo. There's a lot of value in the pre-snap tells a defense gives to a quarterback - if the QB knows how to process it properly. The trick is not letting the play clock get down to a second left. That enables edge rushers to jump the snap without any fear of being offsides, since a flag for delay of game will get thrown if the snap is delivered late.
Mike from New Orleans, LA
I'm fairly certain the Packers have more than two Pro Football Hall of Fame players, Wes.
I made a lot of errors Saturday but this wasn't one of them. The Packers have two Pro Football Hall of Famers from the Super Bowl XXXI team: Brett Favre and Reggie White. My point was LeRoy Butler should be the third.
Ed from Portland, ME
Hi guys. I've been a Packers fan since Ike was President and enjoy your wit and insight. No matter the reason, if it's a seasoned vet or a young newcomer, I'll root for whomever - whoops I mean whoever - runs on the field to grab the kicking tee after we kickoff. Go Pack Go!
God bless you, Ed. T-minus two days until the start of training camp.
Rick from Brookfield, WI
There seems to be growing speculation that AR will retire before training camp and then unretire before next season. Isn't that risky considering the Packers own his rights for three more seasons and may never agree to a trade?
How many of you have seen "Planes, Trains and Automobiles?" There's a great scene late in the John Hughes classic where Neal (Steve Martin) punches Del (John Candy) in the stomach after the revelation Del used Neal's credit card to get the rental car that the two accidentally incinerated. That's how I'm going to greet Spoff when he gets back in the office Thursday.
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