The Packers are casting a wide net with backup quarterbacks Wes Hodkiewicz
Dar from Mansfield, TX
Some interesting observations over the last several days, both on and off the field, but I'd say we're too early in the process to come to any hard conclusions. Maybe the only certainty we've learned is "Don't Be a Duane." And that might be good enough for a minicamp week, yes?
I'll take it.
Tom from Sacramento, CA
I used to be much more into sports, had SportsCenter on repeat, constantly reading news articles, and was up to date on all the major sporting teams. The past decade or so, sports coverage has become the equivalent of the celebrity magazines my lady likes to read. My two sources for sporting news have been whittled down to packers.com and CheeseheadTV. I guess where I am going with this is: People, please stop clicking or viewing these drama-filled "news" sources, and a big thank you to you guys.
There's no right or wrong way to consume information and I don't begrudge anyone for their preferences. But some of you may recall me writing earlier this week I don't have an opinion on the Aaron Rodgers situation. I wasn't trying to be cute or coy in my reply. It's the truth. I just don't get why everyone must have an opinion on everything, especially when we don't have all the information. Personally, I couldn't care less what others have to say on the subject. I don't derive entertainment from it. I'm here to do a job and cover what's in front me. If it's Aaron Rodgers, great. If it's Jordan Love, great. But I'm not going to rev the engine when we're standing idle. Nudge me when the light turns green. Good morning!
DT from Bozeman, MT
It is often said that adversity not only builds character, but also reveals it. Watching the Packers player interviews leaves me with the definite sense this team is loaded with mature, high-character players who will use the current situation to bond as a team rather than allow it to distract them from their individual and team goals. Do you get the same sense?
I do. Listen, everyone in that locker room wants Rodgers here but these players are responsible for readying to be the best version of themselves for that opener in New Orleans on Sept. 12. That's their focus right now. It doesn't really pay for them to worry anything else at the moment.
Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL
The QB room is now getting crowded. How many QBs do you think the Packers will keep on the 53-man roster?
It's difficult to keep more than three QBs on a regular-season roster, whether it's on the active 53 or practice squad. The third-stringer barely gets any reps, meaning a No. 4 guy has virtually no chance. But obviously the Packers are casting a wide net here with signing Blake Bortles, Kurt Benkert and Jake Dolegala over the past month.
Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ
Happy weekend, Wes. Other than the fact you are not summer-ready yet, what were your key takeaways from the minicamp this week? We heard a lot about Love's progress and struggles but not much on Bortles. Although Love deservedly received the majority of the reps, if something were to happen to ARod, I can't help but wonder if Bortles would give us a better shot to win this year. Just to comment on ARod if he were to get injured because I truly feel like JJ that his situation is fixable.
If things don't work out with Rodgers, then Love is the guy. I don't see anything changing that. Bortles has been in that "No. 2" role during the offseason program but he took just a handful of team snaps. I'd estimate I saw Love throw more passes over the three days of minicamp as I did last summer.
Denny from Lebanon, PA
I just wondered why people are so worried about Jordan Love after he has been around a full season to watch and learn from Rodgers, and yet they say other No. 1 picks are going to come in right away and set the league on fire with their play. I, like everyone else, hope Aaron comes back and plays his whole career in Green Bay. But I also have confidence in Jordan Love.
I keep saying this over and over again, but it doesn't make it any less true - you can want Rodgers back but also cheer on Love's success and development. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Post-draft I see this as the deepest and most talented team that the Packers have had since 2011. Over the last month my conviction has only gotten stronger. As OTAs wrap up, what do you think, Wes? Have I gotten too caught up in the hype?
Obviously, the Packers need to stay healthy...but yes, it's undisputed in my mind this is the deepest the Packers have been top-to-bottom since 2009-10. The defense is a big reason for that. Yes, there are some questions at inside linebacker and interior defensive line, but Green Bay is loaded in the secondary and at edge rusher from a pure athletic standpoint.
Kyle from St. Charles, MO
In your time covering the Packers who, if any, has stood out as the most talented athlete outside of football? Are there any current or former players that excel in random sports/activities that you can recall (Baseball? Golf? Frisbee golf? Ping-pong? Bags? Video gaming?)?
Davante Adams is an exceptional athlete. I've heard he's a great golfer and extremely gifted basketball player. I'm still getting familiar with Devin Funchess, but based on his videos, he's no slouch on the basketball court, either. Mason Crosby and Rodgers are talented golfers. Blake Martinez, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Aaron Ripkowski are all gamers. It sounds like new QB Kurt Benkert is, too.
John from Oxford, UK
Good morning chaps! Is there an official definition of a "rep"? Is it a single snap? I guess not, otherwise you'd call them snaps, not reps. Is it a pre-determined set or number of plays? When we hear "Love (or another player) got the majority of the reps" what does that actually look like? Those of us who have never played the game are keen to learn.
Reps and snaps are synonymous with one another. Love usually took 10 snaps at a time during team periods, with one of the other QBs then stepping it for two. That's what we mean by "majority."
Shane from Coralville, IA
In reference to Stan's question yesterday, Taysom Hill had a brief stint with the Packers before "slipping through the cracks." Which position group do you believe has the most opportunity to grow and have "game-changing" improvement this season? My eyes are on LBs and DL.
The Packers knew what they had with Hill but unfortunately played New Orleans that preseason. Either way, you are correct - he met the criteria. LB and DL are good picks but it's still the secondary for me. They got it all back there. Adrian Amos is one of the game's most underrated safeties, and three of the Packers' last four first-round picks have been DBs. Jaire Alexander is an All-Pro, Darnell Savage came on strong at the end of last season and Eric Stokes has the speed/size combination that scouts salivate over. Better yet, Stokes looks like he belongs. He's had a nice offseason.
Dave from Germantown, TN
Can you describe a player's typical day at training camp? Practice is about two hours, so what goes on the rest of the time? Since this is the players' job, I would expect an eight-hour day.
It's a never-ending medley of meetings (individual and team), lifting, rehab, eating, walkthroughs and more meetings at the CRIC (conditioning, rehabilitation and instructional center).
Mike from Madison, WI
Good morning Wes and Mike. I hope you are able to stay cool during this hot stretch. My question concerns David Bakhtiari and his knee. I noticed in the short video clip he was not wearing a brace. It looked just like a compression sleeve on his leg. Are his plans to wear a brace during the game, or is he going to try to go without? I have heard there are some players who do not like the feel of wearing a brace. Is he in that category?
That's common for this time of year when players are rehabbing. Bakhtiari didn't offer any specifics for what his plan will be once he is cleared to return to action. Some wear braces, some prefer not to. I'm pretty sure Bryan Bulaga rocked his DonJoy brace after the second ACL injury.
Tony from River Falls, WI
Has the NFL salary cap always been so complex or has it changed since its inception? The more I learn about it the more I have respect for Russ Ball and anyone else involved in the Packers' cap.
I don't have the brain capacity to process a tenth of the information Ball does as the team's cap expert. Russ will humbly say it takes a team effort in the front office to sort out all that stuff - which it does - but ultimately, it's on Ball to put pen to paper. It's the oil keeping the car running.
Jim from McLean, VA
Hello Mike and Wes! I know you have been focusing on the home team this past week, so perhaps Spoff or Hod could answer: Which non-playoff team from last year improved most with free agency and the draft to improve their chances of making a run?
Miami. The Dolphins kind of remind me a lot of the 2013 Cardinals. They're right there...and they know it.
Mike from Mercer, WI
Morning II, my question has to do with salaries of players that are put on IR for injuries. How does the money they get affect the overall cap money for the team? Do players get a smaller check as compared to what they would get if active for game days? Thanks.
It depends if the player has split-salary language in his deal. If he does, then his paycheck if halved through duration of his time on injured reserve.
Dennis from Beavercreek, OH
Can you do me a favor? Can you ask AJ Dillon for his leg workout routine and post it here? I keep working out my legs and have yet to see any success.
That's not a bad idea.
Tyler from Green Bay, WI
"Stop clicking on crap and/or watching the wasteland." michaelscottthankyou.gif
Spoff was throwing seeds on Friday.
Al from Green Bay, WI
Wes, welcome to the "dead zone" in the NFL calendar. Beyond the AR drama, what Packer news can we expect to hear about in the coming weeks?
This time of year? Hopefully none.
Tom from Draper, UT
Hello II. LaFleur puts a red jersey on you and tells you to pick your position on offense. Do you go in at receiver and try to catch a deep route? Do you go in at quarterback and try to throw the deep route? Or, do you go in at running back and try to hit the hole amongst the trees? I pick running back.
I attempted to catch a lob from Tim Boyle last year and failed on my first two tries before finally juggling, and eventually snagging, the third attempt. So, there's no way on earth I'm playing receiver with these baby hands. So, I'll go with quarterback. I'd rather throw a wobbly pass to the slot receiver than break a finger feebly trying to catch one.
Scott from Seattle, WA
Hey Wes. For some reason my mind started wandering today. What would happen if Demovsky ever tried to steal your lunch? Would it result in a WWF-type Smackdown? Maybe you could even get Kenny Clark to help you out?
I wouldn't need Kenny's help. I'd just attack Rob's bad knee and slide on out of there.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning. After this week's press conferences it's clear the local media need to brush up their interviewing skills. Trouble is always brewing when they whip out the "AND" word. Hypothetical reporter question: What do you think of the new DC, how do you fit in with his scheme and what's your favorite color? Hypothetical player answer: Blue. As professional interviewers, does this practice make you cringe and what did you have for lunch yesterday?
Dan from Topeka, KS
LaFleur (young head coach), Love (young QB), and the rest of the team didn't sign up for the offseason drama. And neither did the two of you. I commend you on your professionalism and steadfast fortitude through this all. I know this goes without saying, but you do an outstanding job representing all the values the Green Bay Packers hold dear (honesty, integrity, and respectfulness). You have many fans that owe you a cold one. Keep it up and never compromise on your morals. Cheers!
Thank you, Dan. And thank you to everyone who has stuck with us throughout a very unusual offseason. One more week of OTAs before we shift gears into summer mode. Oh, and I nearly forgot, I'm supposed to give a shoutout to former Bay Port cross-country standout Ryan Baker. Hope you're well, Ryan. Have a great weekend, everyone.
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