May 16, 2021

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Inbox: Here we go

5 min read
Inbox: Here we go

Matthew from Marshfield, WI

Well, I got 50/53. My surprises: keeping only two QBs, trading away McCray at the last minute, and EQ heading to the IR before the 53 rendering him out the entire year. What were your biggest surprises from cut-down day?

Madison over McCray surprised me a little, for the experience factor, but I suspect that was at least partially scheme-fit-related. Congrats are in order for Madison for the road he took and the way he persevered. I would say Shepherd was the biggest surprise for me, not because he hadn’t earned a roster spot, but because the odds seemed remote to me that anyone would claim a 5-9 receiver from the FCS who wasn’t signed by anyone as a college free agent (he originally came to Green Bay as a tryout player for the rookie minicamp and then was signed). So I thought they could easily get him back on the practice squad if they wanted him to stick around. In any event, his story is a great one. First rookie tryout player to make the 53 right away since Jarrett Boykin in 2012, but even Boykin was signed by Jacksonville and then released before coming to Green Bay for his tryout.

It appears BG isn’t afraid to admit he made a mistake.

I’d phrase it as recognizing things aren’t working out as intended and aren’t going to.

Travis from Bremerton, WA

I had a good feeling about Boyle from the beginning. Glad he’s No. 2.

He won the job in Winnipeg in my book. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, that’s the most productive I’ve seen a second-string offense around here in several years. It wasn’t hyperbole.

Zach from Virginia Beach, VA

Guys, I’m happy with the initial 53, but a bit surprised it held. The Pack was sitting at 12 on the waiver wire and would seem to have a need at ILB. Perhaps Burks’ injury isn’t as bad as initially thought, or the org is high on Ty Summers. What are your guys’ thoughts?

I thought we’d see a claim, too, but Gutekunst on Sunday once again expressed optimism regarding Burks’ health and reiterated a point I’ve made a few times that there aren’t that many snaps with two inside linebackers on the field anymore.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

The II regular season is finally here, starting today! Sure, there will be questions about rules, filling out the roster, last night’s game…yadda yadda. But as of today, questions about “the next game” are the real deal. Huzzah! It’s on like Donkey Kong. That said, the Packers know some of the Bears’ tendencies (despite a changed Chicago roster), while the Bears…and Packers…don’t yet have a feel for what the Packers like to do. Does either team have an advantage on this point?

Both teams will have looks up their sleeve on both sides of the ball that will serve as surprises. It’s like that the first few weeks of every season, whether a team has new coaches or not.

Will the Wisconsin Badger band be playing during halftime of a game for the 2019 season?

Yes, I believe it’s the Oakland game on Oct. 20.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

There are a lot of good matchups in Week 1. Besides Packers-Bears what game are you looking forward to the most?

Rams-Panthers and Falcons-Vikings jump out at me.

Since 2007 (when I first started watching the Pack), we seem to have had a number of great receivers who each had one trait that they really excelled at. In my opinion, for Donald Driver I remember it being his toughness, Greg Jennings his route running, Jordy his sideline ability and speed, Randall Cobb his run after the catch, and Davante his release. My question is this: Over the past 12 years, which of the great Packer receivers has been the best blocker?

In my opinion, Nelson, but Driver and James Jones are close seconds.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Mike, it seems like forever the MLBs have been called the Will and Mike. Any idea when and how those names came about? Thanks for the clarity.

The names derive from the traditional 4-3 with linebackers in the middle, on the strong side (where the tight end is), and on the weak side. The first letter of those alignments are names for simplicity of communication – Mike, Will and Sam.

Hats off to Evan Siegle’s portrait work!

I left the Green Bay Press-Gazette 15 years ago wondering if I’d ever again work with a photographer as talented as Evan. Now I work with an even better version of him.

Diane from Hot Springs, AR

How’s the health of Bryan Bulaga? Would love to see him play all season!

The Packers had a plan throughout the spring and summer to limit Bulaga’s reps and get him to the start of the long haul as fresh and healthy as possible. Based on what he said at his locker this past week, it has worked and the 10th-year veteran is feeling better at this stage than he has in a long time.

Thomas from Evansville, IN

MVS or Geronimo? Who’s going to take the bigger step this year?

I’ll say MVS because Allison was already making his big step last year before he got hurt.

Does a practice-squad player salary count against the cap? And, if they are brought up to the 53-man roster do they get a new contract? And also, has a team ever used up the entirety of their salary cap so they were unable to sign a player that they needed?

I’m not aware of the latter happening because teams can always restructure contracts to create immediate cap relief if needed. Practice-squad salaries do count against the cap, and an active-roster contract is a new deal.

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