Thu. Jan 21st, 2021

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You no longer can be surprised

6 min read
You no longer can be surprised

Kellie from Prairie Du Chien, WI

Allen Lazard came from my alma mater, Iowa State. He played with multiple QBs and OCs during his time, although he always produced big numbers and affected the outcomes of games. In conversations with other ISU alums, we’ve wondered if he’d gone to a better program if he’d gotten drafted. We aren’t surprised by his work ethic and conduct in Packers camp. Do you think it matters what program or conference a prospect comes from as part of the draft process and later in building the roster?

It might affect where a player is drafted, but it really doesn’t matter once they get to this level. There have been Alabama players who have fizzled in the NFL, while Robert Tonyan is quickly carving out a role after playing two different positions at Indiana State. Lazard is paired up with Aaron Rodgers now in practice and making the most of it.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

Who do you think the fan-favorite roster hopeful will be at WR next week? Perhaps whoever has the best game on Thursday?

There always seems to be a guy or two who steps up in these settings. Lazard, Darrius Shepherd and J’Mon Moore have all had their moments over the past week. My question is which receiver will stack success in Baltimore?

Drake from Huntsville, AL

Is the modern player expected to show up in game-ready shape? How much time is devoted to conditioning drills during summer camp? Thanks!

I think that’s true for one major reason – players have to be in shape to get into football shape. Lazard trains at elevation in Denver during the offseason, but said it’s still an entirely different ball game when players report to training camp. If you’re not in shape, you’re falling behind – and potentially off the roster.

Despite how much I love to watch the Packers, I have a feeling that my football IQ is awfully low. I have read enough about Equanimeous St. Brown being a “gunner” to wonder: Could you describe all of these special teams positions for punts? I’m sure the uneducated football fandom community would love to know.

“Gunners” line up outside and rush to pressure the returner. They’re usually the first to the fray. The only other punt-specific title is the “personal protector” who lines up a few yards behind the long snapper in a fullback-like spot, responsible for catching any free rushers.

At what point in the season, if at all, do you think a team might give fewer public snaps to a guy they’d like to see clear waivers and return to the practice squad?

This is mostly a myth, to be honest. The Packers liked Geronimo Allison in 2016, Brian Price in 2017 and Tyler Lancaster in 2018. All three played a lot in their respective preseason finales. Allison and Lancaster cleared waivers, and Price didn’t. It’s still important for scouts to get that last look. I think the performances of James Crawford and Tonyan in Kansas City last year solidified their spots.

Seth from Ellicott City, MD

Will this finally be the year when Aaron keeps his glorious mustache throughout the entire season?

He typically shaves it after the “Welcome Back” luncheon, but never say never.

Haven’t seen it trumpeted on the Packers’ website, and I realize it’s only one preseason game so far, but Ty Summers is tied for No. 2 in the NFL in tackles! Love his determination to do even better next game. Here’s to his continued success.

Summers was hard on himself about missed tackles but he also played nearly 80 snaps. That’s a lot of work. I’m sure he’d love nothing more than first-team reps but there’s a real benefit to him relaying calls with the No. 2 defense, especially if Burks is out for a significant amount of time. You know the motto by now – next man up. You have to stay ready for every spot.

Robert from Georgetown, TX

I drive Uber/Lyft part-time here in the Austin area. I met a couple who went to school with and knew Ty Summers at TCU. They gushed about what a great guy he was off the field. How have you guys found Ty to be? I am a BIG fan after preseason Game 1!

A total pro. He’s a very well-spoken individual. He reminds me a lot of Martinez as a rookie.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Curtis Bolton and Ty Summers. Who’s the biggest surprise for you at this point? It looks like one or both could be awfully important over the next five months.

Spoff knows a lot more about Bolton than I do. He’s a smart guy with a build befitting the inside linebacker position in 2019. I’m eager to watch him play these next three weeks. Honestly, my biggest surprise is Ka’dar Hollman, though. It’s no stretch to say he’s the No. 4 corner at the moment.

Hello Insiders! Do you think with Burks going down a guy like Josh Jones may have an opportunity to carve out the larger role he’s been craving with the team? Or would having a hybrid LB still invite the run? Thoughts? Thank you!

It’s possible. I thought Burks was positioned to stay on the field as a coverage linebacker in the nickel, but there are a several safeties, including Jones, who fit the bill in that hybrid position. As last year showed, Mike Pettine has no problem whatsoever sending that extra safety on the field.

Wes, I made a comment about ML, wishing he would not have made a public statement about AR’s negative comment about joint practices. I am sorry if I offended anybody and didn’t mean it to sound like a rip against ML. I meant it from the heart. I respect everyone’s perspective. I guess what I wanted is for people to stop all the negative talk about the relationship between the two of them and thought keeping things in-house would keep conversations more positive and focus on the upcoming season.

I respect your questions, Bruce, and took no offense. I also feel like there are folks out there looking for any reason to making something out of nothing. The outcome of the Rodgers/LaFleur partnership won’t be determined by what you, me or any pundits think. It’s up to the two men in that room to bring this offense, and team, back to the forefront.

Wes, which quarterback will start in the game against the Ravens?

History says it will be Rodgers. He’s played in the second preseason game in 10 of his 11 seasons as a starter. In 2018, this week was the only game he played in. Either way, we should get a better feel for that after today’s practice.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Would you expect both teams to play primarily starters for at least two or three series?

Again, I don’t know how LaFleur will handle veterans but this is the game veterans traditionally play in. Also, I wonder if the third game being played in Canada makes the coaches think long and hard about this being “the game” for vets.

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