Mon, 27 Jun 2022

Inbox: There's a long way to go here

Packers
19 Jun 2022, 18:12 GMT+10

Those guys can slip through the cracks

Al from Morton, IL

Hello Mike, this brief surprise experience will help get me through the dead zone: Flew into London Heathrow this week over Tottenham Hotspur...an impressive sight. I could almost hear the roar of the crowd responding to an AR12 TD strike! The UK was brilliant. You can't go wrong with fish & chips and a brew at a local pub.

It sure sounds like I'll be getting my Wisconsin fish fry fill in less than four days over there.

Byron from Onalaska, WI

Insiders, the forgotten supplemental draft is on July 9. There appears to be a couple declared players such as Clemson's big offensive tackle Isaiah Battle drawing some interest. I understand if a team selects a player they lose a draft pick in next year's main draft. Is there a standard pick that is taken, or do other factors determine what pick is taken? Also, has the Packers taken a supplemental draft pick player ever and if so who was it?

For the supplemental draft, every team gets a chance to exercise a pick, round by round, much like the regular draft, except most teams pass on their turn (so it goes really, really fast). If a team selects a player, the round in which it takes him is the round of the pick lost next April. To my knowledge, the last time the Packers chose a player in the supplemental draft was 1998, using a second-round pick on Mike Wahle.

Thomas from Madison, WI

Now that the WRs we have on the team are on summer break (i.e., invisible), it seems the "alternate" Packers news sites are rerunning their stories on how the Packers need to trade for (popular WR) from the (rebuilding team) to complete the roster. Ugh. Personally, I'm really sick of this narrative. But since this is II and we're supposed to ask questions, say the Packers do pick up a WR not currently on the roster. From a timeliness perspective, when would you expect it to happen?

If that happens, I suspect it'll be just before or after the start of training camp.

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Do you ever remember a division having the quality of QBs that reside in the AFC West?

The quartet of Mahomes, Wilson, Herbert and Carr is awfully impressive, but I wouldn't automatically declare it the best ever from one division or anything. Just two years ago, the NFC South had Brady, Brees, Ryan and Bridgewater, which isn't a bad group either. I read a detailed article that researched other possibilities to compare - which is difficult based on where many of these QBs were in their careers at the time (and when many divisions had five teams) - so I'll list some of the better collections here and folks can ponder them on their own. In 1994-95, the AFC East featured Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Drew Bledsoe and Boomer Esiason, with the addition of Jim Harbaugh in '95. In '99, the same division had Marino, Bledsoe, Peyton Manning and Doug Flutie. In the early '80s, the AFC Central had Terry Bradshaw, Ken Stabler, Brian Sipe and Ken Anderson. In the early '70s, the NFC East had Fran Tarkenton, Sonny Jurgensen, Roger Staubach and Jim Hart. And last but not least, in 2009-10 the NFC North had Favre, Rodgers, Stafford and Cutler.

Bob from Port Saint Lucie, FL

Everyone wonders who will be the starters at wide receiver. For me, the better question is who will be on the field in the final two minutes of a game when behind by six points!

Or one or two or three points, or if the game is tied.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

Why do people harp so much on Gary's first season? That was the first season we had both Z and Preston. He didn't have much of an impact because he hardly played in comparison, but those few snaps you saw the effort, explosion, and awareness that he was building. He wasn't supposed to have an all-pro impact right out of the gate. He didn't need to. He was supposed to learn from Mike, Z, & P, and you can tell he did just that.

I couldn't agree more. Some folks got fixated on the fact that he was the Packers' highest draft pick (No. 12 overall) in a decade, since Raji was chosen No. 9 in 2009, so they demanded instant stardom. It was obvious there'd be a developmental process to the selection, with him moving from a down defensive lineman at Michigan to a stand-up edge rusher here. His trajectory has been in the right direction since he arrived. We still don't know just how good he's going to be.

TK from Grafton, WI

So I've fallen short on the first day of opportunity. I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off, and asking: Why, of all players picked in the later rounds (5-7) do offensive linemen seem to have the best odds of succeeding? (I'm coming after you, Dar and Mar!)

Easy, TK. Measured enthusiasm is preferred. I think with offensive linemen, because guards and centers are not chosen as frequently in the early rounds, those guys can slip through the cracks a little bit, along with tackles who project as interior linemen at this level. When the Packers have drafted a tackle they plan to move inside, it's almost always been in the fourth round or later.

Sean from Cortland, NY

With all the talk about the depth of the secondary, the guy I don't hear much about is Jean-Charles. Have you seen or heard anything recently hinting that he also has a chance for some more time this season? Or is ST his only role right now still? What a nice surprise that would be. Thanks!

The offseason program ended with veteran free agent Keisean Nixon as the fourth corner on the depth chart, but both Shemar Jean-Charles and Kabion Ento are going to be in the mix battling for that spot in training camp. There's a long way to go here.

Mark from Naperville, IL

When Mike was talking of the offensive linemen and the possibility of a rookie pulling a Royce Newman, I KNOW Mike was saying "Newman!" the whole time, but needed to add Royce to make sense to the readers. I think he should have just put "Newman!"

Indubitably.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, II. I know that the Packers website does not post signings until they have been officially confirmed by the Packers organization. Why haven't I seen the posting of Allen Lazard signing his contract?

The communications department has never made a regular practice of announcing RFA tender signings via press release. There wasn't one when Tonyan signed his last year, either.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

This offseason reminds me of the offseason after Sterling Sharpe's career-ending injury. Hopefully we'll have similar success post-Adams, but would you agree that an even bigger picture for the '22 season will be how Bakhtiari, Jenkins and Alexander perform after significant injury?

Tonyan, too. I think the post-Adams landscape and the high-caliber group of players the Packers are returning from major injuries are the 1A and 1B of big-picture storylines for 2022.

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Rich Grand Rapids, MI: "Your observations about a running game putting fear into a D are spot on. Dalvin Cook worries me..., but not as much as Adrian Peterson did...And then there is the terror that was Barry Sanders..." Spoff: "It remains the pinnacle... of Fritz Shurmur's career..." Me: For those of us old enough to remember, for me the "fear" was Walter Payton. As much as I hated/hate the Bears, his 2,484 total yards on 534 carries (4.7 average) still makes me cringe.

Your note prompted me to look up Walter's career stats against the Packers. He played 24 games against Green Bay, with his first two in '75 and last four in '86-87 rather pedestrian performances. In the intervening 18 contests, he topped 100 yards rushing 13 times. Mercy. He had a streak of four straight in '76-77 and then five in a row from '83-85. Just for fun, I looked up the best single season against the Packers for each of the big three (Payton, Sanders, Peterson). For Walter, it was his MVP year of '77, with 55 carries for 368 yards and four TDs in two games. For Sanders, in '95 he had 40 for 291 and no scores. For Peterson, in his MVP year of '12, he went 55 for 409 and two TDs (plus a third as a receiver), and then added 22 carries for 99 yards in Minnesota's playoff loss at Lambeau. He rushed for more than 500 yards against the Packers in a little over 100 days.

Nicolas from Monterrey, Mexico

Following up on all the running game/back questions, would you rather have an explosive running game or a running game that can close out games? I think there is nothing quite like running the ball when the defense knows you're going to do it and they can't stop it.

Chances are a team that can do the latter can develop the former if it doesn't already have it.

Jayson from Fayetteville, NC

In response to Scott from Palos Park, IL, question about Stokes and Mike's response. I offer this, Stokes' and Douglas' play last year could lead to Jaire being tested more coming off injury and so many missed games. Or coupled with their continued stellar play could lead to more targets against Jaire. This might end up being a heavy volume year for Jaire, e.g., more PBUs and picks. We will just have to wait and see.

Indeed we will.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

When I saw your anticipated starting offensive line I realized not a single one started the 2020 NFC Championship Game against Tampa Bay. That game we had Turner, Jenkins, Linsley, Patrick, Wagner. You don't need to look far to see the importance of jars on the shelf.

Life moves pretty fast in this league. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Dan from Maquoketa, IA

After reading questions and comments that have been rehashed over the years this time of year, should you rename the dead zone the zombie zone as no questions ever really die?

Have a great weekend, everybody, and a Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

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