Julius from Providence, RI
Among the established veteran WRs and the first- and second-year players who are exceeding expectations or have flashed great potential, how many do you think will end up on somebody’s post-waiver 53? I put the over/under at 7.5.
Under. Nothing against the Packers’ 90 but every NFL team has tough decisions to make at the end of camp. You have to remember most of the 53 players who make an opening roster have been there since April. Teams tend to stand by those players unless there’s a diamond they have to have.
The questions about does winning preseason games matter reminded me of a point Vic made years back. It’s not about winning but trying to win. I don’t recall which game it was but the Packers were down in the fourth quarter. They scored, converted an onside kick and were able to score again to win the game. Those types of games (preseason or not) can help your team and head coach considerably when the real games come around.
The score doesn’t matter but the situations certainly do this time of year. You can learn a lot about a backup quarterback and the other 21 players on the field based on how they respond in those two-minute settings, especially in a game.
Cliff from Granville Centre, Nova Scotia
I know it’s a tad early, but with Kumerow really showing up in camp with fly-paper fingers, he’s likely a lock to make the team, and may serve as the Jordy Nelson (possession receiver) role for the Pack. How does Kumerow’s career performance compare so far when you place it against Nelson’s at the same age/years experience?
There are no comparisons for Kumerow, the overnight sensation five years in the making. At 27, he’s actually the oldest receiver in the room at the moment. This is a critical year for him, but he’s off to another good start.
Tom from Douglassville, PA
Who was your biggest surprise from the first preseason game?
I already said Ka’dar Hollman in a previous column, but I want to show Tony Brown some love, too. I didn’t expect much from him after what happened last year in Detroit, but as Spoff wrote recently, he’s rewarded the Packers for their faith. He’s the No. 4 guy right now behind Jaire Alexander, Kevin King and Tramon Williams. By all accounts, he’s going to play some serious snaps in this defense.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
I don’t see much mention of Chandon Sullivan but he seems to be a turnover creator every time he is mentioned. Any thoughts?
Another young cornerback who came ready to play this summer. Sullivan is one of those guys who’s always around the football.
I’m not saying I told you so, but Oren Burks’ injury is a reminder of the neglect MLB has received from the front office over the past decade. When I said the Packers were one Blake Martinez injury away from a nightmare scenario, I was called overly dramatic. I just read an article yesterday that used the word “catastrophic” for said scenario. I’m not trying to take credit or hope that plays out, but we should all say a quick prayer that Mr. Martinez stays healthy. Then draft a MLB. Early.
Don’t throw your back out picking up all those bouquets you threw for yourself, Andy. Just kidding…kinda. The Packers drafted an inside linebacker in the third round last year. They had bigger fish to fry elsewhere this offseason. You also have to take into account the depth of the safety position when making this argument in 2019.
I’m interested in hearing about the progression of Burks. I know he’s injured now but was he showing the second-year jump that coaches look for? I was starting to think he might be a bust.
He’s definitely not a bust. Physically, he belongs. That’s not a question. Mentally, Burks looked a lot more comfortable this offseason than he did as a rookie. He was having a good camp before this recent setback. As I said before, Martinez dealt with his share of adversity his rookie year. Hopefully, we see Burks again sooner rather than later.
Steve from Middletown, KY
Where can we stash Burks without being IR, or does that seem like his eventual designation? Plus, if the two fullbacks aren’t ready, it seems likely the trickle down will affect other roster spots. Are they ineligible from possibly going on the PUP?
The only players eligible to be on the physically unable to perform list are those who failed the pre-camp physical and have yet to practice. If you’re injured during training camp, you must remain on the 53-man roster through final cuts before being placed on IR to be eligible to be designated to return later in the season.
Jaime from Chiapas, Mexico
Lonnie Johnson’s hit on Jace Sternberger occurred during a practice, but if he (a rookie) had done the same during a preseason game, would the league have fined him the same amount as a veteran would be fined for that same hit during the regular season?
Yes. Fines are collectively bargained at pre-determined rates (that escalate if it’s a repeat offender). If Johnson were fined in a preseason game for that hit on Sternberger, it would come out of his first regular-season game check.