He was last on the depth chart

I remember going to the Dez drop game with my brother. As the call was being reviewed, he looked at me and said, “This one goes down in history.” I’ve thought about it many times since, especially with the overall NFC playoffs in 2014. Detroit lost painfully to Dallas, Dallas to us, us to Seattle, Seattle to New England. Has there ever been a more overall snakebitten playoff year for either conference?

One man’s snakebite is another man’s crapshoot.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

Packer haters always cite the Dez Bryant catch/no catch as their favorite reference in their “Packers get all the calls” arguments. It always annoyed me because the rule was applied correctly. But take that part out. Assume Dez caught it and the Cowboys took as long as possible before scoring the go-ahead TD. The Packers’ offense was unstoppable in the second half, and Rodgers would have had about two minutes to do what he does best, especially against the Cowboys. The Dez game was irrelevant.

I don’t know about irrelevant. But you’re right, the Packers would have had two-plus minutes (or more), with one timeout remaining, to mount one final drive, and they would have scored 16 points on their last three possessions. I think a lot would have hung on the Cowboys two-point attempt. Is the score 27-26 or 29-26 when Rodgers gets the ball back? Two very different scenarios.

Great post on bad or missed calls benefiting the Packers. It makes you think because we don’t really store them in our memory like we do the ones that might have cost us a game. I think one that gets missed by us fans a lot is the face mask that created the Hail Mary in Detroit. I wouldn’t say it was a bad call; in real time it looked like a legit face mask to everyone. But it was definitely the wrong call and gave us one of our most iconic Rodgers moments.

I thought I’d mention it too. But even if it wasn’t technically a face mask, there is an argument for unnecessary roughness, the way he was clothed on the tackle.

Bruce from Travelers Rest, SC

You are too young to fully answer the question from Mike from Franksville, WI. Jerry Kramer got out of position a little early, and Don Chandler’s field goal could just as easily be called not good as good.

All true, but my frame of reference with such questions are games I’ve covered or remember watching live. Others mentioned that Reggie was out of bounds on the side of LeRoy, leading to the Lambeau Leap, but the Packers won that game 28-0, and we’ve discussed before in this forum that a replay reversal may not have changed the birth and growth of the leap. However, the play correctly blown dead on the spot would almost certainly have.

We can all make educated guesses about how well Jordan Love will do this year. Ultimately, a large percentage of success comes from how well you hold up over a full season of play in the NFL. I’m wondering if you’ve ever covered a player who looked “weak” in practice but went on to have a successful NFL season.

Aaron Jones. The Packers drafted three running backs in 2017, and by the end of training camp that year, he was last on the depth chart. He was inactive in Week 1, didn’t touch the ball in a game until Week 4, and finished his rookie season with 81 carries for 448 yards and four TDs.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hi Mike, the ILB position should have been a feared one last year with the addition of Walker, but his temper cost them at times and Campbell seemed to decline from his freshman year. So what can we expect from them this season?

Interestingly, Campbell has recently revealed on social media that he played through quite a bit of pain last season and when he finally felt healthy, he injured his knee in Buffalo and missed a month. He clearly feels like he wasn’t himself in 2022. Walker played a lot as a rookie and should develop in ways that allow him to react quicker and miss fewer reads. The expulsions must of course also be important experiences.

Hello II! I wonder if you’ve seen enough of Jordan Love in games to compare Love’s running and scrambling abilities to Rodgers. Also, his ability to move in the pocket to avoid pressure.

There are no shortages when it comes to Love’s mobility. But using this mobility to your advantage requires learning the right timing of when to deploy it. Run too early and downfield opportunities may be missed. Run late and he still gets fired. Quarterbacks absorb the mental clock of the NFL game by playing the NFL game.

What are the biggest factors in a player making the team in training camp? Is it in preseason games, practices or team 11-on-11 periods? I know the easiest answer is all three, but what if a player is great in practices and teams 11-on-11, but just has bad games in the preseason or vice versa?

Then it comes down to digging into the reason(s) for the inconsistency. Are there explanations to believe that ups and downs can be smoothed out with more experience? Or does the player suffer from a lack of focus and concentration that makes him unreliable?

21 of 90 preseason players won’t have a paycheck during the season from the Packers, but overall, in a normal year, how many extra players would you guess are drafted among those at the bottom of the list? I truly feel for and admire their quest to chase their dream.

Last year, a total of 87 players were on either the active roster or practice squad at one point. Of those, 70 of them either appeared in a game, were elevated to the gameday roster or were a gameday inactive at least once.

Hi Mike, what position groups, besides R pitchers, would GM Spoff hope the brewers address before the trade deadline?

Paula from Apple Valley, MN

Are you preparing for the season differently this year given the big change at QB? I’m trying to temper my excitement and see where the road takes us. Easier said than done.

My preparation for any season involves physically taking a deep breath and mentally embracing the grind. It doesn’t matter who takes the pictures.

Megan from Noblesville, IN

Do you think Spoff will be the first team writer fined by the league for his comment on commissioner pay?

Good day gentlemen! I can almost see it now, Spoff is on the mat, holding out his hand and Wes is jumping up and down for the ropes. Wes yells at Spoff for the TAG… and then the cliff appears! The inbox is in shock – what happens next? Stick around.

See you next week. Happy Thursday.

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