Chat with Rob Demovsky
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN NFL Nation Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky drops by to chat and answer all of your Packers questions.
Following 16 years covering the Packers for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Demovsky joined ESPN in 2013 as the Packers beat reporter. He is a two-time Wisconsin Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Send your questions now and join Demovsky Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Rob Demovsky (3:58 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. Lots to talk about as usual, so let's get started.
What would lead the Packers to target JPeppers rather than Jared Allen?
Rob Demovsky (4:01 PM)
Alan: We'll start with your question. I went back and watched parts of the Packers games against both the Bears and Vikings this season to look at Peppers and Allen and there's no question that Peppers had a greater impact. Allen couldn't do much against rookie LT David Bakhtiari. Now, that's obviously only 2/16ths of what Peppers and Allen did last season and no doubt the Packers scouts and coaches watched a lot more than that, but they obviously felt Peppers could make a bigger impact in their system.
Rob,Is Nick Collins an option for safety going forward ?
Rob Demovsky (4:02 PM)
Wesley: I think I get this question every week, and every week the answer is the same. No. They didn't clear Nick Collins in 2012 and nothing has changed.
Michael (Belgrade, Serbia)
Do you think the packers will save the rest of their cap money for Nelson and Cobb's contract? Are there any other big players who they will need to worry about resigning this next year?
Rob Demovsky (4:04 PM)
Michael: Good time for that question because I just wrote about their cap situation. Here's the latest:http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/8578/packers-still-have-cap-room-to-maneuverIn addition to Cobb and Nelson, a couple of other key players are going into their last year: Bryan Bulaga, Tramon Williams and B.J. Raji(again) among them.
kris reyes silvis il [via mobile]
do you think the packers will keep matt flynn? I think he is better as a career back up than starter what is your opinion?
Rob Demovsky (4:06 PM)
Kris: Mike McCarthy has repeatedly expressed a desire to have Flynn back. At this point, it doesn't look like there's any team interested in Flynn as a starter. McCarthy also would like to keep three QBs on the 53 instead of just two like he has coming out of camp the last several years, so I would anticipate something will get done with Flynn soon.
Bob Kiley (St. Charles, IL)
With the loss of Smith and to a lesser degree Newhouse who will be the starting offensive line going into this season? Considering the lack of a running game up until this last season I think the line has done a respectable job and I would like to see that continue. Provided the skill players stay healthy it could be a great year.
Rob Demovsky (4:09 PM)
Bob: With the news today that Bulaga will go back to right tackle and Bakhtiari will stay on the left side, it provided some clarity to the situation -- except for center, that is. The Packers viewed Evan Dietrich-Smith as a capable starter but not at the price he got. Where EDS struggled some was in the running game. They'd like to get even better at that spot in the run game.
How much can the Packers expect to get out of Derek Sherrod?
Rob Demovsky (4:11 PM)
Aaron: Sticking with the offensive line theme we have going, it sounds like Sherrod will start out as the swing tackle, a role that Marshall Newhouse had last season. They're encouraged by what they saw out of Sherrod last season, but he still has a long way to go in order to show that he can be a full-time player. That broken leg was significant. If he can get back to what he was supposed to be, he could be a player. He's a hulk of a man.
With the Packers' glaring hole at free safety, wouldn't ex-Dolphins safety Chris Clemons make a ton of sense? Not very expensive and very good in coverage.
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Ian: I've gotten a lot of questions about Clemons. As far as I know, he hasn't been on the Packers' radar but I will check into that and let you all know.
Thanks for the chat and I'd love to get your take on why the Packers have not brought in any free agent safeties to kick the tires on? I get why no Byrd but what about less expensive options like Chris Clemons, a very serviceable FS still out there. It would seem to give TT the most flexibility in the draft to take the best player available if it does not fall right. Or frankly, even to take a FS since there are other safety needy teams that may want to jump us if they know we want and need one (i.e., Eagles, Panthers, etc). It is an obvious hole right now. Do you think he feels good about Hyde/Banjo/Richardson, has reached out but Clemons wants too much $$$, feels there are mid-late round guys that are comparable to the top 2, might trade up, will see what happens and then shop who's left after the draft...something else? Thanks again.
Rob Demovsky (4:14 PM)
Mark: See the previous answer about Clemons. As for the others, McCarthy can't seem to say enough good things about Micah Hyde. Whether that means he's a full-time safety remains to be seen. But perhaps they could use him like they did Charles Woodson in 2012 -- play him at safety in the base defense and move him up to the slot in the nickel and/or dime. Perhaps that would minimize the need to draft a safety in the early rounds.
Grant (Minnetonka, MN)
Any updates on Kuuuuuhn? Hasn't signed anywhere yet so I'd guess his price could be going down which is good for the GBP
Rob Demovsky (4:15 PM)
Grant: That's another guy McCarthy has said he'd like to have back, but obviously that's only going to happen at the right price. Given that there doesn't appear to be a big market for fullbacks, that could happen.
Justin (Portland, OR)
Rob -Your thoughts on the likelihood of Finley playing another down in the NFL?
Rob Demovsky (4:17 PM)
Justin: At this point, it seems less than 50-50, doesn't it? Maybe that's even too high. If he indeed failed his physical in Seattle, as reports have said, then it's worth wondering if it was because he isn't completely healed from the surgery but will be at some point or rather it's that even if he's healed, it's not safe for him to keep playing.
Mike (The Moon)
Will we struggle to describe the positions of several GB defenders this year? I think that's McCarthy's goal (Micah Hyde, Peppers, Neal, Perry, Jones) when he says being more multiple.
Rob Demovsky (4:18 PM)
Mike: It sounds like that could be the case. We've already talked about Hyde. And it sounds like Mike Neal and Nick Perry will definitely be playing multiple positions. The same thing could be true for Peppers.
Ted (Sonoma, CA)
Please describe the "elephant" position concept.
Rob Demovsky (4:19 PM)
Ted: It's a position that can be adapted in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 from. It's what they call a "7 technique" which means the defensive player lines up between the outside shoulder of the tackle and inside shoulder of the tight end. It's a position that Charles Haley made famous with the 49ers.
Do you think the NFL having such a 365 day calander is wise? I find that every day I spend an hour staying current with football activity.I look forward the Brewers season starting. NFL fan burnout.
Rob Demovsky (4:20 PM)
Ken: Given the interest in this chat and in coverage in general, I'd say it's not an issue. If the fans didn't consume everything, then perhaps it would decline, but there's no sign of that happening any time soon.
KCD_GB (Castle Rock (CO))
If you had to pick one or two reasons, why do you think Datone Jones struggled so much last year? Do you think we can expect to see more out of him this season?
Rob Demovsky (4:22 PM)
First of all, that ankle injury late in the preseason set him back not only from a physical standpoint but also from getting practice reps to better understand his role. He's not the first pass rusher to get off to a slow start in his career. It will be interesting to see if he can make the impact many of us thought he would.
Between D Jones, Mike Daniels, Mike Neal and Nick Perry, which of these players are capable of playing three downs?
Rob Demovsky (4:23 PM)
Maslow: When they drafted Jones last year, that's what they talked about. They felt he could be a three-down player. Last year, he only played on one down.
Jon (Norman, OK)
Do you think it is possible that Peppers will play from a standing position (LB)? Can he cover a tight end or running back?
Rob Demovsky (4:24 PM)
Jon: Based on what McCarthy told reporters at the NFL owners meetings today, it sounds like they consider him more of an outside linebacker in their scheme. Not sure if that means he'll be used in coverage like one, also. But it looks like he'll play a combination of the OLB and elephant end position.
Rob Demovsky (4:25 PM)
Becca: I thought about that today when I heard about the dunking rule change. Both that and the Lambeau Leap were grandfathered in as allowable celebrations. The fact that one of those was changed makes me think nothing, not even the Lambeau Leap, is safe.
Becca (Elmwood, IL)
With the dunk over the goalpost crossbar just outlawed, is there a chance the lambeau leap ever gets outlawed? Say, if a fan or player got hurt? or some other reason?
Kevin (Menomonee Falls)
Rob - thanks for the taking the time to chat - please rank the following from most likely to happen to least likely IYHO: (1) Micah Hyde starts full-time for the Packers at FS; (2) Jermichael Finley plays an NFL down next season; (3) Jordy Nelson hits free agency in 2015; (4) Randall Cobb returns a punt in 2014
Rob Demovsky (4:27 PM)
Kevin:From most likely to least likely:1. Randall Cobb will return at least one punt in 2014.2. Micah Hyde starts at free safety.3. Finley plays again.4. Nelson hits free agency.
Do we know of any offers being made to either J. Kuhn or J. Lattimore. Both have special teams talent and contribute approx 10 plays a game
Rob Demovsky (4:28 PM)
Rick: They're still talking with Kuhn, and Lattimore was given an RFA tender. He hasn't received any offers from another team but if he does, the Packers can match it. There's no reason for Lattimore to sign now. He might as well wait to see if he gets an offer.
Kyle (Red Wing, MN)
Does the resigning of James Starks spell the end for either Franklin or D. Harris? I'm guessing they keep all around and see if injury strikes one of them through training camp and go from there.
Rob Demovsky (4:29 PM)
Kyle: Franklin's neck injury from last season is still a bit of an unknown but even if all four backs are healthy, I could see them keeping them all going into the regular season.
Evan (Columbus, OH)
With Raji moving back to nose tackle, does his playing time increase, or does he see the same amount of playing time as last year?
Rob Demovsky (4:30 PM)
Evan: If he's playing straight nose, then it means he probably won't play much in the sub packages because the Packers don't use a nose in their nickel and dime packages. That said, there still could be a role for him in the nickel, but it won't be as a straight up nose. The guess here is his playing time will remain similar, around 60 percent of the snaps.
Rob, Is the Packers number 4 wide receiver on their roster right now or will they find someone in the draft/RFA pool?
Rob Demovsky (4:31 PM)
Ross: It wouldn't surprise me if they drafted someone, although between Kevin Dorsey, Myles White and Chris Harper, they might have their No. 4 already. Don't forget, Harper was a relatively high pick (fourth round by Seattle) last year.
No Comp. Picks for Woodson or "2012 Pro Bowler" Jeff Saturday?This comp. pick thing has me confused.
Rob Demovsky (4:34 PM)
Phil: Only players who reached free agency by virtue of playing out their entire contracts are factored into the compensatory pick formula. Woodson was scut, while Saturday retired with a year still left on his deal.
Who do you see as the front runner for job as starting center. MM dropped some names today. But do you see us going with one of them or do we draft a guy high and go with him. And on a side note. Do you have the grand oversight to know wich centers i this years draft would fit the packers best.
Rob Demovsky (4:36 PM)
Jeppe: I know he mentioned Lang and Sitton as candidates, but I don't see any way they move Sitton, who is one of the top guards in the league. Also, Lang struggled during his relief stints at center last season. JC Tetter and Don Barclay are probably in the best position to battle it out now unless they add someone in the draft. But don't expect them to take a center in any of the early rounds.
Now that TT has 2 more picks, what are the chances he uses them to move up in the draft to get a better quality pick? Isn't quality to be preferred over quantity any day?
Rob Demovsky (4:37 PM)
Randy: Well he can't trade the compensatory picks, but he can certainly use his other picks to move up, if he so chooses. However, Thompson has always said that he prefers "move swings at the plate" and his history suggests that if trades at all, it would be to acquire more picks.
Rob, personally I would not extend both Cobb and Nelson. I woul just extend one of them. A great QB like Rodgers should be able to turn average WRs into good WRs. That money would be better spent on the O-line and the Defense.
Rob Demovsky (4:38 PM)
Dave: So which one do you let walk? Cobb is younger, but to this point he's been almost exclusively a slot receiver. Nelson does so many good things from both positions and he has good size and speed. Obviously he's a little older, but it sure looks like he'd be good for at least one more contract.
Ian Jefferson, New Jersey [via mobile]
Rob, I saw that the slam dunk celebration will now cause a 15 yard penalty, when is the NO FUN LEAGUE going to ease up a little bit and let the guys have some fun, in my opinion, they're making way too many rules and eventually the game is going to be very dry. Any thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (4:39 PM)
Ian: It seems a little unnecessary if you ask me.
Tank in Texas [via mobile]
Do you think CJ Mosley will fall down to the Pack?
Rob Demovsky (4:41 PM)
Tank: I didn't think so, originally, but in his latest mock draft, Mel Kiper Jr. has him going to the Packers, so it sounds like there's a chance.
Ed (Queens Village)
How have Packers get the huge national fan following playing in a small city? Is it the winning or fan loyalty?
Rob Demovsky (4:43 PM)
Ed: I probably stems from the fact that they won the first two Super Bowls and were a prominent team early in the TV era of the NFL. There were a lot of people who identified with the Lombardi era teams and then passed that along to the generations that followed. Plus, there's probably some romanticism with being the NFL's smallest city.
justin, ms [via mobile]
Whatdo you think about how much Johnny jolly production last year. Do you think the packers will resign him
Rob Demovsky (4:46 PM)
Justin: Jolly was good -- really good -- early in the year but I thought he wore down a little bit. That probably should have been expected given his three-year layoff. Combine that with the fact that his neck injury had been bothering him for a few games before he went out. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Packers bring him back at some point.
Peter Knapp (Milwaukee)
There is no doubt that the addition of Julius Peppers will help the pass rush that was lacking most of the season, but with this free agent class that consisted of many VETERAN safeties, why wouldn't Ted Thompson fell the need to add a VETERAN safety to a position that was non-existent the entire season?Thanks.
Rob Demovsky (4:47 PM)
Peter: McCarthy hinted today that they might not be done in free agency, but it was obvious that there was nothing the Packers liked -- at least not at their price -- among the safeties who already have gone off the market.
Hi Rob, thanks for the chat.Whats with Datone Jones? Reports were that he was excellent in one on one drills in training camp. But when the lights came on he was a no show. At 285, could we see Jones transition into a OLB, ala Mike Neal? I've heard media speculation that Peppers may be standing up at times and have his hand down at others. Could Jones be used this way too?
Rob Demovsky (4:48 PM)
Jordan: If you remember in the playoff game vs. SF, after Neal got hurt early, Jones did play a little bit standing up and actually got some pressure from that position. Asking Jones and Capers about it after, they said it was something he had been practicing a little bit. We could certainly see more of that from him this year.
Why did the Packers not persue Devin Hester or another return man more? Would have taken a lot of pressure off of Cobb or Hyde to concentrate on there respective rolls.
Rob Demovsky (4:49 PM)
Zirks: The Packers were interested in Hester, but not at the $3 million-per-year price the Falcons paid. Had his price been around half that, the Packers would've gotten involved.
Would TT draft a QB if one of the top QB's dropped down to him ala Aaron Rodgers in this years draft?
Rob Demovsky (4:51 PM)
Peter: I can't see it. Favre was 35 when the Packers drafted Rodgers. Rodgers is only 30.
It appears the packers have done a lot in FA to address their deficiencies in the pass game, but what about the run game? I don't see how to loss of Jolly and Picket can help this run D. What am I missing?
Rob Demovsky (4:53 PM)
Aaron: They haven't ruled out bringing either (or both) back. But they did add Letroy Guion, who is a run stuffer and they plan to play Raji more at nose, which they think will make him more productive.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Do you agree with the Packers decision to play Bulaga at RT and keep Bakhtiari at left? What's his ceiling as a LT, top 10? 15?
Rob Demovsky (4:58 PM)
Scott: It's probably not smart to move Bakhtiari at this point. He settled into the LT nicely, so why mess with him? Bulaga never really settled into the LT spot, so it shouldn't be a big adjustment for him to go back to right tackle. The Packers like Bakhtiari's athleticism. With some added strength, there's no reason he can't make a big jump this offseason.
Rob Demovsky (5:00 PM)
Thanks for all the questions again this week. We'll be back next Tuesday at the same time. Talk to you then, and thanks for reading/participating.