Chat with Rob Demovsky
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Rob Demovsky (2:59 PM)
Good afternoon on an overcast, dreary day in Green Bay. Thanks for joining me a day later than our usual Tuesday slot. Let's get right to the questions.
What is up with Jerel worthy? I know he was injured for the last two seasons including his rookie year. Yet no one seems to be talking about him or his development?. Is it already a forgone conclusion that he wont develop into a solid contribute along the defensive line?
Rob Demovsky (3:01 PM)
Emerson: Part of the issue so far in OTAs is that he hasn't been here, which is understandable given the unexpected death of his grandmother a couple of weeks ago. However, it was a bit of a surprise that he wasn't practicing yesterday even though he was back with the team. Trying to find out why that might be. He didn't seem like he was back to 100 percent late last season from the knee injury. This is a big summer for him, but I don't think they've completely written him off yet.
Steve (Dunlap IL)
Since you have covered both Quaterbacks in your career .Which QB Farve or Rodgers has had the biggest impact on the Packers at this point?
Rob Demovsky (3:03 PM)
Steve: I would say Favre, but only for this reason: the franchise was so far down in the dumps when he came in. As for actual impact on the field, at this point, I'd say it's as close to a draw as it gets.
Ethan (La Crosse)
Richard Rodgers vs. Colt Lyerla. Who's standing out more, aside from that one-handed catch by Rodgers that everyone is drooling over?
Rob Demovsky (3:05 PM)
Ethan: You're right not to put too much stock into one, one-handed catch, but so far Rodgers has made a bigger impact. Also, it seems like he's gotten more snaps in team reps, although that could be due to the fact that of the three OTAs the media was allowed to watch, Lyerla was absent for one of them. There will be plenty of time for both to get reps in the preseason, I'm sure.
Eric Ebron with the 10th pick or Colt Lyerla as a free agent. Right now, who would you rather have? Obviously, an interesting question if Colt continues to progress on and off the field.
Rob Demovsky (3:07 PM)
OK, let's stick with the tight ends for a bit since I see there are a lot of questions. Since I haven't seen Ebron practice and have only seen Lyerla practice twice, I can't say. I liked what scouts said about Ebron before the draft so long as he doesn't have issues with drops, but it's tough comparing a first-round pick to an undrafted rookie (even though Lyerla probably has the talent to be drafted high).
What will determine the TE group? Will it be ST play? The ability to line up as H-back? etc.. With all the the athletes at the position isn't important to keep the potential playmakers like AQ, Bostic, Rodgers and Lyerla? Sure that leaves Taylor and Stonehands and their Special Teams play off the roster, but who cares?!? The ST has been consistently terrible with these guys on the field while providing nothing in terms of offensive production? Am I wrong?
Rob Demovsky (3:08 PM)
Mike: The starter, obviously, will be the best playmaker and that guy likely won't factor on special teams. Might be the same for the No. 2. They love Taylor as a special teams guy and maybe the problem isn't the guys like him but rather that they don't have enough guys like him on ST.
The TE group is one of the more interesting positions to me on this years preseason roster. Sans Finley, there's no real established starter. Quarless has been at best - "Meh", post-injury. Bostick a one trick-pony who's been injured a lot . Taylor and Stoneburner - ST guys with limited receiving potential. Perillo a camp body. That leaves third round draft choice RRII, who would really have to stink to get cut, and FA Lyerla. I think between the WR's and TE's they keep ten total with six coming from the WR's. That leaves four TE's. I think RRII sticks regardless, probably Quarless, Lyerla(best raw potential) and Taylor(special teams guy). Who do you see sticking from the TE group(names, not something generic like "whoever plays the best"? Thanks, Mr Mojo Risin
Rob Demovsky (3:12 PM)
Mojo: I'm not sure your read on Bostick is entirely accurate. They actually think he's a very good blocker in addition to being an athletic receiver, and he's only been on the roster for one year and had one major injury, so I don't know if that qualifies as being injured "a lot." As for the total of 10 between WRs and TEs, I think you're probably right on, although I could see five TEs. TE locks are Quarless and Rodgers. That would leave Taylor, Stoneburner, Lyerla and Bostick for two or three spots. They like Bostick, so I would be inclined to think he's a good bet. Then it comes down to what Lyerla can do. If he's good (and can play ST) maybe he gets the nod over Taylor.
Rob, Having watched these OTA's live has Lyerla stood out from the rest of the TE group thus far? His measureables are off the charts, does that translate to the field for this guy or has Rodgers been making more of a case thus far?
Rob Demovsky (3:14 PM)
Matt: This is the last TE question because there are plenty of other topics to address. Honestly, he has not stood out. That doesn't mean he won't, he just hasn't yet. Keep in mind that we in the media only get to see one OTA per week and Lyerla missed one of those. Next week, we'll have 2 or 3 chances to watch practice at minicamp.
Rob,Does Lacy have a chance to beat A-Green's single season rushing record in the next couple years? How would you compare the two runners?
Rob Demovsky (3:15 PM)
Jordan: Is that a fantasy football question in disguise? Honestly, I don't see it -- not because Lacy isn't capable of an 1,800-plus yard season, but rather because the Packers don't want to wear him out. They think they have solid backups in James Starks and DuJuan Harris (and potentially Johnathan Franklin) that they don't have to ride Lacy that hard all the time.
You play fantasy football? Or do you satisfy your football fix by covering the Packers 24/7?
Rob Demovsky (3:17 PM)
Michael: I do not, and here's why: I think the whole idea is flawed. Coaches don't care who scores touchdowns. They just want to score. If they don't care who scores, why should I?
I know you've been asked a ton about Colt Lyerla - this is half question/half observation. When someone is suspended for unspecified reasons, isn't it natural to assume that the reason must be really bad for them not to specify why? It gives fans the opportunity to speculate because if it were a speeding ticket, missing meetings or something simple, they'd come out and say it and avoid the speculation, right? So do you think it really was a big deal or am I just reading too much into it?
Rob Demovsky (3:17 PM)
Sorry for sneaking back to another TE question, but I thought Adam makes a good point here. I think you're on the right track, although I don't know any more about what Lyerla did to get suspended than anyone else does.
Yenter (Eau Claire, WI)
So that just means you stink at Fantasy and you gave up cuz you got ripped on by your friends.
Rob Demovsky (3:18 PM)
No, I played one time, the year after I graduated college and got zero charge out of it and have had no desire to ever try it again.
Pat (Atlanta, Ga)
Is QB Scott Tolzien still eligible for the practice squad? Any chance the Packers can stash him there in order to keep only two QBs on the 53 man roster (Rodgers and Flynn)?
Rob Demovsky (3:19 PM)
Good question, Pat. He is not. They would have to keep him on the roster if they wanted him around.
Berat ( Kenosha) [via mobile]
If the Packers have to pick between Nelson and Cobb who do you think they should go with or can they afford both at around 10 million a year?
Rob Demovsky (3:21 PM)
Berat: Tough, tough call. Nelson's age is the only factor working against him, but 29 isn't ancient. I have a feeling they'll find a way to work both into their remaining camp space (about $13 million).
HI Rob, is Boykin a lock at WR3 for Pack and likelihood we see Lacy catching more passes out of backfield in 2014
Rob Demovsky (3:23 PM)
PJ: Not a lock, pj, if Davante Adams shows he can play right away. Rookie receivers typically don't make huge impacts and Boykin will probably get the first shot at that job. As for Lacy, it sounds like he will be on the field more on third downs, which could lend itself to getting a few more passes out of the backfield.
It sounds like the other young WR where the ones lighting up OTA's not the rookies. We seem pretty jam packed with talented young WR's for the 4,5,6 spots to me it looks like after Jordy,Cobb and Boykins and the kid out of Fresno the last couple of WR spots might be the toughest fight on the roster. What are your thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (3:24 PM)
Tony: Aaron Rodgers called it the deepest group of WRs he's seen in his time here. He might be right, although there's a lot of unproven guys behind the top 3. Abbrederis looks like he's got a decent shot. Too early to tell on Janis though. Chris Harper has shown up in OTAs and Myles White has some actual game experience. All of them could factor.
Duke [via mobile]
Of the UDFAs who most has caught your eye?
Rob Demovsky (3:26 PM)
Duke: I defer to the scouts and coaches on this one and a few of the names that they told me to watch were DE Carlos Gray and ILBs Joe Thomas and Jake Doughty.
Michael Caz (St Louis)
Rob, thanks for the time. Saw A-Rod take R-Rod aside to teach him something the other day. Got me thinking... are you seeing anything that would indicate the vets have taken a liking to any of the new guys? Extra time and teaching might indicate they want to see them on the 53 man roster.
Rob Demovsky (3:28 PM)
Michael: One thing I've noticed in practice is that during those TV timeouts (essentially water breaks) that they started last year, that players seem to gather in small groups and talk. We're not close enough to hear what they're saying, but there definitely seems to be more of a personal connection on the field.
Jeremy (San Francisco)
Rob. When the initial reports came out that said Mycah Hyde was starting at safety and NOT Ha Ha, it confused a lot of people. Thinking about it more personally, I do not believe they would start Hyde over HaHa, but that the Packers are grooming Hyde in the likes of Charles Woodson (a flex defensive back that plays all over the field). This would indeed give Hyde more snaps as the Packers play a large percentage of their snaps in the sub packages. What do you think about that?
Rob Demovsky (3:30 PM)
Jeremy: I think you're probably right, depending on what your definition of a "starter" is. Maybe HHCD doesn't play in the base 3-4, but considering they play sub (nickel, dime, etc) about 75 percent of the time, HHCD could play in those packages and see plenty of time. Woodson started at safety in the base and then moved to nickel and they brought in another safety off the bench.
Eli (Mountaintop, PA)
Rob, So I saw the ranking of depth charts with individual grades at each position. Is it just me or is the fact that AJ Hawk is graded at "below average" and Brad Jones got an "average" laughable? AJ Hawk as below average so be it. But Brad Jones grading higher than him I mean come on . . . .
Rob Demovsky (3:30 PM)
Eli: I think they missed on Brad Jones.
So the argument against AJ Hawk is that he doesn't ever make big plays (went two full seasons without a single turnover play - no interceptions or fumbles forced or recovered in 2011 and 2012). The argument in favor of Hawk is he's smart and durable. So using that logic, the Packers are sticking with Hawk because he's always available to not make big plays. Um, ok. I guess Ted Thompson would have been in favor of batting Craig Counsell in the clean-up position.Last week you mentioned how the Packers coaches like that Hawk is smart, durable and doesn't make mental errors. That's fine and all, but he plays MIDDLE LINEBACKER. You need a play maker there. Baseball teams don't put a contact hitter at clean up to avoid strike outs. They put a guy in clean up who can hit and drive in runs.
Rob Demovsky (3:31 PM)
Pete: I see your point, but you do need some semblance of stability on your defense. If you're going to have that with Hawk, then maybe you need to put someone more dynamic next to him.
Mitch (Green Bay)
I know you don't get injury reports but any ideas why Perry isn't practicing? Precaution? Surprised he isn't back from his foot injury.
Rob Demovsky (3:32 PM)
Mitch: He missed quite a bit of time with the foot injury last season, so that's probably it, but I've been trying to pin that down. I will continue to effort that info.
Rob, What are your thoughts on Datone Jones thus far? Has he stood out as a man with a purpose? I have been watching some college film on him this week and he is a freak. Are we going to see this from him this year?
Rob Demovsky (3:34 PM)
Matt: I'm actually writing something on Datone for tomorrow. Please check that out, but I can tell you that he plans to play more like he did in college. He said last year, he was too much finesse.
Kristian (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Ted Thompson isnt afraid of letting aging players, who can still contribute go in free agency. Nor is he afraid to sign younger players to a contract, to build a core of talented young players. What is your take on getting Nelson and Cobb extended?
Rob Demovsky (3:35 PM)
Kristian: This is just a vibe, but I sense a different feeling about Jordy Nelson than say veterans he let walk like Cullen Jenkins, Greg Jennings, James Jones, etc.
Rob,What can you tell me about Letroy Guion? I haven?t heard much of him since he was signed. Has he stood out at all at OTA's?
Rob Demovsky (3:36 PM)
Wesley: He's definitely a big guy inside. He worked with the starters last week when BJ Raji was gone and looked like he moved well. Curious to see what kind of power he has when the pads go on.
National experts aren't putting much stock into Julius Peppers making a substantial impact on the Packers' defense. Should Packer Nation temper their enthusiasm for this former star?
Rob Demovsky (3:37 PM)
Andrew: I talked to a few people who have studied his play over the last couple of years and they think Peppers can still have an impact when he wants to. The problem, according to them, is that he doesn't always appear to want to. We'll see if a change of scenery lights a fire under him.
Matt MI [via mobile]
I was curious why you don't include any links to other Packer related articles in your daily blog updates?
Rob Demovsky (3:38 PM)
Matt: I do it during the season in my Starter Pack post, but since there's so many fewer stories during the offseason, I figured it wasn't worth it. But I'm willing to re-evaluate that if it's something you found valuable. It will return for the season, for sure.
Can the Rookies opt to stay around after mini camp and get help with conditioning, nutrition, and tutors to help learn their play book?
Rob Demovsky (3:40 PM)
Broc: They have the mandatory Rookie Symposium in Ohio the week after minicamp. They can stay in touch with the strength coaches, but if you think about it, it's probably good for them to get away. They've been going nonstop since last August. Right after their college season ended they started training for the combine and pro days. It's good to get a break before the long NFL season begins.
Rivas (Laton) [via mobile]
What was your favorite team growing up?
Rob Demovsky (3:40 PM)
Rivas: Well, I grew up in Chicago and was in high school when the Bears won the Super Bowl XX.
Gary Lautenslager (Spring Hill, Tn)
Is it true that Johnny Jolly will not be signed By the Packers? I thought he played very well last year and was also a good fit in the locker room.
Rob Demovsky (3:41 PM)
Gary: Not for sure. They are still keeping an eye on him while assessing what they have on the D-line.
Paul (Kwik Trip)
Where's the best place to get pizza on the road?
Rob Demovsky (3:42 PM)
Paul: Lou Malnati's in Chicago, no contest.
Does Tretter Still appear to be the man at center?
Rob Demovsky (3:42 PM)
Troy: He's getting the first crack at it. He's taken all the reps with the No. 1 OL so far.
Brandon K (Los Angeles, CA)
Rob,In the last couple season, it seems Coach McCarthy has been making better Coach's Challenges on questionable calls, which is a good thing. Do you believe the NFL will eventually restructure the challenge rule from its current format? I believe coaches should get a challenge back when it is successful, and not the "2 correct earns a 3rd". Thanks!
Rob Demovsky (3:43 PM)
Brandon: The NFL is reluctant to change the challenge/replay system. I believe the Patriots proposed some changes to it this offseason that did not get much consideration.
Eric (Eau Claire)
What do you think of the Packers' tackles? Has Bulaga been practicing and, if so, is he moving well? Wasn't Bakhtiari rated as average or below average in the Packers player rankings? Both tackles with question marks (that's not even touching the backups) might not bode well for the Pack.
Rob Demovsky (3:46 PM)
Eric: When you study Bakhtiari closely, he really only struggled three times -- both SF games and the game at Detroit. He had problems with bull rushers in all three games. He will get (or already has gotten) stronger and will be better prepared for those types of guys. They're keeping him at LT, and that's probably the right move. Bulaga has been taking all the starter snaps on the right side and although he's wearing a big brace, he seems to be moving well.
Michael Caz (St Louis)
Rob, good call on Lou Malnatis... delicious. I've read that HaHa doesn't look anything like a first year player. What's the likelihood that he steps in and leads the defensive back group as a first year guy.. especially with how much they like getting Micah Hyde on the field?
Rob Demovsky (3:47 PM)
Michael: He definitely looks the part of a veteran, carries himself with confidence and moves with a purpose. It would certainly be a big surprise if he didn't make an impact this year.
The Packers have had about 20 years of playoff-contending teams (wth a few exceptions) following 25 years of stinko. Do you attribute the 20 year run more to HOF-caliber quarterbacking or good management? I understand that management made the call on the quarterbacks, but did they do something in addition to that to create this streak?
Rob Demovsky (3:48 PM)
Steve: Two things: Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre (OK that's one thing) and good coach/GM combinations. If you have a QB, a GM and a coach, you have a chance.
Adam (Madison, WI)
How have Abbrederis and Janis looked thus far?
Rob Demovsky (3:50 PM)
Adam: Both have made plays here and there. Janis looks like he's an outside receiver, while Abbrederis looks like a slot guy. I watched Abbrederis closely in the punt return drill yesterday and he looks like he catches the ball easily.
JYENT3 (Stevens Point)
If you are from Chicago and are a fan of the Bears then why do you cover the Packers?
Rob Demovsky (3:52 PM)
I didn't say I was a fan of the Bears now, I said I was a fan because I grew up there. I'm not a fan anymore of any team. You can't be a fan and cover the NFL, it would cloud your objectivity. This is a job, one I enjoy very much. And the outcome of the game makes no difference.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Where was the Worst Pizza that you ever had?
Rob Demovsky (3:53 PM)
Pretty much everywhere in Green Bay. This is not a good pizza town.
Wellington (the surrounding area)
Why do you list times in Eastern? You should list them in Packer Daylight Time.
Rob Demovsky (3:53 PM)
We try to list everything in ET on ESPN.com so that we can stay consistent across the board.
Another Adam (Omaha, NE)
That's great to hear about Abbrederis - do you think he's a lock now because of his PR abilities? We're in need of a solid PR.
Rob Demovsky (3:54 PM)
Not a lock, Adam. But if he can do it, that surely helps his cause. The preseason games will be telling.
Ethan (La Crosse)
It seems like we need to devote a chat session to entirely non-football questions.
Rob Demovsky (3:54 PM)
Ethan: We could do that. Might be fun.
rob, you've got two choices:A) packers go 19-0 next year and win the superbowl breaking all kinds of records. they are talked about as being the best team for a long time. but they miss the playoffs in 2015.B) packers go 9-7 and win the superbowl two years in a row. everyone calls them over rated and lucky.
Rob Demovsky (3:55 PM)
Dave: Since I root for the story and the story only, 19-0 would be a better story, I'd say.
Merrick (Raleigh, NC)
Will you be making a packer's roster prediction (projection) and if so when?
Rob Demovsky (3:56 PM)
Merrick: Yes, I will probably do one after minicamp or right before training camp and then of course will do several updates in August.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
Haha, did that guy think that you can only cover the Pack of you grew up here and/or were a fan of the team..uh, that's called a Packer fan blog, go find one. Who's a player that is not thought of as realyl funny and engaging, but that you have found to be so?
Rob Demovsky (3:58 PM)
Scott: AJ Hawk is underrated as far as an interview goes. He tends to shy away from the media, but when he talks, he's funny, honest and informative. Can't ask for much more if you're a reporter.
Rob Demovsky (3:58 PM)
Thanks for all the questions this week. I'm going to scoot a few minutes early today because it's the last day of school and want to go pick up my kids, who get out at the top of the hour (Luckily I only live a block and a half from school). Have a great week.