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 11 a.m. ET!
Rob Demovsky (10:59 AM)
Thanks for joining us on this early edition of our weekly Packers chat. Practice starts at 11:30 a.m. local time, so we're going to limit today's chat to about 45 minutes. Let's get started.
Rob, "More swings at the plate" aside, do you think it was wise to draft three receivers? I understand one or even two (if the second was a late round flyer), but we have such a logjam at that position and depth issues at others (ILB) that it seems like those could have been better spent. I love each of the receivers but the fact of the matter is we can't carry 8-10 at that position...
Rob Demovsky (11:02 AM)
Parker: It makes you wonder what they think of guys like Kevin Dorsey and Chris Harper, who otherwise would've been in prime position to make the roster. Also, perhaps Thompson wanted insurance policies in case something happened like last year, when Randall Cobb and James Jones went down. But you're right, it's appears to be a deep -- albeit unproven -- group at receiver. They'll probably end up keeping six rather than five (as they have done in some years).
Steven P (Minneapolis)
Hey Rob! We talk a lot about Jermichael Finley's health and desire to come back, but an equally big issue is money. We're already trying to figure out how to squeeze both Cobb and Nelson in with the available cash, and they've both been much more important to the Packers' offense, IMHO. I don't see there being any money left over for Finley if he's looking for anything more than a $1-2M deal. Thoughts?
Rob Demovsky (11:03 AM)
Steven: No question that even if the Packers doctors (or any team's docs) clear Finley, the issue of a contract then comes into play. Would Finley even want to play for such a low-level contract? Would a team want to pay Finley any more than that if they still view him as an injury risk. The contract issue is almost as complicated as the medical one.
Is there a chance that Jones gets unseated at ILB by someone on the roster? I feel he's lacking in several areas but I don't know if we have someone in house that's better then him. Any chance Ted grabs someone from other teams cuts later this year?
Rob Demovsky (11:04 AM)
Tony: I'd keep my eye on Jamari Lattimore and possibly Sam Barrington. If Ted gets someone from another team's scrap heap, would he really be good enough to start? Unlikely.
On offense, it seems like the importance of the fullback is becoming less and less. Is there an equivalent position on defense where the importance is diminishing? To me, it seems like ILB is becoming less important than the other positions. Gone are the days of Butkus and Nitschke, and I'm not broken up about the packers not drafting an ILB this year. What do you think?
Rob Demovsky (11:06 AM)
Eric: That's a good point. Given how much sub defense Capers plays, it could lessen the importance of an inside backer. One of them comes off the field in the dime package. Maybe that's why Thompson ignored the position in the draft.
Euless, Texas [via mobile]
How have the inside backers free agents been looking Thomas n doughtrey ? Also Hubbard ?
Rob Demovsky (11:07 AM)
Euless: Joe Thomas and Jake Doughty are among the early standouts among the undrafted free agents, but there's a long, long way to go. Hubbard's size has been impressive. Haven't seen enough of him to know whether he can be an effective pass rusher at this level yet. Have to wait until the pads go on.
Mark (Grayslake IL)
How do you think the ILB position will shake out this TC? Do you expect any surprises?
Rob Demovsky (11:08 AM)
Mark: Unless you consider a possible increased role for Jamari Lattimore, I wouldn't count on it.
Marko (Back Bay, MA )
Which QB has the best shot at the #3 spot as of now?
Rob Demovsky (11:09 AM)
Marko: You're assuming they even keep 3. At this point, that's a 50-50 call, I'd say. But if they keep three, the logical guess would be that Flynn would be No. 2 and Tolzien No. 3. Rookie Chase Rettig isn't ready for the No. 3 job yet. For Tolzien, it's either the roster or nothing because he doesn't have any more practice squad eligibility.
Mike (Eau Claire, WI) [via mobile]
How many quarterbacks do you think the packers will keep this year? If they only kept 2, do you think they keep the experience of Flynn or the project of Tolzein?
Rob Demovsky (11:10 AM)
Mike: Continuing with the 2/3 QB question, it would take a combination of an extraordinary preseason by Tolzien combined with a poor showing by Flynn for that to happen. What would be interesting is that if both played exceptional, and the Packers wanted to keep only one.
Hey Rob,The packers over the past few years have kept teams in games longer than deserved to be and sometimes that has nipped us in the butt, my question is in your opinion have the packers lacked a killer instinct and if so what have they done to establish one?
Rob Demovsky (11:12 AM)
Sylvain: Maybe that's just the competitive nature of the NFL. There are very few 55-10 games at this level like there are in college. But if there's really something to it, perhaps it comes down to play calling. Maybe McCarthy gets too conservative with the lead.
Hey Rob, chances we see Olivia Munn in a luxury box at Lambeau Field this year?
Rob Demovsky (11:12 AM)
Eli: If she's there, I'm sure the cameras will find her.
Who do you think will get the starting nod at center this year (and hopefully many years to come)?
Rob Demovsky (11:13 AM)
Matt: The second part of your question is the key one, I think. The Packers need to fill this job for the long run. It's too taxing on the quarterback to break in a new center every year. At this point, they're counting on JC Tretter to be that guy. It's his job to lose.
good morning rob, how do you see Pack using Lacy this season now that he has one solid year of experience under his belt?
Rob Demovsky (11:14 AM)
PJ: I think they're going to be careful with his reps while not limiting his effectiveness. Also, they'd like to keep him on the field more on third downs, so he could end up playing more plays per series but less series overall, if that makes any sense.
Monica (Bath, Maine)
Do you have any crazy season predictions? I say the Lions beat us in GB for the NFC North title during the last game of the regular season. The Packers still make the playoffs and it goes from there! Boy isn't the off-season fun?
Rob Demovsky (11:15 AM)
Monica: Maybe they'll go into Seattle and win the opener.
sean (las Vegas, Nevada [via mobile]
Do you feel the packers can be a superboul team without pro bowl players? I feel we have good players but we lack that extra edge on both sides of the line. Thanks
Rob Demovsky (11:15 AM)
Sean: If Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers are healthy for 16 games, they're Pro Bowl players. Maybe Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson are, too. I'm not sure I agree with your premise.
Morning Rob, do you think it's possible that Rodgers prowess and low rates at throwing an off-ball even in practice might have been a hindrance to our secondary (specifically safeties) since the loss of Collins.Those young players were fighting for roster spots and going for an interception in practice was a low odds bet they didn't want to take with their job on the line? Is it possible it turned them into damage limiters instead of play-makers?
Rob Demovsky (11:17 AM)
Matt: I guess I never thought about it in that regard, but the backup QBs throw plenty of INTs in practice.
Rob if you had to pick one thing and one thing only to keep your eye on during minicamp what would it be?
Rob Demovsky (11:18 AM)
Tony: Rather than how players are performing, because any analysis without pads is more or less useless, it's more telling to watch what players are lining up where. You can get a sense of what lineup changes the coaches are thinking about and where players fall on the depth chart heading into camp.
Nolan (West Salem, WI)
What rookies are you looking forward to seeing how they move in pads?
Rob Demovsky (11:19 AM)
Nolan: The offensive and defensive linemen. The best drill in training camp (other than 11 on 11) are the 1 on 1 pass rushing-pass protecting drills. Would like to see how Khyri Thornton looks as a pass rusher.
John Brooks (Natal, Brazil)
Rob, which player's (potential) breakout would you deem more crucial this year: Nick Perry or Datone Jones?
Rob Demovsky (11:20 AM)
John: Tough call, but Perry needs to prove he can stay healthy. Then, we'll see if he can turn into a consistent playmaker.
But how often does the #2 O go against #1 D?
Rob Demovsky (11:21 AM)
Michael: There's a good bit of mixing and matching during team periods. The drills start with 1s against 1s but then there's liberal subbing.
Hey Rob, after reading that article that said that all 90 players were present for OTAs (which are voluntary) I was wondering how common that occurrence is? It seems like every offseason I read multiple articles about players skipping these workouts for various reasons. Do most teams have a full house at OTAs or is my excitement somewhat valid about this Packers squad already becoming a team?
Rob Demovsky (11:21 AM)
Jeff: Good question. The holdouts or players who skip workouts get the headlines but it's usually only a few per team, so I'm not sure the Packers situation is all that unusual. It's different now that the offseason program is condensed under the new CBA.
Al (Wausau, WI)
Rob, in your opinion did the Packers do enough in the offseason to address the need of greater speed at the linebacker position?
Rob Demovsky (11:22 AM)
Al: In short, no.
Any storm damage or tornados in the Green Bay area last night?
Rob Demovsky (11:22 AM)
Nothing, Michael. Hope everyone is safe in your neck of the woods.
Pat (Atlanta, GA)
Rob, thanks for the great job you do covering the Packers and keeping the fans informed. What Packer players besides Scott Tolzien are in a "do or die" position -- fighting for spots on the roster because they are no longer eligible to be kept on the practice squad?
Rob Demovsky (11:23 AM)
Pat: A guy like Sean Richardson will have to show he's worth keeping, but I don't think that will be a problem. He's shown up well this offseason so far.
Justin (ohio) [via mobile]
Out of all the rookies who is the biggest standout? Also what is the status on Clay?
Rob Demovsky (11:24 AM)
Justin: Unlikley Matthews will be taking part in this week's minicamp, and I wouldn't be surprised if they take it slow with him in the preseason, but he says he'll be ready by the opener. Too tough to say on the rookies at this point, but the receivers are getting plenty of chances.
Stewart (New Jersey) [via mobile]
Which position has the biggest or closest position battle for the Packers this off season?
Rob Demovsky (11:24 AM)
Stewart: Center has to be the most important one. Think about what the new starter will be walking into in Week 1 at Seattle -- perhaps the loudest stadium in the NFL.
KIEFER (NEW JERSEY) [via mobile]
Barring injuries I can see the Packers go undefeated this year .. Seeing the schedule how do u see there record playing out?
Rob Demovsky (11:25 AM)
Kiefer: Well, you're an optimist. I predicted 10-6 when the schedule first came out. Can't imagine it being any worse than that, possibly a game or two better.
shane (lansing) [via mobile]
If they keep Harper or White on the roster don't you believe Janis or Abbrederis would be scooped up by another team if on the practice squad?
Rob Demovsky (11:26 AM)
Shane: Maybe, but they would have to play well enough for another team to want them on their active roster. Seventh-round picks get cut all the time and no one picks them up. Fifth rounders are a little different.
Rob, do you see Peppers primarily used as a stand-up pass rusher opposite Clay, or with his hand in the ground on the line?
Rob Demovsky (11:27 AM)
Quinn: At this point, all we've seen is Peppers in a two-point stance. The guess here is that he will play on the left side and Matthews on the right.
The Packers had a huge O-Line problem last year with Rodgers getting no time in the pocket before being pressured. This year I expected a few more O-Line draft picks, but they only drafted a center. What's McCarthy's plan for fixing this issue and giving Rodgers ample time to throw the ball?
Rob Demovsky (11:27 AM)
Kurt: Having Bulaga back and Bakhtiari with a year of experience should help.
If Matthews on right and Peppers on left, where does that fit in Neal, Perry, Mulumba, etc?
Rob Demovsky (11:28 AM)
Andy: It's not like they're going to play Peppers 70 snaps a game.
Aaron (Eau Claire, Wisconsin )
Because of the addition of Clinton-Dix, if Micah Hyde shows a flash at safety and Richardson can keep improving, is there any chance we let Burnett go before his contract is up? I like them all, don't get me wrong, I just think our safety strength and depth could kind of explode in the next couple years, at least compared to what we've had recently. In which case we might not have room to keep th all.
Rob Demovsky (11:29 AM)
Aaron: Not this year, but this is a big year for Burnett. If he has another season like 2013, then perhaps they'd think about moving on. But at this point, he's still a big part of their plans on defense.
Nolan (West Salem, WI)
Rob, should Nick Perry be worried about Carl Bradford taking away snaps and potentially unseeding him? I'm excited to here about him in pads.
Rob Demovsky (11:30 AM)
Nolan: Very interested to see what Bradford looks like when the pads come on. And like I said earlier, Perry needs to show he can stay healthy.
Hi Rob, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions -- hope you took some time to relax in the week off before OTAs. The tight end position is one that's intrigued me of late. With Quarless the incumbent, whom between Rodgers and Lyerla do you think has a better chance to make an impact this year?
Rob Demovsky (11:31 AM)
Winston: So far -- and it's very early -- Rodgers has made more plays in OTAs. He's also gotten more opportunities with the No. 1s and No. 2s. That will all even out in training camp, but so far Rodgers looks like he has an edge.
Which answer that you repeatedly provide is becoming the most tiresome. . Center is J.C. Tretter's job to lose . . . Nick Collins will not be coming back to the packers . . . Can't tell much until pads go on . . ?
Rob Demovsky (11:32 AM)
Eli: Then ask better questions.
Why does a team building event cost a day, when they do things that have nothing to do with football?
Rob Demovsky (11:33 AM)
Not sure if golf courses or skeet shooting ranges let the players come for free or not. Honestly never thought to ask.
While its very early, do you think the Packers would cut J Franklin or try and sneak him on PUP or IR list if the RB depth shakes out to be as strong as it appears. It would appear they only have room for Franklin or a health J Harris
Rob Demovsky (11:34 AM)
Andy: They would not have to cut Franklin to put him on PUP, so there's no risk in losing him. Any player that does not pass his physical to start training camp is eligible for PUP. Once that player practices ,however, he is no longer eligible for PUP.
Merrick Marquie (Raleigh, NC)
If you could keep 10 pass catchers total on the roster between WR and TE, who do you keep as of now?
Rob Demovsky (11:37 AM)
Merrick: Good, tough question.WRs: Nelson, Cobb, Boykin, Adams, Abberderis, Janis.TEs: Quarless, Rodgers, Bostick, Taylor.I know that leaves out guys like Chris Harper, Myles White and Colt Lyerla. Just haven't seen enough from those guys to tell you that they're worthy of roster spots. That could surely change, though.
I saw that some Packers are doing Yoga to try and prevent injuries and increase performance. Have you heard anything if Clay Matthews will try it? Wouldn't it help him not pull his hamstring as much and increase his bend around the edge?
Rob Demovsky (11:39 AM)
Ben: Yoga isn't new to the NFL this offseason. I know Finley has been doing it for several years. Matthews has incredible flexibility in getting around the edge, but I'm not sure if he's ever done yoga.
Suga [via mobile]
Rob, stop smoking. Where do u find six losses with this team? I am having trouble past three.
Rob Demovsky (11:40 AM)
OK, maybe only four: at Seattle, at Chicago, at New Orleans, home vs. New England.
Rob - what's your (very early) prediction on how the D-line will shake out, i.e. main contributors? Just for comparison, I'll guess Boyd, Raji and Daniels, with Datone the fist guy off the pine.
Rob Demovsky (11:41 AM)
Darrell: Boyd is definitely in line for more playing time. I don't think Guion is anything close to a lock to make it. Thornton will be in the mix though.
Mitch (Green Bay)
Worst possible player to have a season ending injury in training camp other than A-Rod?
Rob Demovsky (11:42 AM)
Mitch: Jordy Nelson on offense. Clay Matthews on defense.
Kenny (Arlington Heights)
I think he meant cost a day as in it replaces a day of training/practice...not the monetary cost.
Rob Demovsky (11:43 AM)
Kenny: My bad, Kenny. Also, great location. I grew up in AH. ... McCarthy builds that day into his schedule so it's not like they're really losing anything. Even though there's a practice listed for that day, he never really had one planned.
Isn't Colt Lyerla the perfect candidate for the practice squad? No team wanted him even as an undrafted guy, so I doubt any team would pick him up if cut.
Rob Demovsky (11:44 AM)
Ross: Unless he goes out and lights it up in the preseason, yes, you make a good point.
Roman (Iron Mountain)
Do you think there is a possibility that either Nelson or Cobb wont be with the team next year?
Rob Demovsky (11:44 AM)
Roman: If I had to pick one that wouldn't be, I'd pick Nelson just because of his age. But I think the chances of that are small.
Rob Demovsky (11:45 AM)
Have to wrap things up now to make my way over to minicamp practice, which gets underway in 45 minutes. Follow me on Twitter @RobDemovsky for updates from the practice field. Thanks for the questions.