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 (3:59 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. This is your last chance to get questions answered before Packers training camp opens on Saturday morning. Let's get started.
Ed (Queens Village)
Most memorable game you have covered?
Rob Demovsky (4:02 PM)
Ed: Interesting that you ask that, Ed, given that we just completed our "Most Memorable Plays" series. My first year on the beat was 1997, and the first road game I covered as at Chicago. The Bears scored a last-minute touchdown to pull to within a point and coach Dave Wannstedt went for 2 to try to win it in regulation. Of course, it failed. That will always stand out to be. But there have been plenty of other games -- Super Bowl XXXII and XLV, Favre in Oakland after his father died, the 2007 NFC championship game vs. the Giants, the day the Packers got into the playoffs because the Cardinals beat the Vikings in Week 17, Mike Holmgren's return to Green Bay. I guess I could go on and on, but those are the ones that stand out right now.
Probably a stupid question but how do you turn on the auto update so the page refreshes with new posts?
Rob Demovsky (4:02 PM)
Justin: Not a stupid question. I think I may have some control over that. Refresh your page and let me know if that worked.
Hi Rob, is Boykin likely to be WR3 and what can we expect in stats if he is - seems Pack WR3 have a history of 800-1000 yds and 5-7 TDs (given how the Pack lacks a proven TE target, seems WR will grab more of the 35-40 TD passes A-Rod is likely to throw) thanks
Rob Demovsky (4:04 PM)
PJ: The guess is here is that Boykin will get that job at the start but it will depend on how he fares. They might not hesitate to go with Davante Adams. Also, I wouldn't just hand over the TE receptions to a receiver just yet. Brandon Bostick could emerge as a receiving threat, and if Richard Rodgers shows what he did in the OTAs then he could make an impact, too.
Who do you see starting at TE on opening day?
Rob Demovsky (4:05 PM)
Speaking of tight ends... There's some in the organization who believe Richard Rodgers will be the opening day starter. That might be a safe bet.
which WR do you envision having the most receptions? Boykin, Adams, Jared or Jannis?
Rob Demovsky (4:05 PM)
Bill: I'd rank them this way: 1. Boykin. 2. Adams. 3. Abbrederis. 4. Janis (assuming he even makes the team).
Che Johnson (Avast)
Now, it seems we have depth at Tight End, and as I know you love TE questions, who do you see not making the 53 man roster? Out of the Big 4, meaning Quarless, Rodges, Lyola, and Bostick do you see any of these guys sitting on the practice squad?
Rob Demovsky (4:07 PM)
Che: In my roster prediction version 1.0, I went with Quarless, Rodgers, Bostick and Taylor. I did so because at this point we just haven't seen enough from Lyerla to say he'll make it. That doesn't mean he won't, but let's consider this: No other team even offered him an undrafted contract so perhaps the Packers would be safe stashing him on the practice squad at the start.
Pete (Eau Claire)
Rob, when you say that Colt Lyerla did not do much to stand out in the offseason, what exactly could he have done to stand out? In other words, what opportunities was he given to stand out in terms of drills? Any issues with his route running or hands at this point?
Rob Demovsky (4:08 PM)
Pete: He was running mostly with the second- and third-string offense, which makes it more difficult to make plays. He'll get his reps with the starters at some point -- almost everyone does -- and then we'll see what we can do.
Hi Rob, I was looking at your fifty three man roster prediction and wondering who the toughest omissions were, and which of the picks you're least confident are?
Rob Demovsky (4:10 PM)
Miles: I'm glad you asked about that because I feel like it needs some clarity. I went the way I did based on what I know about players today. That's why guys like Lyerla and Adrian Hubbard didn't make it. I need to see more of them to say for sure they can be on the roster. At this point, there were other players who were more deserving. Maybe other writers did it on what they think might happen. I did it based on what I know right now. I hope that clears things up.
This auto update thing is a constant pain. ugh!
Rob Demovsky (4:10 PM)
Is it working now?
Am i correct in saying that neither Flynn or Tolzien can be a member of the practice squad?
Rob Demovsky (4:10 PM)
That's correct John. I doubled-checked that with Tolzien this offseason. It's the roster or bust.
Steve (Dunlap IL)
Do any of the Packers players actually live year round in Green Bay? Also coming up north next week to Door County will stop in Green Bay to see a practice what are the must do's while we are in town?Thanks Rob
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Steve: There are a handful. I believe John Kuhn lives here full time. Mason Crosby spends a lot of time here, too. I'm sure there are a few others. You'll love Door County. There are some neat little towns and some great parks along the water (both on the bay side and the lake side). If you haven't been to GB in a while, I'd recommend the Packers Heritage Trail tour. You can find more info here: http://www.packersheritagetrail.com/
It didn't work, Rob...
Rob Demovsky (4:13 PM)
Try refreshing your browser once.
Justin (Arkansas) [via mobile]
I know that it's hard to make evaluations without pads, but it seems like every year there is an undrafted player who stands out from day one (like So'oto, Moses, or Mulumba). I didn't see any undrafted rookies on your roster predictions. It's way too early to worry, but is it fair to say that this year's undrafted class hasn't done anything to distinguish itself compared to past classes?
Rob Demovsky (4:13 PM)
Justin: I decided to wait on those guys to see them in pads. I wouldn't rule out a couple of them making it, but I just didn't feel strongly enough about any of them yet.
What do you think of Jaws' rank of Rodgers at #3? It's hard to get picky in the top 5, but Manning and Brady are up there more for career accomplishments than where their game is now and where it's headed, right?
Rob Demovsky (4:14 PM)
Walt: After the regular season Manning put together last year, I don't know how he couldn't be No. 1.
Does Jonathan Franklin have any presence around the team? Or is he off team premises altogether?
Rob Demovsky (4:15 PM)
Jay: At this point, no. He's a free agent like any other unemployed player. He has not filed any retirement papers yet.
Preston (Fort Wayne, IN)
Hey Rob, I'm heading up to Green Bay to watch training camp this weekend. Any advice for how early to be at the field in order to get a good seat? Do you know when the first padded practice will be? Thanks!
Rob Demovsky (4:17 PM)
Preston: Weekend days are obviously more crowded, but even when I get to the field shortly before practice there are still spots available. It's interesting the Packers did not designate which days are for pads on their camp schedule like they usually do, but I wouldn't expect a padded practice until the third day.
Taylor (Albany, GA)
What's your bold prediction of the year regarding the Packers? Mine is that Clinton-Dix will win the starting free safety job over Hyde and then proceed to lead the NFC North in INTs on the season.
Rob Demovsky (4:20 PM)
Taylor: Not sure the first part of that is bold, but the second part sure is. Maybe we should take that a step further. Clinton-Dix and Casey Hayward will combine for 12 INTs this year. That would be one more than the Packers had as a team all of last year.
Andy (San Francisco)
Can you rank the Pack's top receivers in the time you've been covering the team?
Rob Demovsky (4:23 PM)
Andy: 1. Donald Driver2. Greg Jennings3. Antonio Freeman4. Jordy Nelson5. Robert Brooks (who I only saw at the tail end of his career).6. Javon Walker7. Randall Cobb (could move up on this list)8. James Jones
Can you give us the all Demovsky-era Packers offense? (defense if you're feeling ambitious)... you can choose the formation (3 vs. 4 WR, FB or not, Etc...)
Rob Demovsky (4:24 PM)
Great question, Jim. Just doing the WRs took several minutes so I fear that this would take me the entire chat to put together. Maybe there's a better forum for this question, but I will give it some thought.
Sarah (De Pere)
Any chance the Packers look at bringing back Crabtree if Finley is done?
Rob Demovsky (4:25 PM)
Sarah: Unlikely, unless they have an injury to someone like Taylor or Stoneburner. Everyone around here really liked Crabtree but he's not a starting-caliber tight end.
Carol, Coral Springs Fl (Coral Springs Fl.)
Hey Rob, my son is coming over for dinner and is a diehard packers fan and somehow the conversation always shifts toward them somehow whether its draft, games, or battling for positions, etc. can you give me a tidbit that might throw him off his feet a bit when it comes out of my mouth : ) I want to rile him up!
Rob Demovsky (4:26 PM)
Carol: Tell him you think Jamari Lattimore will have a bigger role this season on defense. He got a lot of reps during the OTA practices and could be carving out a role for himself.
I'm interested in how much potential Micah Hyde really has. He's being talked up, but wouldn't you say Casey Hayward's rookie year was substantially better? Isn't it more of a priority to get him on the field, assuming he's healthy?
Rob Demovsky (4:27 PM)
Kevin: In short, yes, Hayward is likely more of a priority -- but only at the slot corner position. The Packers think Hyde can be more versatile, which is why he's playing some safety. I could see Hyde playing safety in the base and then moving to the slot in say the dime package.
What kind of locker room guy is Julius Peppers? Will he take young players under his wing, be vocal during key moments? Could he be like Charles Woodson in this manner?
Rob Demovsky (4:28 PM)
Jay: Peppers seems to be a quiet guy. Woodson was that way, too, but he also would say what needed to be said, whether to the team or to the media. I have not gotten the sense that Peppers is that same type of presence.
Tony C (Green Bay Wi)
Hi Rob,In regards to the Packers defense, it was reported Mike McCarthy became more involved this offseason. It's no secret Dom's system is complicated and difficult for new personnel to absorb. Has McCarthy gotten Dom to simplify his schemes and jargon to accommodate the players ability to fully understand each play ?
Rob Demovsky (4:30 PM)
Tony: That's where the whole "less scheme, more personnel" mantra has come in. Sounds like they want to reduce the number of plays and/or packages they run in exchange for being able to use a wider variety of players in those schemes.
auto update on. TY TY TY TY
Rob Demovsky (4:31 PM)
Glad we got that fixed!
Why is Dom Capers not under fire from within the organization? Our offense seems to bail the defense out more often than not, but I don't think we should settle for just being good enough to get in the playoffs. Defense wins championships as they say.
Rob Demovsky (4:31 PM)
Frank: How do you know he's not under fire? I think by McCarthy taking a bigger role in the defense this offseason, that's a clear message to Capers and his staff that things must change.
Does Favre's first game at Lambeau as a Viking stand out for you as a game you covered? I was there and the fans were out for blood. It was a night game so the fans had all day to "tailgate." Never heard a player booed so loudly throughout a game.
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Brian: It does. That definitely is on my list.
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
Favre's retirement ceremony being delayed. What 's up with that Rob? Sounds kind of fishy too me? Old feelings die hard, eeh?
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Jeff: It does seem a little strange, no? Just get it over with, I say.
Chuck (Minneapolis) [via mobile]
After reading your post on Brett Favre and seeing his radio interview comments, I think it's time to start a "Bring Brett Home" campaign. Fans should let the Jets/Vikings years go and honor a great quarterback who helped restore the Packers after so many years of ineptitude.
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Posted without comment.
Tom (Marine on Saint Croix, Mn)
Now Favre says he's not worried about being Boo'd at Lambeau. B.S. When are you going to call him out on this crap? The man is more insecure than high schooler on his first date. Are we to believe that Mark Murphy and the Packer organization are walking on egg shells over the threat of fan booing. Come on, man. By the way, in spite of his immature behavior, I'll loved the way he entertained on the field and would be cheering his return.
Rob Demovsky (4:33 PM)
Tom: I always felt like he was a bit on the sensitive side.
Karl A. (Chicago)
In light of Brett Favre's most recent interview in which he stated he was not worried about being booed, why are the Packers holding back retiring his number? Is there some deeper reasoning here, such as a feud with Mike McCarthy?
Rob Demovsky (4:34 PM)
Karl: I don't think McCarthy and Favre spend any time on the phone catching up or chatting about old times, but I don't think there's any feud there either.
Does being a reporter take the fun out of sports? At the end of a close game do you find yourself cheering (at least on the inside) or are you thinking more about how you are going to write your story and your deadline?
Rob Demovsky (4:35 PM)
Peter: That's exactly how I think. As a reporter, you want whatever is going to be the best story -- win, lose or tie (although the only tie I've ever covered was not that great of a story).
Carrie B. (minneapolis, MN)
Thanks for your great coverage, Rob! I'm wondering if you have any suggestions of definitive books about the Packers organization (could include autobiographies) to add to my summer book list? Thanks very much!
Rob Demovsky (4:36 PM)
Carrie: The best book I've ever read about the Packers is "When Pride Still Mattered" by David Maraniess. It's a must read.
Please name two players on each side of the ball that you think will be pleasant surprises this season.
Rob Demovsky (4:38 PM)
Dan: On offense, let's go with DuJuan Harris and Jared Abbrederis. Defensively, how about Datone Jones and B.J. Raji, both of whom need bounce-back years and seem motivated to do so.
Any chance Lattimore can overtake Jones and earn the starting MLB next to Hawk?
Rob Demovsky (4:39 PM)
Tony: Not sure if he can supplant Jones, but I think they'd like to get him on the field in some capacity.
Worst draft pick by TT? Limiting to top 2-3 rounds where there are real expectations. At first I thought of Ahmed Carrol, but realized he was before TT. So Justin Harrell? Anybody else stick out like that? Sherrod?
Rob Demovsky (4:41 PM)
Michael: Abdul Hodge (R3, 2006), Brian Brohm and Pat Lee (R2, 2008) and Jerel Worthy (R2, 2012) have to be in the conversation. But Harrell leads the way so far.
Brian (Astoria, NY)
I keep reading about a quicker offense. What else should we expect to see from the O this year in terms of formations and strategies?
Rob Demovsky (4:43 PM)
Brian: More no-huddle. Rodgers is becoming one of the best at it.
Hey Rob, I love the chats and you really do a great job - it's more like chatting with a friend with inside info. My question is how much do you enjoy the chats? Lots of reporters on chats give an aura of being above the readers - and frequently get snippy with them - or don't answer a lot of questions. You never do that - so thanks and hopefully you enjoy the chats as much as the fans!
Rob Demovsky (4:44 PM)
Jack: I find this is the best way to interact with readers and have some fun. Honestly, I wish we could do more interactive things.
Where are your favorite places to cover games and why? (stadium, fans, the city's features, PR staff)
Rob Demovsky (4:45 PM)
Adam: Best stadium: Seattle (although New England is a close second). They're just cool buildings.Best city: New York (makes you feel so alive, although I couldn't live there. Runners up: New Orleans, San Fran, Chicago).
mike (bonduel wi) [via mobile]
Who would call plays on defense if something would happen to Aj
Rob Demovsky (4:47 PM)
Mike: Brad Jones has done it in the past and could do it again. Morgan Burnett tried it but didn't like it.
to go off of what was said regarding Capers, is this a make or break year for him? That's kind of what I was thinking of when I said "under fire".
Rob Demovsky (4:47 PM)
Frank: Honestly not sure Frank. McCarthy seems to trust him.
Corey (Southern California)
Thanks for your coverage, Rob. Been in CA now for a dozen years and SD, SF & Raiders stuff gets brutally thick out here. You're like a life line. LOL Anyhow, here's my question: There was no news on the Finley thing even after his visit - does it take a few DAYS to go over new test results or have they already gone through them and determined there's nothing new, ergo no medical clearance?
Rob Demovsky (4:48 PM)
Corey: Thanks for the kind words. Trust me, I'm trying to find out, but the fact that people aren't talking leads me to believe he hasn't been cleared. You know Finley, if he had been cleared, I'm sure he'd be all over Twitter. But I don't want to make any assumptions. I will keep digging though.
Hey Rob, last chat I predicted Cobb wouldn't be on the roster next year. My rationale is that he'll either put up huge numbers and some middling team will give him a monster offer (I can't see TT using monster cap space on Cobb) or he won't be able to stay on the field due to injuries and the Pack will move on with some promising youngsters on the roster. I may be wrong, but that's my gut feeling... I think the WR spot has the potential to be one of the most interesting over the next year.
Rob Demovsky (4:49 PM)
Paul: I remember that comment, but I still think the Packers are committed to getting both Nelson and Cobb extended.
In your opinion going into camp, does it look like we finally have the bodies to match the physicality of the Niners? Personally, I feel we match up great with the Seahawks as is.
Rob Demovsky (4:50 PM)
Justin: I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think the issue with the 49ers is speed more than size/bulk. The Packers need to get faster, and I'm not sure they've done that on defense.
If our young talent in the secondary continues to develop over this season, will Tramon Williams be a packer at this time next year? It seems like we have several guys that should be on the field, but not enough spots. Shields should be around for a while with his new contract, Hayward is hopefully healthy and productive again, Hyde is exciting and a definite playmaker, and HHCD looks to have some serious potential. It seems to me that the writing is on the wall for Williams, unless he has another Pro-bowl level year like he did in their superbowl run a few years back.
Rob Demovsky (4:51 PM)
Depends on a couple of factors: Whether Williams can play at a high enough level to warrant another contract? If Davon House ever shows enough consistency to be a starter? If Casey Hayward can play outside rather than just in the slot?
Teddy (WR land)
Here's the final decision: Jordy is the complete package and can play inside and out. Cobb not as well. We let Cobb walk and next year have Jordy, Adams outside, Boykin as a RFA return and Jared A as our new Cobb in the slot. U like?
Rob Demovsky (4:52 PM)
Teddy: I still think it's a risk to let Cobb walk.
Rob,When Dom Capers came to Green Bay, one of the things he tried to do was redeploy Aaron Kampman from DE to outside linebacker. This didn't seem to work very well, and AK left to go to Jacksonville.It seems a similar effort is being attempted for Julius Peppers. Why do the coaches think this will work for Peppers when it didn't work for Kampman?
Rob Demovsky (4:56 PM)
Eric: Kampman and Peppers have far different skill sets. Kampman isn't the athlete that Peppers is. His skills should translate better to OLB than Kampman's did.
What is the likelihood that Tolzien beats out Flynn for backup duties?
Rob Demovsky (5:00 PM)
Scott: I'm very curious to see what happens if Tolzien outplays Flynn. The Packers have a known commodity in Flynn.
Rob Demovsky (5:02 PM)
Thanks for all the questions this week. There were so many. We'll do this again throughout training camp.