You Ask, Jon Answers: Packers Mailbag
Everybody in the world does a mailbag column. Bill Simmons probably did them well before just about anybody else. A couple other Packers blogs do them. Vic Ketchman does them. Mailbags are everywhere
In a fit of mailbag envy, I've decided to put together a mailbag column. The questions may be fake, but the answers will be real. On to your (fake) questions!
Are the Packers still behind the Seahawks and 49ers? Have they closed the gap at all in the NFC? - Mike M. in Green Bay
It's hard to say if the Packers have actually closed the gap, but I think if there still is a gap, it's narrower than it was last season, and I think injuries might be the biggest reason. The Packers have famously been gutted by injuries the last two or three years, so it seems like they'll get back on the right track sooner or later in that department. They've always been as deep of a team as anybody else, so maybe if the top end of the roster actually manages to stay on the field, they'll be able to make a serious run at closing the gap.
Should any Packers veterans be worried about losing their jobs? I'm specifically thinking about linebackers who wear numbers in the upper 50's. But not for any specific reason. - Brad J. in Green Bay
It might be a little surprising, but I don't think any starters, even veteran starters, are in danger of losing their jobs or roster spots. The only immediately obvious position of weakness on the Packers' roster right now is inside linebacker, and I"m not convinced that Jamari Lattimore or Sam Barrington are enough of an upgrade over A.J. Hawk or Brad Jones to make the move.
The only other position where I could see some turnover would be running back, and with Rajion Neal's injury keeping him out for a while yet, it doesn't seem like he'll be able to make a serious run at DuJuan Harris's job.
Any Chance The Packers Could Sign A New Tight End? I Think They Could Use Some Help There Still. - JF in Texas
Even with Brandon Bostick possibly out until the start of the regular season, I think the Packers are set at tight end. Richard Rodgers has been as good as advertised, and there's just enough other adequate talent on the roster to make a move unnecessary.
Will the Packers go light on the defensive line? I've seen some roster projections with the Packers only keeping six defensive linemen. - Letroy G. in Ashwaubenon
I think it's almost a guarantee that the Packers only keep six defensive linemen, and it's because of the flexibility afforded by guys like Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, and Nick Perry. All three of those guys are virtually linemen already. I think Mike Pennel makes it, but he's unique. He has unusual physical gifts, which is what you need if you're only going to keep a small number at a specific position.