<
>

Mailbag: Is Peppers pacing himself?

Each week, I will ask for questions via Twitter with the hashtag #PackersMail and then will deliver the answers over the weekend.

@RobDemovsky: I don't want to set off a state-wide panic or anything but if you thought Julius Peppers was going to dominate every practice, well, I haven't seen it. Perhaps Peppers, 34, is just pacing himself like any veteran entering his 13th NFL season might do. It's not like Peppers has been bad, but it's not like he has destroyed every offensive lineman he has lined up against, either. Surely a player with Peppers' experience and past production knows what he needs to do in order to get ready for the regular season. So at this point, there's no reason to question him. At 6-foot-7 and 287 pounds, he strikes an impressive figure on the field. He just has not made a ton of plays yet. The knock on Peppers last season in Chicago was that he took plays off. It's too early to say he's doing the same thing in Green Bay, but it's worth keeping an eye on.



@RobDemovsky: Jeff Janis absolutely has a chance. It was critical for him to get back to practice this past week, even if it was on a limited basis. He still has plenty of catching up to do after coming down with shingles on the eve of training camp, but his athletic ability was apparent in one of his first practices back. He made a one-handed catch for a touchdown over the Packers' No. 1 cornerback, Sam Shields. If you were not looking closely, you might have thought it was Jordy Nelson -- not Janis -- on that play. At 6-foot-3 and 219 pounds, Janis' build is almost identical to Nelson (6-3, 217). With fifth-round pick Jared Abbrederis lost for the season with a torn ACL, there is a receiver spot open. When the Packers keep five or six at the position, Janis has a chance.



@RobDemovsky: It's interesting that there are those who are fretting over the loss of Don Barclay, a former undrafted free agent, when the player who likely will fill in for him, at least at tackle, is former first-round pick Derek Sherrod. The difference is Barclay has played 20-plus games as a starter and Sherrod has played exactly six snaps on offense since he broke his leg as a rookie in 2011. But Barclay's jack-of-all-trades ability will be missed. Now, the likely top backup guard is Lane Taylor, who has only 20 NFL snaps on offense to his credit.



@RobDemovsky: If you believe safeties coach Darren Perry, then nothing is locked up, not even Morgan Burnett's spot. Perry has been one of Burnett's most vocal supporters, so it was a bit surprising to hear him say that, but it might be a sign the Packers are considering a shakeup at safety. And Sean Richardson could be a part of it. No one has made more plays in practice than he has, and coach Mike McCarthy went out of his way to praise Richardson this week.



@RobDemovsky: I would not pencil in Andrew Quarless just yet. Yes, he has more experience than any other tight end on the roster. But rookie Richard Rodgers and up-and-comer Brandon Bostick have gotten plenty of reps in practice. In fact, there have been plenty of instances where in a two-tight end set it has been Rodgers and Bostick. This race is far from finalized.



@RobDemovsky: No chance, and it's because Scott Tolzien has no more practice-squad eligibility left. There was some question about that, but he recently cleared that up. That's what makes this such a critical month for Tolzien. He's going to have to show enough to either convince the Packers that he's a better backup than Matt Flynn or at least to force them to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, which is something they have not done in Week 1 since 2008.