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 (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. It's been a busy day in Green Bay, where the annual Tailgate Tour rolled out of town today and backup QB Matt Flynn has agreed to return.So let's get started...
How much money is left in the Pack's salary cap? Are the Packers done with FA to save money for the Draft & Cobb/Nelson contract extentions?
Rob Demovsky (4:03 PM)
Stephen: As of Monday, they had $15.6 million in cap space. That was before Matt Flynn's deal, but that's not a contract that's likely to eat up much cap room. They'll probably need around $5 million to sign their draft picks, but that should leave enough to get Cobb and Nelson done this year.
Mason (Twin Lakes, Wisconsin)
Are the Bears serious competitors this year for the champion of the NFC North? I don't think so, but my Bear fan friends really think they have something special in their dynamic duo at the receiver spot.
Rob Demovsky (4:05 PM)
Mason: Offensively, they are. You mentioned the two receivers -- Marshall and Jeffery. But don't forget about Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. That's four legitimate offensive weapons. Now, the question is can their defensive improve? I think it can based on some of the additions they've made -- LaMarr Houston, Jared Allen -- and another year in Mel Tucker's system. I still think they're the biggest threat to the Packers in the division.
I've been seeing guys like Jimmie Ward and Deone Bucannon going early in the 2nd round, could Ted reach on one if Pryor and Clinton-Dix are gone?
Rob Demovsky (4:07 PM)
Christian: Mel Kiper talked last week about possible late second-round safeties and he made it sound like there's a chance Ward, Bucannon and Terrence Brooks from Florida State could be available late in the second round.
Rob Demovsky (4:08 PM)
Haven't seen the numbers on Flynn's deal yet, but I'd be surprised if it were worth much more than the minimum. That's what he signed for last year.
Not sure if this worked....What is Flynn's deal worth? League minimum?Thanks
Hi RobWhich saftey do you think will be their when the pack pick at 21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Calvin Pryor or Jimmie Ward? The Packers have to get a solid saftey in this draft! Thanks
Rob Demovsky (4:09 PM)
Steve: Sounds like 21 is too high for Ward, and Clinton-Dix will be gone -- maybe even long gone -- by then. The big question is whether Pryor will be there. I can't imagine them passing on him if he's still there.
James (Sacramento, CA)
How high are the Packers on James Nixon, Jamal Rolle and Sam Barrington? I've heard other Packer Writers talk these 3 up. Could they push for playing time this season - push guys like Brad Jones and Davon House out the door?
Rob Demovsky (4:10 PM)
James: They like Nixon's speed, but he's still raw. Don't know a ton about Rolle, to be honest. Depending on what the Packers do in the draft, don't be surprised to see Barrington push Brad Jones for the starting job.
Missed you last week! Two parter here. I don't thing TT gets enough credit for being a great GM. Look at the track record of guys that have gone on to other jobs around the league. Why do we not talk about the TTT (Ted Thompson Tree)? GMs in Seattle, Oakland & KC that were under TT. Also with those successful guys moving on, you can't expect the Packers to continue to have top rate guys replacing them. No knock on the current staff of scouts
Rob Demovsky (4:12 PM)
Thanks, Michael. To your point about having top-rate guys to replace Schneider, McKenzie and Dorsey, if you look at their top three personnel guys under Thompson right now, it's Eliot Wolf, Alonzo Highsmith and Brian Gutekunst. All three have been with the organization for a long time and know how it's done. It may sound crazy, but I don't see much of a drop off from the former three to the current three and it wouldn't surprise me if one or more of them became GMs eventually.
Rob; Are the Packers seriously thinking of selecting an OT? Not in the first round I hope!
Rob Demovsky (4:13 PM)
Ron: It's something they might have to consider. Bryan Bulaga's recent injuries have to have put some doubt in the Packers' minds about his future. And who knows if Derek Sherrod will ever be a player. If there's a tackle worth taking at No. 21, I wouldn't be totally stunned if they did.
How much will a healthy Casey Hayward affect how the Packers draft?
Rob Demovsky (4:14 PM)
Josh: I don't think cornerback is a big position of need so long as Hayward is healthy. Indications are that he won't have any long-term effects but you have to be a little leery of hamstring injuries.
greenbaydean (dodgeville wi)
hearing any rumors about GB's schedule? Would love to see them play at Seattle in the NFL Thursday opener
Brad (Appleton, WI)
When do you see Brett Favre's jersey being retired? 2014 or 2015?
Ian (New Jersey) [via mobile]
Rob, I've been following everything that's been going on in the NFL the past few months since the Super Bowl, in your opinion, what has been the biggest storyline this offseason?
Rob Demovsky (4:17 PM)
Ian: Wow, it's sure been a busy offseason, but then again which one isn't. A couple of storylines jump out at me -- the new coaches in the NFC North, Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam, bullying, and the 49ers mess.
Rob Demovsky (4:18 PM)
A few weeks back, I was told the NFL was strongly considering the Packers, Broncos and 49ers for that Seattle opener. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the Packers. As for other tidbits, don't expect the Packers to play on Thanksgiving this year, and I cannot confirm the Buffalo game as a Monday Nighter.
Rob Demovsky (4:20 PM)
Sorry for posting three questions at once. Had a minor technical difficult (or user error). Back to Brad's question about Favre. Here's my guess: He'll come back for a game this year, but they'll save the jersey for the following season, and then the year after that he'll go into the Pro Football HOF.
PackerYaker (Crystal River, Florida)
Given the recent history of Packer injuries, I'm glad to see the team take the next step to identify and evaluate causes. Do you think the new tech team hired will make a difference?
Rob Demovsky (4:21 PM)
You're referring to their partnership with Catapult Sports that I wrote about yesterday. I think it's wise for the Packers -- or any team -- to study their practice and training habits. As for whether it can make a difference? That remains to be seen. The technology is relatively new.
JMac (Fresno, CA)
Is it pretty much a forgone conclusion, at least among the media, that Finley's career is over in Green Bay given the organizations conservative track record on these types of injuries?
Rob Demovsky (4:22 PM)
JMac: I try to make my conclusions based on what I can learn from my sources and the ones I've communicated with about Finley seem to be leaning that way, so I'll lean that way, too. However, it does not sound like they have completely closed the book on him. They're in a wait-and-see mode like everyone else.
do you think Murphy was honest in saying the favre reunion was delayed by a high school football team? Don't you think something would've been planned that isn't flexible??
Rob Demovsky (4:24 PM)
Brad: I do think he was being honest because I had heard last season that there was talk about Favre coming back up for a game. One team source even told me early last season "Don't be surprised if Brett comes to a game this year." But when I tried to get something more concrete than that, I got shut out.
Taylor [via mobile]
Can Jarrett Boykin put up James Jones numbers this year?
Rob Demovsky (4:26 PM)
Taylor: Didn't he basically do that last year. In 12 games, Boykin had 49 catches for 681 yards. In his seven seasons with the Packers, Jones had more than 49 catches only three times (and never more than 64) and had more than 681 yards only twice (and nevermore than 817). That doesn't mean I don't think Jones will be missed because I do. He was a team first, tough guy. But Boykin has the potential to be the same kind of player.
Are the coaches high on Bostick? Can he make the jump at TE or is it high on the draft list? The overall group seems very weak unless Bostick breaks out.
Rob Demovsky (4:28 PM)
Steve: They like his athleticism but what surprised me the most was when McCarthy said recently that he thought Bostick was also their best blocking tight end. That tells me they have big plans for him.
why do the Packers have suck a knack for being able to unearth quality undrafted college FA's? I realize they have good scouts, but so other teams yet the Pack always seem to unearth a gem or two that make the roster. Any insight?
Rob Demovsky (4:29 PM)
Bill: Part of the reason could be that they use a lot of their pre-draft visits (teams get 30 of them) on potential late-round picks or undrafted free agents. That tells you that they take that part of it seriously. Also, it becomes a little self-fulling in a way. Free agents know that the Packers tend to keep more of them on the roster so the better ones might chose to sign with them over another team, if it comes down to that.
Do you know of any more pre draft visits for the Packers?
Rob Demovsky (4:30 PM)
They have Virginia center Luke Bowanko in for a visit the last two days. That's the most recent one.
Hey Rob. Do you believe with the Peppers signing, along with retaining some of their own, the return of injured contributors and some young, unproven but promising prospects, along with an arsenal of draft picks, it's reasonable for the Packers to expect their defense to be much improved? Or are they just spitting into the wind with some of these guys?
Rob Demovsky (4:32 PM)
Troy: That's the question of the offseason, as far as the Packers are concerned. It can be dangerous to rely on prospects and players returning from injury because you're projecting. However, how different will their defense be with Hayward and Matthews healthy, Peppers at least as productive as he was last year and expected improvement from Datone Jones and Micah Hyde?
Marissa (Macomb, IL) [via mobile]
With the Pack resigning Flynn, do you still see them using a draft pick on a QB? Or will McCarthhy use his 'magic' to continue to develope Scott Tolzein (sp?) into the mold he wants?
Rob Demovsky (4:33 PM)
Marissa: It sounds like McCarthy wold like to draft a fourth, developmental quarterback. If everything worked out the way he hopes, they'd keep three QBs on the roster and a fourth on the practice squad. That tells me they'll draft one in the late rounds. I'd be surprised if it was any earlier than the fifth round, though.
Rob, Will you be in chicago on april 27th for packerpalooza for the biggest packer party at wills northwoods inn with kuhn, boykin, tolzien, and winters?
Rob Demovsky (4:34 PM)
Justin: I'm sorry, but I won't be. I'll be on vacation, getting in a quick break before the draft. Let me know how it goes.
Realist Nick (Hartland, Wi)
I always have preface by saying I am a Favre guy because it is still impossible to give criticism to Rodgers without being accused of that. With that said, how much credence do you give to what Colin Cowherd said about sources worried about how much or little Rodgers does to prepare for the season? It seems like everytime I turn on the TV he's there. He's at the Elite 8, Final Four, Country Music Awards, Golf tournaments, Clippers games, and concerts. Maybe I am isolated from others but does Drew Brees, Payton Manning, Tom Brady, do as much as Rodgers has done? At some point is perception reality?
Rob Demovsky (4:36 PM)
Nick: I'm glad you asked that because I think it's something that needs to be addressed. I didn't hear Colin's comments first hand, but I can tell you this from someone who attends every OTA/minicamp practice that is open to reporters -- Rodgers is at all of them. And he's an active participant. I respect Brett Favre greatly, but even he didn't bother coming to all of the offseason workouts/minicamps beginning in the early 2000s. If that's the perception of Rodgers, I don't think it's reality.
packers need help [via mobile]
what 2 confrences are the packers playing this year what positions should they look for in the draft thier defence could use some help and their recieving core is not that good in fact they really havent done any thing to help them in the past few years for example saying goodbye to greg jennings and not adding hardly anybody this offseason
Rob Demovsky (4:38 PM)
The Packers are playing the NFC South -- at New Orleans and at Tampa Bay; home against Carolina and Atlanta. And the AFC East -- at Buffalo and at Miami; home against New England and the Jets.
Do you prefer to speculate about, or react to the NFL draft. I feel like many media and fans prefer to make predictions about what might happen and don't put enough effort into analyzing what did happen. Am I alone?
Rob Demovsky (4:40 PM)
Joe: Good question, Joe. I don't like making predictions about the draft for several reasons. There are too many variables, and there's too much to know that we in the media or the public can't possibly know, especially when you're talking about anything after, say, the first 15 picks. I'm sure I will make a prediction on who they pick because that's what many fans want, but I hope I can bring you analysis about why the draft went a certain way for the Packers.
What are your thoughts on playing time with the new elephant end position? We have 3 guys that are seemingly perfect for the position (Peppers, Neal, Perry) but I can't imagine there will be enough playing time at the position for all 3.
Rob Demovsky (4:41 PM)
Jason: McCarthy said he doesn't want Peppers playing 800 snaps again like he did last year with the Bears. And they certainly didn't plan for Mike Neal to play that many last year but he did. So I think there's going to be a good rotation there.
CJ Mosely or Ryan Shazier?
Rob Demovsky (4:42 PM)
If Mosley's there, it sounds like he is the better value, although I've heard plenty of people talk up Shazier, too. But in the end, if that were the choice, I bet they'd take Mosley.
Shane Bogata,Texas [via mobile]
Do you think the Packers will address the Inside linebacker situation as far as speed goes? Some media thinks they are slow.
Rob Demovsky (4:44 PM)
Shane: That's probably why I answered the previous question the way I did. If they can get a speedy guy like Mosley, who can cover a lot of ground, then I think you almost have to do it.
Mike (Upper Peninsula MI)
Thanks for the chat Rob. With both safeties and Mosely gone by the time the Packers pick do you see them looking at Odell Beckham WR for LSU? I would rather see the Pack trade back if the defensive guys are gone but do you think Ted would draft a WR in the first round?
Rob Demovsky (4:45 PM)
Todd McShay, in his latest mock draft, has the Packers taking Beckham. If things fall a certain way and Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Ebron and Mosley all gone, I could see that happening.
Tom (In the cube) [via mobile]
What is a "successful" draft to you?
Rob Demovsky (4:48 PM)
Tom: That's tough to define. In some ways, it's easier to ID an unsuccessful draft. Look at 2012 -- Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy, Casey Hayward, Mike Daniels, Jerron McMillian, Terrell Manning, Andrew Datko and B.J. Coleman. Perry has been only OK, Worthy not good, Hayward good but injured, Daniels a budding star and the rest are already gone. To me, that's not good enough.
You've spoken on the draft and on cap space...considering both do you see the pack looking at any unsigned FA's...any names floating around?
Rob Demovsky (4:49 PM)
Dan: Other than perhaps one or two more of their own (maybe Pickett and/or Jolly and possibly Finley), I wouldn't think so.
Thoughts on the Flynn resigning?
Rob Demovsky (4:49 PM)
You can find my thoughts here: http://espn.go.com/blog/green-bay-packers/post/_/id/8986/flynn-provides-important-insurance
As a reporter, what is your favorite part of the off season? Do enjoy following the FA activity (usually dull for Green Bay), projecting/analyzing the draft, attending OTA/minicamp, etc.? Thanks for all your work!
Rob Demovsky (4:53 PM)
Jason: I find the salary cap/financial part of the offseason to be fascinating. I think it's a part of the game that not a lot of fans truly understand. It's why I've tried to write a bunch about it this season and hopefully I've helped you all understand the nuances of contracts when I post the full breakdowns of the deals.
It seems the Packers might be ready to go with Hyde at safety should one not reach them in the draft. In terms of the next guy up, where does he rank on the Allen Barbre to Aaron Rodgers scale? Is he a close your eyes and hope for the best fill-in or does he have the potential to be a really good safety?
Rob Demovsky (4:55 PM)
Rob: I like your scale. He's no Allen Barbre, that's for sure. There was something about Hyde -- some intangible -- that jumped out about him right away. I can't exactly explain it, but you could tell by talking to him that he had a chance to be a real contributor. Not in a cocky way, either. As far as safety goes, that's where a lot of scouts projected him when he was in the draft last year, so I don't think it will be as much of a stretch.
Rob Demovsky (4:55 PM)
Sounds like he's been working out. Not sure if he's been cleared for "football activities" though. My guess is the Packers wait a little while on him.
Justin (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
Do you remember the time that McCarthy said that he believed the team had stunted Jarrett Bush's growth by playing him at corner and safety earlier in his career? Should we be concerned that trying to make Micah Hyde a jack-of-all-trades defensive back will prevent him from becoming a legitimate starter at either position?
Rob Demovsky (4:57 PM)
Justin: I honestly don't recall those exactly words, Justin, but I'll take your word for it. The difference with Hyde is he's an inside player no matter what. There's not as big of a difference playing the slot cornerback spot and the safety spot. However, there's a big difference between playing the outside corner spot and safety.
Rob Demovsky (4:59 PM)
Thanks for all the questions this week. I'll be back again next Tuesday at the same time. Talk to you all then.
Sorry Rob ..but was the 4:55 post on Jolly?
Rob Demovsky (5:01 PM)
Whoops. Sorry Dan. Yes, the 4:55 answer was about Jolly. Thanks again to everyone for joining in today.