You can feel the momentum building

George from North Mankato, MN

With the release of the full schedule tonight, is there anything the NFL could do that would shock you?

Go back to 16 regular-season games.

It will be interesting to see the reaction Mike McCarthy gets when the ‘Boys come to town!’

I expect it’ll be a positive reaction. He certainly deserves it. Mike accomplished so many great things in Green Bay and built a football team Packers fans can be proud of. He ran his program with integrity. It’ll be great to see him back at Lambeau Field and get the respect he so richly deserves.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

The narrative surrounding Dallas-Green Bay will be focused on McCarthy’s return to Lambeau Field. That’s fine and worthy, however, the narrative is much bigger – it’s about an historic rivalry and so many spectacular moments over the years. The Ice Bowl, Dez and the “no catch,” (it was definitely not a catch, BTW), and my favorite, the “We drew the play up in the dirt” episode out-route pass from AR12 to Jared Cook at the boundary setting Mason Crosby up for the walk-off. Epic stuff … epic …

That playoff game in Dallas is still my all-time favorite on the beat. Green Bay and McCarthy will comprise most of the headlines that week, but the reality is this is a game between two perennial contenders with Super Bowl aspirations. If both teams stay healthy, it’s a matchup that could weigh heavily into the playoff equation. That’s the real story.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

I recently read a Devonte Wyatt/Warren Sapp comp (grain of salt) and it got me thinking about pass rush. Do you think there is potential for this year’s pass rush to exceed the best units our D has had in the last 30-plus years (I’d probably put Clay/Cullen and Reggie/Bryce at the top during that time)? I foresee third downs where Wyatt and Kenny Clark are both lined up at tackle, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary flying off the edge and both De’Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker jumping around the LOS pre-snap, disguising their intentions. Look out!

The potential is there, for sure. This is the deepest defensive line the Packers have had on paper since I started covering the team. But you can’t meld Super Bowl rings from potential. You have to earn it. I do like the one-on-one possibilities the depth creates, though. We haven’t talked to Joe Barry yet but I’m sure he’s thrilled. This toolbox has everything a defensive coordinator could want.

Jeffrey from Sioux Falls, SD

Love hearing the comments about Christian Watson from NDSU. An interesting fact showing proof positive that scouts in the NFL look everywhere for prospects begins with five players being drafted from the same conference including NDSU (2), South Dakota State U (2), and U of North Dakota (1). The more interesting part is that is the same number of players that were drafted from the Power 5 schools of Florida State (1), Florida (3), and Miami (1).

It’s a new dawn in college football. Major FCS programs have been doing a fantastic job at identifying and developing under-the-radar talent into legitimate NFL prospects. I think we’re only at the beginning of that wave, too. You can feel the momentum building.

Steven from Oak Creek, WI

Looking ahead at the upcoming 2022-23 NFL season, is it possible that Christian Watson can pull a Ja’Marr Chase and have a breakout season in his first year on the Packers, or does he need time to develop and understand our offensive schemes we have put in place before he can become a full-time starter?

There’s no question these college receivers are often further ahead of their predecessors when it comes to making an instant impact in the NFL, but Chase and Justin Jefferson are generational talents. It’s hard to hold any incoming rookie to that standard. The Packers drafted Christian Watson for a reason. He just needs to be himself, learn the playbook and be ready when his number is called.

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