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Here are some good candidates for cold-weather games

Posted Feb 22, 2018

Will any team truly be a surprise next year?

Zach from Clarkfield, MN

Who is the Packers’ best cover linebacker? In my humble opinion, RB/LB or slot WR/LB is a matchup that many teams take advantage of.

I think it needs to be Josh Jones in the hybrid role, but we’ll see how it unfolds under Pettine.

Tristan from Aurora, CO

When Josh Jones was drafted, I turned to my dad and said, “I’ll betcha Burnett’s on the last year of his contract.” Sure enough, he was. However, I’m not sure that Jones is ready. Is it possible that Burnett is given the franchise tag to keep him around for a year and develop Jones further, if Jones really is the presumptive heir?

If the Packers are interested in keeping Burnett, they’ll be able to do so for far less than franchise-tag money.

Chris from Portland, CT

Do you think we should let Gutekunst and his staff make up their boards before we start asking if they should move up or down in the draft? Asking for a friend.

Tell your friend that’s basically what I’ve been saying.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Hi Mike, I wanted the Packers to win the last game of the season in Detroit. But the part of me that was disappointed was consoled by thinking of a better draft selection. If the Packers had won in Detroit, where would they be picking rather than 14 where they are currently?

I believe 15th.

Todd from Fort Atkinson, WI

It was stated that Trevor Davis was disappointed he didn't make that catch. Disappointment comes with effort and not succeeding. He didn't put forth the effort, so why be disappointed? He took the play off much like Clinton-Dix took off the last six. Watch some film and you'll see it.

I was pretty harsh on Davis after that play, too, but he acknowledged he lost the ball in the lights. It’s his job to make sure that doesn’t happen, but the missed opportunity was not due to lack of effort.

Richie from Ath Fada, Ireland

At what point in Rodgers’ career does the front office say screw it and go all-in on a big free-agent signing to win a ring? I'm all for draft-and-develop but there's no guarantee we'll have another quarterback after Rodgers capable of bringing those guys to the dance.

There’s no guarantee a big free-agent signing gets you a ring, either. Loading up for a short-term shot makes your odds smaller, in my opinion, of winning a title than building an annual contender, because the playoffs are so unpredictable.

Tom from Cedar Rapids, IA

RIP to the Carr that hit like a truck. As a kid, I pretended I was Fred while playing football in the back yard (or tackling my little brother in the living room…Sorry Mom). Watching him was one of the few bright spots on some otherwise disappointing teams. Thanks for the memories, Fred.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Cliff’s excellent piece on Carr, it’s worth your time.

Mike from Novato, CA

So, Wes, if a top-five player falls to 14, he's not a top-five player? Aaron Rodgers? Randy Moss? Not sure you're going to get a lot of agreement on that one.

You can be sure he’s not.

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

Wes, I won't quibble over your rivalry rankings, but for pure entertainment Packers-Cowboys has been great for a long time.

He’s catching some flak for that one, too. Then again, he was barely starting school in the early ’90s.

Matt from Hoboken, NJ

Wes, you mentioned that Buffalo was your least favorite stadium to visit. Is that because for initiation purposes you had to let Spoff pile-drive you through a flaming table, or is there another reason?

Now I’m the one clearly missing something.

Alen from Tilburg, The Netherlands

Insiders, which team will surprise everyone next year?

Tough question, because the teams I see with the potential for the biggest W-L turnaround – 49ers, Colts, Texans, even Packers – have (or are expected to have) quarterbacks everyone knows about, so I’m not sure how much of a surprise they can really be.

Ben from Lannon, WI

Here's a theory, I think the reason the defense struggled so was because the players lost faith in Capers and his system. I am sure players hear about fans wanting him to get fired and our concerns. They have to be aware that the fan base has not been happy with our recent play on the defensive side of the ball. I think that could have a huge effect on a unit, and can get into their head and cause them to lose faith. Thoughts?

While I acknowledge players are human, if that was true, I’m not sure I want those same players on my professional football team anymore.

Jeremy from DeSoto, KS

I need Wes to post my question for the Inbox hat trick. When Spoff saw Cillian for the first time, did he use the word breathtaking?

Sorry, he’s not going to bite on a Seinfeld reference, but I will.

Derek from Maple Grove, MN

I don't get the comparison between the James "catch" and the Ertz catch. James caught the ball on the 1.5-yard line and never took a step, he just fell towards the goal line. Ertz caught his at the 6-yard line, took three steps, and dove for the end zone. In my mind it's two completely different plays. BTW, I think they were both called correctly.

I do, too, but I think the best “catch rule” item that came out of the Super Bowl was Corey Clement’s TD being upheld, because it was the first time in a while I saw “ball moving” not being equated to “loss of control.”

Mike from Somerset, WI

Mike, if I had an eight-year career with the Packers and 29 interceptions for the team, would I be considered a lock for the Packers Hall of Fame?

I assume you’re referring to Tramon Williams, who had 28 interceptions from 2007-14 (32 INTs including playoffs), and the answer to your question is yes.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

Guys, Adam Timmerman, Mark Tauscher and Donald Driver. The three gems Ron Wolf found in the seventh round. Ted Thompson didn’t come close to that level of success. We’ll have at least two picks in the seventh round this year. Will Brian Gutekunst rediscover the Ron Wolf seventh-round mojo or has the drafting process changed too much and made it impossible to duplicate?

I don’t know if anyone else has ever had three seventh-round picks in a span of six years turn out like that, or if anyone will again.

Jason from Ringle, WI

I think we heard from Wes on this topic, but curious to know if Spoff was in the Winter Olympics, what event would you be participating in?

Definitely the bobsled. Adams, Nelson and Cobb need a fourth, don’t they?

Mathias from Lanscaster, PA

The first Packers game I remember attending featured Anthony Dilweg as QB. I vaguely remember that Don Majkowski was around, as well as Mike Tomczak and Mark Brunell, I think. As I was so young at the time, can you give me a bit of insight on why so many QBs in such a short time period? Was there no "man," lots of injuries, or something else going on?

Dilweg started seven games in 1990 in place of Majkowski, who was Green Bay’s guy, but he couldn’t stay healthy. Tomczak started seven games in Majkowski’s place the following year. Brunell was not on the team at that time. The only year Majkowski started for a full season was 1989, and the Packers went 10-6, with 10 of the 16 games decided by four points or less. Green Bay went 7-3 in those close games, earning the nickname “The Cardiac Pack,” but it lost the NFC Central title to Minnesota on a division-record tiebreaker (6-2 vs. 5-3).

JJ from St. Augustine Beach, FL

Do you think we'll be interested in Sitton?


Andrew from Ettrick, WI

The fans’ obsession with the Packers trading up from 14 to the top 10 somewhat amazes me. How many drafts have potentially four quarterbacks going in the top half of the draft has there been? The high quality of defensive players that can slide down to us should excite the Packer fan base. Also, with the higher second-round selection, this is a draft that could create some real cornerstone players of the future.

It needs to.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

Every year, the cycle of the NFL repeats; it has a certain rhythm to it. Combine, free agency, draft, OTAs, preseason, regular season, postseason. To its credit, the NFL has ensured there is always something going on to promote fan engagement. As reporters for the Packers, do you guys have a favorite phase of the season to cover?

Sundays from September through January make the rest of the grind worth it.

Paul from Pawleys Island, SC

Pawleys Island is a real place, beautiful and laid back like Edisto Beach. Unlike Vic, I might move back to ’Sconsin when I retire (nobody here plays Sheepshead).

Jack o’ diamonds or call an ace? If you move back, you’ll know where to find me.

George from North Mankato, MN

Looking ahead to the schedule, are there any specific teams (home or away) that you would like to see at the beginning, middle or end of the season? I always enjoy seeing the Lions or Vikings having to travel to Lambeau in the cold.

The Dolphins, Cardinals and Falcons would all be good candidates for a cold-weather game to benefit the Packers. Given Seattle’s injuries in the secondary, it wouldn’t hurt to travel out there early in the season rather than later. Getting Washington early before Alex Smith settles in might help, too.

Tom from Collegeville, MN

Both Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson made some statement moves when they took over for GM. Wolf got Favre and Reggie, Ted took Rodgers and acquired Woodson. Rumor has it that Marcus Peters is on the trade block. Could this be the big statement move that Gutekunst uses to mark the beginning of his reign? Very talented player.

They were statement moves but they weren’t done for that express purpose. I expect Gutekunst to keep his motivations in the right place as well.

Jimmy from New Richmond, WI

Hey guys, with the slow offseason, and spring training coming up, I was thinking about getting tickets to a Brewers game. Living so close to the Minnesota border, I would love to see a Brewers-Twins game, in Miller Park of course. I know the atmosphere is vastly different at baseball games, but I am much more familiar with football, so I am curious how young is too young to bring a little rugrat to a Brewers game? I would like to go with the family, but not sure how the little one would fair.

Just prepare for the worst and it’ll work out somehow. We actually took my son when he was a month old to a game at County Stadium during the final week of games there to get pictures of him inside it before they tore it down. It’s one of my favorite baby pictures.

Kris from Las Vegas, NV

When was the last time the Packers used the franchise tag?

2010, on Ryan Pickett.

Kyle from Los Angeles, CA

I don't know enough to know if it is caused by talent evaluation, negotiating skills, or business transparency, but I feel the Packers' infrequency in using the franchise/transition tag reflects well on our front office. At best, using it seems to be a distraction (Steelers); at worst, it's an embarrassment (Redskins).

No one wants to use it, and no one who’s in a position to get it really wants it. You never know for sure what’s going on behind the scenes, but if it’s used as a last resort to buy more time to work out a long-term deal, that’s not so bad. But tagging somebody as soon as the tag is available is usually a sign there’s contentious negotiations or a parting of ways on the horizon, if not this year then next.

Connor from Murray, UT

So Pettine said he likes having hybrid players because they can either move around, or easily switch positions if injury hits. So with Clay, in a perfect world, would he line up as an edge rusher all the time so he can do what he is best at, and not have to fill in at MLB? Or in a perfect world would he play multiple positions with different assignments to create diversity in the defense?

I think it’s the latter. Dan from Australia asked a similar question. Matthews moved inside full-time in 2014 and it not only saved the run defense, it set up the Packers to make a run. I think ideally you have packages where Matthews is inside and/or off the line, but it’s not his permanent gig. You have to have enough players to make those multiple packages effective, though. It starts there.

Brad from Lakewood, WI

If the draft itself is a crapshoot, what does that make a mock draft?

Playing with fake chips.

Pooks from Duluth, MN

Tebow inventing the shotgun?! That’s absurd. Everyone knows he invented the Hail Mary.



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