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A fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference

Proven development outweighs venturing into the unknown


Scott from Munford, TN

Not so much a question, but what Justin from Wausau wrote was spot on. Even brought a tear to an old man's eye. Thank you for keeping all of us updated on what's happening in Packers land. Keep up the good work.

Absolutely. That heartfelt comment brightened my Monday morning. It definitely gave me a moment to pause and count my blessings thanks to all of those who helped preserve those freedoms. I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day. Let's get started. Good morning!

Matt from Kula, HI

The Jimmy Graham/Marcedes Lewis TE combination brings to mind Jackson/Chmura. How do you compare these players? Holmgren got great mileage from the two-TE set. In today's game, do you see the possibility of similar production?

I don't think Jackson and Chmura are an accurate comparison because all four are such different players. Still, Lewis should make life easier for Graham and Lance Kendricks with his unique skill set. Lewis doesn't need to have a 500-yard season to do his job. His impact will be felt throughout the offense.

Jeremiah from Denver, CO

Does the recent GB history of acquiring TEs in FA speak to their preferred plan for the position or simply reflect how recent drafts have unfolded with respect to available TE talent?

It's like I've always said in this space – tight end is one of the trickiest positions to develop in the NFL. Even the best prospects take time. The Packers have some young guys competing behind Graham and Kendricks, but none of them have the skill set or experience of Lewis. The competition is still alive and well. Lewis is just another option to consider.

Elliott from Valparaiso, IN

With one offseason completed under Brian Gutekunst, is it possible the Packers now have the deepest defensive line in football and the deepest tight end group in football?

Ranking depth is such a subjective thing, but where I think Gutekunst differentiated himself this offseason is in showing no trepidation about adding a veteran to an already deep position. If there was a veteran on the market who fit the scheme, Gutekunst was picking up the phone whether that individual signed with Green Bay or not.

Kirk from Burlington, WI

Given Rodgers' history, the way this offense has operated and how many options he'll have to work with, I predict Rodgers will be giving his best Oprah impersonation and giving all the Packers TDs. I'm setting the over/under at 10 different players have receiving TDs and taking the over with at least eight players having multiple TDs. Too optimistic or not optimistic enough? Thoughts?

There are several mouths to feed with Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham and Randall Cobb all touting 10-plus touchdown seasons on their resumes, but Rodgers is a generous quarterback. It's no surprise his two MVP seasons also happened to occur with the Packers' deepest array of offensive weapons during Mike McCarthy's time as head coach. If everyone stays healthy, it's not a reach at all to think Rodgers could easily target 10 different players for touchdowns and eight with at least multiple scores.

Jasper from Potomac, MD

Last year I heard a lot of talk about how Quinten Rollins had looked amazing at OTAs and training camp. He got injured before he could prove anything last year, but I look at him to step up his game this year in Pettine's D.

Take a look inside Green Bay's organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Getting Rollins back on the field for the offseason program was a good first step. I wondered whether he'd be ready after tearing that Achilles last October, but there he was during the first public practice of OTAs. Rollins has the talent to compete for a role in this defense, but he also has only played cornerback at a high level for three-plus seasons.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

The upgraded position group I like the most is the RBs. They aren't rookies anymore.

And no one older than 25. The future is bright.

Roger from Dallas, TX

Do you have any news on what the first impressions of the coaching staff are for seventh-round pick Kendall Donnerson?

I saw Donnerson's measurables after the draft and wondered if he was big enough to play outside linebacker. Then, I saw him in person at rookie orientation and was convinced he has the frame to play off the edge. He tested through the roof at Southeast Missouri's pro day. We'll see how that skill set translates this summer.

Kevin from Greenwood, SC

I still don't understand why after many losses some player/coach asserts, "We need to get back to fundamentals." Haven't these players been practicing "fundamentals" since they first strapped on a helmet? I understand learning a new playbook, but how long does it take an NFL player (or how many millions of dollars) to become a master of fundamentals?

Pro Football Hall of Famers spend a lifetime mastering their craft and never reach perfection. That's the reality of playing an imperfect game.

Gerbie from Elk Mound, WI

What adjustments are made when replacing an injured offensive lineman? We have been told that the offensive line benefits the most from consistency. Does adding a new part mean learning to cover up different weaknesses and relying on different strengths, or is it all about communication?

It depends on the player and the position, but communication is so essential to performance of the whole. For example, more was asked of Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang in 2014 when JC Tretter injured his knee near the end of training camp. Yes, Corey Linsley is the player who replaced Tretter at center, but Lang and Sitton helped pick up many of the communication assignments. Offensive lines need to adapt over the course of a season, but there's no better formula for offensive football than a healthy starting five.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, Clay Matthews indicated "small details" are receiving extra attention in the new defensive scheme. Please define "small details."

Spoff laid it out fairly well in [his story about Matthews posted on Monday morning, but my interpretation was Pettine is emphasizing the areas the Packers felt they needed to improve, defensively. It's the same thing Dom Capers did in 2009 when he was hired. A fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. Sometimes areas of improvement can be addressed internally, but sometimes it requires a new approach.

Rolf from Raleigh, NC

Is Clay Matthews undoubtedly the defensive captain for this team? Who else are strong candidates for leadership roles on the defense?

Matthews, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Mike Daniels and Tramon Williams are the leaders on the defense. Blake Martinez is only in his third NFL season, but he certainly has necessary tools to lead as he gains more experience.

Ryan from Santee. CA

Any word how Hundley is doing? In your opinion who is the backup at the moment?

Hundley is doing fine. The Packers don't make any decisions with their depth chart during the offseason program, so he continues to take the No. 2 snaps.

Roger from Indianapolis, IN

How many military veterans are there now playing as of last year in the NFL? Any added this year?

The first two who come to mind are Pittsburgh offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (Army) and New England long snapper Joe Cardona (Navy). Villanueva spent four years on active duty and did three tours in Afghanistan.

Niels from Knoxville, TN

A question about the actual field at Lambeau. A recent study in Denmark showed that artificial surface soccer fields lost about five metric tons of rubber granulate per year, which ended up in the surrounding nature and possibly eventually in the sea. What is the situation in Lambeau? Is it made with rubber granules and is there a loss to the surroundings that will eventually be an environmental problem?

There's no rubber granulate at Lambeau Field. It's natural sod with synthetic fiber stitched into the field.

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

Koren Robinson being the last FA WR to join the Packers is a technicality. Yes, he was a WR, and he wore a WR number, but he had only 16 targets and was brought in as a return specialist. That is why they signed him – for special teams, not to make a huge impact at WR. And, he was signed by the Packers after the start of the regular season. Hardly the same comparison to an offseason WR acquisition.

You can debate the definition of a free-agent acquisition, but the point remains the same – the Packers have drafted-and-developed the receiver position as well as any team in the NFL. That's a good thing, too, considering how few elite receivers ever reach free agency.

Jesse from Cataract, WI

I think we all enjoy the throwback uniforms. With that in mind, why does the league no longer allow teams to use alternating colors for the helmet?

The league began limiting teams from switching helmets in 2013 after The Head, Neck and Spine Committee and Player Safety Advisory Panel determined it was unsafe for players to wear helmets fresh out of the box since they required a breaking-in period. The helmets the Packers wear now are the same as the other 15 games of the season. They just have the 'G' and stripe removed.

Alex from Minneapolis, MN

Wes's answer/plea for help regarding the last receiver signed who didn't start his career in Green Bay got me thinking about the last one I remember. After some furious googling it clicked, Koren Robinson, a talented but troubled player who didn't make an impact. That same year was Jennings' rookie season and two years later they grabbed up Jordy. As the title of Saturday's Inbox stated, I'll trust the process.

Exactly. Proven development outweighs venturing into the unknown.

Marygail from Portland, OR

How can we get a message to the owners that we (the fans) strongly support the players and their right for free speech? It is very important that the owners support and listen to the concerns of the players. They have the right to kneel, if so desired.

By doing what you're doing – speaking up in a constructive manner. As I said Saturday, we need more productive conversation and debate – not just on this topic, but in society as a whole. Because understanding where individuals are coming from is the first step to progress. We need answers and empathy – not vitriol. Otherwise, we're all just spinning our tires.

Nathan from Oconomowoc, WI

Under the new rule, can a player choose to go into the tunnel or locker room after warmups and come back out after the anthem?

Sure, but that's no different than it's always been.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

Hi Insiders. Gotta strange question. Who would be your favorite NFL doppelganger be? I would have to say Mark Tauscher and Jack Black or Lee Woodall and Evander Holyfield. Any others you can think of?

Easy. Mike Tomlin and Omar Epps. When **the man’s wife even agrees**, you know it's a true doppelganger.

Jax from Alexandria, VA

Mike Spofford/Wes Hodkiewicz is in line to be the next writer allowed to vote for MLB H.O.F. candidates annually, but only if they answer this next question correctly: You have one vote left and it either goes to Pete Rose or Alex Rodriguez. Who gets in the Hall?

Rose. Instantly Rose.

Fred from La Crosse, WI

Not to worry about adapting to reality as we look at the future unfolding. No milk for your favorite cereal? How about orange juice? Try it; you'll like it. The options available make the cereal stronger.

This reminds me of the time Ma Hod and I sat down for breakfast when I was really little – probably like 6 or 7. There was only enough milk for one of us, so mom filled my bowl and used water for hers. You're the best, mom.

Susan from State College, PA

Is there a rule concerning sideline equipment, specifically the size of the mouthpiece microphone for coaches? They are always covering their faces with clipboards. Why can't they just have a microphone large enough to cover their mouths?

Because I'm assuming most don't want to look like '90s pop singers. Hiding one's face with a clipboard is so boss.

Ken from Easton, PA

Are all Green Bay Pro Football Hall of Famers' (not Packers HOF) jerseys retired? If so, it appears Justin McCray needs to find some new digits with Jerry Kramer adding to our greatest Packers.

No. This isn't Chicago.

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