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Contenders can come from anywhere

It's quickly becoming a hybrid league. What's your answer?


Dan from Houston, TX

What season-defining news could possibly happen while Mike is away this time?

The last time Spoff took PTO Brian Gutekunst was named the Packers' new general manager. We're hoping for a quieter week this time around. Good morning!

Colin from Lansdale, PA

Forget about T.J. Watt. The real missed opportunity for me is Alvin Kamara. He is a superstar in the making.

Let the record show Michael K. Spofford was on the Kamara train long before anybody else I know. Everything I knew about Kamara going into last year's NFL Scouting Combine was because of Spoff. Fortunately, the Packers still wound up with a pair of solid prospects in Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. Green Bay's backfield is in good hands.

Henry from La Crosse, WI

Is the "Nitro" defense dead?


We only had 15 minutes with Mike Pettine, so I wasn't able to dive into many of the details of his defense yet. However, it's my suspicion you'll continue to see the Packers use hybrid safeties. It's quickly becoming a hybrid league. What's your answer? It's the best way to combat slot receivers and tight ends in the middle of the field. I'll try to ask Pettine his thoughts on the package the next time I have an audience with him.**

Keith from Oshkosh, WI

With Jerry Kramer being inducted in Canton this August, what are the odds of the Packers playing in the HOF game this year, even though they "played" in it a couple of years ago?

This is probably a better question for "Murphy Takes Five," but I'd say the odds aren't very good with this year's star-studded class.

Rohbeen from Toledo, OH

Do you think we trade our 14th pick and do you believe we will finally get aggressive in free agency?

No and not a clue.

David from Los Angeles, CA

No disrespect to Aaron Rodgers, but I couldn't care less if he wins another MVP award. I would much rather have him state his resolve and determination for the team to finish the 2018 season with the Lombardi Trophy held high.

That graphic NBC threw up about no NFL MVP winning the Super Bowl since Kurt Warner in 1999 was incredible. I didn't realize it's been that long since it's happened. That also might mean it's time for that skid to be broken.

Maggie from Kenosha, WI

I know the thought is that Alicia Kramer will be presenting her father for the Hall of Fame Enshrinement (and I'm all for that), but if she doesn't introduce him, who would your pick be?

Fuzzy Thurston would be my pick if he was still with us. To me, Alicia the only choice. What's she's done to keep her father's name in the Hall of Fame discussion for all these years is nothing short of incredible. She's displayed so much strength and conviction through some difficult times.

Blaine from Bagley, WI

Talking about shorter careers, does Calvin Johnson get in?

Absolutely. The numbers speak for themselves. Put me down for three first-ballot Hall of Famers in 2021: Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Megatron.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Besides Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith, are there any other starters from this season that you see changing teams for next season.

Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater can't all end up back in Minnesota. Other than that, the biggest question is probably whether Josh McCown wants to play next year. I don't see how Drew Brees and Jimmy G don't re-sign with New Orleans and San Francisco, respectively. Both returning makes too much sense.

Jeremy from Maryville, IL

If I'm reading this right, it appears the Colts announced Josh McDaniels was the new head coach before it was official? I'm glad you guys wait until the paperwork is signed.

Man, so am I. This was an incredibly unusual situation, but it is another example of why it's usually good to wait until the ink is dry before you introduce the new guy.

Ryan from Chicago, IL

John McDaniels. That's why I love how does their reporting. It's better to be right than first. Colts should've waited for pen to paper, now they have egg on their face.

Talk about a messy situation. It makes the whole Belichick/Jets fiasco look like business as usual. How crazy are those reports of agent Bob LaMonte firing Josh Daniels after the deal fell through? I've never seen anything like this.

William from Corona, CA

Does the success of the Eagles give hope to the Packers for next season? A couple seasons ago the Eagles were void of talent at the skill positions, rookie quarterback and coach and now the Eagles turned in a masterful season. Is their success due to coaching and talent evaluating of key additions, or competition at quarterback?


Take a look at photos of Packers LB Kyler Fackrell from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson,

The Eagles remind me of so many teams in recent years (the 49ers, the Seahawks and now the Jaguars) that came out of nowhere to rise to the top of the NFL. Even the 2010 Packers were just two years removed from a 6-10 campaign when they won Super Bowl XLV. Contenders can come from anywhere. So yeah, this should give the Packers hope. It should give the entire league hope. Philadelphia drafted well, acquired modestly priced veterans at key spots and Doug Pederson did an incredible job tying it together. The Eagles put the Rubik's Cube together. **

Jeriah from Las Cruces, NM

The only way I would part with Foles is if I was offered (at minimum) an early first-round pick and a third-round pick. It definitely would be a tough decision.

Carson Wentz tore his ACL less than two months ago. I know he expressed confidence about being ready for the opener, but you can't count on him being ready. For that reason, it would take a breathtaking offer for me to consider trading Foles. If the Eagles trade him, they likely would need to acquire another No. 2 quarterback – and what would that cost?

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I'm definitely with you in regards to holding on to Foles. It's football and obviously injuries happen (Rodgers, Wentz, Watson, Bradford), but the expectation to win remain the same. Unfortunately, good insurance isn't cheap. Josh from Dodgeville, WI, you would almost certainly be run out of office with pitchforks before signing any contract as the Packers GM.

I'm not here to rip on Josh, but to me, it's like owning a Mickey Mantle rookie card. Technically, it might be worth several other historic cards combined, but that sum still doesn't out-weight its true value. Rodgers is the 1 percent. Packers fans, you won the lottery. Enjoy it.

Jeff from Sioux Falls, SD

I don't think Josh from Dodgeville is totally crazy with his scenario of trading Aaron Rodgers to Cleveland for its first three picks in this year's draft. I don't think he is asking enough for Rodgers. I would ask for their No. 1 and No. 2 in next year's draft, as well. The fact that Philly just won with their backup QB makes the scenario more intriguing. With a potential of 12 picks and three from Cleveland, the Packers would need to sign a FA QB or trade for a QB. I wouldn't do the trade, but it would be enticing.

Chocolate cake is enticing. Any thought of trading the best player in the NFL is silly to me.

Brandon from Oshkosh, WI

Why do you think Malcolm Jenkins' hit on Hogan during the Hail Mary was a cheap shot? To me, it was a smart play. Brady was out of the pocket, therefore contact downfield is legal since Brady still had the ball.

Sure, but you can't tackle the guy. I'd argue that was more than incidental contact. Jenkins wiped him out. It's a moot point since the refs usually swallow their whistles on a Hail Mary anyway.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Bill Belichick is going to turn 66 in April. Brady is 40. Father time is undefeated. Yet the Patriots are the favorites to win the Super Bowl next year. That doesn't seem rational to me. Your thoughts?

The Patriots are like your grandfather's well-maintained car. You know it's not going to last forever, but it keeps going strong with proper maintenance. Things can change in an instant in this league. Just ask 2010 Brett Favre. Yes, the music will eventually stop, but Belichick and Brady have shown no signs of slowing down.

Richard from Madison, WI

"I think it just goes to show how important home-field advantage in the playoffs really is." When are you guys going to put an end to this "home-field advantage" myth? The reason they're playing on their home field is that they've got a better record, which means they're probably a better team. That's a lot more important than knowing the way to the restroom.

Maybe. Maybe not. But I'd bet Blake Bortles and the Jaguars would tell you the difference between playing the AFC title game at home and away after having to play in Foxborough last month.

Ken from Wolcott, CT

In regards to Dom Capers, has he called it a career or if he gets a call, will he be willing to be a DC for another team? I ask because I've been told some Patriots fans are hoping to get him. They say those two worked together in the past and how Bill has talked about the high respect he has for Dom.

Capers worked for the Patriots as a special assistant in 2008 before joining the Packers the following year. I don't know what the next step is for Capers, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if he chooses to continue coaching. It's what he does.

Bart from Casa Grande, AZ

With all the talk about Rodgers not being able to finish his career with Green Bay, and the references made to what happened to Brett, do you think that ugly ending would have occurred had he not put the team in a bind with his waffling about retirement the last few years he was with us?

*I believe that was a contributing factor. That probably was the third or fourth offseason where everyone wondered how long Favre would play. Aaron Rodgers has said at every turn he intends to play into his 40s. He's left little room for interpretation. *

Don from Superior, WI

With the new NFL concerns on concussions. The Jenkins helmet-to-helmet hit on Brandin Cooks was definitely a penalty. Anytime you lower the crown of your helmet and hit helmet to helmet there should be no question. If you hit face mask to helmet, there is no question about using your helmet as a weapon. Lowering the crown of your helmet is with intention to injure. Players need to become better tacklers. What are your thoughts?


I agree you want to take the crown of the helmet out of the game, but this particular situation is so interesting because Cooks wasn't a defenseless receiver. I'm curious if the league looks at this at all this offseason. There's no question it was a (technically) legal hit and also no question Cooks was in a compromised position. So what do we do? **

Khaliel from Charlotte, NC

I think that this Super Bowl should lean the Packers more towards improving the pass rush rather than corner. Both teams had quality CBs, however neither managed a pass rush and when they finally did, it changed the game.

Honestly, this Super Bowl probably showed you don't need one elite pass-rusher to make it to the big game. Neither the Eagles nor the Patriots had a pass-rusher with more than 10 sacks this season. Their defenses relied more on steady rotations and depth. I agree Green Bay needs to add a pass-rusher or two, but I don't think this game proved what you're hypothesizing.

Dan from Minneapolis, MN

Vikings fan here. I actually read the Insider Inbox for enemy intel and love the Q&A format. I just wanted to say that I was at the NFC Championship Game this year and saw Eagles fans first hand. I will never complain of any NFC North fan base again. Here's to the Midwest and I look forward to the continued Vikes/Pack rivalry.

Eagles fans are something else. I remember when Spoff and I shot an episode of "Packers Unscripted" outside the train station in Philadelphia. In a 30-minute taping, I'd say there were at least four times when somebody driving by shouted an unsavory comment in our direction.

Sean from Chaska, MN

Foles and Jay Ajayi to the Browns for the No. 1 pick?

Good luck trying to fleece Cleveland anymore. Not with John Dorsey running the show.

Davy from Chetek, WI

Misleading question of the day: what are your thoughts on Russell Wilson being traded to New York? I will admit to doing a double-take when I saw the headline.

I remember this same pointless narrative when the Rangers drafted Wilson in the Rule-5 draft five years ago. It was dead a week later. I'd honestly rather talk about Tebow.

Nathan from San Diego, CA

The thing I love about is how the majority of what you report is original content. In my daily perusing of headlines across "news" sites, I find a lot of parroting/reporting on what was reported. I was wondering if you notice the same and/or if you keep tabs on Packers-related articles.

Thanks for checking out our content, Nathan. Say what you will – Spoff and I aren't aggregating anything. We take a lot of pride in coming up with fresh stories and perspective. I think you tend to see the echo more from national publications trying to cover the same topics at the macro level.

Tyler from Fargo, ND

In regards to Hail Mary plays, why do defenders always seem to want to catch the deflection? Are they coached to just batt the pass down? It seems like they would rather play hot potatoes.

Hey, shiny objects are fun.

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