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Inbox: All he's asking for is an opportunity to learn

Aaron Rodgers sent a clear message to the Packers’ locker room

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QB Jordan Love

Richard from Lake Geneva, WI

What's up with people not muting their phones during these virtual press conferences?

Some people have difficulty following instructions and then everyone suffers. Good morning!

Ben from Pensacola, FL

All the criticism and rumors floating around about Aaron Rodgers' opinions – and he still maintains class and dignity. That's why he's been such a good Packer.

I expected nothing less.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

"He didn't get asked to be drafted by the Packers," Rodgers said of Love. "He's not to blame at all. He's just coming in excited about his opportunity." What's your opinion of this statement?

I love it. It's true. This isn't some grad transfer who picked a new school because he feels like he can beat out the incumbent. This is a rookie serving as the understudy to one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Love didn't ask to be picked by the Packers. All he's asking for is an opportunity to learn.

Eric from Durham, NC

Surprise, surprise. Aaron Rodgers said all the right things and understands why the organization did what it did. How did he get painted as a diva to outsiders? I always hear about his big personality from people down here.

I'm not going to get into the whole public persona thing because it's a waste of column inches. Outsiders can say whatever they want but Rodgers sent a very clear message to the locker room, and specifically the offensive side of the ball. After all the external hysteria about not drafting a receiver, Rodgers made it a point to praise every young wideout on the roster, including a powerful line about having all the confidence in the world in Marquez Valdes-Scantling despite a trying 2019. Message sent.

Jim from Columbus, IN

Listened to the press conference with Aaron. He seemed a little down to me about the whole Jordan Love situation. But surely he realizes if his performance remains to his standards, he won't be replaced. Whether it's this year or when he's 45 (or whenever). Do you get the sense he understands this? The last thing I want to see from AR is for him to be like some athletes and not realize when it is time to retire. I should add, now is not the time as he is playing unbelievable.

Having participated in eight years of Rodgers' news conferences, I didn't get the feeling he was down or anything. He's just very self-aware. The situation is what it is, but he still plans on being the Packers' starting QB in 2020 and beyond. I also don't believe he'll have any problem stepping away from the game when that time comes.

Brendon from Payette, ID

Still trying to figure out how we're better off with Josiah Deguara than we were with Danny Vitale. Is the money the Patriots gave Vitale that much more than what a late third-round draft pick receives?

The Packers didn't draft Deguara in the third round for him to be a fullback. He's a tight end who can play fullback and a bevy of other positions. Danny's a great dude and I wish him well in New England but this wasn't drafting one player to replace another.

Dan from Tempe, AZ

I was disappointed to see that Blake Martinez wasn't re-signed. He was an NFL defensive leader statistically for Green Bay which would lead one to think that they would want to keep him. He was also seldom hurt, always had his motor running and appeared to be a good leader. Importantly, he seemed to be of good character. In short he is a proven good NFL inside linebacker. Why was he let go to be replaced by an unproven free agent, Christian Kirksey?

Kirksey isn't unproven. He's played a lot of football and has experience in Pettine's system. The Packers had a lot of tough calls to make this offseason and have even more coming around the corner in 2021. You can't keep everybody.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

I noticed again, while looking at the video of the top 10 QB performances of the previous decade, something about Jordy Nelson. He worked hard at his craft (you have to, to make it look so effortless) and had a lot of success. But he scored TDs with minimal celebration. Sometimes he was so quick to toss the ball to an official after scoring I was afraid the official would say it wasn't a catch because it wasn't in his hands long enough. Is that a coaching thing, or Jordy being Jordy?

I've never covered anyone quite like Jordy Nelson. He was a legitimate superstar who had the temperament of a long snapper. Nelson could talk, laugh and be engaging, but he never purposely sought the limelight. He was perfectly fine doing his job, taking a shower and going home. Looking back on it, you see a lot of those traits today in Davante Adams, too.

Subhadeep from Middletown, CT

Viggo Mortensen came to my mind to play Vince Lombardi.

Also, since he already played as the king in "The Return of the King" in the LOTR trilogy, I thought it will be nice to have him playing Lombardi. Bobby DeNiro too would be a good choice.

Mortensen would be a terrific pick, actually. He's a good actor whom I could see morphing well into Lombardi. It's wild Mortensen is actually four years older now (61) than Lombardi was when he passed away.

Russ from Henrico, VA

The Rodgers-Favre link has certainly been on a lot of minds with the Love pick, but he is also linked to Alex Smith. Living in the heart of Redskin-land, they were not ready for that one horrible play. The two teams have been on vastly different tangents for years. In your opinion, how many other teams would make a pick like the Packers did this year, given the opportunity?

Well, I certainly hope nothing like that happens to Rodgers, but the Peyton Manning fiasco from 10 years ago changed my viewpoint on the importance of backup quarterbacks. For a long time, I thought just stick with one guy, ride him out as long as you can and then reset. The Colts got caught and even the heir apparent (Andrew Luck) had his career shortened by injuries. You gotta have a Plan B in this business.

Brad from Oshkosh, WI

MJ and Rodgers are both highly successful, record-setting, ultra-competitive athletes that both expect the best of the players around them, and both express their displeasure when they don't get it. Why is one treated as a good teammate by the media and the other constantly bashed by the media?

I know the media came down heavy on Jordan, too, during his playing career but the microscope these guys live under today is unconscionable with social media and all these TV blowhards whose primary goal is to fill a two-hour timeslot. But you gotta stay above it and Rodgers has.

Randy from Grapevine, TX

Just wrapped up the Aaron Rodgers presser. I heard an upbeat, excited guy concerned about the effects COVID-19 is having on the world and someone who is really focused on the season and his team versus a guy who is upset with the way the offseason, and mainly the draft, was handled. Very different than how he has been portrayed in the media. Your thoughts on the press conference?

Exactly, I heard a guy who was in touch with the big picture. He wants to play football in 2020 but we have a lot to figure out between now and September. He's staying healthy, trained and ready for whenever the NFL allows players to report.

Kelly from Kaneohe, HI

I know he only calls preseason games for the Packers but Kevin Harlan is my absolute favorite for any sport. He deserves one of the major primetime spots.

No lies detected. Packers fans are fortunate. Between Kevin and James Lofton calling preseason games and Wayne and Larry handling the radio, I'd put that quartet up against anyone in the NFL.

Matthias from San Antonio, TX

Friday fun-day question for you, if the Vikings, Saints and Lions could all pump in crowd noise via speakers, could the Packers pump in snow for gameday?

That, or a giant air conditioner blasting in cold air from the south end zone.

Al from Pueblo West, CO

Love reading II. Thanks for all you do for Packers fans. What is it that makes the Packers' scouting staff able to seem to always find the "lineman in the rough" in the later rounds? Watching the profiles on the draftees this year, it looks as though there may be at least one this year, too. I know it's too early to tell. What do you think?

They cast a wide net and never stop searching. The Packers drafted Corey Linsley (Ohio State) and Bryan Bulaga (Iowa) out of successful and established programs but they paid just as much attention to David Bakhtiari (Colorado was 1-11 his junior year), T.J. Lang (Eastern Michigan), Josh Sitton (UCF) and Evan Smith (Idaho State).

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

You said today's QBs are bigger, faster and more athletic than 60 years ago. There have been hundreds of QBs in between. Has it been a gradual change from then to now or can you remember a point where the league and/or college went to bigger, faster, more athletic?

It's really startling when you look at how players, especially offensive linemen, were built during the first 60 years of the NFL. But now every position trains year-round. They aren't showing up for training camp to get in shape, they are in shape. And that improved athleticism is evident on the field.

Eric from Fort Atkinson, WI

The news of James Looney moving to TE from DE completely caught me off-guard. However, looking back at his combine numbers, I see that he tested better than most of the TEs that were actually drafted, and he weighed more than the said TEs. Do you think he could be similar to a Marcedes Lewis type of TE? I don't really envision him going out and lighting up the field like the prototypical TE.

It's pretty unprecedented to see a player move from defensive line to a skill position but Looney's calling card coming out of Cal was his athleticism. I think that was the first word out of Brian Gutekunst's mouth when he was drafted. What I don't know is whether the Packers view him like a full-fledged tight end or just a blocking tight end/sixth offensive lineman. We're going to find out.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The new rules allowing PI to be challenged last year created confusion and frustration. I haven't heard the league's plan for the year ahead. Any insights or thoughts?

It's over. The refs got what they wanted.

Christopher from Warwickshire, England

Hi II, we know draft picks aren't always successful, but could poor man-management influence a "flunk"? Tony Mandarich had an arrogance about him and he underachieved, but did we address his attitude as well as we could have? It's refreshing to see that, in recent years, we've persistently drafted players with sound character. Re: the '89 draft, we chose Mandarich over Deion, Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas, Steve Atwater and others. I think our history would have been more glorious with Barry.

Everything happens for a reason, though. Who knows if the Packers overhaul things and hire Ron Wolf if the Packers drafted Barry Sanders and had a blasé run like the Lions did in the '90s.

Brian from Hackensack, NJ

I saw that the induction of Charles Woodson and Al Harris to the Packers Hall of Fame has been pushed to 2021. I'm glad they will get to experience that honor in front of a crowd of cheeseheads. They deserve the standing ovations in person.

It's gonna be a big ol' party.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, with wide receiver fever spiking in II, I had to ask for an update on young Hod and his football catching abilities. How are his skills improving?

I actually got him a little plush football. He threw it to me the other day and I nearly fell to tears.

Brad from London, Ontario

With all the questions surrounding how "II" is pronounced, my mind started spinning. The real question is, how does good morning go? Is it a "goooooood morning!" or a "gud morning" or "g'd morning"? For the most part, I am not a morning person so I struggle understanding how to be chipper first thing in the morning. The most someone is getting out of me after I wake up is a muttered morning.

In my mind, it's nonsense. It's a strong and hearty "Good morning!" Let's get started. Time's a wastin'.

Dennis from Batavia, IL

Gentlemen, when writing the Insider Inbox each day, what determines its overall length? Do you answer a predetermined number of questions/comments? Do you set a timer and write for a specific amount of time? Is it word count? Or is it just a gut feeling and after a while you just say "that's a wrap"? Thanks for all you do!

It comes down to the quality of questions, how much time I have, and my mood. Depending on the news cycle and time of the year, I try to keep Saturday's shorter. It's usually not a high traffic day.

Dan from Allen, TX

It seems like almost every II has a question from one of the "Dans" that peruse this wonderful place. I think that's awesome. Signed, Dan.

You know what they say – it's a Dan eat Dan world out there. I think that's a wrap.

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