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Inbox: Consistency ranks highest

Progress across the board is never linear

P JK Scott
P JK Scott

Justin from Toronto, SD

Please tell me that Wes's "big reveal" doesn't involve Spoff in a singlet.

Goodness, no, or I would have needed to take a break from the Inbox, too. But be sure to **check out the project** today. It's outstanding work by Wes.

Aaron from Maryville, MO

Is Davante ready?

He will be.

Robert from Wauwatosa, WI

When will Donald Driver be in the Packers HOF? He should be in.

He is.

John from Charlottesville, VA

I'm curious. When coming up with a defensive/offensive game plan, do coaches look at what their players do well or what the other team does to attack? It seems doing what you do best depends on what the other team can do.

It's both. You want to do what you do best, but you also want to try to take away what the opponent does best. It's not either/or. Game-planning targets are multiple.

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

Add Paul McCartney to the list of historic moments at Lambeau Field? Show was awesome!

I did not see it, but I've heard good things.

Chris from Mankato, MN

With all these big-time contracts going out to QBs, I can't help but smile. Given consideration, Rodgers now has a relatively team-friendly deal, only allowing the team to spend more elsewhere. (Plus, at this point does Rodgers care? It's more money than most people could think to do with). Example, Cowboys: Can they keep Dak and Zeke, especially after paying DeMarcus Lawrence so handsomely?

I think the Cowboys will find a way to keep both, but assuming they do, it may be a challenge to keep that offensive line together long-term.

Tom from Lancaster, CA

It would sure be nice if we took a page from the Saints book of philosophy and tried running an offense with two powerful running backs that we could trade out regularly. I still think there is a place for Kuhn-power football alternating with a whip-like speedster out of the backfield.

We'll just have to wait and see what the running back deployment will look like under LaFleur. He worked on offenses with Freeman and Coleman in Atlanta and Gurley in LA. Then as play-caller in Tennessee, he had Henry and Lewis combine for more than 1,500 rushing yards. The track record is there.

Steve from Middletown, KY

For our punter to improve from his rookie season, what are the coaches looking for most? I know most punters will have a few what-the-heck moments, but is the consistency and no clunkers, hang time, or ball placement more important at this point in his career?

Consistency ranks highest. The coaches and the coverage units want to know what they can count on. The previous regime focused a lot on ball placement. I don't have a sense yet how high a priority that is for Mennenga.

Trent from Tupelo, MI

Who is one player that could have a breakout season this year?

The candidates are numerous, with some referenced in the column already today, like Aaron Jones and JK Scott. Other possibilities include Jaire Alexander, Josh Jackson, Oren Burks, Geronimo Allison, MVS, EQ, … heck, even free-agent additions like the Smiths or Amos might do something they haven't done before. The Packers have a lot of players with arrows pointing up. Not everyone will come to the forefront, because progress across the board is never linear, but if enough do to join established stars like Rodgers, Adams, Bakhtiari, Clark, etc., you're in business.

Paul from Shoreview, MN

Any players that finished up the season on the practice squad last year looking like they may be able to make an impact this coming season?

Way too early to tell, but one guy I'll have my eye on is linebacker Brady Sheldon. He's been on multiple practice squads over the past two years. He has been working with the No. 2 defense alongside James Crawford in OTAs, and he looks like he's built for special teams.

Clay from Goodyear, AZ

The swap of a preseason game for an extra bye week intrigued me. I get that the owners would never give up money, but I'm not sure that would be the outcome here. It boils down to TV revenue for one week of regular-season ball vs. total revenue for one preseason week. I'm not sure what the networks pay, but might it be enough to exceed the preseason revenue?

A theory posited by many readers. I'm not sure if the TV contracts are based on the number of weeks or total number of games the networks have access to. The extra week would become a boon to the networks with the prime-time games, but for Sunday afternoons you're just spreading out the same volume and thereby creating more out-of-market games. Regardless, the price tag on the TV contracts has risen considerably anyway. I'm not sure how much bigger an increase the league could expect simply by reconfiguring the schedule.

Ralph from Elkhart Lake, WI

II, do you think if you polled the season-ticket holders there would be a huge majority supporting an 18-game season? We are forced to buy preseason tickets for games we rarely attend.

I imagine season-ticket holders would be in favor of more regular-season games, less preseason games. But it's not about a poll, it's about negotiations. For all we know, this shifting schedule talk is just being raised again to be used as a bargaining chip for something else.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Hello Mike and Wes, would you please clarify whether or not mandatory minicamp practices will be open to the public?

They will not be.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Do you anticipate Josh Jones will be at minicamp this week?

I do because young guys on rookie contracts aren't generally interested in getting fined, but I guess we'll see.

Tom from Reedsville, WI

Would one of you please elaborate on why Buffalo and Washington are considered to have the worst visiting team locker rooms? Are the toilets clogged, sinks spraying water everywhere, and, possibly, cold water only showers? I mean, this is the NFL, how bad could they possibly be?

From our perspective, it's all about size, because after a game, reporters are trying to mill around and talk to players at their lockers amidst other postgame activity, and things jam up in a hurry. We just want to be able to do our jobs. The visiting locker room at the Metrodome used to be one of the most cramped. Soldier Field is never easy. Others in older stadiums aren't the best, or are split into two halves (usually offense-defense) so it's harder to get around to different players. New Orleans comes to mind there.

Reggie from Summit, AR

With the Bart Starr memorial coming up at the Vikings halftime, will the video be made available on for those of us that can't attend the game?

I'm sure our video gang will be all over it.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Big Papi, big Packer fan. Hope to see that big smile soon. So senseless.

Just glad to hear it wasn't worse, but man.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

I was thinking about Charles Woodson's career and there's a chance, however minute, he'll get his number retired by both the Pack and Raiders. How many players have their numbers retired by multiple teams? Who has their number retired by the most teams?

I believe Reggie White is the only NFL player to have his number retired by multiple teams. But I feel very confident in saying, no disrespect to Charles, that the Packers aren't retiring his number.

Lynn from Butler, IN

I have asked this question repeatedly because I'm really interested in your opinion on this. What are the chances of the NFL changing the name of the Super Bowl trophy to the "Lombardi/Starr" trophy?

Virtually nil. It got its name almost entirely via the timing of Lombardi's death in 1970 at age 57, after only three trophies had been handed out, the first two to him. Had Lombardi lived longer, I'm not sure what it would be named. In the mid-'80s, the league renamed the NFC and AFC championship trophies after George Halas and Lamar Hunt, respectively, after Halas died, but Hunt was still alive. Maybe it eventually would have been named after Lombardi anyway, but I've always wondered. Super Bowl III was so pivotal to the merger and what the league is now, would Namath have been considered? Or eventually Pete Rozelle (whose name is on the Super Bowl MVP trophy)? But to your question, I don't see the name changing now, 50 years later.

Jerry from Grantsburg, WI

What say you? Did Wes just reopen a can Vic closed tightly years ago, put into a safe, and buried under the turf of Lambeau? I can't be the only person who noticed.

No, no you're not.

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI

Will the Packers-Raiders game be broadcast on national TV? There's no way for us out-of-staters to watch preseason games that aren't.

It's going to be broadcast nationally in Canada, but not in the United States. It'll be on the usual Packers preseason network of stations and, presumably, replayed in the days after on NFL Network.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

In the preseason games, will the coaches focus primarily on team play, such as development of zone blocking, or are they more interested in evaluating the execution by individual players? What is the primary focus?

It varies depending on whether the starters or backups are in the game.

Tony from Marquette, MI

How many Packer rookies can start this year?

Right now, Savage is starting, but Gary is certainly going to play plenty, and I see Jenkins competing for a starting job in training camp.

Matt from Indianapolis, IN

I am planning my annual trip to Green Bay for training camp and I would like to stretch the trip to include practices with the Houston Texans. Any plan when they will announce the training camp schedule so I can finalize the dates? I cannot stay all the way to the preseason game. I normally come for the shareholders' meeting and stay until Family Night. This year I want to stay for one or two days of practice with Houston.

In the past, the training camp schedule has been released this week or next. I don't know if the involvement of the Texans will have any impact on the release date.

Aaron from New York, NY

I noticed that this year the Packers' preseason games are all on Thursday, and last year three of the four were. Do teams get a preference on which night of the week they want their preseason games or does that just get assigned by the schedule-makers?

The individual teams involved discuss and agree on preseason game dates.

John from Kalamazoo, MI

I'm a former English teacher and current librarian. On the topic of "defensing a pass," the cool thing about English and language in general is that it constantly adapts to the needs of its speakers. As Stephen Fry said, Shakespeare himself chaired the meeting and tabled the motion about turning nouns into verbs.

For the record, I don't understand why the statistic isn't called "passes defended." All the stat geek needed to do was ask a grammar nerd, but I guess he couldn't find one at the right time. We have to live with the name we've been given, because it is an official statistic.

Erik from Sisters, OR

My wife and I took a four-night vacation to Vegas last weekend. We stayed at Mandalay Bay and they have a restaurant named Fleur that we stopped by just because of the name. We also saw the new Raiders stadium going up. I for one am excited to go watch a Packer game there when that happens. When do you think that could be? Do you get excited to visit new stadiums, too?

It's always cool to visit a new venue, whether it's new or if I just haven't been there. But the new ones are all pretty spectacular these days. The Raiders are scheduled to host the Packers in the regular season in 2023.

Ethan from Iowa City, IA

How much do you expect Pettine's scheme to change under LaFleur? Will the new HC influence Pettine or will any changes be Pettine evolving his defense on his own?

I get the sense this is Pettine's defense to run. I'm sure the two have discussed a lot of things, but changes to the defense will be influenced more by personnel than a new head coach.

Joe from Asbury, IA

When putting on your shoes do you go sock-shoe-sock-shoe or sock-sock-shoe-shoe? Couldn't believe I heard people debating this the other day and wondered your take. Also figured you could use a break from football questions.

Socks first. They're in the dresser. The shoes are by the door. I've never even considered any other way.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

It doesn't matter what Aaron says about Davante, every team is going to know who the biggest threat is.


Martin from Evansville, IN

Packers football starts in about 90 days! What are you most excited to see from the Packers this season?

Sorry, can't narrow it down, and I'm outta time. Happy Monday.