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Inbox: Every second counts in Indy

Ted Thompson drafted one kicker…and what a kicker he’s been

GM Brian Gutekunst
GM Brian Gutekunst

Doug from Lafayette, OH

Do you ever feel the debate about the need to replace Aaron Rodgers is just getting started? The offseason discussion on this will intensify until Green Bay obtains a potential successor. Then, the focus will shift to the same people saying, "Sure hope '12' plays a couple more years to give this kid time to develop." I fear this will become a monster topic moving forward. What the Frankenstein?

I feel like February was boring and we need the NFL Scouting Combine to begin. Fortunately, it's here. Good morning!

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

What do you make of the changes to combine drills?

I'm not a big fan of it, personally. I don't know about any of you but I prefer to work out in the morning and haven't heard many arguments for the evening being the peak time for an athlete to perform at an optimum testing level. I don't feel like the juice was worth the ratings squeeze. If you want the event in primetime, then run the testing from earlier in the day. The people who care the most about it are in Indy.

Tom from Two Rivers, WI

Reading the Q&A article with the Packers GM, I was struck by how much of a crapshoot drafting players is. They get a chance to interview 45 players, out of hundreds. Who to interview? Do you guys know, of who (whom?) the Packers interviewed in the past two years, how many of those they actually drafted?

Every second counts in Indianapolis. Teams need to be even more diligent with 15 fewer interviews but the longer duration allows them one or two more chances to get to the core of the apple. A team's full list of formal combine interviews is not made readily available to media but some occasionally leak out. Jace Sternberger is one name I remember from last year.

Bruce from Milwaukee, WI

I know the five tools with regard to baseball but what would they be for a linebacker?

Tackling, coverage, speed, size and communication skills. Those are the five traits you want in a high-end inside linebacker.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Here's a hypothetical, but I wonder if we'll ever see it. Could you envision a time when a team drafts a game-changer at QB, and then refuses to "pay him" when he's due for big money, thinking they'll just find another serviceable QB in the draft and ride him for 4-5 years? If that ever happened and a team succeeded, it'd sure drop the bottom out of the QB market. It would also leave that team plenty of money to pay for a defense and offensive playmakers to help a serviceable QB.

You don't dig for gold in hopes of giving it to someone else, free of charge. You put the work in to prosper and better your own situation. I don't think contracts will ever balloon to the point that a team refuses to pay its franchise QB.

Nate from Naples, FL

I personally would love to see Blake Martinez return, but if the Pack can't/won't re-sign him, which player(s) could be candidates to wear the radio helmet and get the D lined up properly? Behind Martinez, the ILBs are relatively inexperienced with the system and the safeties have only played in it for one season. Maybe Adrian Amos would be the most likely candidate?

What I've learned over the years is the electronic helmet fits best on the head of whichever inside linebacker is on the field every down. Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix wore it at times for Green Bay but it can be a nuisance for a safety who's also directing traffic on the back end.

Jim from Milwaukee, WI

I know the Packers have 10 picks in the draft but was curious if there was a chance we could acquire any compensatory picks, or if our additions of Adrian Amos and the Smiths might have wiped that out?

I wouldn't count on it. Over The Cap's formula suggests the Packers won't receive any compensatory picks this year. It's likely Green Bay will take 10 picks into April's NFL Draft.

Joe from Hartford, CT

Regardless of all the opinions you are getting on the 17th game and extra playoff teams, I'm all-in for the chance to watch at least two more games of my beloved Packers each year. Game 17 and the easier chance to get into the playoffs is "all good."

A valid point, though it also means the 2014 and 2019 Packers would have needed to survive an extra game, too. Plus, the Packers never have really needed that seventh spot to sneak in. Maybe in the future, but they've taken care of business enough that the seventh spot seems like unnecessary insurance to me.

Joel from Yagur, Israel

I am all for a seventh playoff seed. It seems like every year, there's at least one interesting team we missed out on. The 2019 Rams (9-7), defending NFC Champs who went 6-4 after their big trades. The 2018 Titans who went 9-7 but finished the season 4-1. In 2017, five teams with winning records missed the playoffs. The 2016 Broncos, defending Super Bowl champions who went 9-7. The 2015 Jets (10-6), who finished 5-1 with Ryan Fitzmagic. The 2008 Patriots. And, a 17th game will mean these teams will be able to separate themselves further.

Maybe you're right. Maybe I need to reconsider my position. I'm a creature of habit. I think the current format appeals to my OCD.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

It sounds there will likely be an 18-week, 17-game regular season, and a two- or three-game preseason. My question is would an 18-week season start a week earlier or end a week later, thus pushing the playoffs and the SB back a week? And if the preseason went to three games, who gets the extra home game? I doubt a neutral-site preseason game would have much appeal.

The NFL isn't interested in moving the start of the regular season before Labor Day, so the season – and Super Bowl – would end a week later. I'm not sure how the preseason will be handled if a game is removed. If that's what's agreed upon in the new CBA, the league will have to figure that out.

Andrew from Shalimar, FL

How will the Packers be represented on the owner side of upcoming CBA talks seeing as how they don't have a single person who owns them like the other 31 teams do?

President/CEO Mark Murphy represents the Packers in all league matters and serves on the competition committee.

Take a look at photos of Packers S Adrian Amos from the 2019 season.

Melissa from Germantown, WI

What is the situation with the 2022 NFL Draft potentially coming to Green Bay? I'm seeing a lot of reports but nothing definitive.

My weekend got blown to smithereens with all this draft talk. Instead of going over it for the umpteenth time, please consult my Saturday story for the latest.

Steve from Wichita, KS

I love the combo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. They both seem to root for each other. With that being said. The chances of both being re-signed seem unlikely. I have seen that Jonathan Taylor may drop to the second round. He would look great in green and gold.

Next week is a major opportunity for Taylor and Georgia's D'Andre Swift to prove they're first-round caliber players. That being said, I think the Packers have too many other needs to draft a running back in the first two rounds.

Jim from Phillips, WI

Why haven't we seen Curtis Bolton's name in any of your discussions? He looks like a genuine talent.

I didn't get a chance to talk with him at the end of the season but Bolton seemed to be moving around pretty well by the end of the year. Bolton nearly won a starting job before the ACL tear. We'll see where he's at come April.

JR from East Moline, IL

Other than the Packers, has any other team ever had two QBs each get to the conference championship four times?

Good question. Dallas? Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Ron from Trempealeau, WI

Thanks for the great work you guys do! Do either of you stay in regular touch with any of the players during the offseason?

I recently texted Danny Vitale congrats as he and his wife are expecting. Other than that, I try to leave players alone, especially during the early portion of the offseason. They just got done dealing with us for six consecutive months.

Jenny from Cedar Falls, IA

With such discrepancies in calls being made by the refs, which can literally win or lose a game, how does the NFL train refs for consistency? Is anything being done to create better consistency from field to field on calls? How many refs work for the NFL, in general? Do they go to any field across the U.S., or work a geographic region to keep travel shorter, or follow an NFC division? Thanks.

The NFL has a chain of command to train officials, prepare them for rule changes/emphases and evaluate calls from previous games. There are 122 officials league-wide. Geographical location isn't factored into the assignment.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

If you get the opportunity to make requests to the NFL on the team app, could you please ask to reinstall the feature to shadow content when read? Especially in-season with so much content, it's nice to be able to scroll to the bottom to the first non-shadowed article and work up. Or if you only have time for a few, then you can go back and quickly see what you missed. They messed with my routine.

We received a few questions about this over the past week so I'll just answer it here. The apps were recently updated and we're currently working on a resolution. However, I can't give you a firm timeline yet.

Connie from Lena, WI

Do players make the practice squad year after year or do they have to try out every year?

Every team sets its 10-man practice squad after final cuts. In its simplest terms, all waived players who don't make the 53-man roster are eligible as long as they haven't spent more than three seasons on a practice squad or have two accrued NFL seasons.

Pancho from Neshannock, PA

Hello guys. You're going to have to talk me off the ledge. After years of rooting for the Cowboys' opponent each week, a local boy is now their head coach...a man I admire and respect. I find myself wanting to cheer for the 'Boys. I am feeling highly conflicted.

The problem with society is everyone wants to tell everyone what to do. Do you, Pancho. If you want to cheer for Mike McCarthy and the Cowboys, go right ahead. The Packers aren't guaranteed to play Dallas for another year anyway.

Dylan from Belgrade, MT

I love the Inbox. You're all very informed, smart, high-motor kinda guys...


Joe from St. Louis, MO

Hi Mike and Wes. The Hall of Fame seems to vote in a whole lot of quarterbacks and skill-position players. It's a given that they are crucial to a team's success, especially quarterbacks. But, in my mind, there should be a near-equal distribution of great players representing each position.

I agree. Pro Football Hall of Fame voters are having to pay the piper right now for all the years that Canton ignored the safety position. I don't expect the Hall of Fame to expand to more than five modern-era candidates per year, but I think they're slowly becoming more receptive to candidates at the less glamorous positions.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

Now that Mason Crosby reportedly has been re-signed for an additional three years, do you think it's even possible that someone could ever break his all-time Packer scoring record?

Crosby already has the record locked down for decades. By the time his career is over, I think Crosby will put that Green Bay scoring record in a different stratosphere. Ted Thompson drafted one kicker…and what a kicker he's been.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

When we have an Inbox question that is directed specifically to Mike, do you always just pass off the email to Mike or, if in your view it's not a worthy question or comment, do you sometimes take the liberty of deleting it?

I'll save it for Spoff unless it's a time-sensitive question I feel I can answer.

Tom from Fort Myers, FL

My wife and kids are all Vikings fans. I am hopeful that I can convince at least a couple of the grandkids to be Packer fans. The granddaughters love the color purple so they are out. My best hope is my grandson Weston. The Insider Inbox and the incredible Packers website will be a valuable tool to teach him why he should be a Packer fan.

What a fantastic name…of hopefully a future Packers fan.

Jeffrey from Wentzville, MO

Good morning Wes! Two things: 1. Your answer: Indubitably. Good morning! If you steal Spoff's catchphrase don't you at least owe him a lunch steal in return? 2. Your answer: Indubitably. Good morning! That's a three-word answer. Not one. Good day sir!

Who said it's his catchphrase? I watched "7 Days in Hell" in 2015. Maybe I lifted it first. You ever think about that?

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Favorite snack to take along for a road trip? And who gets to choose the music for the journey?

Sunflower seeds. Spoff enjoys Tyler Gajewski's "Hand Full of Everything" trail mix. It's become kind of a tradition for Tyler and me to listen to "Coast to Coast AM."

Doug from Union Grove, WI

Tip: Watch your speed through Racine County. You don't need a ticket before you get out of Wisconsin. And, give a honk to Frank as you pass the Yorkville water tower.

Duly noted.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Driving to Indy? Why not fly?

Uh…who wouldn't want to spend six hours in a car with Spoff? OK, I have to go gas this truck up and get on the road. We'll have wall-to-wall coverage from all the happenings in Indy this week on Stay tuned.