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Inbox: Friday was all of that and more

Green Bay will be a welcome fresh start for Blake Bortles

C/G Josh Myers and OL Coy Cronk

Adam from Scroggins, TX

Excellent work on the rookie minicamp stories! I thoroughly enjoyed your coverage. But, I have to ask, why did you have to get me so pumped up for football? I don't think I'm going to be able to make it to fall without any now. Keep up the excellent work gentlemen!

I enjoy rookie minicamp. It's always cool to step back out on the practice field again, get to know the new players on the rosters and begin turning that page to a new season. Friday was all of that and more. And after everything we've been through, it was kind of emotional being on the sidelines with my fellow reporters again. It was cool reconnecting with them…even Rob.

Terry from Sun Prairie, WI

What rookie will make an immediate impact this season?

I don't want to put any numbers on it but I think the opportunity is going to be there for Amari Rodgers to make a Year 1 impact like his mentor, Randall Cobb, did in 2011. It's just one practice but Rodgers really caught my eye – and his ability to return kickoffs and punts is the cherry on top of all of it.

Chuck from Clermont, FL

So, impressed with Amari's first interview! Welcome, welcome to Green Bay!

No words will do justice for how beloved Rodgers was at Clemson. Everyone – from the sports office to the coaching staff – just raves about the young man. He's not a big talker but Rodgers knows how to communicate. That's a skill far too many people lack in our society.

Norm from La Crosse, WI

Will Randall Cobb return to Green Bay?

Yes. This August…when the Packers host the Houston Texans in their preseason opener.

Thierry from Scy-Chazelles, France

So, this year, we got "instant starters" in the first three rounds. Plus, Josiah Deguara and Devin Funchess, who didn't play last year. Then, there's progression of others. Who do you think will surprise us the most in terms of performance or progression next year? I'll bet on the middle of the field, TEs or No. 8.

This probably wouldn't qualify as a "surprise," but I think AJ Dillon joins Aaron Jones as a major playmaker out of the backfield in 2021. I know there are questions at quarterback but I don't recall a Packers offense with an array of offensive weapons this deep and diverse.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Thank you, thank you, thank you for tweeting the rookie camp. Who surprised you the most? P.S. I hope Alvin Jones knows just how much Packer Nation is pulling for him to have a stellar camp.

Eric Stokes. He looked like a first-round pick. He wasn't perfect but that speed is going to get him on the field sooner rather than later. You could see how quickly he goes from 0 to 60 when attacking the football. I also want to throw a plug out there for Patrick Taylor, the former undrafted running back out of Memphis. He missed his entire rookie season due to a foot injury but he's a big, explosive athlete. Remember that name when his No. 3 running back competition heats up this summer.

Andy from Verona, WI

Which 2021 draft pick or undrafted free agent would you like to get to know more?

T.J. Slaton. One-hundred percent. It seems like he has a great personality and cool outlook on life. He's also a 6-foot-4, 330-pound former basketball player. What's not to love?

Michael from Chanhassen, MN

Hey Wes/Mike, I may have missed it here but I see the last weeks of our schedule as positive. Yes, there are three against division foes but I think with the bye week coming late it allows the Pack to be home four weeks out of the last six and one of those weeks it is a "rest" week. Plus, it will be great to finally have the Vikings at home in January (instead of) the typical October as of the last few years.

I made this point during "Unscripted" this week but I feel like this schedule sets up well for a Packers postseason run. But they gotta take care of business during the first three months of the season to make it count.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Top of the morning Wes. I am glad there is no math in II. My college coach used to break down the season into quarters and emphasized winning each quarter. I can't figure out how to do that with 17 games. Are you equally perplexed?

Perplexed? I'm more than perplexed, Chuck. I'm dumbfounded. I'm discombobulated. I'm bamboozled, flummoxed, wildered, bewildered, recombobulated and discombobulated all over again. This 17th game ruins everything. Spoff may be forced to retire his famed "quarter-pole" line!

Monty from Hazen, ND

The Blake Bortles signing is interesting. I looked at his stats and they aren't horrible considering he played for Jacksonville for most of them. He also won two playoff games for them, which is unheard of. Why do you think he hasn't received much attention from other teams?

That's a good question. Bortles had an up-and-down run in Jacksonville but he did have the Jaguars one game away from the Super Bowl. He ranks second in pretty much every major QB category in team history to Mark Brunell. I get why the Jaguars went the direction they did but what I've found confusing is why Bortles was on the outside looking in last season after that one-year run in LA. In my opinion, he hasn't been given a proper opportunity to get things back on track yet. Green Bay will be a welcome fresh start for Bortles.

David from Florence, AZ

Read the "5 things to know about Blake Bortles" article this morning. That's all I know about him. Sounds like he has good size and played well. With our receivers, running backs and reduce his interceptions he could be a more than serviceable quarterback. Your thoughts?

What I like is the NFL really cut through the red tape with practice squads last year, allowing clubs to carry up to two players with unlimited NFL experience. So, there's a lot of flexibility there with Bortles regardless of how things play out with Aaron Rodgers. The Packers needed a No. 3 QB and they got one. I'm excited to see Bortles throw.

Travis from Green Bay, WI

Does this make Blake Bortles the highest-drafted QB ever on a Packers' roster?

Not even close. The Packers drafted Randy Duncan first overall in 1959 and had former top pick Tim Couch on their roster in 2004. Rick Mirer was the No. 2 pick in 1993, and Akili Smith and Vince Young were former third-overall selections. So, there are a few QBs in Bortles' company.

Ellie from Hastings, MN

Do you think we could make it as far next season with Jordan Love as our starter?

Thank you for the question, Ellie. Until we see how Love functions in a live game situation, that's hard to say right now. If there had been a normal training camp and preseason last summer, I think we'd have a better idea of where Love is at in his development. I know he's really young and really talented. Classroom is in session this summer.

Take an inside look at the first day of Packers rookie minicamp on Friday, May 14.

Luke from Kenosha, WI

David from Appleton asked a question on the 13th about length of recovery from a torn ACL. My 13-year-old son is going through 4-6 weeks of rehab and physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee before he has surgery. Then, it's 4-6 months of recovery. He will not be cleared to resume baseball hitting until January (seven months) and running/catching until April (10 months). And he isn't 320 pounds like David.

I'm sorry to hear about your son's injury, Luke. All the best to him in his recovery. As you pointed out, all these ACL injuries are different. The common thread, however, is the athlete needing to listen to his or her body. It's not about being the fastest back on the field – it's about getting healthy again. That's why the Packers said they won't rush things with David Bakhtiari.

Steve from Land O Lakes, FL

How do you think the NFL will respond to the latest CDC recommendations? Will each team be able to open their stadiums to full capacity?

The NFL mentioned during the schedule release that clubs are operating with the mindset of having full stadiums in 2021. Now, there are still four months between now and Week 1. Like last year, the Packers will take all the necessary information and make the best decision possible.

Greg from Johnson City, TN

To be fair to Ohio State, there are plenty of college powerhouses out there that haven't produced quality starting NFL quarterbacks. Until Russell Wilson, Wisconsin hadn't had a single notable QB in the NFL, like ever. Florida's best QB in the NFL is maybe Rex Grossman. And the list goes on. My point being, those folks that are sleeping on Justin Fields because "Ohio State historically hasn't produced good quarterbacks" are succumbing to this fallacy.

I tend to agree. Somebody's gotta be first, right? There's also a lot more hype behind Fields entering the league than Dwayne Haskins, Cardale Jones, Terrelle Pryor and Broxton Miller.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

The dialogue about Ohio State quarterbacks' lack of success as pros has me thinking. Are there players who are downgraded by scouts for playing a particular position at a school that hasn't produced NFL successes? Even at a powerhouse school? I know Penn State is "Linebacker U" and Wisconsin is an "OL Factory," but does the converse apply? I recall Aaron Rodgers being criticized for holding the ball too high like all Jeff Tedford-coached QBs, but he still was a first-rounder and turned out OK.

I think you gotta look past all that. Fields can't do anything about Ohio State's track record. He can only be himself. Honestly, Chicago trading up to take Fields at No. 11 speaks to that. On the other side of the token, Carson Wentz, Zach Wilson, Josh Allen and Trey Lance all going in the top 10 in recent years shows how scouts approach this profession. If teams think a QB can play the position at the game's highest level, they have no problem drafting him. QBs are shooting stars and NFL teams are constantly trying to catch one.

Jeff from New Richmond, WI

It seems like the complaints are we never give Aaron weapons and it got me thinking about Dan Marino. So, I did some research and in Marino's 18 seasons, Miami drafted nine receivers. Five years they drafted none, three years they drafted a receiver in the first round, and none panned out. They also drafted in the second round, one in the third round, one in the fourth round, none in the fifth, one in the six and two in the seventh. Only Mark Clayton, who was drafted the same year as Marino, was a top-tier receiver. In Rodgers' 16 years, the Packers drafted 26 receivers. What an injustice to Marino!

That's quite the research project. Now if only Ted Thompson would've just drafted Jordy Nelson in the first round instead of trading back to get an extra pick, all of this nonsense could've been avoided. It's a shame the man was so good at his job.

Matty from Durango, CO

Some names ebb and flow with time. There have actually been 11 Matts on Packers rosters and 48 Mikes/Michaels. But we've likely seen the last of the first names of Geronimo Allison, Bullet Baker, Adolph Bieberstein, Cub Buck, Tiny Cahoon, Putt Choate, Boob Darling, Jug Earp, Tubby Howard, Slick Lollar, Ookie Miller, Pid Purdy, Baby Ray, Zud Schammel, Fuzzy Thurston, Cowboy Wheeler, Mule Wilson and, of course, Moose Mulleneaux and Moose Gardner.

With that in mind, you better appreciate Equanimeous St. Brown for as long as he's in Green Bay.

Doug from West Allis, WI

Dar from Mansfield, TX said "Seventeen! It's a prime number, and nothing good can come of that. With apologies to Cheesehead and former Brewer Jim Gantner (the lone exception), the number 17 is unsatisfying." I'm not sure how this slipped his mind, but isn't there a Packer receiver No. 17 that's pretty good? Detente`, Davonte, Davante, something like that? He could be an All-Pro one of these years! Oh wait, HE ALREADY IS! Saw that comment and I had to reply.

*"SEVENTEEN!" is also the jubilant Daron Sutton audio recording I have stored in my phone after Ben Sheets struck out his 17th batter on his way to a franchise-record 18 strikeouts against the Braves in 2004. And whose record did he break? Moose Haas. Have a good weekend, folks. *


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