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Inbox: Gold is the goal. It always has been.

The Packers are built to win a championship in 2021

TE Marcedes Lewis & WR Davante Adams

Greg from Marquette, MI

Wes, you are doing a great job. Who cares if mistakes in grammar were made? These are small potatoes compared to worse things that could have happened. Love the movie references and interaction you and Spoff have. I read your column everyday while on lunchbreak at work. I am a healthcare worker who has worked the frontlines of the pandemic and this was my respite and chance to detach from reality for a little bit. Thank you to you both.

God bless you, Greg. And thank you for the message. It made my day.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Good morning, Wes. I'm hoping you're posting this as Wisconsin rejoices at the return of this summer's prodigal son.

Uh…you might have been onto something when you sent this, Sal.

Brock from West Lafayette, IN

Not sure if you're a "Ted Lasso" fan, but as Danny Rojas once said, "Even though futbol IS life, futbol is also death. And that futbol is futbol, too." Now that the dust seems to be settling, maybe football can be football again. Keep up the great work Wes!

I'm all in favor of that. Monday was a breath of fresh air, man. We still have a long way to go, but everything that happened represented badly needed hope. It also felt like the tide shifted back to the big picture. Everyone got so wrapped up in the narrative this offseason that I think many onlookers forgot how talented this team is and what is potentially out there for the Packers in 2021. Gold is the goal. It always has been. Hopefully the Packers, as a football team, took 12 steps in the right direction on Monday.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

Wes – Management appears to be doing what is necessary to keep our MVP around. It makes sense to have Aaron Rodgers involved in future player decisions and it's my hope that he stays a very long time. Does any of this surprise you? If so, what surprises you the most?

Nothing surprised me on Monday. Folks, there's a three-month running log of my thoughts on this matter. Since the beginning, I begged readers to just breathe and be patient – no quick-trigger reactions, big proclamations, or emergency press conferences. Everyone wants to rush to conclusions, but realistically Wednesday is the only day that mattered. That's the date everyone, including myself, should have had circled from the beginning. This team is built to win a championship in 2021 but needs its leader. Hopefully, based on what I've read, the man is indeed back.

With 48 days until the regular-season opener, packers.com looks back at those who have worn No. 48 in Green Bay.

James form Ottawa, Ontario

II – after months of angst, there must be a lot of celebration in the Inbox after the news about '12.' I'm happy to have him back and am appreciating the now without worrying about what next year will hold for contracts that don't require further naming. Exceptionally ready to buckle up for the 2021 ride. My question is: Jordan Love's professionalism aside, what do you think his headspace is with this news after months of mentally preparing to be "The Guy"?

Great. Love's headspace should be great. By all accounts, he has a good relationship with Rodgers. The kid had a golden opportunity to sit in the driver's seat this spring. As I wrote in our position-by-position series, Love made up for a lot of lost time during those nine weeks. So, he shouldn't hang his head at all. Love is still just 22 years old. The best is yet to come.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Hey Insiders, in your opinion, will the year off help or hurt Devin Funchess in making the roster?

That depends on Funchess and what he did with his time away from the game. Based on everything I've seen, Funchess stayed in the weight room (and on the basketball court). During the offseason program, Funchess also touched on focusing on his mental well-being. So, I fully expect to see the guy who made some big-time plays in Carolina.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

If Josiah Deguara doesn't tear his ACL, does Robert Tonyan have the same 2020?

Yes. Both are tight ends but they play the position differently. Those in-line snaps were Tonyan's regardless of whether Deguara was healthy.

Sal from Hailey, ID

A huge thank you to whomever updated AJ Dillon's page! Now I know that his grandpa was a real college star. In your experience, do you find that guys with football pedigrees tend to have any more or any less internal drive than those whose families haven't played? Is that kind of background one of those "intangibles" I'm always hearing about?

You know what's interesting, the Packers haven't had many NFL legacies during my time on the beat. I'm sure there have been plenty of Packers whose fathers played in the NFL, but off the top of my head, the only two names coming to mind are Clay Matthews and Jon Runyan (who definitely fit the hungry criteria you mentioned). I'm sure there are more. But to your question, it comes down to the player and the person. Genetics will only take you so far. At the end of the day, the player still has to show he can play.

Jim from Phillips, WI

What do we know about special-teams coordinator Maurice Drayton? One thing we do know for sure is that you don't have success without gap or lane integrity. Too much freelancing and not enough discipline usually results in disaster. Does he have the stones to insist that his special-teamers are responsible for their assigned lanes?

In a word…yes. If you're able to attend a practice next month, I think you'll see what I'm talking about. Drayton played at The Citadel and coached at The Citadel. The man is made of the finest iron.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Morning Wes, how many players have the Packers traded up for in the draft since Gutekunst took over? And who were they?

By my count…Five. Jaire Alexander and Oren Burks (2018), Darnell Savage (2019), Jordan Love (2020) and Amari Rodgers (2021).

Curt from Algonquin, IL

Countdown Day 50 brought photos of A.J. Hawk, one of my all-time favorite players. It got me thinking about his career. It's always a bit of a disappointment when a first-round pick isn't an All-Pro, but he only missed two games in nine seasons and holds the Packers record for career tackles, so that's too good to label him a ham-and-egger. Now that we're five years out from his last game, what draft grade do you give Ted Thompson on the pick, and which tier of all-time Packers players is he?

I'd grade the pick a solid B. I know Hawk wasn't a Pro Football Hall of Famer like Packers fans wanted, but he was a darn fine football player. My challenge to fans, whenever Hawk's name gets brought up, is to go back and look at the 2006 NFL Draft. There were a lot of misses throughout that draft. Hawk wasn't one of them. He's one of the best inside linebackers the Packers have had in my lifetime, especially when factoring in his durability and longevity.

Mike from Austin, TX

G'morning! Way back on July 17, Mike wrote about appreciating the confrontations in baseball and Wes furthered that by noting his fascination with human confrontation a few days later. With the Olympics here, that got me to thinking about why I've always felt "meh" about figure skating, equestrian, diving, gymnastics and the like while a good fencing or curling match is riveting. Is the element of human confrontation what delineates sport from athletic and/or artistic competition?

Figure skating, equestrian, diving and gymnastics are all great sports, but I think you hit the nail right on the apple. There's something about one-on-one competition, mano a mano, that people find captivating. I mean, wrestling is our oldest sport, right?

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

The Olympics comes at a good time for me. Now I can step back away from football and the Packers drama for two weeks. Wes, what are your favorite events to watch? I love them all but gun to my head, swimming.

Three-on-three basketball is pretty popular in my house.

Darren from Alice Springs, Australia

Wes, would you consider printing the fan questions with spelling and grammar errors exactly as you receive them? Maybe that will help get us off our high horse.

Ha. I appreciate the sentiment but it's still my job to be accurate, both in how your questions are presented and my replies to them.

Former Packers players James Jones, Nick Collins, Ryan Grant and Morgan Burnett continued on for a third day of the "Packers Road Trip." The touring group visited numerous stops, including William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital.

Dave from Mazomanie, WI

Hi Wes, I am sorry to hear you're feeling burnt out. I am trying to balance work while dealing with my mom's declining health due to ALS, so I understand. She is a lifelong Packers fan and I am honestly hoping she makes it through the season at this point. Sundays will not be the same without her. Don't let those who rant discourage you! The II has been a welcome distraction.

I am so incredibly sorry to hear that, Dave. I wish the same for your mother. My prayers are with you both.

Jim from Lima, OH

Wes: Please warn Spoff before socking him in the stomach. That's how Houdini died!

I love Spoff but couldn't help myself. "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is to me what "A Few Good Men" is to Mike.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Wes, your solo act is mercifully almost over. Thank you for presiding over II for the past two weeks. You brought up one of our favorite movies of all time, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." We've watched it almost every Thanksgiving for 34 years. One year we were just getting to the rental car counter scene when my conservative in-laws walked in the door. I think that scene may have the record for F-bombs in a single scene. The writing and casting were superb. RIP John Candy.

I'm pretty sure the first string of F-bombs my ears ever heard came courtesy of that movie.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Wes: An editor once told me: "The best thing about putting out a newspaper every day is you get to put out a newspaper every day. The worst thing about putting out a newspaper every day is you have to put out a newspaper every day." Sub out "newspaper" for "Insider Inbox" and you have an idea of how grueling it can be to do what you guys do every day. So no apologies, Wes; most of us are in awe of how much Packer news you guys provide us all year long. Head up, Hod – be proud of what you do.

Thank you, Joe, and thank you to everyone who passed along kind messages on Monday. You make Insider Inbox worth it.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Alright, here we go. Tomorrow's the big day! Welcome back football as we used to know it! No matter what, please don't take this season for granted, it is going to be special.

T-minus one day until training camp, people. Something, something, baloney, something.


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