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Inbox: He deserves the spotlight

The 2019 season showed Jace Sternberger can be trusted in a variety of spots

WR Davante Adams
WR Davante Adams

Robert from Wauwatosa, WI

Where are your seats for the Bucks game? Hope to say hi.

Wherever you're standing…look up. Good morning!

Daniel from Liverpool, Merseyside

Sammy Watkins credited studying of Davante Adams vs. Richard Sherman in the NFCCG for his ability to beat Sherman on the inside on that huge chunk play late in the game. Maybe Tae will start getting the credit he deserves as the best route runner in the league.

It was around this time last year I wrote an Inbox about how Adams is no longer the NFL's best-kept secret. What I love about his story is Adams has earned attention without demanding it. That's a rare trait, especially at his position. Adams deserves the spotlight and not because of what he says – because of his actions on the field. Adams has the respect of his peers and now is viewed as one of the league's top playmakers.

Dean from Sandusky, OH

It was a great season and certainly one the team should be proud of, but alas, it is time to move on to 2020. What picks do we currently hold in the NFL Draft?

We have to wait for the compensatory picks to be distributed later this month to know exact numbers but the Packers officially will pick at 30, 62 and 94 in the first three rounds.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

When Jace Sternberger played at Texas A&M, he was the "go-to-guy" in clutch situations and was often used much like a wide receiver. Understandably being injured and behind a heavy tight end group, he didn't get many opportunities this year. Do you see that changing in the upcoming season? Seems like the Packers have done pretty well with Texas-based tight ends in the past - Bubba Franks, Jermichael Finley.

Sternberger opened a lot of eyes during the final month of the season and the coaches learned the young tight end can be trusted in a variety of spots. Like I wrote last week, his positional flexibility makes him a matchup problem. Just look at what the 49ers do with George Kittle and Kyle Juszczyk. Sternberger is a quick study, too. I expect him to make his presence felt in 2020.

Terry from Rothschild, WI

The Chiefs did a great job of stopping the run game in the Super Bowl – Raheem Mostert had only 58 yards. What did they do better/differently than the Packers did in stopping the run?

Gap fits. Mostert still averaged a decent chunk of yards per carry (4.8) but his longest carry only went for 17. Kansas City largely limited the explosives other than Deebo Samuel's 32-yard run off a gadget play.

Mike from Platteville, WI

Who do you think was the most underrated Packers player on the 2019 team?

Mark from West Des Moines, IA

What was your favorite moment of the Super Bowl?

The "NFL 100" commercial that dissolved into the kids running into the stadium to deliver the game ball. Those anniversary commercials over the past year were brilliant and masterfully executed. Bravo.

Vince from Puyallup, WA

It's tough seeing a lot of the great Packers players of the past passing away recently. I grew up listening to stories my dad would tell me about when many of the Packers players and Coach Lombardi would visit Iron River up in the U.P. and just hang out, dance, and have a good time. Like many of those players who have recently passed away, my dad has suffered from dementia for the better part of the past 10 years. I'm just glad that he was able to share those memories when he still could.

I'm with you. My grandfather battled dementia his final years but he held onto all of his old stories about Willie Wood, Max McGee, Henry Jordan and countless others from the Packers' glory years. You have to appreciate them all, family and Packers alike, while they are still with us.

Kyle from Ooltewah, TN

Wes, was the difference maker the Chiefs realizing how to keep matriculating the ball down the field?

Terrific pull, Kyle.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

With everything that must be flooding Andy Reid's headspace, I wonder if he has any inkling of how much loyalty and joy Packers fans feel for him this long after his departure.

I'm sure he does. If Inbox is any judge, there is still a lot of love and appreciation for Reid within the Packers' fan base.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

I think one of Mike McCarthy's most powerful quotes in his time in GB was referring to Nick Collins' injury: "If he was my kid, he wouldn't play." I get there's a big difference between children and adult professionals but that shows care for him more as a person than as a football player...even one of HOF potential.

Collins was a Hall of Fame-caliber safety, but even more importantly, he was a beloved member of that locker room. You'll have to search long and far to find someone who has a bad thing to say about Nick Collins. He was a pro's pro.

Kyle from Chelsea, MI

With the Jaguars just announcing two games in London, is it a foregone conclusion one of those games will include the Packers?

One, the Packers host Jacksonville. They don't play there again until 2024. Two, the 2016 opener with Green Bay was a sellout and extremely profitable. I don't want to rain on the London party but I'll believe it when I see it at this point.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Wes, in the fourth quarter, the 49ers were punting with a 10-point lead. Were you surprised they didn't take the delay of game, illegal procedure loophole to run time off the clock?

Both times the 49ers punted in the fourth quarter they were backed up at their own 37 and 25. Part of that loophole is you need to be around midfield to execute it. If you try it deep in your own territory, you're sacrificing field position.

Col from Ludlow, UK

After signing a contract with the Packers, I remember Jordy Nelson being asked if he'd been tempted to move to another club for an extra million or so, as Greg Jennings did. He smiled, and said he'd already earned more money than he'd ever spend, so was happy to be a Packer. Is he the exception that proves the rule, or are there others who are happy having somewhere between a lot of money, and an awful lot of money, perhaps for a greater chance of winning a ring?

Nelson probably was the exception but it's not like he was playing for pennies on the dollar in Green Bay. He was satisfied with the financial security he gained from his two long-term deals with the Packers. Knowing Jordy, I'd also bet he's also been smart with his assets.

Nicholas from Portland, OR

I think QBs should think about revenues outside of their official contract when it comes to negotiating. A guy like Tom Brady, who has supposedly sacrificed his salary for Super Bowls, probably has made more endorsement money than anyone and has been able to play longer than anyone due to having such strong teams around him (lower sacks, running game, etc.). Do you think such long-term focus pays off in the end?

It's impossible to answer that accurately. Brady has earned a lot of money off the field but I couldn't tell you how that compares to other high-profile quarterbacks. It is funny you mention that this particular offseason, though. Reading media tea leaves, Brady wants to get paid next month.

Luke from Fort Worth, TX

Good morning II, what NFL event are you most excited for this offseason? Combine? The draft? And what non-NFL event are you looking forward to?

The NFL Scouting Combine is always one of my favorites. It generates a lot of content during a dead period and Indianapolis is a fun city to spend a workweek in. Non-NFL? Well, I'm going to UFC 248 next month. Does that count?

Take a look at photos of Packers TE Marcedes Lewis from the 2019 season.

Jeff from Athens, WI

A lot of quiet Sundays to come and there is also the new XFL coming soon. My question is do you think the Packers or other teams will pay attention to this new league as a potential resource to identify players they could add to their rosters? Seems to me that would be a really good indicator as to whether or not a player can handle the workload of practice during the week and still be able to perform on game day.

The Packers signed three former CFL players after the 2019 season ended, so they'll definitely be monitoring the XFL this spring. With how the schedule is formatted, it's conceivable its top players could pop right into an offseason program once the season is over.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Hey Insiders, what's on the burner to keep us entertained in the offseason? I'm sure you have some more in-depth pieces in the works. Care to give us any little promo?

I have a couple stokes in the fire but nothing big planned for February. I did speak with LeRoy Butler on Tuesday for a story. He had some interesting things to say that'll be worth your time.

Matthias from San Antonio, TX

We are seeing LeRoy Butler, who was the archetype to the superstar safety, being snubbed from the Hall of Fame year after year. But when I see Sterling Sharpe being snubbed or not even talked about. Sharpe should have been a Hall of Fame player in the same fashion as Gale Sayers. His stats as a receiver were better than Jerry Rice!

Sharpe's candidacy is unique because he's unquestionably one of the best receivers to ever play the game. However, his career was cut short due to injury and his success came right before the Packers were back in the national spotlight. His modern-era window has passed, so he'd have to go the senior route now. Spoff spoke with Sharpe two years ago at the NFL Honors ceremony and Sterling seems at peace with whatever the future holds.

Todd from Hales Corners, WI

You had a question about the reserve/futures contracts given by teams. You gave an odd answer-perhaps you do not know what the contracts entail. The question was really asking what the player gets for money and rights, not what players get the contract. Duh, we can see who gets them.

You guys are way too wrapped up on this futures contract thing. If you found my answer to be basic, it's because the question was incredibly basic. Unless it's a high-profile CFL signing (e.g. Tre Roberson), there's rarely upfront money or signing bonuses. The contracts are simply what a player would earn should he make the 53-man roster in September – and it's always at the base minimum. That's it. Now if you want to know what their 401K options are or how much their co-pay is at the doctor's office, bother Spoff about it.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

I feel like the Super Bowl odds for the Packers with the sixth best odds are about right. I feel like the Bills are being massively disrespected being lumped together with the Bears, Falcons, Chargers and Raiders. Anything stand out to you guys on the early odds list?

I agree on the Bills, especially since an argument could be made Josh Allen is the best of the four QBs taken in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft. The other thing that stands out to me is the hype train picking up steam in Dallas. The expectations are high for McCarthy in Year 1.

Scott from Berrien Center, MI

Speaking of not wanting to be on the NFL's radar during specific months…Congratulations to the Packers for postponing any potential "Hard Knocks" appearance for several more years.

Do any of you agree the "Hard Knocks" format has reached a level of staleness on par with the loaf of bread you forgot about in the back of your cupboard? I've watched it since the beginning but it's become rinse-and-repeat. Not to mention some teams are doing their own shows now, too.

Kyle from Carlisle, IA

Hey Insiders, What are your thoughts on Deion Sanders' opinion of too many players being allowed in the HOF? Part of me agrees with the statement as there are a lot of players who were leaders of their time, but not game-changers. Thank you for all of the great articles and excellent team site. Other teams do not compare to you.

I found his words disappointing and unfortunate. These are individuals who dedicated their lives to the sport, many of whom helped break down barriers for Sanders and those who came after. If it's me, I'd look to embrace that – not tear it down.

Lex from Chicago, IL

Where did you watch the Super Bowl?

I watched the first half at home with my family. Once my wife put our son down, I drove over to my parents' house to watch the second half with my dad, while working on Inbox.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Some talk the league and NFLPA might be getting close to a ten year extension but with the 17th game and safety-related discussions I don't see this as a slam dunk. Why the optimism?

The history of negotiations between the two sides and the shared desire to avoid a work stoppage.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Wes, you were right and I was wrong. Apparently many people enjoyed the halftime show. I stand corrected!

It's not about being right or wrong. Everyone has his or her own preferences with music and performance. My point was it takes a lot for there to be widespread approval of these halftime shows.

Gordon from Shell Beach, CA

So you can't answer any of my questions but you can answer a question of how your oil change went. You're the boss.

Just in case you needed a reminder of who runs the bingo.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

I have been reading the II regularly for a number of years. I also listen to "Packers Unscripted" on podcast. I love both of them, but I have one suggestion: The intro that Spoff does ("Hi everyone. Welcome to Packers Unscripted.") follows some great rock n' roll music and yet it almost always sounds a little hesitant. It could use a little more pep so it matches the tone that I imagine in my head when I read "Good Morning!" in the Inbox! (Sorry. It's the offseason. That's all I got).

Spoff will be back soon. I'll work with him on developing a "Good Morning, Vietnam" intro for Season 5.


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