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Inbox: He didn't back down from anything

It’s up to Matt LaFleur to set the tone early and then stay ahead of the curve


Luc from St. Thomas, Canada

"A data-filled hologram G is fired high into the sky above Lambeau, like the Bat-signal, which is only visible through a special lens in the team-issued camera phones. When the players snap a picture of it, all the information they need is downloaded. Or maybe they were just emailed a schedule, but that would be boring." Possibly the greatest answer of all time.

I considered just posting this and calling it a day, but I guess I'll try to answer a few more questions out of the goodness of my heart anyway. Good morning!

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Forrest Gregg stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 249 pounds. I'm guessing he was a big man in his era. How things have changed. He'd probably have been a TE or OLB in this era!

That line Lombardi relayed from his wife, Marie, is so spot-on – he was a picture ballplayer. Gregg looked the part and played the part. He was a cut above. Gregg's resume is unparalleled with nine Pro Bowls and nine All-Pro selections, but the fact he played in 187 consecutive games is awe-inspiring. He was versatile, possessed tremendous footwork and epitomized that era of Packers football.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi, I was in Dallas and an SMU grad student when SMU received the NCAA death penalty sanction (no games) against the football program in 1987 due to egregious violations. When football games were allowed again, SMU picked an alumnus as head coach, but, more importantly, they picked a man of unquestionable integrity: Forrest Gregg. Playing football for NFL championship teams is quite an accomplishment, but "integrity" is the word we should all strive to have on our tombstone. RIP, sir.

There was a reason SMU picked Gregg to start the rebuilding process after 1987. He was the definition of old-school. I'm sure Gregg wasn't the easiest coach to play for, but he practiced what he preached and lived the way he coached.

Jake from Eden Prairie, MN

With the passing of Forrest Gregg, what is his legacy not only as a Packer, but as a man?

A fighter. He beat cancer and courageously battled Parkinson's for years. After hearing of his passing Friday, I pulled out the story I wrote about him five years ago, shortly after he went public with his illness. He had two quotes in that story that really hit me – "I won't get over this thing. It'll last. I could probably have gone several years and nobody would've ever known. They probably just put it on old age (but) I thought about it in terms of what I did with the cancer. … I came out with it because I thought it might help somebody else to know that somebody had had it and overcome it." I then ended the story with this line – "I'm not what I used to be, but I can handle what I am." He didn't back down from anything. You can't help but respect that.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think this team will surprise people? Coming off two losing seasons and the changes being made, there is still work to do, but will they finally get it together?

Call it whatever you want, but Aaron Rodgers put it out there on Wednesday – there is no grace period. This team expects to win in 2019. That's why Green Bay made the moves it did in free agency. Yes, the Packers are young in certain areas, but there are veterans players where they need them.

John from Krakow, WI

What might we expect from Cole Madison this year? When drafted we heard about his "nasty" demeanor and upside, which sound good, but can he really help us?

As I said earlier this week, let's just let the process play its course here. Once we get to training camp, we can start to ask these questions. The reality is Madison has been away from the game for a year. It's going to take some time to get back on the bike, but it's a great first step in his comeback. I commend him for it.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Is there a big advantage with a new coach and new offensive schemes early in the season? I suspect the preseason will continue to be pretty vanilla OR because of the new offense do we show more of our scheme because of needing the practice?

There's a huge advantage early on, but the league catches up on you quick. It's up to Matt LaFleur to set the tone early and then stay ahead of the curve. That's why his mentors, Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, have done so well.

Dan from Rothschild, WI

How different the 2009 playoffs could have been if the refs could have overturned Aaron's OT fumble after the facemask was revealed. History may have been different.

We don't live in that land, though. We live in Wisconsin.

Terry from Yuma, AZ

Robert Tonyan from Indiana State is so big, talented and catches everything. I guess it's just a mystery why he isn't being used?

Tonyan has a bright future, but there were several veterans in front of him on the depth chart last year. His transition to tight end is complete, though. That's his position now. He looked at home there last season. He's going to be one of the most intriguing guys to follow in camp.

David from Appleton, WI

Just returned from Nashville and noticed all the infrastructure required for the NFL Draft next week. The Super Bowl will not be coming to Green Bay, but Green Bay has made overtures to the NFL in order to host the draft in future years. Based on what I saw in Nashville this past week, the draft will even be a daunting task for Green Bay to pull off based on the limited available infrastructure. In your opinion, do you think the NFL Draft can be pulled off in Green Bay?

I think it's definitely possible once Titletown is complete and the new expo center is in place near the stadium. The Packers and the city of Green Bay would put their backs into making it all happen.

Justin from Winston-Salem, NC

Do certain scouts specialize in scouting particular positions, or is it purely by regions they cover? Do they bounce ideas or film off of their fellow team scouts to get better educated opinions on players? Or are there simply too many players and schools for them to collaborate like this?

Brian Gutekunst mentioned earlier this offseason Green Bay's scouts don't specialize. If a player falls in a scout's region, they're responsible for that player. Now, scouts can bounce ideas off each other. As Gutekunst pointed out, Luke Benuska, who handles the West Coast, has a resource available in Sam Seale, who handled that region for a long time.

Max from Troy, MO

Our rivals in purple just signed Adam Thielen to a $64 million extension. While I think he's a good receiver, my first thought was, "We got a bargain for Adams."

Count your blessings, Packers fans.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Are there any teams whose combination of draft picks and needs intrigue you as to what they might end up doing? Similarly, any teams that you see as having either needs or opportunities to be trading partners with others (or the Packers) for first-round trades, e.g., any you would bet aren't going to end up using their current picks when it's all said and done?

The Raiders are the easy answer. They have the assets to do anything. Looking a little further down the list, Seattle and New England intrigue me. The Seahawks again have a dearth of available picks, so I'm interested to see how John Schneider solves that problem. The Patriots were fairly quiet in free agency after losing a bevy of good players. They need a good draft to refill the coffers.

Eric from St. Paul, MN

Insiders, with the flurry of AAF players being signed is there a reason why Green Bay hasn't brought in a single one to look at? I don't know if any would make the final 53 but we should be building the best 90-man roster right now. And one would think having guys that were recently playing would help competition throughout the spring and training camps. GB did the same thing last year when everybody knew they needed safety depth, yet refused to even look at the available veteran safeties.

I want to preface my answer by saying I'm thrilled for all the AAF guys, including Jayrone Elliott, who have signed NFL contracts. At the same time, I don't lose any sleep about the Packers not signing anyone. Hopefully, a few players will reignite their NFL careers, but several will land back on the free-agent market later this summer. My guess – and that's all it is – is the Packers are focused more on the next class of college free agents.

Ryan from Whitesburg, KY

As a young 19-year-old Packers fan in early 2011, I was really disappointed that Clay Matthews didn't win defensive player of the year after the 2010 season. He seemed to be more deserving of it than Polamalu. I believe he finished second but was it a surprise to everyone else like it was me or was I just a young biased Packers fan?

It could have gone either way. It reminds me a lot of the tight race between Charles Woodson and Darrelle Revis in 2009. You win some, you lose some.

Dale from Wilton, WI

Growing up in the '80s, I loved Lofton. Laying on the floor, watching the game, and having to jump up at the plays. My first Packer memory is Lofton making catches in between multiple bright orange defenders from Tampa in the snow bowl. That was a fun game to watch.

I wasn't alive for the Lofton years in Green Bay and before you guys skewer me about that, I want to tell a quick story. Before the days of internet and Google, Packers Yearbooks were the lifeline to team history. I used to beg my parents to bring me to the Brown County library, so I could page through old yearbooks. That's how I discovered Bart Starr as a coach, Lynn Dickey and Lofton. You don't need to have watched Lofton to know he had a remarkable career, though. If you play 16 seasons in the NFL and end your career with 18.3 yards per catch, you did something right.

Gerbie from Elk Mound, WI

I was happy to hear that Ty Montgomery is getting a shot with the Jets. I also heard from anonymous sources close to the situation that he intends to reverse his number.

I hear No. 88 is open out there.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

I pose a serious question to both Spoff and Biff because I feel you may answer completely differently. Would you rather give up an arm or the internet?

Does it have to be my arm?

Griffin from Belmont, NC

When a player comes in for a visit I am guessing they get a tour of Lambeau. Do they stop into the media room or do they just keep on walking?

Only if they're lost.

Dan from Allen, TX

Spoff: Way to sneak in the "Northwestern alums Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster" into your article, lol. I didn't see "Iowa alum Mike Daniels" or "Temple alum Muhammad Wilkerson."

He's a sneaky Spofford.

Drew from Round Lake Beach, IL

Rosemont Horizon? There's a name I haven't heard in a while. I've spent a lot of time in that building (now the Allstate Arena), and am rather curious as to the story of why you'd select that venue. It's nice and all, but hardly carries any sort of mystique, especially at the national level. Care to share?

Nothing dramatic. I just went to a ton of events there, mostly professional wrestling. I think it played host to two Wrestlemanias. It just holds a lot of special memories for me. I love the Chicagoland area.

Carl from London, UK

Does division rivalry leak into the draft in terms of teams not wanting to trade with others in their division?

Yeah. I cannot recall the last time the Packers worked a trade with another NFC North team.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Wes, the good spirits of Packers long gone and recently deceased have spoken to us. "We will always be with you. No one is ever really gone."

I figured one of these comments would find its way into Saturday's Inbox after the release of Episode IX's teaser trailer. Congrats on being the one, Eddie.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, how many games will the Bucks need to win the series against Detroit?

One. Do their thing on Sunday and remind the Pistons why they're the eighth seed.

Andrew from Melrose, WI

Where can I buy the hologram G-signals? I don't see any in the Pro Shop.

Move over, laser goal posts. Spoff has created a new monster. Have a good weekend, everyone.