Good morning, everyone. Somehow, someway, we've made it to the Fourth of July. So first and foremost, I want to wish you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day. That also means we're back for Outsider Inbox III (…or is it Insider Outbox?). Anyway, I've compiled 12 questions, mostly from fans, for your perusal. Like previous years, answer as many of the questions as your heart desires. I understand the character limits, so feel free to submit multiple entries. One bit of advice – you have a better shot at getting posted by focusing on a couple than trying to answer all of them with three words. We'll run the replies on Monday and Tuesday…and possibly Wednesday if there are enough. OK, here we go…
- Which current or former Packers would you have to invite to a party from a sheer fun standpoint?
- If you were going to live on a secluded island, what five Packers-related items would you take with you?
- What's the first time you remember the Packers making you cry? (Editor's note: For the sake of the current climate, let's make it cry in a good way.)
- If you could draft any past player to play in today's game, who would it be and why?
- Who is on your Packers Mount Rushmore?
- Who is your favorite obscure Packers player?
- Who would you choose on your team if tasked with building a starting offense and defense of Packers players during your lifetime?
- What's your most memorable experience at a Packers game?
- What's the most random food item you've brought to (or cooked at) a tailgate?
- Favorite new recipe you learned to cook during quarantine?
- What is the all-time best II quote to place on a T-shirt? (Mark from West Lafayette, Ind., adds: My new personal favorite, "Living la Vida Spofford." I picture one of the vintage '70s, washed out colors with a flowing script.).
- Who is your vote for the 2019-20 Insider Inbox Fan of the Year?
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
I am on your couch and inconsolable at the thought of losing another season of Aaron Rodgers' greatness, not to injury, which is a constant source of concern, but to no season at all. What, as my therapist, do you say to me?
As the great philosopher Rocky Balboa once said, "Ain't nothin' over til it's over."
Brian from Twain Harte, CA
In response to CJ from Cedar Rapids, a player making a huge jump from Season 1 to Season 2: Brett Favre.
I would say that was a decent indicator of the greatness that was to follow – and not a minute too late for the franchise. He gave Packers fans much-needed hope. We were talking two days ago about watching the maturation process of players. Looking back on it, how much fun were those first years of both Favre and Rodgers as starters? Those two seasons forecasted a bright future.
Jeremiah from Madison, WI
Let's say you, as an outside observer, definitively know the best five teams your team will face this season and the worst five teams you will face this season. The team itself is based in reality and doesn't have this omniscient knowledge. The two schedule choices are play the best five right away and worst five at the end, or play the worst five right away and best five at the end. Which do you prefer?
Easily the latter. Maybe this is a polluted mindset but I'd rather build to a crescendo than get punched in the mouth and playing the rest of the season from behind.
Richard from Menasha, WI
How many wins will the Packers have to get to before the pundits get off the Packer-haters bandwagon?
Nineteen. Possibly 20, if they demand the NFC wins the Pro Bowl, too, the week before the Packers play in the Super Bowl?
TK from Grafton, WI
When picking in Rounds 5-7 of the draft, which position group has the best chance of success?
My hunch is offensive line, with running back and defensive back not far behind. Teams have found some hidden gems at those three positions on the third day and the Packers have been no exception (Corey Linsley, Aaron Jones, James Starks, Micah Hyde, etc.).
Roger from Advance, NC
As the news broke regarding a shortened preseason or "evaluation period" for potential newcomers to our team, I was curious if any consideration might be given by the league office to allow the teams to keep an expanded roster through the first two regular-season games, thus allowing more evaluation time for newcomers? Would there be issues with player contracts or with the players' union if this was proposed? Longtime reader. Sure enjoy your work.
I think the active roster sizes will remain the same (53 active, 48 on gameday) but there's an argument to be made for expanding practice squads. The NFL is supposed to go to 14 players in the next year or so anyway. Since it's unlikely teams will be able to have prospects do as many in-season visits this year, it makes sense to give them more young players to develop for whenever injuries strike.
Aaron from Maryville, MO
Do we have to wear masks at games?
Yes, if we're talking about Packers games. That's according to Mark Murphy in his letter to season-ticket holders Friday and I'm sure it'll be a popular topic in his monthly "MT5" column that's also running this morning on packers.com.
Marty from Guelph, Ontario
The decision not to use St. Norbert College to house the Packers for training camp strikes me as odd. I have been to the college a couple of times and it seems to be a pretty good, self-contained, easy-to-"bubble" location tucked next to the river. The alternative is what? The team lives and eats all over Green Bay?
I don't think it's that odd. It's understandable the Packers would want to keep players at their facilities (where food is provided) and keep players in their own homes. I can think of no better bubble.
Nic from London, UK
Besides it being a super cool way to run your organization that must earn you tons of player loyalty, do you think it's morally acceptable to run a RB into the ground during a contract year because you know you won't re-sign him? I can't think of another position where you can do that. I get that they're employees under contract, but it's also their future well-being and ability to earn an income that are being jeopardized.
Not if that's the sole purpose. But you're right, I can't think of any other position where we tally snaps and touches as much as we do with running backs. That being said, I also don't know how much players are "run into the ground" anymore. Those words make me think of Larry Johnson touching the ball 450 times in 2006 – not a running back with 200 carries in 2020.
Kelly from Kimballton, IA
What season-altering announcement will be made while Mike and Spoff are on vacation?
There's bound to be one. Fingers-crossed, there won't be two.
Dan from Waupun, WI
Washington is considering a name change. What would you change it to?
I dig that "Redtails" logo that's been making the rounds. We've done the Capitols, Nationals, Senators, etc., why not something with much deeper meaning and historical relevance? I'm glad Washington is looking into it. It's time.
Darrell from San Antonio, TX
Regardless of what the front office is saying about the quarterback situation, signing Love to a fully guaranteed contract signals the beginning of the end for Mr. Rodgers and his neighborhood. I think most Packers fans are coming to that realization. What is the over/under on No. 12 being in Green Bay for the 2021 season? The only way I think it happens is if COVID wipes out this season.
My goodness, some of you need to learn a thing or two about rookie contracts before pressing send on these questions. Please. It's not uncommon for first-round picks, especially 10 years into the rookie-wage scale, to get "guaranteed" deals. It's not a slight on Rodgers.
Lori from Madison, WI
Long-time reader, first-time submitter...I really miss the "Good morning" from Wes. Will it ever be back? Just wondering...
It will be back someday; preferably the first Inbox after there are no new COVID-19 cases in the United States.
Jack from Chicago, IL
I know this probably won't get posted with the Outsiders Inbox coming, but Wes what video games do you play? "Call of Duty"? Also, next time someone whines about play calling or tells me "they should have run this!"... I'm just going to wordlessly send them the link to that Adams video.
You thought wrong, Buckshot, but no "Call of Duty" for me. The closest I get is "Grand Theft Auto" and "Fortnite." Otherwise, I prefer sports games or Pokemon.
Fran from Green Bay, WI
What is your favorite Popsicle?
Root beer or banana.
Markus from Aurora, CO
Insiders, from within Broncos' country, this Packer backer wishes you all a joyous Fourth of July! Stay safe! And wear a dang mask! ;-)
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Now if you'd excuse me, there's a plate of ribeyes and tenderloins calling my name.