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Inbox: He has that kind of potential

You have to stay a step ahead of the scouting report in the postseason 


Mark from Carmel, IN

So, did you go to Lambeau Wednesday or work from home?

My car started, so I was at my desk at 7:30 a.m. CT. Cold morning!

Joshua from Houston, TX

It's so chilly down here in Houston that I had to put on pants and a jacket when going outside...

I mean, how did you manage to even get out of bed?

Tyler from Billings, MT

Who else is ready to see Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams tear it up next year? I'm excited to see what this trio will do in the coming years!

I'm ready to see Jones become a game-changer on a weekly basis. He has that kind of potential – a running back who dominates from September through January. If he can stay healthy, I truly believe Jones is a piece that can complete the puzzle for the Packers' offense.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Given the current weather conditions, could you foresee the NFL postponing or moving a playoff game at Lambeau if conditions are similar? The Lambeau beer taps would freeze up! (I have actually attended two of the four coldest games at Lambeau – both were Packer losses).

I went back and forth with this Tuesday, but I think I can say with confidence it would be inhumane to play a game in these conditions. It would have had to be postponed or the start time altered. It was unbearable outside Wednesday, with frostbite possible after only 10 minutes of exposure.

Don from Swaledale, IA

What happened to Oren Burks last year? What does he do this season?

After injuring his shoulder in Oakland, Burks **kind of got lost in the shuffle**. The Packers traded for Antonio Morrison, who ended up handling running downs next to Blake Martinez for most of the season. In passing situations, Mike Pettine tended to favor hybrid defensive backs such as Josh Jones, Jermaine Whitehead and Eddie Pleasant. This isn't uncommon. The same thing happened with Martinez as a rookie in 2016. Burks has a lot of potential and will get a chance to compete for a more consistent role in 2019.

Packers CB Bashaud Breeland celebrates his birthday on Jan. 30.

Bob from Billings, MT

How do new head coaches like Matt LaFleur find their coaches? Obviously some they have known, but how about those he may not know or come from college programs? Is there a clearing house or "coach scouts"? Or do some just call and say, "Hey, consider me"?

Every once in a while you'll see a young coach cold-call his way into a quality control gig like Luke Getsy did in 2014, but staffs typically are hired based on who you know, whether it's the head coach or an assistant on the staff.

Michael from Savage, MN

Did Aaron and the Pack ever play against Philip Rivers and his Chargers in San Diego? And if so, what was the outcome of the game?

The Packers beat the Chargers 45-38 in a shootout at Qualcomm on Nov. 6, 2011. Rivers threw for 385 yards, but was picked off three times (two returned for TDs). Rodgers completed 21-of-26 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi guys, most experts say that when teams get in the playoffs that they need to keep doing the same things that got them there, but Tony Dungy had his own theory about playing the Patriots: whatever you saw on film over their games in the last month isn't going to help you much because they will so something different against you. He also told his team that they had to get through the first quarter. If they could do that then they'd have a good chance. It looks like the same Patriots this year.

Dungy is correct and honestly it's the right approach. Remember how the 49ers caught the Packers off-guard with the read-option in 2012 and then went to a strict pocket-passing attack the next year? You have to stay a step ahead of the scouting report in the postseason.

Kevin from Fond du Lac, WI

Should the Packers look to sign a veteran QB to back up Rodgers this year?

I've always leaned towards developing a young QB rather than paying top dollar for a veteran backup. There are only so many Nick Foleses and Case Keenums out there. In most cases, all that happens is the veteran shows why he's not a starter.

Paul from Bay View, WI

I know it's a bit early for this but let's say another team desperately wants our 12th pick during this year's draft. So they make an offer that Gutekunst can't refuse...something really unheard of. However, the guy we really want is there at the 12th spot. The player could be a potential game-changer. Do we take the jackpot of future draft picks and wait another year to possibly be a contender, or do we take the player that is available to be in the win-now mode?

If the board is shallow and the player you desire is there, then you pick the player. When the Packers moved back last year, it was because the board was deep and they felt like they'd still land a solid prospect.

Brandon from Arcadia, WI

I love Blake Martinez's hard-nosed style of football, and he has turned into a tackling machine! What next step does he have to take to elevate his game to the next level? Would love to see him earn a Pro Bowl spot or All-Pro mention. Keep up the great work gents!

Impact plays. Martinez said it himself near the end of the season. He's everything you want in an every-down inside linebacker – tough, durable and a strong communicator. The next step is generating more turnovers and continuing to improve in coverage.

Phil from Madison, WI

So who did the Falcons pick with that No. 19 they got for Favre?

Running back Tony Smith, who was a teammate of Favre's at Southern Miss. Smith played in parts of five NFL seasons. He rushed for 329 yards and two touchdowns on 87 career carries, all of which came during his rookie season.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Bringing Jimmy Graham back is a good thing in my opinion. Who do we have after that? Just as MM was not able to utilize our "star" running back when he was our HC, I don't believe he played to Graham's strengths. Graham is aging but could still be effective with a new scheme. Bringing another tight end or three on board can only help GB, especially in the red zone. Can only feel as well that a veteran like Graham could be a great benefit for a rookie to learn from.

Aaron Rodgers voiced his approval late in the season about the possibility of Graham returning for another season. His 55 catches and 636 yards were both ninth among NFL tight ends. Unfortunately, he had to play the last 1½ months with that broken thumb. We'll see how the offseason plays out, but I don't doubt a healthy Graham would be better after a full year with Rodgers as his quarterback.

Wes from Kellogg, IA

I'll take the under at four pull-ups for the TE draft bet.

You're giving me waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much credit.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

Jesse from Akaska, SD, put the challenge out there for you, Wes. What are you setting for the over/under?

I'll leave it up to you guys and Spoff to come up with a prop bet if the Packers draft a college tight end in the first 64 picks. I'm game, even though there's absolutely nothing in it for me.

Tinger from Red Wing, MN

Each coach gets one penalty replay. If they are correct they get to keep it. Last two minutes, booth review on penalties.

But you overlooked the most important question: What color would the flag be? I vote orange.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I'm excited and optimistic about Matt LaFleur and the new coaches but I think we need to reign in the SB expectations for now. First year with a new staff and a new offense and a first time HC does not set up for immediate success. A second-year jump and a SB appearance would be a great goal. My question is if Gutekunst and the front office are thinking along similar lines, would this season's offseason roster-build in the draft and FA reflect more a two- or three-year plan than a win-now approach?

I think a two- or three-year plan would be good to have in place if the Packers were in total rebuild mode, but they have a franchise quarterback, an elite receiver and weapons on both sides of the ball. That combination puts you in the hunt every single year with how quickly the NFL turns over.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

What relationship does Rodgers have with Luke Getsy?

I don't want to speak for Rodgers, but I seem to remember Getsy leaving a positive impression on the two-time MVP. I know Jordy Nelson thought the world of him, too. He's a sharp guy and a hard worker.

James from Hampton, NJ

I know everyone has an opinion and here's mine (and many other fans I know) on two subjects. I don't mind a game taking a few minutes longer to try and get a reviewed play as right as possible. Also, most fans don't care about games played in London or Mexico (only the NFL does).

I agree. All I ask is officials make the best call they can make and be definitive about it. I think it's important for the Packers to play overseas once, but maybe that's just the NFL historian in me talking.

Al from Green Bay, WI

In a regular-season football game, experience (players and coaches) is a factor. In the Super Bowl, I have to believe it's a much bigger factor. How can one comprehend the magnitude of playing in a Super Bowl without ever doing so before? Advantage Patriots?

Maybe, but even if the Patriots have an advantage, I'm not sure it's a very big one. It sure didn't seem to matter last year when Doug Pederson and Nick Foles did the impossible. These are professional athletes and coaches we're talking about. They've performed in 80,000-seat stadiums more times than you can count or quantify.

John from Green Bay, WI

Fact: Win or lose Tom Brady has never been involved in a Super Bowl decided by more than one possession. Is this the year that breaks the streak? If yes, why?

Yes because of three words – Son of Bum.

Steve from Middletown, KY

So, what's harder for an athlete to play in: extreme cold or extreme heat? Personally, I would think the heat would be harder. To me, dealing with the cold is more mind over matter, so to speak. Isn't it harder to cool down than to warm up on the sidelines? What do the players say?

Extreme cold tests professional athletes mentally, but I don't think there's any doubt extreme heat is harder to play in. I remember talking with players after the 2014 game in Miami and 2016 in Jacksonville. Not only are those difficult conditions to play in, but they also increase the likelihood of heatstroke, muscle cramping and other soft-tissue injuries.

Tong from Anchorage, AK

The Super Bowl logos used to be so cool and personalized, but ever since Super Bowl XLV (excluding Super Bowl 50) all the logos seems to look the same. Any suggestions or reasons why?

I'm not sure why that is. I wish they'd go back to designing logos that incorporate the host city.

Mark from St. Pete Beach, FL

The weather we're seeing would seem to indicate that there will probably never be a SB in Lambeau. In these temperatures frostbite on bare skin only takes minutes. Frostbitten lungs the same. A sweated-up body will freeze and go into hypothermia as well. Do you think that player safety will guarantee that rather than the concern for hotel rooms?

This topic is fun banter for fans and news directors, but it's not reality. Whether it's the climate or hotels, does it really matter which reason tops the list? Lambeau Field will never host a Super Bowl in my lifetime.

Packers TE Lance Kendricks celebrates his birthday on Jan. 30.

Marty from Grafton, WI

I've got an unprecedented idea for overtime rules. First, each team gets one full turn on offense. If the score is tied after that the offensive and defensive players switch and the defensive players play offense and vice versa until there is a winner.

Well, that's certainly unprecedented.

Caleb from Bedford, IN

Favorite "Office" character?


Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Insiders, is journalism school set up for basic journalism or are there concentrations in business, politics, or sports, etc., and you pick what area you want to focus on? Did you know you were going to end up in sports?

My college, THE University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, taught all facets of media journalism, though we could specialize at the student paper. While there are a few exceptions, I think that's still how most universities run their J-schools.

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

After last year, I quit picking who I thought I'd want to win the Super Bowl. Now, I just wait until some sort of decision point in the game (third-and-long, going for it on fourth down, etc.) and I wait to see who I hope wins that situation. Last year I thought I wanted the Eagles to win but kept pulling for the Pats in those situations. How do you pick who you want to win?

True story – prior to the regular season, I've never accurately predicted the Super Bowl champion in my seven full seasons on the NFL beat.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

An interesting historical and meteorological footnote for you. The current wind chill chart was introduced in 2001. So, the old wind chills recorded at 50, 60, 70 degrees below zero wouldn't be quite as severe today. Cold is still cold, but we can't compare old wind-chill readings, unfortunately.

Cool. Get it? Try the veal.


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