Chad from Charlotte, NC
Why limit yourself? Crackers (oyster preferred) and noodles (elbow preferred).
All righty then.
Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI
If football is played this year without fans for some or all of the season, what position benefits the most from the lack of noise? For me, I think it would be the kicker.
Perhaps, but I'll go with offensive linemen on the road.
Joe from Dundee, IL
Mike, you mentioned some players' detailed recall of certain plays. Does it help that they likely rewatched the play on film multiple times as well?
Oh absolutely, and there are plays they've discussed in interviews over and over through the years, too. That all contributes. I think the level of detail comes from how well they recalled the play initially.
Terry from Arcadia, WI
You know your response to Richard from Racine is going to elicit guesses as to the other three QBs to start for Green Bay since Brett Favre began his streak in '92, don't you? My guesses are Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace, and Scott Tolzien (without researching the question online or otherwise).
Correct, those are the others. Hundley (nine), Flynn (six), Tolzien (two), and Wallace (one) collectively have started barely more than a full season (18 games). All the rest of the starts since Week 4 of '92 belong to Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Mike, as far as re-signing Kenny Clark, he turns 25 in October. He is likely two years from peaking. Does Kenny Clark have the potential for a 10-sack season with the Smith brothers on the outside?
Sure. Clark had 4½ sacks in a three-game stretch last December, and the Smiths combined for five sacks in those same three games. He is definitely capable of double digits.
Ross from Roswell, GA
Gents, I heard reported on the golf coverage this past Sunday that when asked Aaron Rodgers didn't sound as if he was all too confident that there would be any football played this fall. He is the player rep for the Packers isn't he? Think he sees the writing on the wall?
I think he was just expressing the natural uncertainty inherent in this whole situation, of which there's plenty. I didn't read anything else into his comments.
Brendan from Mount Clemens, MI
In reference to Mike's response to Kenton on the NFC's OROY streak: "In any event, it's going to be some story when an offensive lineman wins that award for the first time." If Quenton Nelson didn't win the OROY for the Colts in 2018, no one will ever win it as an O-lineman in my opinion. I understand that tackles get more of the attention compared to interior OL, but Q is a generational talent.
I get where you're coming from, but aside from the voters' tendency to focus on guys generating fantasy football highlights and stats, Nelson might have just come along at the wrong time. He was named first-team All-Pro as a rookie, which is outstanding, but he got only two of 50 votes for OROY while Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield shared the other 48. Barkley had over 2,000 yards from scrimmage and double-digit TDs, while Mayfield broke the single-season rookie record for TD passes despite not starting the first three games of the season. All of those are rookie accomplishments that rarely happen, Nelson's included, yet they all happened in the same year.
Mike from Mercer, WI
Hi guys, have you ever gotten a question from a former player or coach to the Insider Inbox? I think it would be cool if they did. Thanks.
No one has ever informed me of such a submission. But it's not as though keeping their anonymity in the column would be difficult, if they were so inclined.
Ed from Windsor, CO
It's a long 2020 offseason. I know it's a repeat, but thanks II for making me smile and reflect six days a week. Now that Washington announced to retire their mascot, what are your guesses for the new name?
I've heard what everyone else has, a version of red-something-or-other – tails, hawks, Hods, etc. There are other options being bandied about, but I don't know what's a legitimate rumor versus internet gossip. In any event, Snyder presumably has learned to never say never again. His previous "never" didn't hold up very long once his team's business partners started threatening to pull their money. Did you notice in the team statement the list of constituencies was "sponsors, fans and community," in that order? Snyder's priorities and rationale are crystal clear.
Richard from Madison, WI
So the Washington Redskins will be changing their team name. Will that affect the name as reported in the historical records? Will they have to start over, as if they have no history at all? I know the records for the Cardinals, Rams, and Raiders followed them wherever they went, but that was because they kept the same name. Remind us how the NFL handled this when the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, then there was a new Browns team in Cleveland shortly thereafter.
The Washington franchise will still have its history, records, etc. That's not changing. With the whole Ravens-Browns situation, Cleveland kept all the franchise history when it returned to the league after a three-year absence. Baltimore, historically speaking, has been treated as a 1996 expansion franchise, even though technically it wasn't.
Michael from Hammond, IN
Will all four preseason games be played or will games 1 and 4 be cancelled this year?
The league never made an official announcement, but news leaked that the preseason was being shortened to two games. Then the players indicated they don't want any preseason games, so that's all part of what's currently being negotiated.
Mike from Madison, WI
With COVID-19 still a major concern and with talk of players perhaps being able to opt out, what are your feelings about the season? Personally, I would much rather have a canceled season than one started and then canceled without a champion.
If the owners and players can reach an agreement on all the various issues, I expect the season to start. Where or how long it goes from there is anyone's guess. My personal opinion – far from a medical or expert one – is this: Without quarantining essential personnel, keeping the virus sufficiently at bay to avoid a major disruption throughout a full NFL timeline (a month-plus of training camp, 17 regular-season weeks, then playoffs) isn't realistic. The window feels too large and therefore too risky. I so want to be wrong.
Jake from Lansing, MI
Insiders, thank you for all your work! Do you think the Big Ten non-conference decision could work in the NFL? I could see a six-game season and a playoff system working itself out. I understand this is all hypothetical, but it was an interesting thought!
I could see that working, too – an all-division-rivalry, six-game season, with the eight winners advancing to the playoffs. But the league would have to decide that up front before getting going, and that is not its intention.
Mary from Pewaukee, WI
How often will the team and coaches be tested for COVID-19 during the season?
The league's current plan is for three tests per week, but testing frequency apparently remains under discussion with the players as well.
Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN
Just curious as to what you think about Oakley's Mouth Shield.
If the science says it's helpful, I think the players would be foolish not to wear it. Whether or not the league will make it mandatory is another question (and likely negotiation … do you sense a theme today?).
Matt from Waunakee, WI
If the football season is cancelled are you mentally strong enough to handle 19 months of II without a game?
I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that, but I'll do whatever my employer deems necessary to keep my family solvent.
Andy from Verona, WI
Now that the Wisconsin-Notre Dame game will not be played, which matchup would you like to see for Bucky at Lambeau if it was your choice?
I'd still like to see Wisconsin-Notre Dame at Lambeau, for sure. Otherwise, I'd cast my vote for Texas. The Badgers and Longhorns haven't met since 1939.
Matthias from San Antonio, TX
Do you have an underrated athlete who played in Wisconsin who isn't talked about enough? I have one: Eddie Mathews, played in Milwaukee for the Braves for 13 years, hitting 452 home runs with an OPS of .913 in Milwaukee alone, all nine times he was an all-star was in Milwaukee.
Speaking of Badgers, the ones I always think of in this regard are University of Wisconsin products from my youth who went on to impressive pro careers, with their college roots seemingly long forgotten. Mike Richter, Curtis Joseph, Michael Finley, Troy Vincent, Tony Granato, Chris Chelios, Mike Webster, Al Toon, Tim Krumrie, and the list goes on.
John from La Crosse, WI
Are you expecting the Packers to run the ball more in the upcoming season?
If they're successful doing so, absolutely.
Mark from Monrovia, CA
Hi Mike and Wes, I can't thank you guys enough for the great job you both do. My question is a lot of people are saying AJ Dillon has a problem holding on to the ball. I was looking at his stats he had 845 attempts in three years and eight fumbles. I would like to hear your opinion on this.
My understanding is he had four of those eight fumbles as a freshman in 2017, on 300 carries. Then he had four more fumbles over the next two years, on 545 carries. It would appear to me he worked at correcting some youthful indiscretions.
Jake from Athens, GA
Can I quibble with one of Mike's answers yesterday? It has to do with information theory. Yes, when a player does those film breakdowns for fans, he does give something to opposing teams that can't be learned any other way. He explains his own thought process. By saying things like "When I see the free safety do X, I know they're in coverage scheme Y," isn't he making it easier for opposing teams to fool him or at least to predict his behavior?
Not necessarily. The defender can only disguise the coverage for so long, and what the receiver is doing isn't dependent solely on the coverage, but what routes other receivers are running on a given play as well. Teams have multiple concepts for attacking certain defenses. The smartest defenders can usually narrow down what he believes a receiver will run to a couple of options, but that's probably the best he'll be able to do.
Paul from Nevada City, CA
Spoff, your Tom response should be posted on "political" websites and editorials. Begs question just what have "we" become? For me, everyday life is truly "Political" – what elected persons scrabble about is only the small "p" despite their efforts to the contrary. Best reply ever!
I hate to be such a pessimist, because it's not in my nature, but if a global pandemic can't bring us together in some way – which it hasn't, and our country's state of health relative to the rest of the world is proof – then I'm not sure what can. The only place I know to start is to change the context within which we seem to automatically put every issue. But everywhere we turn – leadership, government, media, etc. – we let others define that context, and it's not helping.
Brian from Sugar Land, TX
The NFL announces it will follow the NBA's lead and allow social media messages in lieu of names on jerseys. What would yours read?
Humanity first. Happy Tuesday.