Craig from Elkton, MD
I figure it’s hard for you to decide which question to ignore first. Since I appreciate all the work you put into the Inbox, I thought I would do you a solid and give you this one.
Much appreciated. Let’s get to it.
William from Thornton, CO
Is the thing that looks like a giant skateboard the machine that is sowing the fibers into the new field? I've been watching the new field installation on the web cam.
I believe so. Wes is going to work on a story on the new field when he gets back next week.
Josh from Denver, CO
I think the Packers have an opportunity to be extremely difficult to stop in short-yardage and red-zone situations this season by using three-tight end sets. As the roster stands, do the Packers have the personnel to take advantage of those formations?
I don’t know about needing three tight ends on the field at the same time. I see Lewis being a big help in short-yardage, and Graham and Lewis both as options in the red zone, with Kendricks able to step into either role if needed.
Bill from Lake Nebagamon, WI
My apologies for a Terrell Owens Hall of Fame question but, I read where the committee is going to mail him the gold jacket. Do you think they should mail it third class?
Rick from Evergreen, CO
I think the HOF nailed it in regards to TO. Their analogy is spot on.
Horrigan’s comment on graduation? Yup.
Frank from Pomona, CA
A comment. Unfortunately I never had dinner with any of the Packer greats, but several times during the late ’60s I served as a caddie for Mr. Don Hutson, at the Racine Country Club. He owned a car dealership in town at the time. I remember him as being reserved, considerate (to teenaged caddies), and a pretty good golfer. He seemed like a real gentleman. Although I knew from my dad that Hutson was the all-time great Packer receiver, I never would have guessed it from his modest demeanor.
A common testimonial on a great man. From everything I’ve heard, he sounds exactly like you describe.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
What do you think of Tony Romo's Super Bowl LIII prediction, Packers versus Jacksonville?
One of numerous possibilities for the 2018 season that would not surprise me in the slightest.
Gabriel from Appleton, WI
Not a question. In 1994 I was a stringer photographer for a tiny Southern California newspaper. I was getting food in the media room before the game (definitely not just hot dogs) and I see announcer Vin Scully sitting with color commenter Don Drysdale at a table. Why I didn’t sit with I’ll never know.
You were being respectful. That’s OK, even if you regret it now.
Mike from Exeter, PA
If you had to list your three favorite Packers seasons thus far regardless of how they finished what would they be? Mine are 2003, 2010 and 2014. Three magical seasons that gave me memories from my childhood all the way up to adulthood. I love this team. Hopefully 2018 can replace one of those seasons.
Since my arrival to this website 12 years ago, I would go with 2007, ’10 and ’13. It was pretty cool watching Favre break a bunch of records in an out-of-nowhere kind of season in ’07. The obvious of course with ’10. The Flynn moments and finale in Chicago in ’13 were unforgettable.
Mark from Mount Hope, WI
Why are there different training camp start dates? Bears 16th, Lions 19th, that team that uses purple the 24th and us the 25th.
Veterans cannot be required to report any earlier than 15 days prior to a team’s first preseason game. Some teams have rookies report to camp earlier, which is optional. McCarthy has always had everyone report the same day, using the rookie orientation after the draft as the exclusive time with the rookies.
Photos: Packers defense
Check out action photos of the Packers defense from this past year.
Matthias from Hartford, WI
In personally answering Tony's question on color switch, I myself would answer the Broncos need to go back to Elway royal blue helmets and orange crush jersey. Too much like the Denver Bears in their colors. I'd also be a fan of getting the Bucs back to orange in some form, and the Texans changing back to the Oiler mascot, powder blues, Packers to a Notre Dame gold helmet and khaki gold pants to create the interchangeable forest and navy uniforms, Brewers back to the ball-in-glove of course!
I don’t agree with much in there, but it’s good to see the Brewers using the old ball-and-glove logo regularly again. Those old Oiler helmets and powder blues, along with Earl Campbell, were among my favorites growing up as well. He just looked right wearing that uniform, when his jersey wasn’t being torn off by tacklers who couldn’t get him down.
Luke from Dorchester, England
In regards to NFL teams changing jersey colors, I'd love to see the Patriots go back to their old, red uniforms with Pat the Patriot. Those were gorgeous.
I liked them, too, but it’ll never happen, not with all the Super Bowls they’ve won in their current duds. Getting back to Matthias, the same goes for the Broncos because they lost all those Super Bowls before the switch in 1997.
Erwin from Dallas, TX
Spoff, Mark from Sturgeon Bay’s statement, "I still don't think Favre would have made it in this league if he hadn't come to Green Bay," is actually quite comical! He must be very young or never saw Favre play. He was a second-round pick by the Falcons and Wolf gave a first-round pick to acquire Brett in a trade. That does not happen if teams don't believe he had talent. Brett could have gone to any number of teams and been a great quarterback. Talent was never questioned. Your thoughts please?
I think the match with Holmgren, and later McCarthy after Favre’s game started falling off, brought the best out of him and helped him have a better career than he would have elsewhere.
Derrick from Rockaway, NJ
I understand the debate of whether Favre would have made it on another team in a different environment. What about different era? He would surely have a shorter leash in this day and age. I don't think the amount of risks Favre took over the course of his career would gel with the majority of NFL teams today. Who's the closest to the ol' gunslinger in today's game?
I’m not sure anyone qualifies as a valid comparison. Derek Carr maybe? But that’s still a stretch.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
I just rewatched the Dallas-Packers 2016 playoff game. (Still a heart-stopper.) And it reminded me to ask: Is there a hierarchy among officials regarding who can overrule whom? With the Jared Cook catch, the side judge overruled the head linesman. That made the "ruling on the field" a catch, confirmed by booth review. Clearly, the ruling on the field matters for reviews. So what gave the side judge the power to overrule the linesman's ruling that it wasn't a catch?
They’ll get together and discuss who had the best look, and who’s most confident in his call. If one official tells the other he’s absolutely positive what he saw, and the other is not entirely sure, one defers to the other.
Tony from River Falls, WI
What are your thoughts on the fully guaranteed Kirk Cousins contract?
I can’t decide if it’s going to evolve into a trend for quarterbacks or not. I really don’t know. I do think quarterback is the only position fully guaranteed contracts might become more common, though. The injury rate is just too high everywhere else.
Steve from Minocqua, WI
Spoff, you mentioned interviewing Mike Tirico. What’s he like in person? I think he calls a game as well as anybody and deserves more recognition than he gets.
Very smart, personable and a great conversationalist. I was with him for maybe 20 minutes, but I got the impression I could talk sports, or any number of subjects, with him for hours.
Josh from Fargo, ND
I just discovered the 100 Moments for the 100th season celebration. Who wrote those? They are very insightful. They have kept me going through this already long month of July with no football. When will the rest of the moments be published?
Yours truly, with the help of an outline/framework provided by Cliff. Glad you like them, and thanks for reading. One per day until the season opener. They serve as their own sort of countdown.
Mike from Lake Mills, WI
If the town for a fake identity should have an “everyman” quality, I'd go with Grand Rapids, MI or Gary, IN. If you're going for self-entertainment, I'd go with Walla Walla, WA.
Harold Hill always has a nice ring to it.
Kenton from Rochester, MN
Someone asked whether Pettine's defensive scheme was going to be on display in the preseason and Spoff's answer was he hoped not. That got me thinking: Is it better to "hide" that scheme during the preseason in order to surprise teams in regular-season games, or to openly employ that scheme in the preseason so it is well-rehearsed by the time the regular season starts? My feeling is the latter. You're only going to be able to surprise the first couple of teams anyway. But what do I know?
My answer was I hope not too much. You have to work on your primary personnel groups and formations, obviously, but you don’t put too many cards on the table.
Mike from Lancaster, NY
Having NFC-AFC matchups to start the year is great but that would mean division and conference games get condensed into a 12-week stretch. If you have a run of injuries or lose a significant player for a few games (ex: Rodgers) during that 12-week stretch you could be serious trouble for tiebreakers. Does the NFL spread the division games to help teams avoid a bad run during a key injury?
The suggestion was for the NFC-AFC matchups the first two weeks, so it wouldn’t be as condensed as you say. I don’t think there’s any special consideration given to the scheduling of division games in that regard. In 2016, the Packers played two division games in the first three weeks, and three more in the last three weeks. They had only one division game from the start of October through mid-December.
Courtney from Butte, MT
The Packers have the easiest schedule in the NFC this year. This, of course, is meaningless because it’s a projection based on last year's results. How far into the season will that projection change and the Packers find out they actually have the toughest schedule?
That’s the great mystery. The overall winning percentage calculation can always get skewed by one or two bad records. As much as it’s also not entirely predictive of difficulty, I prefer to look at the number of playoff teams from the previous year on the schedule. This year it’s five (six games, with the Vikings twice). The Packers have had worse. The NFC North pairing with the AFC East illustrates the difference in the two perspectives. The division had two playoff teams last year, the Patriots and Bills, yet posted an overall record of just 33-31. To each his own.
Brad from Lakewood, WI
Interested by the batting average/individual accomplishment example. Ty Cobb, owner of the best lifetime batting average in baseball history, also never won a World Series. Looked it up, and six of the top 10 all-time leaders in batting average never won a championship, and only two of those 10 won multiple, Speaker and Ruth. Helps remind me that so many variables need to fall into place to win it all...
Brian from Madison, WI
How long before kickoff do players arrive at the stadium? What about coaches? Does it differ for home and away teams?
All players are required to be at the stadium at least two hours before kickoff. Some arrive much earlier, as do a lot of coaches. On the road, the team has two sets of buses that leave the hotel for the stadium. The first is 3½ hours before kickoff, the other an hour later. Players can choose which buses to get on. They all have their own routines.
Jeff from Andover, MN
Mike, I grew up three blocks from Lambeau in the late ’60s. I have watched and rooted for the Packers all my life. I lived in Chicago through the ’80s and moved to Minnesota in the late ’90s. I am hoping a move to Detroit isn’t in my future. The Packers have fielded unbelievable players in my lifetime, but my all-time favorite is Sterling Sharpe. He was absolutely dominant before the injury. Who is your favorite Packer player not in the HOF?
Theodore from St. Louis, MO
It was Whitey ball that hooked you on the NL, wasn't it?
C’mon now, that stings. Happy Friday, everybody.