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Inbox: He leads in his own way

It all worked out just fine

WR Romeo Doubs
WR Romeo Doubs

Nate from Blue Springs, MO

(Carrot crunching sounds) Nyah, what's up, Spoff?

Oh boy, here we go.

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

I tried. It sold out in 83 minutes.

Sorry to hear, bro. I'm sure you're far from the only one left in the lurch. If you continue your pursuit, good luck.

Lynn from Somers, WI

Wait, Mike's start date with the Green Bay Packers was the day after the 93rd anniversary of Vince Lombardi's birthday? Sounds kinda preordained, doesn't it?

Sounds kinda preposterous, like a bit of a stretch.

Daniel from St. Croix Falls, WI

Re Paul from West Allis, WI: An ex of mine signed me up for the Vikings official fan club as a joke. Signing up came with an entry into a contest for four tickets to any home game, which I won. Due to a major screwup on her part with the certified mail missed delivery card we never received the the game Favre broke Marino's career TD pass record. It still hurts 17 years later.

Ouch. I had chances to go to Brewers games at County Stadium that ended up producing Nolan Ryan's 300th career win and Robin Yount's 3,000th career hit, and I passed on both. There was no guarantee either would occur on those respective nights, of course, but I definitely have regrets.

Mark from Ishpeming, MI

On Oct. 17, 1983, I had two tickets through work for the Monday Night Football game between the Packers and the Washington football team. Unfortunately, I had a big exam the next day which I was worried about, so I gave the tickets to a co-worker so I could stay home and study. Of course I did not study, I watched the entire game. Packers 48, Washington 47.

How'd you do on the exam?

Jordan from Osterdock, IA

Assuming Wes was referring to PNC in Pittsburgh. My question being is it the best stadium or just the one with the best view because I believe there's a difference.

I've only been to PNC once and really enjoyed the game and the view. They took a page right out of St. Louis' book there.

Dale from Kansas City, MO

In response to an II question on Wednesday concerning the difference between WR and CB. It was stated that the WR has an advantage because they know which route is being run. Nowadays with all the option routes that may not be the case. I wonder just how many elite CBs bait the WR into running a route that they want you to. Possible?

Possible, especially in an attempt to steer a route toward where the corner has help, but an astute receiver will also be reading where that help is.

Matt from Kula, HI

On the issue of Packers who switched from offense to defense (or vice versa) don't forget about hall of fame CB Herb Adderley who played running back at Michigan State. I would challenge anyone to cite a more successful switch in NFL history than that one.

You weren't the only one to bring it up. John from Austin, TX, also mentioned Sam Shields, but he had switched from receiver to corner at the end of his college career, before coming to Green Bay as a UDFA.

Mike from Franksville, WI

Without Tony Mandarich there likely is no Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren, or Brett Favre. If the Packers had drafted Barry Sanders, or had the first pick and took Troy Aikman, the early 1990s could have easily been mediocre enough where maybe Bob Harlan doesn't blow the whole thing up and hire Wolf in '91. From 1989 to 1991 all of the pieces fell exactly where they were supposed to.

We've had this whole discussion here before, and now we've had it again, reaching the same conclusion. In a slightly different vein, I remember being bothered for a long time about Rodgers losing his first playoff game in that epic '09 comeback/shootout in the desert, only to find out down the road the Saints' bounty-hunting defense would've been waiting for Rodgers in the next round had the Packers beaten the Cardinals. Instead, Warner and Favre got pummeled mercilessly by the bounty hunters and a healthy Rodgers took the Packers to a Super Bowl title the next year. It worked out just fine.

Jacob from Brighton, MI

Does the lunch sweepstakes include a plus one? Asking for my mom.

Last year we had lunch with a couple, so I believe the answer is yes.

Mike from Geneva, IL

With the NFL changing the kickoff rules resulting in different approaches to kicking and returning, do you see the NCAA making similar changes? Accuracy now becomes more important than leg strength when kicking. The vision and cuts for the returner will be different. It would serve those players better for NFL prospects if the rules were similar.

That makes sense. If the NFL's change is successful, I could see that, yeah.

Sue from Three Lakes, WI

Given the new kickoff rules does that change the skill set of the players we keep for that group of special-teams players?

I doubt it. Coverage-wise, they'll still have to maintain lane integrity, get off blocks and tackle. On returns, sustain blocks with good fundamentals.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

In various articles I've seen the terms "passes defensed" and "passes defended" regarding defensive players. Are either the proper terminology, and if so, what specifically does it denote?

They're the same, and they denote when the defender was primarily responsible for a pass being incomplete, either via deflection, interception or tight coverage vs. an on-target throw.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Why does it seem like I am the only one touting former Hawkeye Lukas Van Ness for a huge second-year jump?

The potential is definitely there. I think we're all waiting to see just how he adapts and adjusts to the new defense.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Mike, there are any number of position battles unresolved at this point, but I have the impression the OL may be the most open competition of all. Do you see any other position group where the depth chart is uncharted territory?

Not a position group but a specific position – CB2. That's going to be one heck of a battle.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. Your comments about the Packers' need for improvement in "crunch time" are Spoff-on. Do you also include the end of the first half as crunch time? Obviously, you'd like to see improvements in all facets of the game, but it seemed like the 2023 season had fewer breakdowns in the two minutes before halftime. The Dallas playoff game was a notable exception. At least ML isn't calling timeouts to stop the clock for the opponent's offense. Thank you.

I don't really consider end of half as crunch time, but it's certainly an important segment within the rest of the game. ATMR (wcbw), over last season's 19 games including playoffs, the Packers scored four field goals and three touchdowns (one defensive) in the last two minutes of the first half, while their opponents scored six FGs and two TDs.

Keno from Lake Geneva, WI

I have a quick comment and would like your opinion please. I watched the interview with Romeo Doubs and was impressed with his comfort level compared with last year, and how he seems to be heading towards more of a leadership role. This guy is the real deal. Thanks!

He leads in his own way, and Doubs developing a presence both on the field and amongst his teammates. That was one of many topics of discussion on our latest "Unscripted."

Doug from Onalaska, WI

I was thinking about the "loading up on a position" concept of drafting. It's obviously harder to do if you only have 5-6 picks. However, we've had double-digit picks for at least the last two drafts, and it seems we're on top of it now. Fast forward two years when we can't keep all of the receivers, and a couple of them sign elsewhere, resulting in compensatory picks and another year of double-digit picks. So on it goes …

I don't expect the Packers to head into the 2025 draft with double-digit picks, but you never know what the original number might turn into. Then come 2026, yeah, entirely possible again.

Jay from Pollock Pines, CA

Hey, II. In Wednesday's thing 1 from minicamp, Spoff quoted Edgerrin Cooper saying players use their tablet playbook "quizzing yourself" on key rules and plays. As a teacher heading into my 30th year, I know kids get help from parents, friends, and little sisters quizzing them on everything from spelling words to Greek gods to movie quotes. Would a player getting help from someone at home – parent, spouse, entourage – be possible, unlikely, or off limits on something so valuable as one's playbook?

It wouldn't be off limits to an outsider necessarily, but the quizzers would need to make some sense of what they're looking at to be helpful, which is no given. I know I'd struggle if asked. When young players are here and staying in a local hotel, they quiz each other on their playbooks all the time.

Randy from Raymond, IA

On Andy from Wisc. Rapids question about competing against any pros. My "claim to fame" is once getting a hit off former Baltimore Orioles pitching great Mike Boddicker. In 1974 I was a senior in HS and he was a junior playing for Norway, Iowa. I remember he threw a lot of junk! I happened to stick my bat out and sent a blooper over the infield for a clean single. But we ended up losing the game by a quite a bit. I think he pitched one year for the Brewers, too.

He did, spending the final season of a 14-year big-league career in Milwaukee in 1993.

Luke from Marquette, MI

I've noticed a few days this offseason where the II is unexpectedly not published. At the risk of breaking the rule of talking about how II is created, I wanted to ask about the off days. My concern is one of you two had something bad happen to you. Or not enough people submitted questions to make it worthwhile. Thanks for all your fantastic content around minicamp!

We did take Saturdays off this offseason, but we haven't missed a day of scheduled publication. If the column ever isn't where you normally find it at the expected time, it could be just a glitch in the matrix, so be sure to check all the platforms – app, mobile and desktop sites. It'll be there somewhere.

Doug from Woodington, OH

Good morning, IIers. We're not quite yet to dead zone season, but the preseason assumptions are already piling up. Do the 1265 members of the forum have suggestions for us to enjoy our journey to training camp? There has to be more out there than pontification, yes?

It's OK to unplug for a bit. It's called the dead zone for a reason. One of us will still be here five days a week, but the odds of a significant or serious discussion seem pretty low. Unless I just jinxed it.

Bob from Pocatello, ID

Minicamp is over. So now it's five weeks of Festivus?

Ha, but no. The airing of grievances has never been limited to a specific time frame here. Happy Friday.

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