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Inbox: He opened a lot of eyes this season

The hiring of Jeff Hafley definitely feels like a tide-shifting move

WR Bo Melton
WR Bo Melton

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

"You honor your past by fostering an environment that helps produce an even brighter future" is a solid quote. I might have to steal that one for future use when the time is right. I'll make sure to give you credit, though. I also enjoyed, "Sundaes are pretty good, even without cherries." You have obviously come back in top form after your little vacation.

I'm just happy to be here; hope I can help the ball club.

Joe from Hampshire, IL

Wes, we've seen impressive coaching trees blossom over time from Bill Walsh, Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan, and Sean McVay. This past month, three or four Ravens coaches become DCs, and their DC become an HC. Can you recall another case where a coaching tree exploded/expanded in one offseason like this?

Not like this, where an entire staff was pilfered after a single season with a first-year NFL coordinator. Now, it's not like Mike MacDonald was brand new to the Ravens' staff. He worked for John Harbaugh for six years before coordinating Jim Harbaugh's defense at Michigan for one season. MacDonald and the Ravens are more than deserving, though. That defense was incredible this year.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

To follow up on the question from Thomas from Wiesbaden, Germany, and Jordan Love throwing off his back foot, I've also noticed Love will "hop" as he surveys the field. Although it makes Love look in command and confident, is that something that could hinder timing and, thus, be something he needs to eliminate?

To me, it looks like Love is most in control in those instances. Personally, I get amped up every time I see Love hop. Based on what I've seen, it usually means Love has time to throw in the pocket and IS about to throw a dart downfield.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

In response to Tom from New Berlin, even if the Packers don't draft a WR, they will probably add some undrafted WRs to their 90. With rumors of a retired NFL QB coming on to help work with Jordan Love, and Tom Clements supposedly signing on for at least one more year, would you surmise that Clements will be training the new assistant coach to take his place in a year or two? Or is there enough work to keep two QB coaches busy?

I wouldn't necessarily surmise that, but developing coaches is just as important as developing players in the NFL. MacDonald is a perfect example of that. So, it's not unusual to have more than one assistant in a position room. For the past two seasons, game-management specialist Connor Lewis has assisted Clements and the QBs. We'll see how the coaching staff sorts out but bringing in an extra assistant like Green Bay reportedly is doing with Sean Mannion makes total sense.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Morning guys, put all the talk about new HCs aside. Besides the Packers' signing, which teams' coordinator signings have been the most impressive?

I'm thrilled to see Joe Whitt Jr. get his shot as a DC with the Washington Commanders. Between Green Bay and Dallas, I'd put Whitt's record of developing defensive backs up against any coach in the NFL. He knows his stuff and has worked in a variety of different schemes. Bobby Babich's promotion to Buffalo's DC was another move that caught my eye after learning more about his background. That seems like the right move for Sean McDermott and the Bills' defense.

Michael from Baraboo, WI

If Kansas City wins, will they be considered a dynasty team?


Scott from Holly Springs, NC

It's draft preparation time! What positions do you think the Packers need to address in the draft?

Is it really draft preparation time? Can we at least get through free agency next month before this becomes a thing?

Shane from Philadelphia, PA

In regard to the RB prospects in this draft and Aaron Jones comparisons, I know it's not a perfect match, but I think Jaylen Wright could fit the Aaron Jones mold. They are similar in size with combine results still pending. I would be excited to see Wright in Green Bay next year especially since he will only be 21 years old next season.

We gotta see how all these backs run in either Indy or at pro day, but Wright has credentials. Wright didn't have many catches in college but, other than the Alabama and Mizzou games, tore through the SEC last season.

Bob from Fredericksburg, VA

Good morning, gentlemen. I was hearing some negative reports regarding Josh Myers prior to the start of the season. Even to the point that he was mentioned as an underachiever considering his draft status. However, according to my research (which could be wrong), Myers had a solid season, especially towards the end of the year. How would you say he graded out this past season?

I graded my last player the day I left the Press-Gazette, but I thought Myers had his best season to date. He is an extremely intelligent football player who had a little bad luck with injuries early on. Myers has everything you could want in a center and just looked more comfortable in his cleats this year. He has a thankless job as the key communicator on the offensive line, which right guard Jon Runyan praised Myers for both during and after the season. I talked with Myers about Year 3 in the last locker room availability two weeks ago and (eventually) will have a story on

Jacob from West Allis, WI

Do you think the likelihood of another team claiming one of our young practice-squad receivers has gone up?

The percentages will probably be higher this year. Honestly, I still can't believe Bo Melton lasted on the Packers' practice squad as long as he did. Considering Melton's production and well-documented speed, I thought someone would scoop him up after he didn't make the initial 53. The NFL's loss was the Packers' gain, though. He opened a lot of eyes this season.

Duane from Bangor, WI

Mike/Wes, I kinda understand some of the fans' worry about Anders Carlson but...his FG % was similar to Mason Crosby the year before and a stronger leg. He absolutely needs to be more consistent but I'm not that worried because, and I could be wrong, but I believe he never missed two kicks in a row and after a miss, the next kick was almost always right down the middle. I think he will be just fine.

I think fans sometimes lose sight of the fact that finding a kicker isn't an exact science. Even signing a free agent isn't a sure thing. For example, Indianapolis made Matt Gay the highest-paid kicker in league history, and he barely cracked 80% after missing eight field goals this year. The Packers believe in Carlson.

TK from Grafton, WI

Why is the Jimmy Johnson draft-pick value chart "outdated?" Is it based on the value of the players picked in those spots? Seems like it would radically change all the time.

That's a really good question. Maybe NFL scouting has evolved past the draft-value chart, but a commoner like me still uses it any time a trade goes down on draft night. The only thing I always found peculiar about the DVC is how seventh-round picks have relatively no value. Based on the chart, you could trade a dozen for a hot dog and a handshake. That always seemed odd to me.

Dave from Naples, FL

Regarding the DC hire: I'm glad we hired from a new pool of candidates instead of the established DCs that have bounced around the NFL with varying success. Matt LaFleur was a perfect example with his hiring. The league is innovating faster than we can imagine and new blood in coaching is just as important as with players. What do you think?

When making a change at a coordinator position, it's important the incoming coach inspires confidence. Rich Bisaccia did two years ago with special teams, and I think Jeff Hafley will have a similar effect on the defense. Again, we're only reading tea leaves right now, but it definitely feels like a tide-shifting move.

Mike from Annapolis, MD

Making a segue off the recent question from Collin of Omaha, the ACL injury. Is it just me, or are the number of torn ACLs increasing? As broadcasters have commented, these are non-contact injuries. I don't recall seeing one from contact. I think it would be really interesting to get an explanation from a member of the training staff what causes these injuries and what can be done, in anything, to prevent them?

The only time I recall gaining any intel on how the Packers view ACL injuries is Mike McCarthy mentioning their studies showed NFL teams average about two ACL injuries each year – and that's the confirmed number of incidents Green Bay had in 2023 (Tyler Davis and Kingsley Enagbare). I don't know how those numbers compare to the league, though. Losing Davis in camp was a tough blow. Green Bay had high hopes for him on both offense and special teams.

Green Bay Packers DL Kenny Clark attends the 2024 Pro Bowl Games in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

Josh from Seattle, WA

Things can change so fast in the NFL! Going into last year the biggest concerns are now our biggest strengths. Love answered the call, and I totally agree that we have the guys at WR. We have eight players ready to compete. I would be surprised if they drafted a WR and shocked if they didn't take any OL. Literally QB and WR are the only positions that have enough depth already on the roster. Is there any other group where you think we already have solid depth on the roster?

Tight end, especially if Davis is back. We talk a lot about Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft, but I think Green Bay also has something in Ben Sims as a big-bodied, in-line tight end. I was blown away by how well that group performed in 2023, especially in the face of injury.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, aside from the specialists, how many players on the gameday roster play exclusively on special teams?

That depends on your definition of "exclusive." Eric Wilson led Green Bay in special-teams snaps (308) but also saw 121 snaps on defense as the No. 4 inside linebacker. If that makes Wilson ineligible for the distinction, Kristian Welch had the most special-teams snaps (210) of any Packers player who didn't play on offense or defense. Safety Zayne Anderson (127) and cornerback Robert Rochell (112) were next closest.

Al from Green Bay, WI

It's been discussed how many of the young Packers grew over the course of the season. With that said, Rashan Gary, with nine sacks through the first 11 games, had no sacks in the remaining seven games including playoffs. Was this mostly about offenses scheming with double teams or was it something else?

After what happened in Detroit, it looked like defenses centered more of their protections on No. 52. That created more 1-on-1 opportunities for Preston Smith, Kenny Clark and Lukas Van Ness but obviously formed a more challenging path to the quarterback for Gary. There were still plenty of positives to draw from Gary's fifth NFL season. He bounced back from the ACL to lead the Packers in sacks and quarterback hits (22) despite playing only 587 defensive snaps (53%). This summer, the 26-year-old Gary now can hit the ground running instead of rehabbing.

Tyler from Cedar Falls, IA

Good morning, Mike/Wes! For the first time in my life, I watched the Pro Bowl (Games) and dare I say, they! Both teams had chances to excel at what they do best, with receivers making Madden-style catches, quarterbacks doing crazy things, and the Mannings being the Mannings. I couldn't believe the beatdown the NFC put on the AFC with the skills contests, though. What were your thoughts?

I had some family obligations and didn't get to watch it. I give the NFL credit for trying to think outside the box considering the old format just wasn't cutting it anymore. It's still competitive while also ensuring players didn't leave Orlando any worse for wear.

Keith from Middleton, WI

Well, finally, we're going to play a 4-3 defense. Just kidding. But how many emails have you guys gotten about the new DC and his base defense? A base defense which will be used about 15% of the time.

Remember Marshawn Lynch's "I'm just here so I don't get fined" quip? I think I'm going to answer every question on this topic with "It's a nickel league, (Insert name here)."

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Well, I emailed Mark Murphy and told him that I like him. Then, I thanked him for taking such good care of our beloved Packers during his tenure. If nothing else, it made me feel better.

And I'd bet dollars to doughnuts you get a response.

Jim from Wausau, WI

The 2025 draft is in Green Bay and Mark Murphy is retiring in 2025. I hope he can stay until end of 2025 to be president when draft is in town.

Murphy will be here for the NFL Draft in April 2025. The mandatory retirement comes when he turns 70 (July 13, 2025).

Gary from Davenport, IA

Wes, are you and Mike required to retire from the Packers at age 70 like Mark Murphy is? I sure hope not because I want to keep reading your responses to our questions for the next few decades.

I'll be out of here well before that. Good night, Springton. There will be no encores.

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