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Inbox: He's a really interesting dude

It’ll be the same guy it was last year

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G/T Billy Turner

Donna from Darien, WI

Keeping my fingers crossed for July 28.

Aren't we all.

Brian from Rochester, MN

I have a new favorite Packer player. Billy Turner's interview with Andrew Siciliano was amazing. Billy showed his incredible intelligence, empathy, thoughtfulness, and articulate-ness in that interview. He shared his thoughts on a complex issue while also showing great respect for others. I've never really heard him talk much before other than a few soundbites. I can't wait to hear more. I'm proud to be a fan for reasons beyond performance on the field. Well done, Billy!

One of the fun things about covering an NFL team is the number of distinct personalities you encounter. In my brief exposure to Turner, I'm not sure how best to say it, but he's a really interesting dude.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

How close will a manager be allowed to get when he wants to go nose-to-nose with the umpire?

That's a bygone era, my friend. They just call for video review now.

Johan from Pembroke, ON

Spoff, here's the incredibly painful answer to Paul from Madison's question on the biggest offensive drop in franchise history: Andrew Quarless' dropped pass on third-and-4 in Seattle. If he catches that, it's a likely first down and maybe that game ends differently. Painful memory.

I'd have to look at it again to be sure (which I won't), but if I recall it wasn't a given he'd get the first down even with the catch. Regardless, it was right before Burnett's final INT anyway, so the offense did have another first down, and in better field position, less than a minute later. When I saw that question, as Wes noted, my mind went to Jordy in Buffalo. As much as I don't enjoy pointing out the only real lowlight of his decorated career here, if he makes that catch, it's a 94-yard touchdown and the Seattle game is most likely at Lambeau Field instead.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Concerning Packer drops that were costly, this one is never mentioned as far as I know. Wasn't it Craig Newsome who dropped a sure interception at the Packers' 1-yard line just before Steve Young stumbled a winning pass to beat the Packers in SF, ending the Packers' run under Mike Holmgren? Of course it never should have gotten that far because Rice fumbled and the Packers recovered prior to instant replay.

I'll be honest, I don't remember the Newsome play. I do remember Shields dropping a pick at the goal line in the fourth quarter of the '15 divisional game in Arizona, before Palmer threw the deflected TD pass to take the lead.

Mike from Ames, IA

I realize this isn't what yesterday's question about drops meant, but the image of a "drop" in my head forever will be Yancey Thigpen in the corner of the end zone in '95. Gotta be the biggest drop against the Pack until Dez Bryant, right?

Indeed.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

With the virtual offseason and players getting playbooks and information via iPads, I wonder how is this information secured? With 90 players, not all of whom will make the roster due to restrictions, how does the organization prevent the information from ending up in the hands of other organizations? This is highly sensitive team-specific information that I worry about getting out to other teams, whether inadvertently or intentionally (e.g. disgruntled or cut player).

I don't know all the specifics, but trust me, there are all kinds of login, authentication and distribution protocols, rules for turning the devices in when released, and the abilities to restrict access and wipe information remotely. I'm no IT expert, but I would bet it's more secure than the old printed binders they used to hand out.

Richard from Madison, WI

I look at (yesterday's) picture of Brett Favre with his arm around Aaron Rodgers' shoulder and I think the same thing I do every time I see Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman on TV: "My god, his hands are HUGE!" Is there a stat like, I dunno, handspan for QBs the way there is for time in the 40 for RBs or vertical leap for WRs and DBs?

Yes, absolutely. It's measured at the combine every year, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pinky finger with the hand outstretched. Favre's hands measured 10 3/8 inches, I believe, and the average male hand size is around 8½ inches.

Tom from New Berlin, WI

I realize I may be putting you on the spot. Who do you feel of all the Packer players set to become unrestricted free agents after this year may not be re-signed by the Packers?

I'm not going to make any predictions, because what certain players might demand for their contracts, or what the team may offer, can alter negotiations and therefore their odds of coming back as well as the odds of others. So I'll say it this way. Based on how the roster is currently constructed, the spots with pending free agents where the Packers are best positioned to withstand a departure would be interior offensive line and running back, provided one of the two backs re-signs.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

"LaFleur had former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson address the team via video." That's really interesting. Any chance we can learn what Mr. Woodson had to say?

As soon as we have access to players again, I plan to find out.

Jeff from Coventry, RI

I'm a huge NASCAR fan, and their weekend schedule has been altered in that there is no practice or qualifying right now, they just show up to the track and race. All the prep work on the car is based on computer simulation and modeling. Obviously it's very different, but strictly speaking about in-season and not training camp, would this work in the NFL where there are no live practice reps during the week, just virtual meetings, game-planning, etc., and show up on game day and play?

I can't imagine playing 16 games, or any significant stretch of an NFL season, without practicing at all during the week. Individual players can do that at times while dealing with injuries, but whole teams? That strikes me as a recipe for a poor product and lots of injuries.

Jim from Beaver Dam, WI

I read a "Packerswire" article that listed the all-time top Packer greats by number of career Pro Bowl selections. To my surprise, Ray Nitschke did not make the list. After looking it up, I found that No. 66 made first-team All-Pro two times and second-team All-Pro five times. Yet, Nitschke had only one Pro Bowl selection during his entire career. Why is this not adding up?

I'll provide the passage in a recent post by our historian, Cliff Christl, that addressed this: "Nitschke was chosen for only one Pro Bowl, only two AP All-Pro teams and one NEA all-pro team. Part of it was the competition at his position: future Hall of Famers Joe Schmidt, Bill George and Les Richter early in his career and Dick Butkus late. Yet except for Butkus, the consensus seemed to be that he was as good as or better than the others."

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, will/is COVID testing be done by teams individually when players are entering the respective facilities, or does the league conduct the testing?

When the players report for training camp, I have to believe the testing will be done by an independent or league medical group of some sort. The decisions have to be taken out of the teams' hands.

Jeff from Belton, TX

Have you ever asked Ron Wolf or Ted Thompson the question on which player they regret not drafting?

I know Wolf has commented in the past about Ray Lewis getting taken one spot ahead of the Packers' pick in 1996, and wishing he could have found a trade partner to move up in front of Baltimore. I doubt Thompson would ever answer the question, knowing his nature.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

Mike, separating the 40-yard dash runners from the 100 guys got me thinking about a Packers Olympics for track and field (and also because there isn't much else to talk about). Sprinters aside, what current Packer would you take in the 5,000 meters? What about the hurdles? High jump? Shot put? And who do you think would be the most versatile for the decathlon?

Wow, OK. I guess I'd go with Kevin King for long distances, Allen Lazard in the hurdles, Davante Adams for the high jump, and Tyler Lancaster in the shot put. Decathlon? Boy, I don't know. Jaire Alexander?

David from Riverside, CA

"Big Dog" was pretty cool, but my favorite is still "New York Bozo."

Mine, too.

Matthias from San Antonio, TX

Reggie was the vocal defensive leader in the '90s, Woodson was in SB45, Mike Daniels was that guy. Who is that guy for the defense this year?

It'll be the same guy it was last year. If I have to name him, you weren't paying attention. Here's a hint: He probably spells leadership with a Z.

George from North Mankato, MN

Mike, do you have a specific beer in mind for when you finish the column Thursday night? Personally, I would suggest a double IPA if that's in your wheelhouse.

I appreciate the suggestion, but I've actually drifted away from IPAs lately. I'm currently on an amber kick, and one awaits momentarily. Happy Friday.

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