Mitch from Bettendorf, IA
Wes's new T-shirt: Just Defer, Baby!
And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.
Harold from Eskilstuna, Sweden
Hello from Sweden! I spent most of my life in Wisconsin but now I'm here in Sweden. The local 20-something kid working at the grocery store service counter had a Packers hat on so I engaged him in about five minutes of Packers talk. He knew his stuff and I was impressed. I tried throwing him a few obscure names from the roster and he held his own. Fun to see some young Swedish Packers fans. Go Pack!
One of my best friends is visiting Scandinavia next month. He needs to wear some Packers gear over there for at least one day and report back to me.
Mark from Missoula, MT
The Packers play the five Super Bowl opponents they've faced before. The Chiefs, the Raiders, the Broncos, and the Steelers in the regular season and the Patriots in the preseason. I've done no research but I'd have to figure this hasn't happened before, unless we played the Steelers and Patriots in the same preseason we played the AFC West.
That actually did happen in 2015. Road trips to New England and Pittsburgh were the first two preseason games, and the regular-season schedule included the Chiefs, Broncos and Raiders.
Arthur from Eau Claire, WI
I recently saw a post that showed every franchise that has had a 4,000-yard passer. It seems that every team but one has accomplished this feat. The only one that never did it is Da Bears. A dubious honor at best I think. Do you know of any obscure record that caught your eye?
The Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals franchise going more than 50 years between postseason victories – from the 1947 NFL Championship to the 1998 NFC Wild Card – still boggles my mind. The Bengals broke a three-decade drought in '21 and the Lions are at three decades (plus) now, too, but another 20 years on top of that just seems unfathomable.
Hannes from Glendale, WI
Upon reading Thursday's Inbox I decided to consult an AI on creating a fair schedule, ideal bye week and win probability based on coin toss decision and opening drive outcomes. All it gave me were Spoffordian "it depends" answers citing too many factors in play. Looks like it's still a game of human confrontation and your jobs should be around for another season or two.
Good to know.
Matt from Fitchburg, WI
I don't buy the argument that everyone in the NFL is fully dedicated, and if not they would be out of the NFL. Some will work harder than others, some will be lazy but talented enough that they can still compete and make teams, some will be middle of the pack. They're human beings, and at the end of the day every workplace has its overachievers and underperformers. It just happens these employees are freak athletes.
Mostly true, but the dedication aspect is almost certainly needed for a player to get his next contract, because there's an annual round of draft picks being looked to as potential replacements.
Luke from Appleton, WI
Insiders, I was disappointed to see that NBC Peacock will be exclusively streaming a playoff game this season. With Amazon Prime having the Thursday night games and Black Friday, I am afraid this is a slippery slope to the NFL becoming pay-per-view. Personally, I am not going to buy multiple streaming services to see games. What are your thoughts?
I do think the NFL needs to be careful, and I can appreciate fans' frustrations, many of which have been submitted. I understand giving the Thursday night package to Amazon when Jeff B. backs up the brinks truck, and is willing to pay boatloads more than the traditional broadcast partners were interested in shelling out for Thursday night games. The league can't turn down that kind of money, and in the grand scheme of things it's still just one regular-season game per week. Shifting a playoff game – one of only a dozen such highest-of-stakes contests prior to the Super Bowl – to a streaming service, and one without nearly the subscription base of an outfit like Amazon, feels like a bridge (or two) too far.
Jean from Montreal, Canada
Since the Packers have already the maximum of five games in primetime, does it mean that they can't be flexed from a Sunday noon game to a Sunday night, Monday night or Thursday night game, but only to a late afternoon game? It matters to me and I am sure to many others as I bought a package for a noon game against the Rams. To flex that game to a Monday or Thursday night would ruin my trip with my family.
The Chiefs got six primetime games, so that might be the max now with the 17-game schedule. But any limit doesn't apply to flex decisions. Again, as of now, there is no flexing to Thursday nights. Flexing Monday night games is only for Weeks 12-17, so the Rams game you reference (Week 9) isn't subject to that. Also, Sunday night flexing in Weeks 5-10 is extremely limited, as the league can only flex two games in that entire six-week period. Beginning in Week 11, Sunday night flexing is at the league's discretion weekly. Hope that helps. I know it's a lot to process, and here's a tad more …
Roger from McGrath, AK
Flexing Monday games will certainly make attending a game more difficult, especially for those of us whose travel logistics are already challenging. I'm not the only II reader with a distant address to be sure. So, how many days in advance will a flexed Monday night game be announced?
Flex decisions for Monday night games will be announced a minimum of 12 days in advance. The flex notice for Sunday nights is also 12 days until Week 14, when it shrinks to just six days for the rest of the season.
Brandon from Imperial, MO
Good morning, with the NBA draft lottery happening the other night and the San Antonio Spurs winning the top pick with only a 14% chance, do you think the NFL would ever adopt a similar strategy for the draft? It could prevent teams from tanking the end of the season in order to get a higher pick (I'm thinking of the "Suck for Luck" mantra in IN). It might make some late-season games more meaningful and better viewership/less empty stadiums. Do you think the broadcast partners might advocate it?
This topic comes up every year. I would not be surprised if the NFL eventually went to a draft lottery of some sort, but I don't necessarily see it happening anytime soon. The current model isn't broken (yet) and does allow for some rapid worst-to-first turnarounds that a draft lottery might hinder. But I file this under stay tuned.
Damien from Manning, Australia
Two kickers, two long snappers and now two punters. What's the aim with these recruiting moves?
Competition, and the ability to have more special-teams practice periods throughout the spring and summer without overworking/wearing out one individual specialist.
Jack from Chicago, IL
I noticed the Packers were awarded that center from Miami off a waiver claim. Do you think Gutekunst feels there is a significant advantage being higher in the waiver order this year and would you expect more claims this year than the previous few offseasons? At what point does the waiver order change?
The Packers will put in waiver claims whenever they feel there are players available that can help them and improve the roster. They certainly might be awarded more coming off an 8-9 season compared to 13-win campaigns. The waiver order shifts to current records after the first month of the regular season.
Chris from Kennesaw, GA
Hey guys, listening to Greg Williams' press conference it made me wonder. Do NFL teams simply use broadcast video for their film study? Or do teams have their own cameras to capture what they need? I can see where the broadcast video might not be enough to meet their needs. Also, moving between different broadcasters, does the NFL have a standard for the number of cameras and their location and use? Or are the camera crews NFL employees? Thanks!
All-22 game film is shared league-wide. Teams also can access broadcast video to supplement if they wish. The number of cameras used to broadcast a given game is up to the network, and a network's top crew usually brings the most cameras. Some camera locations are fixed based on a stadium's configuration, others are roving and flexible.
Andy from Appleton, WI
Hi Mike, your response on Dallas being desperate for a kicker was to include Crosby as a top-three possibility. Did the Packers officially move on from Mason? If not (yet), your musings are out of character.
All offseason, their cap situation doesn't appear to fit Crosby. They drafted a kicker for the first time in 16 years and gave Crosby's locker to that draft pick. Crosby's wonderful wife, Molly, has posted goodbye-like comments on social media. As much as I would love to see Crosby return, I'm just reading the room.
Mike from Bangkok, Thailand
Hello II, what exactly did the Packers see in Aaron Rodgers' first year that convinced them he was worth the future investment? Are the Packers looking for the same from Jordan Love?
They saw a quarterback who could take command of a game and at times tilt the field in his team's direction. Rodgers threw for 300-plus yards and three TDs in two of his first five starts. He also put together crunch-time, fourth-quarter drives on a handful of occasions – some in games the Packers eventually lost – that showed he didn't flinch in the big moments.
Sal from Mullica Hill, NJ
I just watched Coach Bisaccia's media press conference. I feel like I can listen to him all day. Loved his comment about the coach's job is to honor the hopes and dreams of his players. I feel better about life in general now. Is that weird?
Not at all. He's a special type of leader with a valuable perspective.
Matthew from Las Vegas, NV
Insiders, I was watching some footage of the closing moments of my favorite hockey team winning a playoff game. While the players crashed the ice to celebrate I saw other folks heading back to the locker room clearly going to work. Aside from yourselves, what can you tell us about the various Green Bay support staff who have to go to work instead of celebrating a win?
It's part of the gig, whether you're a member of the equipment staff, medical staff, communications staff, website staff … we're all trained to focus on our jobs when it's required. And honestly, when the team is on the road, we're only concerned about getting our work done and getting to the bus on time so we don't get left behind.
Scott from Sauk City, WI
All of the discussion about the Braun homer versus the Cubs brings back such great memories. I was at Miller Park that day, and it was a memory I'll cherish forever. But, the Nyjer Morgan "tickle" off JJ Putz was the coolest thing I ever saw in person. Complete strangers hugging in the stands as the stadium erupted. I can't imagine ever beating that. Do you guys have a favorite "got to see it live" moment? Probably at an event you didn't have to cover for work, right?
The not-work-related ones always feel different. I was at Camp Randall to see John Stocco's QB draw to beat Michigan for the first time in 11 years. I also saw Daniel Vogelbach's walk-off grand slam vs. St. Louis in Sept. '21 as the Brewers took a big step closer to another division title.
Larry from Carney, MI
Good morning, "dead zone" sounds so final. How about an updated name change to something like "darkness retreat"?
Uh, no thanks.
Matt from Fitchburg, WI
Since Rewey is in the column again … Spoff, did you ever see the Rewey fireworks show? There is (or at least was) a company in Rewey that produced fireworks shows for many of the towns in southern Wisconsin, and after the season was done they would light off the remaining fireworks to get rid of them. The locals all knew about it. Some rainy years, their fireworks display might have been the biggest in the state.
I feel like I was seriously robbed of something from my childhood. Man.
Mike from Ames, IA
Appreciate the "Network" reference in Thursday's column! What common Inbox questions this offseason have provided your biggest "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" reactions?
Are the Packers going to sign a veteran receiver? Or a veteran quarterback? How's Jordan Love going to do? Can the Packers make the playoffs this year? Will they have a top 10 defense? Are they bringing back Big Dog or Amos or Crosby? You get the picture …
Sean from Palatine, IL
Good morning II! Wednesday Mike said no one has an infallible crystal ball. Has any team thought about getting one of those? Feels like a massive oversight by all 32 GMs.
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