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Inbox: He’s as good a guess as any

C Corey Linsley
C Corey Linsley

Tyler from Billings, MT

What is your favorite part about your job?

Game day. Always has been, always will be. As a reporter and writer, you put in all the other work in order to cover what really matters to the readers.

Chris from Midland, TX

A defensive end started 270 games in a row?!? He must have been a beast and had to have played through some gnarly injuries.

The Vikings have retired six numbers in their franchise history. Jim Marshall’s No. 70 is one of them.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

When the Texans come to town for the joint practice, will their players participate in the bike-riding tradition?

I can’t speak to how the Texans are going to make their way from the visiting locker room to the practice field. Consider it TBA.

Jim from McLean, VA

In response to Dana’s question if Trubisky is the real deal, the answer was “I need to see more.” At what moment in Rodgers’ career had you seen enough to know? Would love to hear both Insiders’ perspective.

During the final month of his first season as the starter in 2008 I was pretty sure. I remember in games against the Panthers, Texans and Bears, he kept leading the offense on scoring drives late in tight games. The Packers lost all of those games, and a defensive overhaul was on the way, but Rodgers was doing what was required to win.

Corey from Whitehall, PA

Which player are we not talking about or not talking about enough that you feel will stand out for us?

I’m very curious to see what Mike Daniels is going to do this season coming off an injury and in a contract year.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

In response to the overtime rule suggestion about continuing the game (like the end of a quarter) when the game is tied: Please, no. If Team A scores to tie it up, whether there are 10 seconds left or five minutes left, Team B would get an indefinite amount of time to win the game? Please, no. The end of the game is also the end of a half. Just like the first half, it needs to have finality, and the urgency of an ending.

I tend to agree, though others pointed out that it could have an intriguing effect on end-game strategy for the team trailing, whether to go for a TD instead of a tying field goal, or whether to go for a two-point conversion to avoid a tie in the waning moments. That gave me pause. But ultimately, I think a straight “play on” from the fourth quarter through OT would remove far more drama than it would create, so I say no. From what I saw in the Inbox, a strong majority of readers feel similarly, while acknowledging there’s no flawless way to settle the issue.

JR from East Moline, IL

First, I'd just like to say I appreciate the efforts and considerations of not including GoT spoilers while still discussing it. Anyway, just want to say how crazy most of Brady's SB years could have swung the other way based on a play or two. Tuck rule, a couple field goals, Tyree catch, Manningham catch, a crazy play call that only happened because of a crazy catch, Edelman catch, bad call on Myles Jack, lining up offsides. Would you say the good luck and bad luck combine for a wash?

That’s what, to me, makes Brady’s career all the more fascinating to review and analyze. He’s been in so many big moments so often that the amount of good fortune and bad luck involved in the end results has gotten somewhat lost, yet it’s a huge part of the story. At least to me.

Dave from Coloma, MI

Excluding any football games, what past professional sporting event do you wish you could have seen in person?

Lake Placid, N.Y. Feb. 22, 1980. If half of a professional sporting event counts.

Jason from Surprise, AZ

If the Packers wanted to, could they opt to travel from Kansas City to Los Angeles without coming home? It's roughly 630 miles from Green Bay to Kansas City and about 2,120 miles from Green Bay to Los Angeles, but it is only about 1,620 miles from Kansas City to Los Angeles. If they were to do this it would save roughly about a half-day’s travel and allow them that rest and adjustment for the time difference.

They could, but moving the entire operation “off site” for a week is a huge logistical challenge that isn’t worth it when the charter flight from the Sunday night game in KC will be back in Green Bay around 2:30 a.m. Even if LaFleur would decide to leave the following Friday for the West Coast, everyone is still in their home beds and in the normal routine for five nights.

Donna from Darien, WI

Seems like Tramon Williams is the type of player any team would love to have in their locker room. Aside from being an excellent, smart player, he seems like just an all-around good person as well.

Couldn’t agree more.

Scott from De Pere, WI

With Josh Jones skipping OTAs and reports of him wanting to be traded or released, it seems like NFL athletes are starting to take cues from NBA players in the fact that they ask or make outright demands for a trade. Obviously Antonio Brown made such a big stink he worked himself out of Pittsburgh. Do you feel that the organization will be setting a precedent with the direction of how they treat this situation?

It depends on the player involved and his status on the team. Antonio Brown is a completely different situation on several levels. Across the entire league, players not among the elite are eminently replaceable, and they are replaced all the time. That’s the ultimate precedent.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

I wish players would use the draft as a wake-up call and play harder for their jobs instead of asking for a trade or release because their position is in jeopardy. Just because you were drafted doesn't entitle you to a job. Green Bay has proven to keep undrafted players if they outwork drafted ones. What's your take on this subject?

I don’t begrudge players doing what they think is best for their careers when they aren’t contractually obligated to participate with the team. It’s their business. In this particular case, whether this is what’s best for the player’s career is highly debatable.

John from Madison, AL

When Matt LaFleur was hired, I couldn't help but notice what a wonderful family he has. A beautiful wife, two strapping young boys and wonderful parents who were all with him during his opening press conference. But I really don't envy him because as coach of an NFL franchise and due to the cruelty of many zealous and impatient fans, he AND his family will be under enormous pressure. So my question is, how does a new coach prepare his young children for the perils that may lie ahead?

I have absolutely no idea, and I mean that in all sincerity. I wouldn’t know how to prepare my kids. But LaFleur probably dealt with some of that growing up, albeit on a lower profile, so he can help them through some of what they might encounter. I’d be very wary of social media, for sure.

Ross from Hudson, WI

"I think it's an offense that I can infuse creativity in and put my stamp on it.” This caught me off-guard – what specifically do you think Aaron meant by this regarding LaFleur’s offense?

I’m not entirely sure, but I can’t wait to find out. To take a stab at it, I think he’s referring to finding the concepts he likes best, and the checks and adjustments he can make on the fly within the offensive framework that a less-seasoned QB might not even see.

Grant from Edinburgh, Scotland

Great insight on Rodgers learning the new system. It takes a true leader to admit that he hasn't learned everything in the new system but at the same time make sure he knows enough to help those around him, which in turn is going to help him be more comfortable in the system. It’s like a parent studying the next chapter of homework so they can help their child the next day. Who on the defensive side of the ball took that similar role last/this year with the new defensive system?

It wasn’t really the same with the defensive system, but Tramon Williams’ prior experience with Pettine was a plus, and Blake Martinez was as glued to his tablet as any player I’ve seen.

Jack from Chicago, IL

Who do you think the strongest player on the roster is at this point? Corey Linsley?

He’s as good a guess as any, along with Tyler Lancaster. Linsley did 36 bench reps at the combine back in 2014. Lancaster did 36 at Northwestern’s pro day last year.

Max from Anna, MD

I really appreciate seeing the starting lineups being trotted out by the reporters during open sessions, but some of the lower-roster guys have a lot of questions, too. Particularly, former Badger Natrell Jamerson has been bounced around the league between CB and S, while his best fit under Pettine's protege Jim Leonhard was clearly at S, and he looks like the perfect backup to Savage, but NO and HOU tried him at CB. Any word on where he's playing in OTAs?

I saw him take a couple of snaps at safety yesterday.

Jake from Athens, GA

If the best players are the ones who don’t need competition to bring out the best in themselves, what’s the reasoning behind the widely accepted wisdom that more competition is always better?

The “best players” do not constitute the bulk of any roster.

Tom from Charlotte, NC

When is Aaron Rodgers’ next availability to the press? Please ask him if he planted that Starbucks cup on the GoT set.

He didn’t address that, but he had plenty to say about “Thrones,” none of which I understood.

Bryce from Westcliffe, CO

Rumor mill is that the new offensive plays are being called after “Game of Thrones” characters so that Rodgers can pick up the offense faster.

He doesn’t need the advantage.

Robert from Salem, WI

At the owners’ meeting, pass interference is one of the topics to be addressed. What are your thoughts on what is needed here?

If they tweak the new rule to remove pass interference from the automatic reviews in the final two minutes, as is rumored to be discussed, that would create a monumental shift in terms of coaches holding onto a challenge and a timeout late in the game. I don’t see how that helps anything. I think the league is going to have to try the new PI review rule the way it’s written, and adjust along the way, year by year if necessary. Even though we’re past the point of no return on the safety rules, my personal take is if the league had just made all the helmet hits, head-and-neck contact, defenseless receiver, etc. reviewable and essentially out of the on-field officials’ hands to begin with, they’d be able to call pass interference more accurately because they wouldn’t have to focus on so many different things at once.

Stan from Merrill, WI

If I'm remembering correctly, the Packers had two safeties in the past that took years to develop, and it was definitely worth the wait. Why are we hanging so much expectation on Savage to perform this year? Has something changed about the safety position that makes it a bit less cerebral? (By the way, Collins and Sharper.)

When a team trades up to draft a player in the first round, expectations come with it. That’s just part of the deal. I think in this case the urgency is there because the Packers’ defense needs to generate turnovers – last year’s 15 were the fewest for Green Bay since 2004 – and a safety with Savage’s credentials can help in that area. The position certainly isn’t any less cerebral, but Savage doesn’t have to take on the primary communication responsibilities with a veteran like Amos back there.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike, when Wisconsin hosted at least four NFL teams for training camps, was that most any state ever hosted? I am not a Bears fan but I visited them as a student at UWP because they were Super Bowl champs and I loved football. Great memories. I got Walter Payton's last autograph as he got on the helicopter.

The state at one time hosted five – Packers in Green Bay, Bears in Platteville, Saints in La Crosse, Chiefs in River Falls and Jaguars in Stevens Point. I think that topped California’s four in-state teams.

Jeff from Winnipeg, Manitoba

You may also like to know that Winnipeg’s Little Brown Jug’s signature beer is called 1919, so we have that going for us. It is real and it is magnificent.

You mean spectacular, and now I definitely have to partake. Make it a great Wednesday, everybody.

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