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Inbox: He's going to get plenty of opportunity

You can’t make this stuff up

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TE Jace Sternberger

Jeff from Greenville, SC

What about a self-sanitizing ball? When thrown it shoots a mist out of the front of the ball and flies through it. Could stickum be added to aid catchability?

The Inbox has officially gone off the rails…

Fred from La Crosse, WI

I'm sensitive to sounds, (e.g., my Gjallarhorn II submission earlier this year). The last post on Thursday from Rick in Evergreen, CO, about silence made me think if we could train the crickets at Lambeau Field to respond a message on the big screen to get loud. Are there crickets at Lambeau? Just me thinking during the offseason about the sounds at a game.

…assuming there even were rails to begin with.

Rhino from Waterloo, IA

Maybe I missed this but with all the concerns about COVID and time missed, are you aware of anything the players are doing with their diets or extra vitamins (A, D, K and zinc) or one of the immune system boosters on the market like Epicor? Also, are there protocols in place to prevent a situation like occurred in Detroit with the false positive of Matthew Stafford? I can see this being a real issue if it happened like the day before a game.

I have no idea how a false positive would be handled in the heart of the season. Given how many successive negative tests are required to clear the protocol, missing a game with a false positive might be the ultimate tough-luck scenario for any player or team in already difficult circumstances. As for immune boosters, Aaron Rodgers mentioned that in his media call the other day, so I would bet someone has presented the players with related information.

Jesse from Bonita Springs, FL

If Cliff's goal in yesterday's story was to write something to make me laugh, it worked. Not really a question but an opportunity for a shameless plug.

That column had a little bit of everything, didn't it? Jockstraps hanging from the goalposts to dry, players getting poison ivy while heeding nature's call in the woods, and the image of the head coach casting a fishing rod while his players are beating the stuffing out of one another. You can't make this stuff up.

Patrick from Oconomowoc, WI

With all players being eligible to opt-out, I am slightly surprised not to see more rookies taking a pass on this year. I can see both sides of their choices, opt-out and you can get a full year (hopefully) in the offseason program and have a greater chance to make an impact next year but lose salary. Opt-in and you get less playing time but get the full pay and get one year closer to a bigger contract. Any opinions?

Service time means everything for young players, in working toward not only that second contract but also getting vested for various long-term benefits, like their pension.

Donald from Fayetteville, NC

How would you describe David Bakhtiari's Hall of Fame chances at this point in his career?

If over the next four years, he repeats his accolades from the previous four (one first-team and three second-team All-Pro selections, two Pro Bowls), he'll be a very strong candidate.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

OK, I'll bite; what is a "ham-and-egger," apart from a delicious breakfast sammich?

You'll "bite," huh?

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Regarding an asterisk for the season, there really is no need if a champion is crowned. There are no asterisks for seasons played during WWII and there is no asterisk for the strike-shortened season. I think Washington won that year. Also, such a notation would tend to undermine the entire season. In this most challenging time, it may be more difficult than ever to win it all.

There's a legitimate argument to be made in that vein. I'm not going to prejudge anything. I want to see it all play out.

Jeremiah from Denver, CO

I'm wondering if either of you can chime in and shed light on the roster moves taking place this time of year. Was FB Wellman's release related to FB John Lovett's availability – an upgrade in Gute's eye – or maybe it's not that simple and caution be exercised with the tea leaves between the transactions?

I think that's a fair read on this one.

George from North Mankato, MN

Mike suggests Ty Summers as a personal protector for best potential trick play in the Inbox and later that day Gutey adds a FB who was an Ivy League QB. Coincidence or does our GM think like Mike or read the Inbox?

We should all be praying the answer is your first option.

Mike from Lancaster, NY

Do you think it is easier for guys like Devin Funchess or Michael Pierce to opt out? Being new to a team are they less engrained in the culture and therefore less loyal to the cause? Could it be a matter of them not knowing the facilities and team employees and therefore not feel as safe as someone who has been there for several years? How do you anticipate their choice influencing how they are received when they return the following year?

All interesting questions. I don't think it's easy for anyone to opt out, but I could see the passion to power through the current circumstances being a tad tougher to muster on top of all the challenges of joining a new team, especially if there are serious family considerations. I don't suspect players would feel less safe due to changing teams. But on all counts, I couldn't say for sure. I think fellow players understand others' personal decisions and wouldn't let them influence any feelings moving forward.

Patrick from Hampshire, IL

It sure looks like we're going to have a pretty good three-headed monster in our backfield with Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon. Which teams do you think had the best trinity at running back? My first thought was Czonka, Kiick and Morris from the '70s Dolphins.

Mine, too.

Corey from Bethlehem, PA

With Mason Crosby on the COVID list (prayers for a fast recovery) it got me thinking who WOULD be the emergency kicker if Crosby ever went down during a game? Would it be JK Scott or would we just go for it every time? I still remember when Ndamukong Suh kicked an extra point after they lost their kicker.

Scott was a kicker in high school, so I'm guessing he'd be the guy.

Steve from Middletown, KY

If I had to choose, I'd take studs on the OL to not only open holes for the RBs, but to also protect 12. Haven't the Patriots made a living at plug-and-play RBs? I know there are other teams using that formula, too. But, big talented men are hard to come by. No disrespect to RBs, because I really hope we can re-sign 33. Because of his little use the first year and a half, isn't that likely to extend his effectiveness through his next contract?

I would think so. He touched the ball less than 100 times as a rookie, less than 200 times in his second year. For comparison's sake, Saquon Barkley has touched the ball more than 600 times in his first two seasons.

Steve from Bloomington, IL

Suppose you could go back in time. Ignoring the sci-fi time travel axiom that changing the past changes the present, what one Packer draft pick would you change? The 1989 draft, taking Barry Sanders instead of Tony Mandarich seems like an obvious choice. Got a better one?

We've talked that one to death. I'd also go back to either 1980 or '81, when the Packers were picking very high. Cornerback Mark Haynes was taken four spots after the Packers took CFL defector Bruce Clark at No. 4 in '80, and Haynes was a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro. Or, as many still remember, Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott was taken two picks after the Packers drafted QB Rich Campbell at No. 6 in '81. Either one of those guys in the secondary in the '80s could have made the defense complement Lynn Dickey's offense much better.

Todd from Sandy, UT

Since the Jermichael Finley era I have waited for a TE talent to emerge on GB. For one brief year GB had Jared Cook and I thought he made a big difference in the offense in that year. We keep hearing hype about Jace Sternberger, but I just don't see it. Give me reason to think this will be the season he emerges.

Because if healthy, he's going to get plenty of opportunity with Marcedes Lewis the only long-established veteran in front of him, and LaFleur's offense is ideal for a versatile tight end. The way he contributed down the stretch last year, after not even practicing for the first half of the season, is almost unheard of for a rookie, especially at that position.

Brian from Somerset, WI

Has the team discussed who the backup play-callers will be if heaven forbid if one of our coaches has to miss time?

I'm sure they have contingencies in place. Hackett has called plays as an offensive coordinator elsewhere, I believe, and Mike Smith knows Pettine's defense inside and out.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

I believe the Packers have said their attendance is likely to be capped at 10,000-12,000 fans at Lambeau this season. Do you know what attendance situations look like for the teams the Packers play on the road this year? Or at least Vikings plan for Week 1?

I've seen very little in the way of official announcements. I think a lot of teams, Packers included, are going to see how the local situation develops and make decisions at different points throughout the season.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Hi everybody, baseball has been using fake fan noise. I really don't like it. Have you heard if the NFL is going to allow piped-in fan noise?

Again, I've heard nothing official.

Aaron from Denver, CO

All these No. 88 questions for years and nobody has mentioned the old Packers HOF. Back when I grew up in GB and the HOF was across the street from Lambeau, there was a statue out front of a player catching a ball, the number on the jersey, 88. Any history on that? Where did it go? Will this be the next episode of "Unsolved Mysteries"?

It wouldn't take Robert Stack long to find it's been converted to No. 80 as an homage to Donald Driver and resides in front of the Titletown Brewing Co. restaurant on Dousman St.

Ferdinand from Woodbury, MN

Can I nominate "a year ago they all were less experienced players" for the II Hall of Fame quotations section?

By all means.

Darrin from Sparta, WI

No question, just a thank you. Thank you, Mike and Wes, for making it easier for me to keep scrolling up as my eyes lock on a Packers headline from other outlets. I've read plenty of them and can now confidently scroll past knowing I haven't missed anything newsworthy, just conjecture, opinion and well, clickbait. You two are really the only source for quality, real and refreshing Packer news.

There's a lot of quality coverage on the daily beat by the reporters who regularly cover this team. I know all the locals and respect their work. The national media who aren't here on a daily basis and are just trying to grab your attention from afar, they're a different story. It's been that way for a while now. We're just trying to keep it real, and we appreciate your consideration. Happy Friday.

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