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Inbox: He’s just that good

WR Davante Adams
WR Davante Adams

Theodore from St. Louis, MO

Mike, in all your covering of the fine sport of wrestling, have you, at any time, felt compelled to don a singlet?

I leave for a few days and things sure take an interesting turn. Good morning?

David from Minneapolis, MN

What kind of wheels do Inbox writers get when they get hurt?

There are no wheels for Inbox writers. If one is injured, the other has to carry him everywhere. Fortunately, Spoff was kind enough to carry me the past few days in regards to Inbox. I’m happy to be back.

Scott from Martinez, GA

I am looking forward to Wes's big reveal, but probably just as much on how it was initiated and the processes he endured to bring his product to the public.

This is why Mike picked up two extra Inboxes this week. The story is rolling out Monday morning. We finished editing it Thursday afternoon. It’s the longest story I’ve ever written in 13 years as a professional writer. There also will be a video component, as well. I’m incredibly proud of it and hope you all take a moment to check it out. 

Ethan from Iowa City, IA

Aaron Rodgers said he wants to throw the ball to Davante Adams more often. ’Tae had 169 targets in 15 games. That’s more than 11 targets per game. What do you guys think the stats the 12-to-17 combination would put up if Rodgers and Adams get 16 games together this season?

If they’re both healthy, Rodgers has no problem throwing 200 passes to Adams. He made that perfectly clear at his locker on Tuesday. That’s not an indictment of the Packers’ receiving corps, either. That’s a credit to Adams. He’s just that good. Adams is Festival Foods, man. He’s always open.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Will Aaron Jones still be the all-time YPC leader at season's end?

I can’t tell you how many times Jones will touch the ball in 2019, but I don’t see any reason he won’t still lead the NFL in YPC at year’s end. Whenever he touched the ball the past two years, Jones made that rep count. Now, he’s in the best shape of his football career. What’s not to like?

Kristen from Chicago, IL

Can you please explain the perception of the importance of running backs in the league and in the media? I hear coaches of good teams with good quarterbacks, like the Packers and the Colts, talking about how much they want to start focusing on the run game, while the media constantly insists running backs don’t matter. I guess what I mean is, if the run game is important, why don’t sports pundits think running backs are, too?

The run game is important but passing is still king. It’s a slight oversimplification, but I think there’s a more direct correlation between All-Pro quarterbacks winning Super Bowls than All-Pro running backs in today’s NFL.

Tom from Indianapolis, IN

So if the owners and NFLPA eventually agreed to a 17-game regular season, would each team play a neutral-site game with nobody giving up a home game? It might be the best chance to see Green Bay in London.

That’s the only way I’d agree to a 17-game regular season. I don’t know how reasonable that is, though. You guys have heard me say this before, but I have no problem whatsoever with a 16-game regular season. It’s fair and balanced.

Brooke from Oak Creek, WI

I am curious how game schedules are established. The past two years the Packers have opened the season with two divisional foes while other teams don’t meet a divisional rival until Week 3 or later. Why do some teams get thrown into the divisional fire right away while others get a few weeks before they see another divisional team? Is it just luck of the draw or is there a method to the madness of scheduling?

It’s mostly luck of the draw, but teams can make special requests. That’s why the Packers opened last year against Chicago and hosted the Bears on Thanksgiving in 2015. Minnesota also requested to host Green Bay in its opener at U.S. Bank Stadium a few years ago.

Alec from Elmhurst, IL

Which receiver do you think will be used as the main slot guy at this point in time? I know that answer will slowly reveal itself as the summer and preseason go on, but who do you believe has the best ability, the way the Packers look at their WR skills, etc., to end up as the main slot receiver?

Geronimo Allison is my pick right now, but the Packers are going to move all those receivers around.

Ralph from Mönchengladbach, Germany

How is EQ coming along? I haven't seen him mentioned lately outside the usual "second-year receiver"-collection sentence.

I really like what I’ve seen from St. Brown and Trevor Davis this spring. Davis looks healthy again after the recurring hamstring issue and St. Brown has a perfect build for the position. He’s making the plays that are there to be made. I love how these young receivers are bringing the best out of each other this spring.

Eric from Arlington, MN

How do the early OTAs work for roster spots? Do teams need to cut down before training camp?

Players are always defending their roster spot, but there are no actual roster reductions during the offseason program. There isn’t even a cut to 75 anymore after the third preseason game.

Clayton from Chicago, IL

I haven’t heard anything about Kevin King’s offseason. How’s he looking? Did he change up any regimens, workouts, diet, etc., to come in healthier from the start? Is he focusing on anything to avoid previous injuries?

King isn’t doing much in the team periods so far, but he’s moving well in practice. The Packers are being smart with him right now. The offseason program is important, but it’s also about having King healthy and available in September.

Henry from Hoback, WY

"Defensing a pass..." I'm an English teacher and each time I read defensing in your column it's like a car crash in my ears. Yet accomplished writers like you two and Vic use it repeatedly. Why? No snark intended. 

Sorry to burst your grammar bubble, but that is an actual term. A pass defensed reflects any way a defender prevents the receiver from catching the ball whether a deflection or an interception. At least, that’s how I learned about it.

Brian from Adel, IA

Would you pass along my thanks to Cliff for his article on Max McGee? I remember my grandpa telling me stories about playing with him in the Air Force, but I didn’t realize his service was in between his NFL years. You all know what Vic says about memories. Thank you!

Cliff is doing phenomenal work. His series of biographies on Packers Hall of Famers is a must-read. Generations of Packers fans will be better educated on the history of their favorite team thanks to Cliff.

Andrew from Shalimar, FL

Are the jerseys the players wear in unpadded practices made out of the same materials and sized accordingly, or are they totally different?

Same.

Jerry from Calgary, Canada

How does DeShone Kizer look? Is he progressing? We tend to overlook him because of the spotlight on Aaron. However, we should all know who we have as backup given the chance of injuries, and although we don't want to think about it, the time when Aaron hangs ’em up.

It’s hard to draw any grand conclusions on three OTA practices, but I think Kizer and Tim Boyle have looked fine so far. It’s all installations right now. The real test for those the backup QBs will come in training camp.

Craig from Appleton, WI

The Milwaukee Bucks were described as a team playing positionless basketball. Is the NFL becoming a positionless league, as well? We no longer have DE or OLB, just EDGE. Hybrid safety/LBs, TEs that flex into the fullback role, RBs that flex to WR and vice versa. The Chargers playing all DBs at LB in a playoff game.

It’s really been that way for the last four years. The lines have been blurred with running backs who are active in the passing game and defensive backs who play in the box. The idea of teams putting their best 11 players on the field has become overused, but it is true. It’s moves and counter moves. That’s all we gotta look at.

Jim from Menomonee Falls, WI

Hi II, here’s to the Pack's defense improving this year. I, for one, am hoping "Za" will be extra cheesy coming off the EDGE! Appreciate all you do, II!

Za’Darius Smith has immersed himself into the culture in a way few free-agent signings have. He’s supremely talented but also been a fun addition to the locker room this spring.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

I wish someone could explain this. So much hype in getting one of the top 10 picks in the draft, then you look where Bart Starr was picked. How could so many teams, including the Packers, not take him sooner? Did teams have scouting personnel similar to today's teams? Do you know how long Bart was on the team before his first start?

Scouting departments are larger today, but Starr had an up-and-down career at Alabama. He had a few injuries and wasn’t really a great fit in the offense. Even when Starr got to Green Bay, he had to wait a couple years for his shot.

Phil from Gladstone, MI

Jordy Nelson is the only Packers jersey I've ever owned. I want you guys to pick my next one, so I have a good story to tell at our opening-day party!

I say keep the No. 87 love going. Jace Sternberger.

James from Little Canada, MN

We all love Tony Romo now that he is a commentator. Does he have the qualifications to make a bid for the Hall of Fame in 2022?

He has my vote.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

Hey, so Packers minicamp is closed to the public next week. On the other hand, it’s open to the media. You guys got any extra tickets to the show?

Spoff and I will do our best to keep everyone updated.

Brett from Winchester, VA

During your few vacation days during the offseason, where do you like to go? Dream vacation?

I’m heading down to Chicago this weekend for UFC 238. I’m super-pumped for that. I’m also flying to Los Angeles in two weeks for my nephew’s fifth-grade graduation (which is a thing now, I guess). I’m excited to check out Star Wars Land with him.

Packers players and coaches participated in the Celebrity Bowling Event, with proceeds benefiting the Wisconsin Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, whose programs champion the needs of abused and neglected children.

Doug from Unity, NH

Wes, the Bat Cave, root beer and the “G” signal. Picture all of that. It's been a long time since I laughed that spontaneously, that long and that loud. HA! HA! HA! That has to be worth something. Maybe you can start an II rewards program for all those clever authors? Maybe an aspiring writer's internship with the Insiders?

That, too, made me laugh pretty hard. I don’t know whether an internship would be an ideal reward, though. I am not an easy guy to work with. Just ask Lexi Kinnard. I made that poor girl transcribe like three hours of audio for me two weeks ago. Bless her.

Stephen from Sumter, SC

Dear Mike and Wes, on Sept. 1, I will officially retire from the Air Force after 20 years. On Aug. 29, some friends, my family and I will be celebrating in suite 6005 during the Chiefs game. I know y’all are really busy on game days but, you’re both invited as well if you can find the time. Cheers!

Stephen, thank you for your service. Please remind me the week before the game and I’ll do my best to stop by.

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hello, Insiders! Thanks, Mike, for the insightful comment about soccer. As big fan of both sports, I'd say that the big difference between soccer and most other sports is the amount of uninterrupted play. In football, every play is scripted, whereas the constant flow of soccer leads to much more improvisation. Football consists of set plays with a smaller amount of improvisation. Soccer is almost the other way round. The biggest similarity? Almost infinite tactical schemes and variations.

Soccer is a beautiful game, isn’t it? Where else can you get uninterrupted play for the athletes and uninterrupted sleep for me? I kid, I kid. Have a good Friday, ladies and gents.

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