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Inbox: He's one to watch coming from a crowded room

They aren’t going to start now

WR Grant DuBose
WR Grant DuBose

Troy from Westminster, CO

Sorry but "C.V." is not a nickname, it's initials. I long for the olden days of "Hacksaw" Reynolds, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, "Sweetness" and the "Minister of Defense." I get condensing names for simplicity but in the end most of today's "nicknames" are nothing more than hypocorism.

And now I've learned a new word, one that is definitely not shorthand for shorthand.

Joe from Liberty Township, OH

It's amazing what a major impact a bad team like the Panthers has had on the NFC. They trade Christian McCaffrey to an already-loaded 49ers team and make them even better. Then they trade for the Bears' top pick last year to draft a QB but are so inept they end up handing the Bears a QB this year that many say is the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck. They possibly made two NFC teams perennial Super Bowl contenders. And they are still a long way from being a playoff team themselves.

As Norm Peterson so famously said one day when walking into his favorite bar to sit on his favorite stool: "It's a dog-eat-dog world Sammy, and I'm wearing milk bone underwear."

John from Rhinelander, WI

I love to watch college football as well as pro football, but the NIL where athletes move to wherever they can get more money and seem to show little loyalty to the original university is turning me off. Some universities are going to raise way more money than others to interest players. The table isn't level. At least the salary cap in the NFL gives all teams a chance to compete at a fairly level field. Maybe they need a money cap for college teams? Your thoughts?

The college sports landscape will continue to evolve, especially with this House v. NCAA lawsuit settlement taking shape now. I look at the current situation as an extended, painstaking transition. Eventually, the high-revenue college sports will operate with structures similar to professional sports, with antitrust exemptions and the like. It just might take an awfully long time to get there.

Dave from Waterford, OH

To expound on my fellow Ohioan's point (Liberty Joe) concerning the $50M Sam Bradford made changing the draftee pay scale, it also had the unintended consequence, if that's the right term, of causing several undeserving quarterbacks to be drafted way too early. In other words, now teams roll the dice on borderline NFL starters much earlier than they would have previously: Winston, Mariota, Wentz, EJ Manuel (16), Manziel, Trubisky, Darnold, Rosen, Joneses, Lance, Haskins, Wilson, Pickett, Fields.

I don't think the rookie pay scale had much to do with those decisions, honestly. When you need a quarterback, you need a quarterback, and those guys would've been projected as first-rounders whether the pay scale ever changed or not. As for the Bradford tipping point, Keith from Oklahoma City chimed in that Jamarcus Russell in 2007 had an impact on the change, and I'd agree. I'd also posit Matthew Stafford in 2009, as a Lions team coming off an 0-16 season suddenly had to break the bank for a QB who had never taken an NFL snap.

Rudy from Woodbury, MN

In response to Jordan's holographic helmet submission, Gallaudet University, which is a Division III school for the deaf and hard of hearing, has unique helmets that signal in the play to the QB that displays on their visor. So the technology is being used.

Fascinating. Truly.

Scott from Tukwila, WA

Greetings II. If (or when) the NFL declines in popularity/viewership, it'll be because …

…the primary way for fans to watch games will no longer be via over-the-air broadcast television, which I don't see happening. It's fine to have cable/satellite and dabble in streaming contracts to expand the core offerings and reach, but those must remain secondary outlets. At least for now. What our media consumption will look like in 30 years is impossible to predict.

Tom from Blaine, WA

Is philosophy allowed in the Inbox? If so, I'd like to follow up on Wes's response about growing the game internationally. It contains the same assumption I find at my own workplace: the business must grow. Do you really believe a business the size of professional football needs to grow? Or should grow? I understand it will and there's nothing I can do to stop it, but I refuse to accept "growth is good" to be true. The urgent push to grow is driven by greed, pure and simple.

Owners want their franchises to increase in value. They didn't get to where they are in business, with the opportunity to own an NFL franchise, by saying, "Hey, this looks good enough." So they aren't going to start now.

Sue from Three Lakes, WI

The salary cap goes up every year, some years a big jump. Sometimes I worry that the Packers, without a billionaire owner, may not be able to produce the necessary revenue to stay solvent and compete. Will TV revenue, which will continue to rise as well, be sufficient to sustain us? Is this our largest revenue source? Is this anything we need to be concerned about?

TV is the largest revenue source for all NFL franchises, bar none. The rest of the economic picture is the impetus behind what the Packers have done over the last 20-plus years, from redeveloping Lambeau Field to building Titletown across the street and everything that goes with it. This franchise is on incredibly solid financial footing given its location, and that's a testament to the vision and leadership of Bob Harlan, Mark Murphy, and all the top-level executives who have worked for and with them, along with the expansive and rabid fan support.

Matt from Allouez, WI

I was listening to sports talk radio and the question was asked, "What is your greatest concern about the Packers?" I have to say there is not one area of the Packers I am concerned about but I am concerned about the rest of the division. I am not sure where Minnesota stands but Detroit is going to be hungrier and the Bears HAVE to hit on a quarterback one of these days. Where do you guys stand on the rest of the division?

In oversimplified terms, I think the Lions and Packers are known quantities with unknown ceilings, while the Bears and Vikings are virtual unknowns in major transitions, right where the Lions and Packers have been themselves in recent years.

Anthony from Naples, FL

Many thanks for making II a daily must read for so many. I have seen reports that the 2024 in-season "Hard Knocks" series could focus on a division, rather than just one team. With the NFC North being among the most interesting divisions, any thoughts on how likely this might be?

I certainly see the appeal, but with the Bears going on "Hard Knocks" for training camp this summer, that might rule out the NFC North for the in-season version. But I honestly don't know.

Jack from Slinger, WI

What is the status of Grant DuBose? I thought he looked very promising before being injured towards the end of training camp. If he is healthy it seems he could only add to what is already the most competitive room on the team.

I agree, and I'm curious to see what DuBose does in training camp and the preseason games. He's one to watch coming from a crowded room.

Ben from Guffey, CO

It's nice to see Eric Stokes still has his playful/joyful self. I guess he may not have ever lost it, but we've had a limited look to it. I was surprised when he said that he feels like he's faster than before. That's nice.

Wes has a story on Stokes posting today. It's beyond easy to root for a guy like Stokes, and a bounce back from him could really mean something to this defense.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

Just read the story on Anders Carlson. Sounds like he's got the right mindset and has been putting in the required work to fix the issues that popped up last season. I love a good redemption story, so here's hoping he is able to put it all behind him and go on to have a long, productive career. With that said, do you think he has a longer road to win the starting spot than the others due to the issues last season? Or will he get to go into the kicking competition with a clean slate?

It's never really a clean slate when the player has been here and everyone knows what's transpired, good and bad. The entire body of work is taken into account. I think the Packers want Anders Carlson to have that long and productive career in Green Bay, but he has to earn that opportunity now. As everyone knows, I'm not into predictions, and this might not be decided until the boarding call for Brazil.

Joel from Story City, IA

When I was 26, I suffered a complete pec major tear lifting weights, which means the orthopedic surgeon had to cut open my shoulder and reattach the retracted tendon to the groove below the head of the humerus under the deltoid. Needless to say, it was a rather serious injury. However, after sufficient rest and aggressive PT, I was back to "normal" within about 6-8 months. That was over 25 years ago, and I didn't have access to all the resources an NFL player does. Kraft and Tom will be fine.

Ouch, but good to know.

Brian from Chicago, IL

Regarding the debate over whether automated officiating will be detrimental to the fan experience because fans "enjoy flawed officiating," I would say look no further than tennis where the use of Hawkeye has led reviews to be an exciting part of the sport. Augmenting human officials with technology to ensure things are done correctly will not be a detriment to the fan experience, especially if it is done as easily and expeditiously as what has occurred in tennis. Just get it right.

Couldn't agree more, and to the comment yesterday about fans enjoying all the arguments and debates over questionable officiating, while I agree there's a general element of attraction to controversy as a sports fan, that doesn't necessarily apply when your favorite team is the one on the short end.

Joe from Hampshire, IL

Hi Mike, when do we get a Spoff version of "Packers After Dark"? Or does that give you more trepidation than donning the clown suit in another skit? On another note, curious if you have taken trips overseas outside of Packers international games? Which countries are on your bucket list?

The Cheesehead TV guys know where to find me if they're interested. I'm always up for engaging in good conversation with any Packers-related outlet. But I'm perfectly aware that I'm by far the least active Packers beat writer on social media (I consider it a badge of honor, in a way) so if that naturally limits how much I'm sought out, I don't lose any sleep over it. As for overseas travel, my only such trip prior to London in 2022 was studying for a college semester in Seville, Spain. Gained a lifetime of memories in those three months.

Ed from Wauwatosa, WI

In response to Jon: The better team ALWAYS wins. That's the reason for the scoreboard, to tell, once the game is over, which team was best. Yeah, the ball can bounce the other guy's way and the world (the officials) can treat you unfairly, but that just makes the game a pretty fair approximation of life; there are things you just can't control and, if you're going to win, you need to overcome the obstacles. Is that fair? … No, it's not. Is it life (or the way the game is played)? … Yes, it is.

All true. But it's the better team that day that always wins, not necessarily the better team in a wider context, which is why I will never stop saying the playoffs are a crapshoot.

Robert from Brookeville, MD

In response to Keith from Springfield, Wes wrote, "I'm not sure how you tangibly measure unpredictability." Now with due regard for the fact that statistics is a subfield of mathematics and that math is not allowed in II, I think the sports betting data could give a good gauge of this. But certainly discussion of variance relative to predicted outcomes would be totally out of line so I will not mention it.

'Preciate you.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

I submit NFL football is the greatest sport on earth and I love to watch it all. But it's interesting what's happened w/increasing access to content. When one watches all the player and coach interviews, plus the Rockhodford content, you get to "know" the people. You root for everyone on a personal level, as if you are watching your friends. The highs and lows are amplified. There is exponential joy in victory, and in defeat there is perspective, w/heartbreak for the human. It's a gift. TY

Happy Friday.

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