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Inbox: Here's a little-known fact about his career

All the player movement and player acquisition on the horizon will set the landscape

Former Packers TE Tom Crabtree
Former Packers TE Tom Crabtree

Eli from Yardley, PA

In Saturday's column, did Wes miss the sarcasm that was oozing out of the submission of Fred from La Crosse? Or maybe it was Hod that was handling the column because Wes, Mike, and Spoff were out of town.

It obviously had been a long week for Wes. Or the Vegas air had something to do with it. Either way, I'm back in the saddle again and it's my turn to give him a break.

Kenneth from Greenfield, WI

Why are Packer management and fan base so allergic to the idea of updated uniforms? It seems that someone hears the word new uniform and the whining about change starts. Face it: These uniforms are losers! They look and smell OLD. If I was a Packer player, I'd want a trade to a team with better uniforms. Maybe if Rodgers held out for an update to the togs, someone would FINALLY listen. I hope to get an answer to this question, but I doubt it...

I missed you, too.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

Do you expect the current CBA proposal to be approved by the players? Why?

I really don't know what to expect when the votes are tallied. It does sound like the vote is going to be close, either way. We'll find out in a few days.

Richard from Racine, WI

What is the timeline for players voting on the proposed collective bargaining agreement? When would the season expand if approved by an additional game?

The union vote is open through Thursday, I believe. If approved, the 17th game would not be implemented this coming season, but in 2021 at the earliest. The expanded playoffs would take effect for the 2020 season, though.

Tony from Chanhassen, MN

I found it a brilliant negotiation tactic on Saturday to leak that "some owners" are hoping the players vote no on the CBA in order to impose 18 games. Players were trying to influence others to vote no, to avoid a 17th game, or to get more for it. That "leak" made it clear the owners think not only will the players not get more, but the owners will force 18 games. And it was all set up when owners made it known their vote was not unanimous. It may all be rhetoric, but it's brilliant.

Or, there's a contingent of owners that does want 18 games and is willing to give up more to get it, so they want to push their brethren to go bigger. You never know.

Denise from Cape Coral, FL

To correct a comment from Saturday's Inbox, Terrell Fletcher (my favorite all-time Badger) never played with Ron Dayne at Wisconsin. Fletcher's running mate when the Badgers won the 1994 Rose Bowl was Brent Moss. I don't believe Dayne ever fit with the N.Y. Giants, unlike Fletcher, who fit with the Chargers.

Indeed.

Derek from Des Moines, IA

What players do you think will be developed internally into a starting role?

That's a great question, but I want to see the full 90-man offseason roster first before I venture to answer. All the player movement and player acquisition on the horizon over the next couple of months will set the landscape.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

How would a 17th game affect the playoff picture each year?

It would create perhaps less reliance on tiebreakers. No guarantees, of course, but the same number of teams playing more games would theoretically reduce the odds of teams finishing with identical records. I think.

Caroline from Olympia, WA

Why not re-sign Blake Martinez instead of potentially paying more for someone else at his position?

Because the Packers still want to get better on defense. Maybe they won't be able to afford a better player at his position, or find one in the draft. That's a legitimate risk. But a wise elder once told me sometimes teams have to force themselves to try to get better. The Packers have spent three years revamping the cornerback position. Last year, they rebuilt at outside linebacker and safety. Aside from fortifying the defensive line, where else can they get better? I think that's the question the Packers are asking themselves. That's not a knock on Martinez. I said in this space right after the season ended he can make another defense appreciably better, and I think he'll get paid handsomely and deservedly to do so. But the Packers want to get better, too, and Martinez's expected cost might be the impetus to force themselves to try at that spot.

Paul from De Pere, WI

The Badgers over their last eight games and the last six minutes Saturday displayed an unfailing belief they would win very similar to the Packers at the end of games this year. Often they were not the better team. Is that an intangible talent? Is that mental toughness? Grit? What is that? Is that an individual ability or collective?

It's every individual having the mental toughness in clutch moments to make the collective greater than the sum of its talent, and then success breeds confidence, which breeds chemistry and then more success. What the Badgers have pulled off in the last month is remarkable. Teams can always grow, change and get better. The Packers in 2019 did so as well. They just didn't take as many lumps along the way.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." – Maya Angelou. Seems like the perfect mantra for the Packers' offense transitioning from Year 1 to Year 2.

Sure, and don't hesitate to bring in some better players along the way if you can.

Bob from Fort Atkinson, WI

The latest seven-round mocks show us with only two sixth-round picks. I was under the impression that we were getting additional sixth-rounders from Oakland and Tennessee for a total of three sixth-rounders. Can you clear this up for me?

You're correct. The Packers have three sixth-rounders and two seventh-rounders, plus their original picks in each of the first five rounds, for a total of 10 picks.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

Has anyone been banned from Murphy Takes Five? Come on, DJ.

Mark's too nice. He answers questions from folks who would have me pressing delete within the first 10 words.

Philip from Collinsville, IL

Where will Tom Brady land?

On his feet, presumably.

Take a look at photos of Packers CB Kevin King from the 2019 season.

Mark from West Des Moines, IA

What is your favorite story from this year's combine?

There were several really entertaining media sessions, some of which I wrote about (Kenneth Murrray, Marlon Davidson, Ross Blacklock, Adam Trautman, Laviska Shenault among them), but the best line I heard all week came from Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah. Someone asked him about his play last year getting "sloppy" as games wore on, and first he gave a quizzical look to ask for a clarification. When the reporter repeated his two-bit evaluation with no evidence, Okudah just looked right at him and said, "I had zero pass interference penalties, zero defensive holdings. Turn on the tape again, you might see something different." That won the combine for me.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, no offense to loyal fans, but I hope Bryan Bulaga (and all the other free agents) get every last penny they can squeeze from the free-agent market. The rigors of the game, the sacrifices they make, I hope these guys get contracts that set them (and their families) up for life. I take every dollar my employer offers, and I'm sure the II squad does the same. Whatever contract Bulaga signs, I wish him the very best, and I'm grateful for his contributions.

Having seen up close on a daily basis for 14 years what these players put themselves through to play this game, I've never begrudged anyone attempting to maximize his earning power.

Timmy from Chicago, IL

Imagine this scenario: Last year, the Packers draft an offensive tackle with the No. 12 overall pick. He barely plays because he has two studs ahead of him on the depth chart in David Bakhtiari and Bryan. I do not believe he would be called a bust the same way Rashan Gary is being portrayed as a bust by some "fans" for playing behind the Smith Bros. Do you agree?

Wholeheartedly.

Gary from Belle Mead, NJ

With all this talk of Gary (great name BTW) getting on the field more or changing positions, I think a couple things are being missed. First, the Smiths stayed incredibly healthy last season. Second, wouldn't a three-OLB rotation be a huge asset next season to keep them all more fresh throughout the game?

Both valid points, as is the potential increase in opportunities for all three to see the field together, given how Za'Darius Smith floated around the interior late in the season. Pettine didn't start doing that with him regularly until December.

Curren from Edmonton, Alberta

Speaking of coffee...How do both of you take it? Keep up the great content guys!

I take mine fake. The occasional cappuccino is all I can handle. Wes is the only real coffee drinker.

Joey from Groveland, MI

If a 17th game is added, how about having the 16th place NFC team playing the 16th place AFC team, 15th place vs. 15th place, etc.? Each at a neutral site like London, Mexico, etc.? It would give us a Super Bowl rematch every year, encourage parity, and increase internal exposure.

That's as good an idea as any I've heard, but I question how big a draw a pair of low-placing teams would be at a neutral site.

Lynn from Butler, IN

Of all of the Packers' free agents in the last five years, who is the one that you would like back the most?

It would be easy to say Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde, but now that some time has passed, the Packers have restocked their defensive backfield and appear in good shape there for the near future. So I'll say Jared Cook, because tight end is still a position the Packers are trying to figure out.

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

On the topic of social media, former Packers TE Tom Crabtree is very entertaining.

He's a gem. Here's a little-known fact about his career – the Packers' first touchdown in their 2010 postseason run was the first TD Crabtree scored as an NFL player.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

When you mentioned there are no bad questions, it reminded me of a buddy of mine, Dale, who I went to training sessions with. When the instructor said ask questions, there are no bad/dumb questions, he would raise his hand and ask, "Where does the white go when snow melts?" So, where does it go?

Spoken like someone from the south. 'Round here, we don't care as long as it's melting. Happy Monday.

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