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Inbox: His natural power is a sight to behold

As history has proven, the Packers’ young receivers control their own destiny

DL Devonte Wyatt
DL Devonte Wyatt

John from Jordan, MN

I have noticed a few submitters use "Dead Zone" question to start their question lately. Isn't that redundant since we're already in the "Dead Zone"? No need to point it out. Oh wait, I just asked a "Dead Zone question" about the "Dead Zone in the Dead Zone!" Help!

For it being the "Dead Zone," I honestly was blown away by how many submissions there were when I opened Inbox on Thursday afternoon.

David from El Segundo, CA

Dead zone? You want to talk about DEAD ZONE?!?! Guys, I've had questions answered on II before...but never the elusive and exclusive FIRST question answered. Can you do a guy a favor and get mine to the top of the list? That's my question. Yeah, really.

Oh, so, so close. Better luck next time.

Josh from Long Beach, CA

With the 17-game season, how likely is it that Aaron Rodgers hits 500 TDs with under 100 interceptions? He hasn't had seven interceptions in a season since 2016. Do you think he'd need two seasons to accomplish this feat?

I think Rodgers gets to 500 TDs before he reaches 100 INTs, though it might take until 2023 to do so. I'm sure Spoff could give you the full statistical breakdown on that, but Rodgers has been so dialed in with his throws the past two seasons, with 85 TDs (needs 51 to get to 500) and just nine INTs (has six to spare before reaching 100), that I think he gets the job done.

Ross from Summerville, SC

Gents, any significant changes to this year's training camp schedule you can see compared to previous years?

Not really. With the league's mandatory ramp-up period and only three preseason games, the schedule kind of sets itself these days. We'll see what the practice times are, but otherwise it's almost a carbon copy of last year's.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I often see questions concerning OTAs and your opinion on young OL and DL. I would think there is plenty to observe with receivers, running backs, and defensive backs. OL and DL not so much. What are you looking for when you watch linemen in OTA practice?

I like watching the linemen during individual periods, seeing how they take coaching, and what areas Jerry Montgomery and Luke Butkus are working with them. Devonte Wyatt was a real treat in that area this spring. Wyatt has put in the work to earn his spot, but his natural power is a sight to behold.

Scott from Noblesville, IN

Compared to the "vanilla" play calling in the preseason games, how will the intensity, complexity, and "regular-season-likeness" be in the joint practices with New Orleans?

I expect them to be competitive. The first joint practice against Houston didn't wow me because it didn't seem like the Texans were there to practice, but I found the Jets sessions to be productive for the veterans who didn't play during the preseason. I can see both sides of the argument, but I see why Matt LaFleur is such a big fan of them.

Brandon from Orlando, FL

In most years, receivers No. 1-4 saw the majority of snaps, while the rest seemed to be backups and only came in to give the starters a rest. With the competition pretty wide open, do you think everyone in that room might be rotated in more frequently?

If everyone is healthy coming out of camp, I expect Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins to be the featured receivers to start. The rest really depends on the young players in that room and how quickly they prove themselves to Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers. As history has proven, the Packers' young receivers control their own destiny. If you earn trust, you will produce.

Randy from Ooltewah, TN

Entering the 2022 regular season (still a long way off) the Bears have the most all-time regular season wins with 783. The Pack is right behind at 782. We host the Bears in Week 2. What are the chances we pass them in that game (they open hosting the 49ers and we're at the Vikings)? Surely, by the end of 2022, we expect to be the winningest team in NFL history. Right?

Favorable…and don't call me Shirley.…nd possibly even guaranteed if Rodgers takes snaps during the preseason and hands the ball off to AJ Dillon. Ain't no handoff like an exhibition handoff.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Without injuries to either, would it surprise you if AJ Dillon led the team in rushing yards in the coming season?

I mean, he was the Packers' leading rusher last year. So, no?

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

What about Juwann Winfree? It seems like he has been completely forgotten about!

Not if you've been reading Inbox. I feel like I've written "Juwann Winfree" more than my own name the past two months. He has a seat in this game of musical receiver chairs, too. We're all just waiting for the music to start playing and talking in circles in the meantime.

Max from Ingolstadt, Germany

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to inform you that I have a ticket for the Packers game in London. You're probably getting tons of submissions like this today, but I'm just so incredibly enthusiastic right now. This is a lifelong dream coming true!

Please keep 'em coming. It warms my heart seeing all the excitement of all our overseas fans securing tickets, many of whom will be attending their first Packers game.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

Isn't it about time for those dead-zone top 100 players rankings? How many Packers might we see on this year's edition? Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams should be sure bets. Kenny Clark deserves to make it but probably won't. The voters seem to forget about anyone who was injured for most of the previous season, so Jaire and Bakh might drop off the list.

I don't believe NFL Network puts that out until right before training camp now. I think Rodgers, Jones and Clark will make it. De'Vondre Campbell should, too, especially after being named All-Pro last season.

Mark from Madison, WI

Regarding undrafted players making the team, in the last 10 years, have more offensive or defensive players made it and at what positions?

Using Week 1 rosters as the standard here, the Packers have had 16 defensive undrafted rookies (five S, four OLB, three CB, two ILB, two DL) on the opening 53-man roster since 2012 compared to nine on offense (three OL, two RB, two WR and two QB).

Braedon from Endicott, NY

Hey all. My favorite sports sound is a nothin'-but-net bucket. A slap shot off the post is definitely a close second for me.

It's not my favorite sound but a game-winning field goal dinged off the upright is pretty iconic.

Pete from Hillsborough, NC

Green Bay chose Tony Mandarich over Barry Sanders in 1989. Chicago chose Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey in 2017. What other epic early first-round misses can you think of by NFC North teams?

I'm surprised more people don't talk about the Lions drafting Mike Williams (after he didn't play football in 2004) over Aaron Rodgers. I get Joey Harrington was a former No. 3 overall pick, but he also was out of Detroit after the 2005 season.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Happy dead-zone time, Wes. Right now, Gronk seems to be the tight end that sets the standard. Who do you feel were some of the better tight ends of the past and how do we find a "Gronk"?

I put him up there with all the all-time great tight ends. You don't just find a "Gronk." He's a rare, generational talent. Rob Gronkowski was almost like Giannis at his position – just a freak of nature in terms of size and athletic ability. I'm not sure we'll ever see another guy quite like him, especially when Gronk was at the peak of his powers.

Darren from Alice Springs, Australia

In 2021, the Saints had two preseason games, barely played any starters and came out on fire winning their opener, 38-3. That same preseason, the Packers had three preseason games, barely played any starters and came out flat in their opener losing, 3-38. It is obvious what NFL teams should do with their starters in the preseason right?


Jim from Tucson, AZ

Preseason games mean nothing. We play the 49ers, Saints and Chiefs so the competition should be great for our rookies. But wait, they will be playing their rookies too. An entire field of rookies playing their hearts out for a roster position. Folks, if you can't enjoy a preseason game, you just don't understand. True: won/loss records for preseason games mean nothing. BUT roster positions mean everything.

There are only two ways to determine if you won in the preseason: Did you get out without any major injuries, and did you avoid traffic on the way out?

Michael from Cashton, WI

Not a question. I just wanted to echo what others have said about starters playing in the preseason. You've made it abundantly clear to anyone who cares to profit from your experience that it makes no sense whatsoever. Besides, I'll be at the only home preseason game this year and am greatly looking forward to seeing the backups, especially Jordan Love, perform. Thanks for your excellent work and tutoring!

As much as Spoff and I have expressed our feelings about the starters playing in August, there's zero question this is a pivotal preseason for Love. There's a chance those three preseason games will be the only shot to showcase his progress to the NFL in 2022. If Love wants to be a starter in the NFL, this is will be his open mic month.

Steven from Wilmington, NC

I'm sure the full answer is multifaceted but is it possible that playing other quality teams in the preseason is a scouting strategy? It's probably more likely that a quality player will get cut from the Chiefs than the Jaguars.

That's not necessary. The Packers already have most of their pro personnel guys at these preseason games. Building a preseason schedule usually comes down to proximity (Green Bay and Kansas City playing every year) and relationships (LaFleur's Packers hosting Robert Saleh's Jets in 2021).

Alex from Duluth, MN

Wes, hope you're having a good day. Based on their offseason additions (coaching and personnel), which other team in the North do you think has the best chance to push us to contend for the division?

It's Minnesota until Chicago or Detroit proves otherwise. I still like the foundation the Lions are building, though, compared to the other two.

Della from Collierville, TN

How do I find Packers fans to meet up with at away games? More specifically, for pep rallies and tailgating for the Packers preseason game at Kansas City?

I'd suggest bookmarking our Packers Everywhere page. You should find all the information you need there.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Hi Wes. What is the most athletic activity you will complete this summer?

I'm planning to run the Packers 5K before training camp. Besides that, just trying not to strain anything mowing the lawn.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Hi, Weston. How are you? Please tell us about the Hod golf game. Did you and Pa Hod apricate?

We had a fantastic time. I need to give a little shoutout to the fine folks at Timberstone Golf Course in Iron Mountain. We were scheduled to golf there the Wednesday evening that all those storms hit Wisconsin. They could not have been more helpful in accommodating an earlier tee time and the course was simply gorgeous. Golf courses in this region are so highly underrated.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, did your putter stay hot for your round with Pa Hod? Did the ol' Billy Baroo continue its magic? I have a department minigolf outing next week and I'd welcome any Judge Smails-like tips you might offer.

On Day 1, yes…Day 2 and 3 were, uh, a challenge to say the least.

Greg from Princeton, MN

Good morning, Wes. My family will be visiting Minnesota's largest candy store. They often have over 150 types of root beer. Will you refresh me on a few of your favorites?

I wonder if they have Sno-Cap.

John from Hamilton, NY

Hey Wes, ever had Oak Creek Blonde barrel-aged root beer? Uses real sugar, and is clear, made in Wisconsin. Tastes pretty good.

I'm adding it to "the list."

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

Now that Spoff tipped us off that Wes is back, it's high time to ask this question – how far does Mr. Hod's anti-cheese belief system really go? It seems clear that "cheese as the star" dishes (such as cheese and crackers, cheese curds and grilled cheese) are not on Wes's menu. But what about "incidental cheese" dishes? Does that make you anti-pizza? Anti-potluck casserole dish? Or even (heaven help us) anti-nachos? Is there such a thing as a culinary investigative reporter?

It's not an exact science, but what I think it comes down to is I will eat cheese if it's A) cooked as part of a meal/dish and B) I can't really taste it. For example, I will eat a cheeseburger or enchilada if the cheese is melted. I will not eat cheese on a cold-cut sandwich, crackers or in a salad, though. If given the option, I will remove it. I hope that answers this life-or-death question.

Bob and Kennesaw, GA

I tried fish and chips in several places in the greater London area (in town, Windsor, Greenwich, etc.) when my wife and I were there about 10 years ago. All those meals were just "OK," so I must say that none of them could hold a candle to any good Wisconsin Friday fish fry. Neither the fish nor the chips could stand the comparison. The manner in which these items were fried seemed to have been the dealbreaker. Our British cousins could actually learn something from our great WI fry cooks.

Aside from toilet paper, I've found fish fries to be Wisconsin's greatest export. Best part? No cheese. See you guys tomorrow.