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Inbox: Isn't that what this process is all about?

All it takes is that first domino to get things moving


Larry from Carney, MI

On the question about chili, I think most readers would prefer a response from someone with more knowledge and input about the subject. Ma Hod, what you say?

The Hodkiewicz Family puts noodles in our chili. My wife? Not so much. Either way, I couldn't believe when I opened my emails Friday afternoon this became an actual thing in Inbox. Good morning!

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Anyone who has gone to college probably still has an occasional anxiety dream about not being prepared to take an exam or perhaps having difficulty finding the right classroom. Come draft days, I'm confident the Packers will already know exactly who they will take, depending on who is available, in each and every round. The draft is the easy part, the work is being done now. There won't be any curve balls that the Packers won't be ready for. Rodgers is a very good example of being ready.

As someone who never felt ready for a test no matter how much he studied, I still have nightmares about that. Fortunately for the Packers, Brian Gutekunst is a cool customer. They'll be ready for any way the board falls in seven weeks.

Shaun from Sun Prairie, WI

Now that we are so close to free agency, who do you think the Packers (if anyone) ultimately pursue?

That's like asking me to order off a menu that's yet to be printed.

Rick from Pacifica, CA

Hello Commanders of the USS Insider. I've read a couple mock drafts where Devin White "fell" to the Packers. I'm thinking, "we don't need a linebacker, we need a rusher!" So I looked up some film of him. Wow, this guy is phenomenal! I can see a good chunk of those quick short passes in the middle of the field get taken away and that's the new trend. You're up at 12, White and one of the top edge rushers are rated the same on your board. Who do you take?

The Packers don't need a rusher. They don't need a safety or a tight end or an offensive lineman or a receiver or a running back. They need a playmaker. Plain and simple. White is a playmaker. If White finds his way to No. 12, I think he's a talent the Packers would have to consider.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

Both of you have said you favor a one-year franchise tag designation, and if no long-term deal is reached the player cannot be re-tagged. That would essentially be a "team option" year for one player on the roster. For the players, it gives them lots of money for the short term (one year) and a chance to play the market the next. What motivation would anyone have to sign long term?

It's the NFL. Careers don't last long and the grass isn't greener on the other side. If the team truly wants to re-sign a player, I think a one-year window of control is more than enough time to get it done without losing leverage. It hasn't stopped teams from re-signing first-round picks in the new CBA era.

Dane from Franklin, WI

Please help me understand. The free agent market is loaded with quality safeties, but it got that way because all of their teams independently made decision not to re-sign the player. Given that last year offenses exploded and many teams were running up huge yardage through the passing game, shouldn't we expect the value of safeties to be rising to try and counter those passing game and deep threats? What explains the discrepancy?

This has been the plight of the safety position for years. It's often secondary (no pun intended) to cornerbacks. Since the passing explosion in the NFL, teams have been more likely to pay for the corner on the island than the safety over the top.

Mike from New York, NY

I was surprised to hear Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was likely in his final season with the Packers. Then, he was traded mid-season for a fourth round draft pick. The analysis from the II was that it was a higher compensation than the team would receive if we waited. Now that Ha Ha is back on the market, I've seen several predictions he'll end up back with us. Is that likely? Would he have to take a salary cut to return? I'm assuming his departure was money-related anyway.

I have no read on how this safety situation is going to unfold in the NFL. There are so many veterans headed to free agency, including Clinton-Dix. Eric Weddle wasn't on the market for long, though, so that's a good sign for the position. All it takes is that first domino to get things moving.

Chad from Rhinelander, WI

Hey Insiders! Which prospect provided you guys with the most interesting interview at the combine?

Notre Dame cornerback Julian Love and Mizzou quarterback Drew Lock were probably my favorite listens. Two guys who are articulate and comfortable at the podium. Love really impressed me with how he carried himself and how thoughtful he was in his responses. He's going to make a team better next month. And isn't that what this process is all about?

Sam from Omaha, NE

What do you think the chances are of the Packers selecting Drew Lock at No. 12? Prepare for the future and develop him under Rodgers? I'm not convinced Kizer is the answer.

I didn't like Drew thaaaaat much. Listen, Lock is going to be a great pro, but those two first-rounders need to be for building around Aaron Rodgers, not replacing him.

John from Highland, IN

Wonder how many Packers fans are waiting for the new Bears kicker to miss a FG? Then the headline would be "Blewitt blew it." Have a great day.

If it were me, I probably would have changed my name to "Mayditt" by now.

Mark from Eureka, IL

Generally, does a big defensive guy make a bigger impact in his rookie year, or a defensive back? I would think that would impact who you sign and who you draft.

I don't know if one position is measurably ahead relating to Day 1 impact. Both types have found early success in the league and both have seen players blossom after a year or two of seasoning. It's a good question, but I don't have numbers to back it up either way.

Frank from Wake Forest, NC

Regarding Greg from Chelsea, MI's comment about Kuhn having played with four HOF QBs. He played with Favre, Rodgers in GB and Brees in NO. Who is the fourth QB? Just curious.

He played his first two NFL seasons with Ben Roethlisberger. I think there are a good number of Packers fans out there who don't realize Kuhn was a part of two Super Bowl teams: Green Bay in 2010 and Pittsburgh in 2005.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

With Mark Murphy's comment about Kuhn being a 'coach on the field' and Aaron's comment about Kuhn being the only person who might have known the offense as well as he did, coupled with his own comments about wanting to stay connected to the sport he loves, it would seem becoming some type of offensive/backfield coach would be a no-brainer for Mr. Kuhn. Wouldn't it be something special if he found his way back onto the green and gold sidelines?

Kuhn said he's not entirely sure what the future holds, but coaching seems like an ideal move. Veterans who take the long, undrafted road have knowledge to pass on to the next generation, which is what I think made Kuhn so valuable to the locker room during the latter half of his career. He knows the game as well as anyone.

Daniel from Chattanooga, TN

I was born in Delaware, raised in TN, and grew up among Eagles fans because of where my dad was raised (outside of Philly). I got converted to Packers fandom in kindergarten because a friend of mine had family in Wisconsin, and would bring me back cheese from Wisconsin. He rooted for the Packers, so I did too. My only connection to the Packers is cheese, quite literally (but no regrets about it!). What's the oddest/most unlikely reason you've heard of for why a Packers fan is a fan?

Tim Couch signing with the Packers in 2004.

Ryan from Fredericton, New Brunswick

Top John Kuhn play is an easy one, and a good representation of the broad role a modern fullback must play: it's 2013; it's late fourth quarter; it's a cold December night in Chicago; it's fourth-and-8. John Kuhn aligns in shotgun to the right of Aaron Rodgers. Obvious passing down, Kuhn immediately cuts left across the line of scrimmage and cut-blocks a future Pro Football Hall of Famer. Without that fundamental and remarkable play, ultimately my all-time favorite Packers memory never happens!  

That was an all-timer. It's just a shame that ride didn't last longer. It wasn't quite "Run the table," but that 2013 team was better than history will remember it as being.

Zach from Merrill, WI

Who did the Patriots take with the picks we gave up for Clay Matthews?

New England took defensive backs Darius Butler (second round, No. 41) and Derek Cox (third, 73), and receiver Brandon Tate (third, 83) in the trade that sent the No. 26 pick (Matthews) and a fifth-rounder (Jamon Meredith, 162).

Lynn from Somers, WI

I saw that the Packers released Antonio Morrison. This seems like an odd time to be releasing players. What are some typical reasons to release a player at this time of year?

If a player doesn't fit into a team's plans, this is the time of the year to let them go. It gives Morrison a chance to catch on with another team in time for April's offseason program. His contract also escalated because of playing time during his first three NFL seasons, so that could have factored into the Packers' thinking, as well.

Scott from Fredonia, WI

What do you think of the Jaguars making salary cap room for Nick Foles? Personally I think they are making a big mistake. A wise man once said it's not about whether a young QB is ready for the team, but whether the team is ready for a young QB. It seems to me the Jaguars have a near perfect environment to grow a rookie QB into a franchise QB, and a high draft pick to get one. But instead they are punting their long snapper to make room for a journeyman QB. Seems shortsighted.

Twelve months ago, the Jaguars were built to contend for years to come. Now, they look like a win-now team without the benefit of time to develop a rookie quarterback given their cap situation. They doubled-down on Blake Bortles and it didn't work out. We'll see if Foles or maybe Teddy Bridgewater can help right the ship.

Scott from Martinez, GA

Hey Wes, instead of approaching a hypothetical, how about a history lesson? What did the NFL grant past expansion teams to begin building their rosters? Because I completely agree with you that 32 teams is perfect.

Now that question I can answer. While Dom Capers was hired in January 2001, the Texans weren't allowed to start signing anyone until after the 2001 regular season concluded. An expansion draft was held on Feb. 18, 2002, and Houston took 19 players. The Texans also received the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft and an extra pick in each round, beginning in the second round. Unfortunately for Houston, it was a largely fruitless draft.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

There have been a lot of changes on the Packers' coaching staff since the hiring of the new head coach. Have there been any changes within the scouting department?

I've talked about this before, but most scouting contracts run through the draft.

Bo from Iowa Falls, IA

Is the draft board really a board? If so, what are we dealing with? Chalkboard? Whiteboard? Or has technology taken over this, too, and the board is really a shared Google Doc that people keep editing without knowing they're editing the master copy?

Oh, it's real all right. I'm sure it's backed up somewhere, but a draft board exists in the building.

George from Sturgeon Bay, WI

In the case of Antonio Brown, is it possible blue-chip free agents with an attitude are not worth blue-chip money?

It's a tale as old as time.

Sean from DeSoto, TX

Just sent my vote in for the 100 Seasons site. Can I get one of those "I voted" stickers like they hand out during general elections?

We'll get to work on printing some.

Travis from Margate, FL

Do you think the NFL will ever allow a Super Bowl to be played at Lambeau?

Only after one is played at Ashwaubenon High School.