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Inbox: It comes with the territory

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

Steve from Ely, MN

When I start missing Vic’s laconic nature, I just wait until a solo Spoff stretch. It’ll bring out the brevity in anyone. Not dissing Wes, who often plays offense to Mike’s defense. In II, as on the field, one might be considered either offensive or defensive. Glad to see how you each cover for the other as needed. It’s what good teams do.

Yeah, I’m not into that whole brevity thing. Good morning!

Lucas from Stevens Point, WI

"If you ask a QB to pick between crazy catches and someone who's always open, they'll take the latter." This was in regards to Davante Adams; however, I'm extremely pumped for MVS's second season. He was No. 3 in the league in terms of separation, with at least one step of separation on 70.3 percent of his targets last season. With MVS getting separation deep and Davante controlling more of the intermediate routes, this will be an exciting tandem to watch.

The sign of any healthy passing game is one receiver setting up another. That’s what made Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb so special. I believe Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have that kind of potential. Their skills complement each other brilliantly on paper. You have to do it on the field, though.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

Great article on MVS and how he rises to the challenge of learning new playbooks every season. Transferring schools, having a prolonged college career, being a rookie last year, and now having a new head coach in town. It’s super impressive how he manages to keep up with these playbook changes. Aaron Rodgers can definitely trust a guy with a smart mind and relentless work ethic. I think we can all count on Valdes-Scantling being exactly where he needs to be on the majority of plays next season, no?

I’m excited to watch MVS this summer. He’s a young man who takes his craft seriously. I think you’ll see MVS take a jump in Year 2 with a full offseason program in his back pocket.

High school football players gathered at the Don Hutson Center on Saturday, June 22 for a Nike 11-ON event, which included a 7-on-7 tournament, a lineman challenge and a character development session featuring Packers strength and conditioning coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What was the biggest difference between the 1990s defenses compared to the current one now of the Packers?

The widespread growth of sub-packages and the bajillion DBs now on the field at any given time.

Jason from Lake View, NY

Yesterday it was brought up that offensive linemen prefer to run block over pass block due to them wanting to dictate rather than react. My question is, does the OL ever get frustrated with AR when extends plays? If reacting is something they are not fond of, wouldn’t having to do it for a longer period of time be frustrating for them?

This question has been asked of the offensive line for the last eight or nine years and the answer is always the same – no, it’s not frustrating. It comes with the territory when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback. His greatness is in his creativity. It’s the O-line’s job to give him time to paint his portrait.

Mike from Windber, PA

I asked Vic this years ago and it was one of his last questions he answered on this site so I have to ask you...You are having a BBQ at your house and you can invite five players/coaches from past or present, who are they?

Dom Capers, Tramon Williams, Micah Hyde, James Campen and Danny Vitale (who is one of the few I can talk actual MMA with).

Thomas from Evansville, IN

Who is/was your all-time favorite Packer to watch play? I'm incredibly indecisive, so I just have to list my top four in no particular order...Favre, Rodgers, White, and Nelson.

I love to watch defensive backs because I feel they have one of the hardest positions to play. I’ve answered LeRoy Butler to this question before, but Hyde and Sam Shields also are two of my favorites. Hyde is such a smart, heady player. There’s no wasted motion in his game. Shields was fun because he was so quick and athletic. If he got beat, Shields was one of the few who could catch back up to elite receivers while the ball was in the air.

Gary from Austin, MN

During Mike McCarthy’s earlier years with the Packers he always stressed playing fast and practicing fast and they used a lot of no-huddle offense. Yet, in this last year they could not seem to get through a half a game without blowing too many timeouts because they could not get the play off in time. In your view, what changed? Also, what do you see in regards to tempo with this year’s offense?

What’s past is prologue. At this point, I’m less concerned about how the Mike McCarthy era ended than I am with how the Matt LaFleur era will begin. If all 11 players are rowing in the same direction, the Packers’ offense will get where it needs to be. That was true for McCarthy in 2006 and it’s still true for LaFleur today.

James from Durango, CO

Is it likely that the first-team offense will play more than one series in the preseason? Initially, I attributed the team’s slow and sloppy performance in the first half of games to a lack of in-game experience working together, especially against the Bears and the Redskins in the first quarter of the season. I know you don’t want guys to get hurt and don’t want to give away too much, but wouldn’t chemistry and confidence be worth a series or quarter of play?

I believe the first-team offense will play more than one series in the preseason because there are obvious benefits to those reps with a new offense. At the same time, I still believe too much is made of starters playing in the preseason. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with how fast a team starts.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Hi fellas, thanks for towing the line through the dead zone and keeping it light-hearted and interesting. Even with all the talk of our defense, I am most looking forward to the offense; not knowing where the ball is gonna go at the snap and having multiple possibilities out of the same formation will be exciting. I am interested in your take on improvisation which we've had to do a lot of – is it better to be able to successfully run the planned play, or to be able to ad-lib your way out of it?

I think everyone wants to run the play the way it’s called, but sometimes adjustments need to be made. This is what has led to the rise of the run-pass option in recent years. There’s always going to be room for improvisation and audibles, but there’s also a reason why certain plays are called. LaFleur isn’t randomly picking plays out of a “Madden” interface.

Matty from Janesville, WI

Do you ever see the NFL expanding with more teams, either within the U.S. or elsewhere?

I don’t think we’ll see the league expand beyond 32 anytime soon. I’m interested to see how this thing plays out with the Tampa Bay Rays and Montreal. While I don’t know how much traction it’ll get, I have to say it’s an interesting idea.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

I saw Rob Demovsky’s pick of Mason Crosby for veteran at risk of being cut. I trust BG knows what he’s doing, but boy I hope that doesn’t happen. Even if Sam Ficken looks good, it’s hard to stomach giving up a proven kicker, albeit the few disastrous games. Yet, I assume Chicago’s situation looms large as a potential deterrent to cut him, both to not end up in the situation and for fear they would pick him up. Would you agree?

I love Rob but he’s all wet on this one. I’ll tell him so in a few hours when we speak to his wife’s English class. A quarter of the league is struggling to find a kicker right now. Unless Mason Crosby has a historically bad training camp, the Packers aren’t going to let him go for no good reason.

Sean from Portland, ME

One interesting fact about the 2002 division realignment is that it happened right at the beginning of the Brady era in New England. The Colts were in the AFC East until 2002. How different could the AFC playoff picture have been if Manning and Brady had to play each other twice a year? Instead, the next best QB in the AFC East during Brady's reign has been...Chad Pennington?

If you really want a brain freeze, think about how different the AFC East landscape might be if Miami pursued Drew Brees in 2006 instead of Daunte Culpepper.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

The MVS/Jennings comparison was eye-opening. MVS’ 2018 stat line: 38/581/2 TD; Greg Jennings’ 2006 statline: 45/632/3 TD. What's really interesting is that MVS had only 73 targets compared to Jennings' 104 yet had just seven fewer receptions. Any idea why Jennings’ target/reception ratio is so much wider? Is it just the difference in accuracy between Favre and Rodgers, or was there some other underlying factor?

I think you answered your own question. Favre only completed 56 percent of his passes in 2006, the lowest of his NFL career by far.

George from Olympia, WA

When do you think we’ll end up playing a game in London and will we be forced to give up a home game?

I don’t know when it’ll happen, but I guarantee you the NFL will never ask the Packers to give up a home game. The league knows what home games mean to this community.

Martin from Evansville, IN

What are you most excited for this season?

The NFL opener in Chicago should be a lot of fun. I’m excited for that. I also love going to Dallas. I think we’re doing a pep rally, too.

Don from Hazleton, PA

I remember the Packers-Redskins game, MNF, 48-47. Not much defense, but tons of offense. What game do you remember most?

The Packers-Cowboys playoff game from 2014. I don’t have a photographic memory like Spoff when it comes to remembering specific plays, but I have a vivid memory of every minute of that game for some reason.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Does the team have a tax accountant that everyone uses to figure out which state to pay taxes to?

Correct. I pity whoever has to figure that stuff out whenever the Packers play in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Hi Mike, what would you say is your preferred writing method: expository, descriptive, persuasive, or narrative?

I’ll let Mike answer this, too, but mine is fact-based narrative writing. I love to tell stories, written or verbal. That’s why I’m here.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Mike, I'm heading to the BWCA for a week, so I won't be reading this again until next week. I'll ask anyway: Have you ever been up there before?

*Googles BWCA* and no.

Mark from West Bend, WI

Wes, welcome back. What do you think of Spoff sharing his middle name with all of II nation while you were gone, but you get jumped for using it in the opener of an "Unscripted”? Is it time to slip a tainted sandwich into a Friday lunch?

I don’t have much of a reaction other than to say thank you for following along, Mark. There are like three detailed signs of a die-hard reader in your question.

In celebration of International Yoga Day on June 21, Packers CB Jaire Alexander helped instruct a free yoga session at Voyageur Park in De Pere.

Scott from Hamlin, NY

Is it the long winters that take away people's sense of humor in Wisconsin?

That was Geno Auriemma’s contention when the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team played UConn back in 2007.

Tony from River Falls, WI

I made a game for myself if I don't recognize a Wisconsin city for Insider Inbox. I find the city on a digital map, slowly zoom out, and try to guess the location based on other cities or highways I recognize. I love reading Insider Inbox every day and the extra Wisconsin geography is an added bonus. How often do you look up cities for Insider Inbox?

More times than I care to admit. For a lifelong Wisconsinite, my geography of our fair state is woeful.

Geoff from Omaha, NE

What is your least favorite indoor and outdoor chore?

I don’t like to vacuum and absolutely despise pulling weeds.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, will you be asking questions of the readers in the second annual July II series this year?

Spoff is going to be on vacation again around that time, so that’s entirely up to the Inbox. If readers want to do it again, I’m game for an Insider Outbox during the Fourth of July.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

Every year we go to our family lake house for the Fourth of July and every year I buy the same NFL preview magazine to read there. This year, I picked it up at the store and was flipping through it before checking out. I saw that they picked the Packers to finish fourth in the division. I paused and then put the magazine back on the shelf. Should I have bought it just for tradition’s sake?

Or to give you something to laugh at in February.

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