James from Willand, UK
Hi Wes, I just want to say I copied and pasted Mike from Austin's "context layers" quote. That was well-expressed and can be used for many different situations (or contexts). II academy worthy.
Like finding a cooler full of (root) beer in a dry desert, Mike from Austin gave us all hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Michael from Berrien Springs, MI
Rich Bisaccia: "We have a one-play mentality. We don't get three downs to get it right. We have one play to make a difference, and they have to understand the significance and the criticalness of that particular play, and I think if we can get that across, we'll play better." Brilliant! Not just a coach who can scheme, but a man who can teach.
Matt LaFleur was spot-on about Bisaccia's fiery demeanor, but his quiet intensity is what resonated the most with me. It doesn't take long to realize this guy means business. I think his deliberate and disciplined philosophy is part of his secret. Bisaccia said it himself – he's going to demand a lot from his players but that sword cuts both ways. The players are going to expect much from him, as well. Bisaccia talked about his eagerness to wake up and coach football again. Well, I feel the same way about watching him teach this offseason.
Bruce from Jackson, WI
Talk to me, Wes. Help me understand why so many lump losing MVS into the same breath as losing Davante Adams. In the beginning, Aaron Rodgers couldn't count on Marquez Valdes-Scantling to be where he was supposed to be, which led to interceptions. From beginning to the end of his tenure, his concentration was questionable and he caught less than 50% of the balls targeted to him. Facts listed as weaknesses in his draft reports. All things considered if we draft a couple WRs in the first two rounds will be better off. Thoughts?
I've never understood why Packers fans were so hard on MVS. He was an absolute find in the fifth round back in 2018. While Adams is on a different level than almost every NFL receiver, Valdes-Scantling brought speed and size to this offense that will be difficult to replace. Adams and MVS combined for 1,341 snaps and 14 touchdowns last season. The Packers need to re-create that production in the aggregate, whether it's incoming receivers or returning pass-catchers doing a little more.
Jeff from Omaha, NE
Given your choice and the cosmic powers to ensure your choice becomes reality this season, which would you choose: two All-Pro offensive linemen or two All-Pro defensive linemen?
The offensive linemen.
Gil from Guelph, Canada
I'm so excited for the new season. Just finished watching videos on the new coaches and wondering where Jason Rebrovich came from? He seems to have a great mindset, attitude.
Rebrovich appears to fall from the same tree as Mike Smith when it comes to energy and passion for coaching. The only connection Spoff and I could find was his time spent with Nathaniel Hackett, so I'm not sure if that played a role in his path to Green Bay. Rebrovich couldn't ask for two better leaders, though, than Preston Smith and Rashan Gary to build the room around. From there, he'll be charged with developing the rest of the rotation.
Aidan from Atlanta, GA
A few days back, someone referenced all the UGA D-line and the ability to be able to truly project them since they all could not be double-teamed like some of the other stud D-linemen in the draft class this year. To point out, first-round projected Jermaine Johnson was also on that UGA D-line a year ago and went to a lesser FSU team and excelled. The speed and depth of the top tier SEC teams is undeniable at this point. Second- and even third-stringers would be step-in starters at most schools.
The caliber of player in that conference is just different. You talk about second- and third-stringers stepping in, but what floors me is the success those bottom-tier SEC teams likely would have in virtually every other Division I FBS conference. Besides Vanderbilt, I think every SEC team had a winning non-conference record last year. Georgia's defense was special but that D-line will go down as one of the better fronts in the modern era of college football. I can't wait to see what all those guys do at the next level, especially Devonte Wyatt.
Scotty from Lombard, IL
I have been watching the NFL since 1960. The three best players I saw during the time were Tom Brady, Jim Brown, and Lawrence Taylor, in no particular order. When they played, they were the most dominant players for many years. All three of them would have been dominant in any area. Who are the Insiders' three best players they have ever seen?
Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Reggie White, in no particular order.
Eric from Washington, D.C.
According to the 10,000-hour rule one will be an expert at something with eight hours of practice every day for five years. This makes me think of CBA limits being so short. Max four hours on the field in training camp? Of course, a lot of players have been playing football since they were kids, but not at a pro level. Of course, they watch a lot of tape, lift weights, etc., but it's not actually doing it. I can practice throwing every day but will get popped like a zit if I take the field. What gives?
I think you're missing the forest for the trees. There's a big difference between physically playing football and mentally mastering the sport. It's like Spoff and I covering news conferences, practices and games. None of those things directly involve writing, but they're all essential for us to pen our stories. The classroom is such a critical part of the game of football and the lessons can take time. Players need to have their playbook(s) down cold in order to practice and eventually play.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
Is an inability to adjust to the speed of the NFL the main reason some drafted players aren't successful? Because if you've made it to the draft, you're clearly skilled, smart enough to learn plays and understand the game, and disciplined enough to work hard and stay in shape, etc. Even some intangibles like whether a player fits into a given scheme must be factored in by the team who drafts him. So why is 50-50 a good success rate? You get the same odds flipping a coin.
Because in scouting, you need to make sure the coin has both a heads and a tails before flipping it. That's why Ron Wolf's analogy about taking swings at the plate hits home for me (no pun intended). Because the underlying assumption is no team is going to hit on each one of its picks every year. You can go on a Paul Molitor-esque streak of consecutive games with at least one hit, but there are going to be down years, too. To err is human. But GMs also need to make sure they do hit for a decent average. If they don't, their team's win-loss record will serve as the canary in that coal mine.
Matt from Chesterfield, MI
It has been said it takes three years to grade a draft. What grade would you give GB for the 2019 draft?
A solid B. Elgton Jenkins has already been selected to a Pro Bowl and established himself as one of the best players in that draft class regardless of position. Gary's arrow is pointing up after a career year and everyone has seen what Darnell Savage is capable of. Kingsley Keke and Ty Summers made contributions, as well. For only having four picks in the first four rounds, I'd say it was a good draft.
Jeff from Montclair, VA
Really enjoyed the news conference with Rich Bisaccia and am looking forward to an improved special-teams unit...ever hopeful, at least. This left me wondering...has Mo Drayton been picked up by anyone? What's he up to?
Drayton and Bisaccia actually switched NFL cities. Drayton was hired as the assistant special teams coach with the Las Vegas Raiders under coordinator Tom McMahon, whom Drayton previously worked with in Indianapolis.
Rod from Chugiak, AK
I "stack and shed" my firewood, but I can only guess what draft evaluators are talking about regarding a player's ability to "stack and shed." Please describe.
Stacking is a term used to describe engaging with the blocker and winning the underneath leverage battle. While the linemen are locked up, the defensive player keeps his eyes on the ball-carrier and "sheds" the blocker to make the tackle if the play comes his way.
Al from Green Bay, WI
Derek Carr just became the seventh QB to sign a contract that averages $40 million or more per year. Really? Is this now the going rate for a mid-tier QB? If so, the AR contract seems more than reasonable.
That's what I've been saying. The Packers reset the QB market with Rodgers' contract in 2013, 2019 and it's happening again in 2022.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
It seems like with the popularity of the NFL that they are missing an opportunity for a minor league, per se. It would allow players to develop and teams the ability to pull guys up from their minor league teams. What are your thoughts on this?
The Rock's XFL is intriguing because both the financial commitment and long-term vision seem to be in place. It also has followed the AFL blueprint in creating a dialogue with the NFL and NFLPA. I still think the practice squad is the best tool for development because it keeps young players in their respective playbook. But I've always felt the game of football is way too popular for there to be such a dramatic drop-off from players making $200,000 a year on the practice squad to those playing for $200 a game.
Roy from Eau Claire, WI
After all the intensive hours of scouting a prospect, looking at all the data, reviewing tape, etc., do you think it is more the measurement between the ears that ultimately determines a player's success in the NFL?
To an extent. Ryan Fitzpatrick (and his 48 Wonderlic) had a great career for a former seventh-round pick, but he also was never voted to a Pro Bowl. To me, athleticism and makeup determine how high a ceiling a player has. There are exceptions to every rule, but it's still up to the player to break through and reach their true potential.
Jason from Austin, TX
Insiders, with the NFL being as popular as it is, I don't understand why there's any hesitation for them to add a second bye week. It would bring an extra week of football to TV and lining up one of the bye weeks with a Thursday night game seems like a no-brainer regarding safety. It's a win-win. Do you think the conversation of two bye weeks will come before we inevitably have 18 games, or do you think the second bye may come sooner? Or is it not even being discussed?
The season is long enough already. An extra week of football isn't necessary. I'll say the same thing in 2030 when the NFL is pushing for an 18-game regular season again.
Eric from Oshkosh, WI
"Nothing is permanent, Marty. On a long enough timeline, everything is destined to change." I couldn't help but read that with Doc Brown's voice inside my head. And Marty replied, "Whoa. Heavy."
Heavy is the head that drops the line.
Fran from Ashwaubenon, WI
Just for the record, Mike, it was Bruce Clark, not Bruce Smith. Enjoy the II every day, keep up the great work!
Hey, what can I say? Bruces were big in the '80s. Spoff regrets the error. I regret nothing.
Bil from Stateline, NV
I've got it! I know the answer to Wes's trivia question: "Who is Gutsy?" The answer is Grumpy, Dopey, Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Happy and Gutsy! (I know that's eight. No math in the Inbox.)
The book writes itself.
Ryan from Noblesville, IN
Wes, the optimal drinking temperature for beer is between 38-55 degrees (depending on the type and color). It is said that root beer is best served at room temperature because if it's served cold, the bubbles are too large and the soda's flavor is lost. So, is it room temperature, 38 degrees cold, or room temperature but served in a frosty mug?
The root-beer snobs might not like this, but in my humble opinion, life doesn't get any better than a root beer poured into a frosty mug.
Simon from Baltimore, MD
No question, I'm just really excited that my wife and I got an offer accepted on a new house for our move this summer. Soon, my submissions will read "Simon from Brookfield, WI," and I couldn't be happier! Looking forward to finally being able to see all the Packers games on Sunday this fall! Go Pack Go!
Congratulations but we've reached our Brookfield quota for Inbox. Better luck next year.
Jeremiah from Columbus Falls, MT
Hey Wes, when it gets cold on draft day do you put on your "context layers" like I do?
Context layers are never a problem on draft night.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
If I was an NFL GM, I would draft a player who has a high motor. He jumps out on film, is a natural athlete and a great locker room guy. He brings his lunch pail every day and he has tremendous upside. He is always around the football and is going to be a great asset to the organization.
It sounds like you got all the cliches covered. You just have to trust your board, take it one game at a time and focus on going 1-0 this week. Now if you'd excuse me, I must go do my one-eleventh.