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Inbox: It made for a promising start all-around

Having a high football IQ is critical in every area of the field, but especially the back end

TE Luke Musgrave
TE Luke Musgrave

John from Fort Myers, FL

What a GREAT article on MarShawn Lloyd; so well-researched and written. I shed tears several times while reading it. Thank you, Wes!

Thanks for checking it out, though the real credit goes to MarShawn and his mom, Na-Shawn. Both were so gracious with their time while providing the anecdotes that brought the story to the life. I always enjoy diving into the backstory of the incoming draft picks to understand what makes them tick. Through that process, I gained an appreciation of the entire family's work ethic and the sacrifices they all made in helping MarShawn get to the NFL.

Mike from Stevens Point, WI

Thanks, Wes, for the inspirational story of MarShawn Lloyd's journey to this moment in his young career. It's apparent Mother's Day was every day as he followed his dreams!

If I was just a little faster, I would've loved to turn the story around for Mother's Day, but it took a minute for all the pieces to come together. You can tell how much MarShawn appreciates his mother and everything she did for him. With all the sacrifices the family has made over the past 10 years, it's cool that everyone now gets to enjoy this ride to Green Bay.

Adrian from Oregon City, OR

The contracts for franchise players in the major sports, say quarterbacks, are out of all proportion to many of the other players on the team. In baseball, a few points of batting average and 10 home runs can be worth millions to a player. Do you see a time when collective bargaining wins a better deal for the rest of the roster? Or, when will the rising tide lift all boats, not just the yachts?

I don't see that trend changing. QBs are the NFL's CEOs, and we all know how CEOs pull down the biggest salaries in a corporation. That's the entry fee for one of the best in the business at football's most essential position.

Steve from Ellison Bay, WI

Best morel season ever here, hope you guys had some. I have been watching some of Luke Musgrave's 2023 season. He appears to be too fast for a LB and too big for safeties or CB. I think he is indefensible, what do you think?

Nobody is indefensible in this league, but Musgrave does challenge what a defense can do schematically. His size, speed and range are special. He was a second-round pick for a reason. What impressed me most was how much ground he can cover in only a few steps. It made for a promising start all-around.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Weston, over the weekend, I was digging into the continued youth movement of this year's early roster. ATMR (WCBW), I was surprised to find there is only player left who was drafted by Ted Thompson: Kenny Clark. But even more curious, there are actually two who were drafted by Giants ex-GM Dave Gettleman: Corey Ballentine and Xavier McKinney. What do you make of this other than I have too much time in my hands?

NFL careers are as brief as the statistics show. For that reason alone, I think Ballentine deserves praise for his resurgence in Green Bay. The former Washburn standout could've easily been lost in the NFL shuffle after brief stints in Detroit, Atlanta and Arizona but took advantage of an opportunity in Green Bay the past two years. He's not only a versatile cog in the secondary but also a key special-teamer for Rich Bisaccia.

Michael from Baraboo, WI

How do you anticipate the battle for the winner of Jordan Loves backup to turn out?

I have no predictions but I'm excited to see what Sean Clifford and Michael Pratt can do. The Packers have invested draft capital into the position the past two years, and that should benefit everyone in that room.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, last week you listed your top five offseason additions this season and I agree with the exception of one. At the top of my list is Jeff Hafley. I think he will be the key to making it work on the defensive side this season. Am I overstating this? As far as my dark-horse candidate? Think I'll wait about six weeks to reveal that, Weston.

Good call on both fronts. The expectations have been high for the Packers' defense for several years. Hopefully, Hafley has the key to unlock the unit's full potential.

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

It is clear to everyone how NFL athletes are off-the-charts physically different from the rest of us. What is often overlooked is also how smart they have to be. The Evan Williams story about spending hours in the hotel room learning concepts, schemes, and language is a good reminder of how complex the football game is, and how difficult it must be to learn and remember the details of countless numbers of formations and plays. A good reminder to your young readers to stay in school and study!

That's what's always drawn me to the NFL. Being a top prospect doesn't guarantee you'll be the best player. It gets you a foot in the door but it's the work that keeps you there. Having a high football IQ is critical in every area of the field, but especially the back end. It's clear how seriously Williams takes that responsibility with his study habits and attention to detail.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers RB MarShawn Lloyd and QB Michael Pratt, who were in attendance for the 2024 NFLPA Rookie Premiere shoot on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, those of us who predominantly watch Green Bay football on TV get a very limited perspective on what Coach LaFleur is like on the sideline during a game. He comes across as focused, yet ready to high-five players who do good things. Is he quiet? Animated? Does he yell at players? Please give us your inside perspective.

"Locked in" are the first two words that spring to mind.

Matt from Highland Park, NJ

Good morning, Insiders! I was just pondering and decided the league should just allow an extra wild-card team in lieu of a division winner whose record is below .500. I know winning the division should hold some weight, but at what cost? It feels wrong to me that a team who couldn't win 50% or more of their games can gain entry to the postseason. Are you aware of any discussions the league has had on this topic? Thanks for everything you two do!!

It'll never happen, nor do I want it to. I know it's agitating when a seven- or eight-win division champion makes the playoffs, but I could never support ousting a team from the postseason for a sub-500 record. It's not exclusive to the NFL, either. The NBA has below-.500 teams in its playoffs and every March there's a surprise conference-tournament champion from a low-major in the NCAA Tournament play-in game. That's how it goes.

Paul from Rockford, IL

Are we expected to get any additional pick-ups before the regular season starts?

My only expectation is Brian Gutekunst never stops searching for talent. The only question is whether that leads to the Packers signing anyone and that we won't know until it happens.

Chas from Modena, WI

Any news on the Packers having a scrimmage with another team during training camp?

There haven't been any announcements yet, but I assume Green Bay will continue to do that. Matt LaFleur has made it clear he values joint practices, electing for two last August.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

With all the changes they've made to kickoffs in the interest of player safety, do you think the NFL will eventually make some changes to punts as well? Or are they not viewed to be as dangerous as kickoffs since most everyone is lining up near the line of scrimmage anyway?

Correct. The play is slower with no one getting an unabated start in pursuit of the returner.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

Can you or other II readers help me? I am correct that Peacock is $5.99/month, cancel anytime? If so, I for one am OK paying that to see the Brazil game. Do I like it? Of course not, but I just paid $250/seat for nosebleed seats at SoFi, face value!

Exactly. I shudder at the thought of paying $5 or $10 per month for a streaming service but don't bat an eye at plopping down $800 for UFC 303 tickets. Cost is all relative.

Dan from Richmond, VA

Thanks to Mike, we now know that Robert Tonyan has been under contract with every team in the NFC North. But, to the best of your knowledge, has any player ever suited up as an active roster member for each team?

Tim Boyle has gotten awfully close. He only needs to take a snap with the Minnesota Vikings to complete the NFC North quad.

Jack from Wauwatosa, WI

Gentlemen (Wes, in this case), didn't our placekicker wear No. 17 in 2023? It appears that our new QB has also been assigned that number. Is this a sign from the number gods? Keep up the good work, and GPG!

No signs and no conflict. They don't play on the same side of the ball. If both are on the team in September, the Packers will figure it out.

The Green Bay Packers welcomed dozens of NFL FLAG football teams to Lambeau Field for the NFL FLAG regional Tournament this past weekend.

Chad from Rhinelander, WI

Hey Insiders! Do you folks know if/when the Packers 5K will actually be taking place this year? And follow-up either of you intend to participate this year?

The Packers 5K will be back again this year but the date remains to be determined. It's usually the Saturday before the start of training camp in July. I'll be out there once again, setting the pace for the runners in the back.

Bob from Fredericksburg, VA

So, do you guys have a wardrobe dept., or did you have the clown outfits in your closets already? Asking for a friend.

We legitimately had to file an expense report for the clown outfits.

Al from Tulsa, OK

Regarding the dearth of hotel rooms in Green Bay, the fact is Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Appleton are all within an hour's drive away. On the other hand, if the draft were held in Los Angeles, from many hotels one could easily be an hour or more away due to traffic gridlock (I know. I used to live in Pasadena). I think the promoters should point this out.

I remember being in LA six years ago and having tickets for the Warner Brothers Studio tour. Our hotel was probably 15 minutes away and it took more than an hour to get there. I understand it'll be more congested in Green Bay than usual but it's not incomparable.

Nicholas from Oswego, NY

How about if the Packers win the Super Bowl, you wear clown outfits again?


Sarah from Neenah, WI

Is the team excited to travel to Brazil for a game?

We'll find out today and in the weeks ahead, with the start of organized team activities.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

All right, all right, all right! The draft is over, the schedule is out and it's less than four months until the season kicks off. People keep asking me if the Pack is back, and I really haven't had an answer. But now yea, I'm thinking were back! Book that trip to New Orleans early. It seemed to work out well the last time we visited "The Big Easy" to close out the '96 season. Go Pack Go!

I realized a few weeks ago we are now as far removed from the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV as the 2010 team was from Super Bowl XXXI. With that, I feel like the oldest man on earth. Have a good Tuesday.

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