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Inbox: It's a challenge but also an opportunity

Everything can change in a matter of a few plays in this league

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QB Aaron Rodgers & RB AJ Dillon

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

The folks possible for the schedule-reveal video deserve appreciation for a job well done. I was entertained.

It was the highlight of an otherwise long and hectic day. Ryan Hartwig, Steven Hudy and their team did a great job on that. Please check it out if you haven't seen it already.

Richard from Menasha, WI

I read an article about the NFL teams' "net rest differential." The Packers are minus-13 days, meaning over the course of the season the Packers have 13 fewer days' rest than their opponents. How big of an impact is that to the team and how does the team try to minimize that impact?

Spoff pointed this out a few days ago and it's true – Matt LaFleur knows how to train and prepare his football team. Through talking with the leadership council and his own past experiences, LaFleur understands when to push and when to pull back. As far as attrition is concerned, I have no concerns. It's a challenge but also an opportunity.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

How do you compare the difference between this year's travel to London vs. previous years having multiple back-to-back West/East Coast road trips in a season? I get that stretch after the London game is tough, but it doesn't seem worse for the wear than previous seasons with multiple coast-to-coast travel.

I think the lack of West Coast games kind of evens it out. The return from London will be taxing, but the Packers still should be back in their own beds by midnight Sunday (Wisconsin time) and ready to begin the week of preparation for the Jets. As strange as this might sound, the lack of a bye after the London game is the least of my concerns with this schedule.

Doug from Lithia, FL

Regarding the Christmas game in Miami, that's better than one of the first games. All of us who were in Jacksonville four years ago will certainly appreciate the later date.

They still gotta play in Tampa on Sept. 25, Doug.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, which game are you anticipating most? Is there one you wish the Pack was not playing?

I'm excited for London and for Aaron Rodgers-Brady V at Raymond James in Week 3. Because those aren't just games – they're NFL history. It's like a lunar eclipse. That being said, the Miami game makes no sense to me at all. I get why the NFL wants Rodgers and the Packers on Christmas (again), but that was a missed opportunity. If you want the game to mean something, then put the Packers at Lambeau Field or at least have them playing the NFC North or somewhere in cold weather. But if you're looking to fill airtime to have a Sunday tripleheader, then match the Dolphins with somebody else.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Packers will be playing several rested teams this year. What's the bigger challenge: Playing on short rest, or playing an opponent that has extra rest?

Playing on short rest. Some teams could have two weeks off before every game and it still wouldn't make a difference.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

I see there are five 3:25 p.m. games on the schedule, which means that Packer fans around the country will miss the equivalent of one full game due to the first one running long. HATE 3:25 games.

And only one noon home game again. Ugh.

Vince from Inglewood, CA

Since the schedule is the hot topic, let me get your thoughts on a question I've been asking for years. Why not have more bye weeks during the season? I'm thinking four bye weeks per team, one every four games. The players will have more time to heal up, which both keeps the team more competitive, and keeps the stars in the spotlight for attendance/ratings. Plus, the league gains three weeks of primetime games. To me, it's a no-brainer win-win-win for all parties.

The answer is the same one I've been giving to this question for years, too: The NFL season is long enough already. Players, especially those on non-playoff teams, would rather take those three weeks in the offseason than extend the regular season by three weeks. I get it. You love football. I love football. But occasionally football needs to go bye-bye for a little bit. Absence makes the heart grow wider or whatever.

Jack from Marshfield, WI

If no team wants their bye in Week 6 or 7, and no team wants their bye in Week 13 or 14, why does the NFL schedule that way? Eight teams on bye each week during Weeks 8, 9, 10, and 11 still allows for a game Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night, and nine for Sunday afternoon, and no one plays fewer than seven or more than 10 in a row before or after their bye. I assume they think it marginally increases revenue this way, but I can't figure out how.

This is probably the question I ask the most. My best guesstimate is the NFL likes having more week-to-week scheduling options.

Will from Rochester, MN

Thanks for all your hard work you two! Do you feel that every year the Packers have the extra home game they will be scheduled overseas in the coming future, or will they have a shot at getting nine homers one season?

It's my understanding the NFL can only force a team's hand once every eight years. So, I believe the Packers will have nine regular-season home games in 2024.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

What percentage of plays in a game are considered special teams? I'm guessing it is higher than most people realize.

The Packers had 23 special-teams snaps against San Francisco in the playoffs compared to 56 offensive plays and 54 defensive snaps. So, that's just under 20%.

Russ from Henrico, VA

I assume we would all be pleased if the "other Georgia" linebacker does as well as the "other Georgia" cornerback did last year?

That would be ideal.

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

With the late bye and the international trip, it seems even more important to have players on the practice squad who can step up and play at any time. Agree?

Sure, but first and foremost, it's going to be critical for the players on the back half of the active roster be ready for starting roles when their numbers are called. Eric Stokes, Jon Runyan and Yosh Nijman weren't on the starting depth chart in Week 1. But everything can change in a matter of a few plays in this league. So, the reserves must be ready in order for the Packers to weather the first half of this daunting schedule.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Randall Cobb isn't too shabby of a red-zone contributor, either.

One of the very best.

Dave from Sparta, WI

With our RB duo among the best, where do you see them improving this year? Or how will they be utilized differently to start the season? I'm sure our WR group will be ready to go but moving around "The Mayor" and A.J. sure sounds like fun. It's hard to believe that they both had nearly identical 40 times at their combines, given the body type differences. I'm sure Coach will have some new wrinkles in the playbook.

I think we're going to see both on the field at the same time this year, even more than last season. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are not only two of the Packers' top offensive playmakers but they're also two of the best players on the entire roster. I expect LaFleur will expand the menu of what those two running backs can do. I firmly believe both will be focal points in the passing game, as well.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Do the Packers have a full-time sports psychologist and mental health specialist on their staff of physicians? Are these areas you would feel comfortable writing more about? Thanks.

They do. Dr. Chris Carr began consulting with the Packers in 2018 before joining the team full-time in 2020. He's one of the best in the business. Aaron Rodgers and several others have spoken about how the impact Dr. Carr has made during his short time here. There has been a significant uptick in performance psychologists throughout sports for that very reason. In both sports and society, we've long emphasized physical well-being in our daily lives. It's great to see we're catching up on the mental-health side of things.

Take a look at the opponents the Green Bay Packers will be facing during the 2022 NFL season.

Dale from Aurora, CO

Hello Insiders, taking any bets on whether Davante Adams equals or beats his production in Green Bay with Derek Carr and the Raiders?

Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, sir, but I admittedly would be surprised if Adams outproduces what he did with Aaron Rodgers. Don't get me wrong – Davante could easily have an All-Pro year with Carr, but his production with Rodgers came at a breakneck pace. Adams was targeted 318 times in 30 regular-season games the last two years. As much as Carr loves Adams, he also has two established veterans in Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow who'll want their touches, too.

Kevin from Santa Rosa, CA

I can't wait for the 2022 season to start. I also don't like to get into what might happen next year. However, I couldn't help but look at your list of restricted and unrestricted free agents coming up. WOW! That seems like a lot of key names on that list. Is that a normal, or is a large number of players to re-sign?

Before you say you don't want to get into next year, I'll remind you of the army of Packers fans groaning about how this 2022 season might shape up last year. And basically, each and every one of us was wrong in our prognostications. So, yeah, don't worry about 2023. Set your sights on what's ahead in 2022.

Nick from Santa

I had no idea Mason Crosby has been in the league as long as he has, and is approaching Brett Favre's consecutive-starts team record. Both have had stellar careers and we've been fortunate to have such consistency across two vital positions for so long. Do you think Crosby has it in him to threaten Favre's NFL record? Thanks for all you guys do with the II. Go Pack Go!

I do. As incredible as Favre's streak was, what Crosby has done is impressive in its own right. He's been tough, durable and consistent at a position where it can be difficult for a player to stay employed with one team for 15 years.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. Loved your answer to Scott from Downs, IL. "It's like walking up to the all-you-can-eat buffet before close. You scan the counter and make the best of a bad situation." Think that might make a great II T-shirt? If that's too long, how about just the first sentence, and let people figure out their own punch line? Bet they could come up with some pretty imaginative responses.

What happens at the all-you-can-eat buffet before close, stays at the all-you-can-eat buffet before close.

Don from Boise, ID

I'm going with perch and fries, and a frosty mug.

You can have your perch. Spoff can have his walleye. I'm already in the car headed to Arlington for some all-you-can-eat bluegill with Kevin. Have a great weekend.

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