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Inbox: It's a different animal at this level

If he’s fully recovered and healthy, he’ll play plenty

RB Aaron Jones

Russ from Henrico, VA

All the current speculation and commentary has me yearning for a few Oxford Comma submissions. Should I have capitalized that?

Oxford yes, comma no.

Todd from Winona, MN

"I wonder who would have gotten the better of a collision between Nitschke the fullback and Nitschke the linebacker." This couldn't happen as it would disrupt the space/time continuum! Couldn't resist for some reason. Sorry.

I could use a disruption in the space/time continuum right about now. A massive one.

Dave from Roswell, GA

I know a lot of people are saying AR is breaking his contract but don't the Packers and all the NFL teams do it all the time (e.g. release, cut, restructure, etc.)?

Yes. Guaranteed money in an NFL contract is always the key element. That's the only amount the player knows for sure he's getting, and what the team is bound to count on the salary cap at some point.

Erick from Vancouver, BC

I'm with Wes. Until a real person (especially one named Aaron Rodgers) goes on record with a statement, all of this storm and stress is just chatter. However, at what point do you see the media "reporting" on these rumors affecting reality? If left too long, could the media banter influence the relationships, egos and the overall narrative of whatever the real situation is?

Mercy, let's hope not.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

What is your opinion of Adam Schefter's timing and ethics?

He reported a bombshell story, the foundation of which has been confirmed by all relevant parties. So, contrary to the attack line I saw of many readers, he didn't just make it up. Let's be clear about that. The problem is his initial tweet and report said the information came to him last Thursday, and that's how it was delivered. Now he's saying he had the story for a while and was sitting on it. Only he knows the truth and any motives for the timing, whether it was at the behest of his sources to maximize noise, or his own network to juice its viewership of the draft. The discrepancy doesn't change the truth of the story. But now the motives for changing the timeline of when he received the information, and not writing that portion of the report accurately from the beginning, are brought into question.

Spencer from Fulda, MN

I love the Shemar Jean-Charles pick. I'm a big fan of smothering corners who can tackle. It seems as though that might not fly in the NFL with how much contact he makes before/while the ball is in the air. Are the rules from college to the NFL that much different that he might be "too aggressive" for the NFL?

The biggest rules adjustment corners have to make going from college to the NFL is with illegal contact beyond five yards. In college, defenders legally can contact receivers downfield until the ball is in the air. In the NFL, that can draw a flag and give the offense an automatic first down. Aggression can be channeled properly by working on technique and timing, but it doesn't happen overnight.

Kevin from Indy, IN

Good morning! Can you describe the happy dance you would do if our new A. Rodgers performed so well this year that he shifts the narrative from "Why won't the Packers take a WR in the first round?" to "Why wasn't Rodgers taken in the first round of the draft?" The incredulity is a constant, but the latter seems like a better conversation.

It's a conversation that should've taken place multiple times in the past, much louder apparently, for those still misguidedly hung up on a statistic.

Sawyer from Simpsonville, SC

One thing Packers fans need to know about Amari Rodgers: When the Tigers lost Justyn Ross for the season (who wears No. 8 for Clemson), Amari had to step in and run a lot of those routes as well as what he does in the bubble screen. Y'all get ready, he's gonna be a fun one to watch!

I think he's gonna have fun in this offense.

Elliot from Hopkins, MN

I have read a lot about Amari Rodgers and how great he is and what a steal he was and nothing negative, which has been awesome. What made him a third-round pick?

Probably being 5-9 but not being known as a blazer (though a 4.5 40 isn't exactly slow), and some dropped passes on his college film.

Joshua from Houston, TX

Kuhn is telling the real story.

A lot of what he said felt grounded in reality to me, based on complex human emotions, as opposed to proverbial lines in the sand or ultimatums.

Matt from Minneapolis, MN

Do you think Kylin Hill could be the best value pick of our draft? When I read his draft profile I can't help but be reminded of Jamaal Williams when they talk about his size and violent running style. I know those are big shoes to fill, Williams was incredibly reliable – he never fumbled, was a great pass blocker and solid receiver out of the backfield. But Hill was reliable as a college back and brings a different running style to the offense.

I agree on the different style, and the no-fumbling trait is certainly reminiscent of Williams. But I've learned to reserve all judgment on a running back's abilities in pass protection until seeing him execute it in NFL practices and games. Like most things, it's a different animal at this level.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Wes said he would be replaced by another writer if he didn't show up for work, but Rodgers would be much harder to replace because he's on another level. Wes shouldn't sell himself short because he's no slouch. I, on the other hand, am a tremendous slouch.

Nicely done.

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi Mike, has any NFL MVP played for a different team the following year? Have any retired or sat out the following year?

No reigning MVP has ever played for a different team the following year. Norm Van Brocklin (1960) and Jim Brown (1965) both retired.

Drew from Dubuque, IA

Assuming Fields wins the starting job in Chicago, is there any value in defensive players or coaches having a chat with Josh Myers about his college QB while preparing for the Bears?

Probably not much. I doubt there's a whole lot Myers could say that the coaches wouldn't glean from their usual film study. He won't be running Ohio State's offense, he'll be running Matt Nagy's.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

As if anyone needed another reason to wish Corey Linsley success in LA, OvertheCap has calculated that the comp pick the Packers get for Linsley next year is right on the bubble between the third and fourth rounds. That means the pick could turn out to be roughly either No. 99 or No. 135 (and we know Gutekunst likes to trade pick No. 135...). To get bumped up to the higher option, Linsley would need to stay on the field all season and/or make the Pro Bowl or All-Pro squads.

Duly noted.

George from Keenebunkport, ME

Devin Funchess opted out last year. Reggie Begelton and the rookie skill players did not have the benefit of an offseason due to COVID. There appears to be a lot of competition shaping up at WR and TE. Do you see any of the 2020 non-contributors (Funchess, Begelton, Josiah Deguara, etc.) making any impact in 2021?

Funchess is a proven pro, so if he didn't age too much or lose his edge in the year away and is able to make the team, I would expect him to contribute. But Begelton and the other young receivers aren't just going to hand him a roster spot, either. Deguara was a Week 1 starter as a rookie. If he's fully recovered and healthy, he'll play plenty.

Steve from Wauseon, OH

Am I the only one who wishes Rodgers would've hosted "Let's Make A Deal" instead of "Jeopardy!"?

Good one.

Dalton from DeForest, WI

The Packers clearly prioritized the offensive line with their picks and UDFA signings. Are they concerned with their starting lineup on the O-line, or was that more about depth with the number of injuries they sustained in that position group last year?

It's mostly the latter and the uncertainty of the timeline of David Bakhtiari's return. But I also think if the Packers had selected one of the top-tier offensive tackles before they were all gone by the middle of the second round, they may not have felt as compelled to stockpile as many options up front by the end of the process. The flip side of that is perhaps they didn't feel compelled to get one of the top-tier tackles because they felt good about the possibilities on their board later in the draft. That's why it's always said no one ever knows how it's gonna fall.

Joe from Wausau, WI

It seems that college offensive tackles are oftentimes viewed as guards in the NFL. Is this all based mainly on physical measurables or is there other main factors that goes into these decisions?

It's a combination of measurables and footwork. If a prospect doesn't show the type of nimble footwork required to play on the outside at tackle, scouts are likely to say his better NFL position will be guard.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. Two of Green Bay's undrafted free agents are defensive linemen. Jack Heflin played his senior year at Iowa and Carlo Kemp played for Michigan. Did you know both were invited to the Hula Bowl and actually played right next to each other at times in that game? Small world. Kemp was the defensive player of the game for his interception of a short pass and 62-yard return for a touchdown. Also, who is Carlo Kemp's uncle?

You made me look it up. Chuck Pagano, didn't know that. For the record, the Packers are listing Kemp as a linebacker, so they are trying him as an edge rusher.

Bill from Savannah, GA

To continue the discussion about QB coaching in college vs. the pros: Would a QB like a Russell Wilson really have been drafted higher than the third round this year? He's an incredible athlete, and super smart to boot. But he had one year in a D1 school, and he's 6-foot in 4-inch heels. Are those guys more sought after by college recruiters now than they were? I suspect someone like that will always be a sleeper pick.

Wilson had four years in Division I, three at N.C. State before his finale at Wisconsin. He fell to the third round primarily because of his height. I don't think it would scare teams off as much anymore.

Jay from Sacramento, CA

Hey Mike, back in the day before ESPN/Twitter/etc. there was the AP Wire. It came into the newsroom I worked in Wausau, and every Sunday Dave Krieg's folks would call me to get the score and any info on the Seattle game that day. Led me to wonder your thoughts … who was the better quarterback to come from the state of Wisconsin, Dave Krieg or Tony Romo?

I'd have to give the nod to Romo, though I wholeheartedly admired the career Krieg put together. He won more than 100 games as a starter (101-83, including playoffs) coming from tiny, now-defunct Milton College. It wasn't just the humble roots, either. Krieg's toughness as a QB was vastly underrated. I think I've mentioned before how he was on the receiving end of Derrick Thomas' single-game NFL record seven sacks (the Chiefs had nine sacks in all that day), and got off the deck to drive the Seahawks 66 yards in three plays in the last 48 seconds, hitting a 25-yard TD pass on the last play of the game for the win. He also, at age 37 for Arizona, absorbed a league-high 53 sacks, and still came back the next year to start 12 games for the Bears.

Trev from Omaha, NE

I will be starting next week in my first assistant coaching role for baseball. I'm extremely excited to get going. What is one piece of advice or knowledge you could pass along to me?

If it's bases loaded, two outs, and a dropped third strike, make sure the catcher knows all he has to do is pick up the ball and step on home. That, and prioritize having fun.

Shilo from Murietta, CA

If you cut the media noise, I think that the core issue is that Rodgers wants a commitment, but the Packers want flexibility, and the question is if they can find enough common ground to continue together. They both have reasonable desires, and there's no need to villainize either side. That's it, and I hope they find a way forward.

There is no place in our current world for this type of rational, level-headed, sensible analysis. Where do you get the nerve?

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Spoff, how many new "Seinfeld" references are you planning on crafting now that there is a Newman on the roster?

Happy Friday.


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