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Inbox: It's a good position to be in

The Packers covered their bases at cornerback this offseason


Gib from Wausau, WI

Not a question, just a comment. And I care not whether it gets posted in the Inbox. My compliments to you both for how you responded to the use of the word "sucks." Unfortunately, it is representative of a growing trend of coarseness in our everyday discourse on many issues. I'm an old (83), longtime Packers fan who cringes whenever I hear or read that word.

Thank you for your comment and readership, Gib. It's readers like you that make it fun to open my email on a Sunday during the offseason and get to work. Good morning!

Jay from Land o Lake, FL

Kenny Clark may be in the center of the Packers D for many years, given his age and progression as a player. He seems humble and grounded, especially for a southern CA guy. Do you believe he can rise to be an All-Pro DT?

The sky is the limit for Clark, but the Packers are keeping their expectations realistic for the third-year defensive tackle. It's important to note he's still only 22 years old. Clark has a lot of football ahead of him and a solid pair of veterans to learn from with Mike Daniels and Muhammad Wilkerson. What I like about Clark is he also fits the Packers as well as perhaps any defensive player Green Bay has taken going back to Clay Matthews in 2009.

Antonio from Kimberly, WI

While WR may be weaker this year, the RB position is a point of strength. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are two backs that complement each other with their contrasting styles. This year, though, we're throwing Ty Montgomery back into the mix, a guy that can go off like he did in Chicago in 2016. With the offense continuing to be pass heavy, do you think it will be difficult for any single running back to get hot? Is the starting running back role more likely to change each drive or each game?

I don't think it will be difficult for a single running back to get on a roll. Was it hard for Williams or Jones to get hot last year after getting thrown in? As I've said before, the Packers' approach to the backfield is no different than it's been the past seven years under Mike McCarthy. All three of those running backs will get their opportunities, and if someone gets hot, Green Bay will roll with that individual. It's a good position to be in.

Ron from Rockford, IL

I don't hear discussion about Davon House unless it is in the context of not making the team. I actually like his chances of contributing, especially early. Do you guys think his press coverage skills fit the new defense? Wasn't his "fade" at the end of the year at least partially caused by injuries?

We talk so much about the three young corners and Tramon Williams returning, but House is still very much in play. He battled hamstring and quad injuries last year, but showed a lot of grit to stay on the field. This is still a press-man defense. Whatever changes there are, House had a full offseason to learn them. If the past two years have proved anything at cornerback, you never can have too many options. The Packers covered their bases at cornerback this offseason.

Eric from Stevens Point, WI

WH, is there something in the CBA that prevents teams from offering contracts per game instead of per year.

No, but good luck getting an NFL player to sign that contract. Teams occasionally tie per-game roster bonuses into contracts with players coming off a season-ending injury (e.g. B.J. Raji in 2015), but it's usually just a portion of the full value of the deal.

James from Lawrence, KS

Now that the dust has settled in Minnesota, give me your honest opinion about the Packers' most competitive rival – Kirk Cousins over Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater? Smart move?

I think it was a smart move. The Vikings feel like they were an established QB away from contending for a Super Bowl, so I don't blame them rolling out the red carpet for a proven commodity. We'll see what Keenum does in Denver, but history has shown it doesn't always work out for teams when they stick with the Cinderella story (Marc Bulger in St. Louis, Derek Anderson in Cleveland and Tommy Maddox in Pittsburgh).

Chase from Phoenix, AZ

With all the talks about former players, what are your thoughts of Nick Collins? Was he more of a free safety or strong safety? Seemed like our defense dipped a bit when his career ended early by injuries.

Collins was more of a free safety with 21 interceptions in basically six NFL seasons, but he could do it all. Collins could play both safety spots, slot cornerback and even box linebacker. His neck injury was tragic for so many reasons. First and foremost, you never want to see a player sustain a career-ending injury. Professionally, his versatility was perfect for today's defense. He was the type of player who could have bridged the gap from a do-everything defensive back like Charles Woodson.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

While I'm looking forward to the return of real football, I must admit I've enjoyed the 'out-of-the-box' questions and comments recently in the Inbox. Hypothetically you can add one of these players at their peak to the 2018 Packers defense: Reggie White, J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Ray Lewis, Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis, or Charles Woodson? You only get one, who do you pick?

As tempting as it would be to say White or Watt, prime Woodson would be tough to pass on for all the reasons I just talked about in today's NFL. I mean how many defensive backs in today's NFL can do what Woodson did? He had a linebacker's mentality in a DB's body. Woodson and Drew Brees are 1A and 1B when it comes to the best free-agent signings of the 21st Century. Those acquisitions helped breed championships.

Take a look at photos of Packers LB Vince Biegel as he celebrates his birthday on July 2. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson,

Ben from Pensacola, FL

I have the first legitimate "date" with one of my best friends to the Double-A baseball team in town. She's not been to a game in 12 years. Just friends, but a guy can hope. Any chance Adams takes over spinning with 12?

So are you just friends or going on an actual date? You left me confused, Ben. I wish you the best of luck either way. We'll have to wait and see if anyone takes Nelson's place in the ball-spinning competition. I also could see Rodgers starting a new pregame ritual with Adams or Randall Cobb.

Tom from Holmen, WI

Why doesn't the NFL have the hang-time clock on punts anymore? When was the last season they had it in?

That's a good observation. I don't know when that ended, but get your stopwatches ready for JK Scott. That kid can sail a football. I'm excited to watch him work in camp.

Bryan from Madison, WI

As a bicycle guy, I've gotta ask about Ha-Ha's backwards biking. Are you saying he pedals in reverse on a fixed-gear bike, or does he somehow sits backwards on and pedals a regular bike? Either would be pretty impressive, but I'm trying to picture the latter. It sounds like a feat for a contortionist. Thanks for slogging through the dog days with us.

He literally sits on the handles and pedals backwards. It's a sight to behold.

Nate from New Berlin, WI

Do you think it can be beneficial for a player to come out of retirement, performance-wise? Marshawn Lynch's comeback season wasn't half bad. Are there any players (including T.O.) you think could come back and play well?

It depends on the player's age and the amount of hits he took during his career. A perfect example is Ricky Williams. While his career had a number of twists and turns, I think the time off ultimately helped Williams play until he was 34. Right now, only one player comes to mind who I think could suit up tomorrow and play well – Calvin Johnson.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

Regarding Super Bowl XXXII, I always thought Mike Holmgren made a fatal mistake when he only suited up five defensive linemen. Reggie White had a bad back and Gilbert Brown had the bad ankle going in. Gabe Wilkins hurt his knee early and wouldn't risk his upcoming free-agency to go back into the game and play hurt. Denver's undersized but very athletic offensive line just kept pounding away and eventually wore them down to where we couldn't stop them. One more guy would have been nice!

This is something Spoff and I discussed last week. I don't think you can tell the story of the Packers falling short in Super Bowl XXXII without mentioning the mounting injuries on the defensive line and Wilkins leaving after the first series.

Dale from Green Bay, WI

Has a defensive coordinator who moved to a new team ever won a Super Bowl in the first year? I need to know if my dreams of confetti falling on Pettine's bald, shiny head are realistic or not.

It happened as recently as 2015 with Denver and Wade Phillips, who was out of football for a year before the Broncos hired him. Dean Pees (Baltimore, 2012) and Dan Quinn (Seattle, 2013) also won Super Bowls in their first year as defensive coordinator with their respective team.

Peder from Rockford, MI

Not advocating for this, but regarding all potential players being exposed to the draft, how would someone like LeBron James enter the NFL? Would someone like that have to declare for next year's draft?

That's correct. Obviously you never drafted "Pop" Warner in "Madden 25."

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I'm almost certain this question has been asked before, but with the Packers being the only team to celebrate their 100th season this year, who did they play in the first season? And how many games?

The Packers played their first season in 1919. They went 10-1 with wins over Menominee North End A.C., Marinette Northerers, New London, Sheboygan Company C, Ishpeming, Chicago Chilar A.C., Milwaukee Maple Leaf A.C., and the Stambaugh Miners. Green Bay outscored opponents 565-6 before losing to the Beloit Professionals 6-0 in its last game of the season.

Neal from Ft Worth, TX

Wes, you must watch "The Sandlot" one day this summer. It's one of my Top 3 baseball movies. What would be your Top 3?

"Bull Durham," "The Natural," and "Moneyball." As a loyal reader of Michael Lewis' book, I cannot believe how much I liked "Moneyball." My honorable mention would be "For Love of the Game" for all the wrong reasons.

Fearn from Rolling Meadows, IL

Just got caught up on the week's Inbox. Today I learned the famous American gambler, gunfighter, dentist and friend of Wyatt Earp threw a perfect game in the playoffs. That's amazing stuff. Really though, RIP to the true Doc Halladay. 'Twas always fun watching him pitch. He was a wizard out there.

And I was fortunate enough to watch him pitch once against the Brewers at Miller Park. A true wizard, indeed.

Elten from Pleasant Lake, IN

"Destiny of the Republic" is an excellent read. Her other books, "The River of Doubt" about Teddy Roosevelt's ill-advised trip to the Amazon and "Hero of the Empire" about Winston Churchill's experience in the Boer War are also first rate.

I read "The River of Doubt" about five years ago, but not "Hero of the Empire." I talked a little about Millard last year, but she's one of my favorite writers. It's not easy to make historical non-fiction compelling. She has that gift.

Tom from Tucson, AZ

Wes, only read "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss if you're into waiting years for the third and final book. The second came out in 2011.

Is that true? Then, I may have to reconsider. From this point on, I'm only reading series that have been completed. Thanks GRRM. Life is too short to waste time reading books that may or may not have an ending.

Take a look at photos of Packers fans as we celebrate Fan Friday.

Luke from Kenosha, WI

Wes, you've never seen "The Sandlot"?! I can hear Hamilton Porter yelling at you right now, "You're killing me Smalls!" Watch that movie and let us know which Packers player would be each character from the movie.

You have a deal.

Jay from Land o Lake, FL

Wes, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, outside of WI, all expenses paid, where would it be? For me it would be Bora Bora.

The Maldives. Congrats on getting two questions answered, Jay. It's been a long road. You worked hard for that honor.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Wes, is there still room for 'the Bears still suck' chant? Or does this cross the line in your eyes?

Did you know the Lambeau Leap technically is against NFL rules but is permissible because it's grandfathered in? That's interesting. What was the question again?

Fred from La Crosse, WI

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, would it be eligible for Insider Inbox submission? Or alternatively would/could Hod and Spoff answer questions with pictures because answers don't have a word limit?

You'd have to cut the photo in half and submit it twice. I could answer questions with photos, but I don't think our online folks would appreciate having to post 25-30 photos.

Dave from Bentonville, AR

Gentlemen, are you looking forward to training camp starting so we can get back to real football questions as much as I am?

I've always said the Inbox is the fans' canvas to paint on. We answer the questions put in front of us. However, I'd be lying if I said I haven't enjoyed some of the recent off-the-wall submissions. We'll have plenty of time to preview the 2018 Packers, so why not open the discussion up a little? Speaking of which, this space will become the Outsiders' Inbox on the Fourth of July. So keep your eyes peeled for my questions at the end of Tuesday's Inbox. Have a good Monday, y'all.