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Inbox: It's a good spot to be in

Everybody who’s anybody will be in Indianapolis this week


Jeff from Dodgeville, WI

Someone's got a case of the Mondays! Cheer up, Spoff...

You don't know the meaning of "a case of the Mondays" until you've written six consecutive Inboxes. Good morning!

Braden from Aurora, CO

Wes, how was your time off? Hope you got a lot of time with Baby Hod in! In regards to the comment on this defense lacking an "enforcer," I'd like to present Mike "Diesel" Daniels as Exhibit A. For the other levels of the defense, I don't see Clay or Jaire backing down to anyone.

It was a great week. I changed a lot of diapers, watched my nephew play basketball, spent time with my mom and enjoyed a weekend in Madison. I agree with Spoff. Enforcers aren't the problem. They need playmakers. The Packers have a few promising candidates such as Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander, but they need their young guys to take that next step. That's how you level up a defense.

Tom from Iron River, WI

Is the new coaching staff taking a look at the team by watching hours and hours of 2018 game film? Group sessions or position-related?

Any new coach is going to look at the film of his players to get a better grasp on what they do well and areas they need to improve. I don't have it down to the minutes and seconds, but I'm sure the coaches are breaking it all down as they build their playbook.

Will from Charlotte, NC

Is it ever frightening to think what will happen to the Packers when Aaron Rodgers leaves/retires? I have high hopes but it's just scary to think about it.

Win or lose, the future will happen eventually. There's nothing you can do about that, so my advice to you is to enjoy the moment.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

Welcome back, Wes! I like how Gutey has been tightlipped so far about the process. Do you think this is something he picked up from Ted Thompson or just general practice for most GMs?

Every GM has his own philosophy, but I think Gutekunst has done a good job of being open and accountable with the media. At the same time, he's not required to let everyone walk into the draft room and take down notes.

The free community event, focused on getting kids out of the house to enjoy non-strenuous physical activity, took place Saturday, Feb. 23, on the Lambeau Field Atrium's main floor and fourth floor.

Brian from Schertz, TX

In your initial observations of Coach LaFleur, are you expecting a calm demeanor on the sidelines like Tony Dungy and Jim Caldwell, or do you expect more fire and yelling like Jim Harbaugh or Jon Gruden?

I see LaFleur as an even-keeled guy. Everything I've heard speaks to a cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor. Don't mistake that for nonchalance, though. He can be fiery when he needs to get his point across. You don't have to scream in front of a TV camera to be passionate.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

The article on Mike Smith was insightful. After feeling like the Chiefs' defense was a little less than the middle, I like the sound of his style of influence. Combine that with the potential of our CBs, this defense could be shaping up to be something special.

Kansas City had its ups and downs as a defense last year, but Dee Ford's breakout under Smith is telling. I expect the Packers will add a few outside rushers this offseason, but Smith already has a couple decent prospects to work with in Kyler Fackrell, Reggie Gilbert and Kendall Donnerson. His past history with Mike Pettine should speed up that transition.

Al from Green Bay, WI

You have just been awarded an expansion team, and the commissioner has given you permission to take any three players from the Packers' defense. Who will you take?

Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander and Blake Martinez.

Mark from West Des Moines, IA

What are you hoping to see out of Josh Jackson in his second year with the Packers?

Progress. Jackson is a great prospect, but he's only recently become a starter at any level. He possesses the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary. In Year 2, I want to see him further develop his tools and cut down on the penalties. The talent is there, though. We saw all summer.

Joshua from Houston, TX

Where do we submit our recommendations for draft picks?

Spoff is currently installing a suggestions box in the Atrium.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

I have only heard about the Wonderlic test in regards to the NFL. I googled it and was surprised to read about its history and just what is included. Have you taken the test and how did you do on it?

You have 12 minutes to answer 50 questions. I got my hands on a written copy years ago and got a 27. If you want to take a crack at it, there are a few sample Wonderlic tests online.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

If writers were required to do all the same physical drills at the combine that the players do, what would be your (and your colleagues') top events? I envision Spoff being tough in the three-cone given his shiftiness in taking Wes' lunch.

And he'd be choking up that lunch in laughter after watching me try to do the vertical.

Ben from Rochester, NY

Curious if you think the increased emphasis on running the ball will make for a more physical training camp (within the constraints of the CBA) and perhaps a more physical team overall?

I could see it. I'm also curious if it means the coaching staff will do more with the run in OTAs and minicamp. For the past few seasons, the Packers made it a point to emphasize the pass more during non-contact practices.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

I know that consensus is for the Pack to spend all their extra cap money on free agents this year; however, I think they need to save some for their free agents next year. Mike Daniels and Martinez, for sure, then they also have Mason Crosby, Kyler Fackrell and Dean Lowry to make decisions on. Sign them before the season is done and use some of the cap money for them this year to help out the future teams. Going all-in on free agents this year will make it harder to sign these players next year.

I don't believe signing a few free agents this offseason jeopardizes possible extensions with the homegrown players mentioned. The Packers are in a good spot with their cap even after Aaron Rodgers' contract. They also have a few contracts expiring after next season, as well. There's room to maneuver. It's a good spot to be in.

John from Plum City, WI

How did the Patriots get a third-round compensatory pick for Malcolm Butler, an undrafted signing?

The compensatory equation has nothing to do with whether a player was drafted or not. It's almost entirely based upon the value of the contract.

Will from Glendale, AZ

When will the preseason opponents be announced?

It usually gets announced the second week of April.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

MLB announces its next year's schedule before the end of the prior season. The NFL waits until "the spring" before the start of the season before releasing its schedule. Besides wanting to build drama and create another media event in the offseason, is there any reason the NFL couldn't release its next year's schedule right after the opponents are known?

A lot goes into assembling the NFL schedule. It's not as simple as just plugging games into certain slots. Teams make requests and networks get involved. The NFL makes a big thing out of the schedule release, but it's also not like the league is sitting on it, either.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Did any players remain in Green Bay to work out during the offseason like Daniels has done in the past?

I think I counted a dozen active lockers when we had open media availability in the locker room last week.

Darrel from Pueblo, CO

II, who attends the combine from the Packers organization, other than the obvious coaching staff, GM, execs, Spoff, Wes, Larry. How far down the list do the Packers go in the organization with attendance?

It's pretty much just personnel, coaches and members of the communications department. Everybody who's anybody will be in Indianapolis this week…and us worker bees.

Dan from Marshfield, WI

Does it send a red flag to teams when players at the combine do not work out even though they are not injured? I myself want to see how players work out and react in unfamiliar surroundings.

Not necessarily. As a scout, you have to understand the reasons behind those decisions. If you don't, you could miss out on a game-changing prospect. Remember we're talking about human beings looking to maximize their value.

Tucker from Temple, TX

Wes, you're the coach of an NFL team and you have to win your next game. The catch is that you have to start an "average Joe" at one position on offense or defense, someone who never played a down of college football or beyond. What position do you play him at to give you the best chance of still winning the game despite how incompetent this guy will be?

I'd either play them at weak-side outside linebacker if my defensive end is strong enough to hold the edge, or free safety. If I deployed him at FS, I'd ask my corners to play man-to-man and act like it's Cover-0.

Steven from Ladysmith, WI

Some of the mock drafts have the Packers taking a tight end. Be it T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant, both from Iowa. What do you know about each one and could you compare the two?

It's not every year you have a tight end prospect who draws comparisons to Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce, but those are the expectations being placed on Hockenson. He's billed as an all-around tight end who could step into a starting lineup on Day 1. That's rare for tight end prospects. Fant isn't as complete as Hockenson on paper, but he's an incredible athlete in his own right.

Isaiah from Farmington, NM

Is there a possibility that the Packers go for a player such as Nick Bosa in the draft?

Is there a possibility the Packers get the first or second overall pick?

Darren from Oklahoma City, OK

Hey guys, I am an OU/Kyler Murray fan. Can you explain why a quarterback would choose to not throw at the combine workouts? It just doesn't make sense! BTW, been reading since Ask Vic. Thanks for your insight, humor, etc...GO PACK!

Based on what I've read over the years, the juice isn't worth the squeeze for most top prospects. There just isn't much upside for quarterbacks to throw at the combine.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

With the hiring of a new head coach and assistants, have the Packers also made any changes to their scouting staff, as well?

The only big change so far is Milt Hendrickson. Contracts for most regional college scouts run through the NFL Draft, so scouting "free agency" doesn't typically start until May.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Hey Wes, which players are on your press conference "must attend" list this week?

I'm excited to talk to Wisconsin fullback Alec Ingold (Bay Port High School) and Northern Illinois offensive lineman Max Scharping (Green Bay Southwest). I covered Alec in wrestling and Max played for former Packers linebacker Bryce Paup on the most successful teams in Southwest history. Max's high school teammate, Kahlil McKenzie, was drafted last year in the sixth round by Kansas City.

Robert from Harris, MN

Do you find it as amusing as I do that with three or four years of game films, in actual games, available on most all draftees, that one day of drills to "simulate" game play (the combine) will swing a player dramatically up or down any draft board?

Amusing? It's absolutely hilarious.

Aaron from Tomah, WI

I find the written word difficult to use as a primary source of communication, as it is easy for the reader to misinterpret the tone of the writer. When writing responses to readers, how much do you have to take this into account? How often would you say questions submitted to the Inbox are based off of misinterpretations of your responses?

When we transitioned from Ask Vic, the original suggested name of this column was "Insider Misinterpretation-box."

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Feb. 26 has arrived. In the words of the ever-so talented Donald Sutherland: "Let the games begin!"

Or as I call it, "Let the caravan to Indianapolis begin!" Talk to you soon.