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Inbox: It's a healthy perspective, and really the only one to have

The game isn’t perfect, but no one is trying to pretend it is

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

Megan from Quincy, IL

I am loving "The Last Dance." Kind of makes me sad to know the last two episodes play(ed) this Sunday.

But those last two episodes sure didn't disappoint. I just wish the cameras would have been allowed to capture at least part of the coffee-can ceremony.

Taylor from Story City, IA

Is it a rule that the traveling team has to wear the white away jerseys? What would happen if the Packers went to Minnesota and wore green jerseys without saying something in advance?

The home team picks the jersey it wants to wear and gives the visiting team adequate notice.

Gary from Manassas, VA

If in four years Jordan Love is our QB1, how do you project our roster looking if most key pieces are still in Green Bay?

Most pieces won't still be in Green Bay. The primary starters for the Packers from four years ago (2016) still starting now are David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers on offense and nobody on defense (Kenny Clark started only two games as a rookie). That's it, that's all. Whoever is the Packers' quarterback four years from now will be quarterbacking a very different team. That's just a fact of life in the NFL.

Nicholas from Portland, OR

With the Thursday game in San Fran, would it make sense to treat the previous Sunday game as a quasi-away game and fly the team out immediately afterwards? Much more time to acclimate to the time zone and three full days without travel.

You aren't the only reader to suggest this. It would be a highly unusual approach, but if LaFleur really wanted to change things up, this would do it.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What rookie offensive lineman will have the biggest impact in training camp?

I'm assuming it won't be Simon Stepaniak because of his recovery, but whether it's Jon Runyan or Jake Hanson might depend on the position each is asked to play. If they're both making a transition to guard (Runyan from tackle, Hanson from center), I wouldn't predict much impact and they may not even take reps with the No. 2 unit. But if either is playing his college position with the twos, the spotlight will be a little brighter.

Monica from Blue Mounds, WI

Wow, nice surprise to see my Inbox shaded! I missed that feature. These days, it's the little things that can make us happy!

We'll take whatever we can get.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The NFL has had its share of controversy in recent years. What is a catch? What is roughing the passer? What is pass interference? Are these good for the game because they generate dialogue, or bad because of perceived inequities?

There's no indication the controversies have diminished overall interest in the game, and the league has shown it's not going to just accept perceived inequities, as it continues to work to find solutions, even if the process can be agonizingly slow and occasionally sloppy. The game isn't perfect, but no one is trying to pretend it is. That keeps the league in a good place, on balance.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

When the Lambeau facilities re-open, will you continue to work from home or return to the office?

That's a decision above my pay grade. I'll do what I'm told to do when the time comes. No date has been set yet on Lambeau re-opening.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Were you surprised with the NFL's (Goodell's) decision to allow teams to re-open their facilities as long as they follow CDC, local and state guidelines considering the usual rhetoric of not giving anyone a competitive advantage?

No coaches nor players, except those rehabbing injuries, are allowed back yet even if a team opens its facility.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Does Christian Kirksey have more speed than Blake Martinez?

I don't know. For what it's worth, their 40 times at the combine were almost identical. Kirksey clocked a 4.72 in 2014, Martinez 4.71 two years later. They're both at the stage where reaction and anticipation mean more to their play speed than a stopwatch.

Brian from Schertz, TX

Do you feel the criticism of the Love pick would have been less if the Packers had not traded up?

Yes. There still would have been plenty of criticism, but not nearly as much in my opinion.

Dan from Hudson, WI

Can the media now please stop with the Aaron Rodgers/Packers divorce drama? He is a pro and has been for a long time. I thought his answers from his media session were straightforward and honest. He was not thrilled about the move up for a QB, who would be if you were the incumbent? But a key is he respects their decision to plan for now and the future. Everyone just needs to calm down.

Or something like that.

David from Cable, WI

Aging and injury have always stood in the way of a player spending his whole career with one team. In recent years the salary cap has added another roadblock. In his comments Aaron Rodgers simply acknowledged what I am sure he has always known. That the odds are against him spending his whole career in Green Bay. Why is this viewed as such earth-shattering news?

I don't think it is viewed that way, but it's still an understandable disappointment to Rodgers. I do think he was trying to maintain as much control of his one-team desire as possible by (unlike Favre) never uttering a word about retirement and being open and enthusiastic about playing into his 40s. Turns out those efforts did not give him any more control after all. I'm sure that took some time post-draft to come to grips with and process. He sounded on Friday like he now has.

Caroline from La Crosse, WI

I appreciated A-Rod's press conference and his ultimate professionalism. I understand controllables we all have. What are the controllables he believes he lost with our drafting Jordan Love?

Aside from what I just mentioned, none really. My favorite line of his on the subject was this: "What I can control is how I play and making that decision at some point a very hard one." It's a healthy perspective, and really the only one to have.

Dave from Madison, WI

I really have always liked Devin Funchess. I think his signing is like finding a diamond in the rough, and will really work out well for the Packers and surprise a lot of people. While athletically he is limited, he has a number of intangibles I like. Am I misguided, or will he be a good No. 2 behind Tae?

We'll see. I know I've spoken a lot in this space about the motivation for the receivers, and I've said many times I never underestimate a motivated professional athlete. Funchess' motivation intrigues me the most. He signed a one-year deal for really good money last year with Indy, but an early injury ended his chance of cashing in long-term this year. Now he's on a low-cost, incentive-laden one-year deal with Green Bay, looking to return his earning power to where it was. He also turns just 26 this week. It's still all very much in front of him.

Eric from Greenville, WI

If that rule is gone, it's not just the refs that got their way. Thank goodness that's over.

Be careful what you wish for. I think it's a good rule that was badly misapplied by the command center. I don't believe we've heard the end of it, beyond 2020 I mean.

Joseph from Ellsworth, WI

With the Jerry Rice playoff non-fumble (instant replay started the following season), the Fail Mary (the real refs returned the next week), and the Rodgers-Barr collarbone injury (no full bodyweight on the QB the following year), I wonder if any other team has had such an influence on officiating as Green Bay.

Well, apparently not New Orleans. At least not yet.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Well guys, living close to the German border and having played soccer for years I watched the Bundesliga start up without an audience this weekend. Though nothing less than surreal, if it can sustain health-wise, I can see it happening in the NFL. Reading comments, absence of crowd noise was considered to be the most impactful difference to sentiment and feelings, not to the actual games though. Professionals know there's a job to do. We might not like it, but crowdless football may happen.

At the risk of inviting Vic's soccer-disdained wrath, I decided to post this one. It wouldn't be ideal, but it would be far better than no football at all.

Gary from Chippewa Falls, WI

Phyllis George was great on NFL Today. She deserves a big deal upon her death. She made the job look second nature as a pioneer.

The NFL Today with Brent, Irv, Jimmy and Phyllis was my Sunday morning ritual as a kid. I didn't know much about Phyllis being a trailblazer then because I had never watched an NFL studio show without her and didn't know any different. She never seemed out of place to me, which is probably the best compliment I could give her as a football fan. May she rest in peace.

Bob from Bement, IL

I want to thank the person(s) responsible for adding the secondary II headline to the main Q&A page. That alone has allowed me to finish the Inbox much more quickly and efficiently. I will get many more tasks completed each day II is produced. Seriously. Thank you!

We'd been pushing to get our subheads added to the actual story page (for all stories, not just II) since the most recent web redesign. It wasn't our fix to make but I'm thrilled it was finally made.

Tim from Charlotte, NC

Speaking of a "Dan eat Dan world" my favorite world is, "It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear." – Norm from "Cheers."

I actually got my teenage daughter to watch Season 1 of "Cheers" with me this past year. I consider it a tremendous parenting accomplishment.

Aaron from Wheeling, IL

Facing the reality of having our quarterback of the future in the building probably means 2-3 years left of Aaron Rodgers as a Packer, baring injury. Does this put any added incentive on teammates to win a championship for Aaron?

I hope not, because that would imply they haven't felt incentivized enough to win a championship with him (not for him) until now.

Rick from Albuquerque, NM

Does iron sharpen iron in corners and receivers? From Al Harris to Wood, to Tramon, to Shields, we had Drive, Jennings, JJ, Jordy, then Cobb. The break in line of corners as mentors and as teachers of receivers by example may have resulted in the gaps in both. Davante seems to be the exception. Now that we are starting to get the corners, will the young receivers now rise even more?

Interesting thought, and if there's any truth to it, yet another of many reasons the virtual-only offseason is unfortunate.

Jeff from Seminole, FL

Obviously you need a good run game to make play-action work, which I think the Packers will have, but do you think Rodgers will be more effective under center more, or more snaps in shotgun?

Play-action generally is more effective from under center. From the shotgun, it's more RPO than play-action.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, in your opinion, what percentage of players are cut more for attitude or personality issues compared to lack of ability? I know it's just a guess on your part, but there must be times when a guy has adequate ability but doesn't fit the type of player an organization is seeking to build.

If that's the case, they usually aren't acquired in the first place.

Dan from Allen, TX

To further the point that Wes made about players in this era arriving to camp in shape, I heard a player comment years ago that the best shape he is in all year is Day 1 of training camp. Once the hitting starts, recovery on a weekly basis cuts into conditioning time. These guys take a beating. Reggie White was once asked what day after a Sunday game that his body starts to feel normal. His reply: "Thursday."

Now just imagine what the offensive tackle's answer was.

Terry from Arcadia, WI

Regarding talented broadcasters covering Wisconsin teams, Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder also deserve to be mentioned.

Duly noted, but the original list was specifically radio.

Ron from Kimberly, WI

Guys, a statement, not a question. Giving away my age! As much as I like Wayne and Larry in the broadcast booth, my all-time favorite was Ray Scott. Simple, straightforward and easy to listen to. Starr, Dowler, touchdown!

As usual in these discussions, several readers mentioned Scott. The sentiments are appreciated. I grew up listening to Pat Summerall, whom I really enjoyed, call games on TV and I've been told his style was much like Scott's.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

Eddie Doucette bro. I remember the calls on WISN like it was yesterday. "Smith in the forecourt, deals to Dandridge, wheels to McGlocklin in the corner .... Bango!" (Enter "Bango the Buck," BTW.) Doucette was one of the greatest. I know he's an HOF member but he must not be forgotten. A legend even before his time.

I did not know the origin of Bango's name. That's priceless.

Ryan from Colfax, WI

Am I the only one that tries to predetermine how the title of II each day will be used in a response based on the picture? That has to be my favorite part before reading any questions/answers. My question is, who picks the picture to go along with the II title?

The column writer writes the headline and then gives a photo suggestion to our stupendous intern, Ana, to make the selection.

David from Hilliard, OH

Spoff, if you played Major League Baseball, what would your walk-up music be?

I'd have to alternate between two Van Halen songs – "Dreams" (which I quoted in my high school graduation speech) and "Right Now."

Fred from La Crosse, WI

If a Gjallarhorn is blown in an empty stadium does it make a sound?

Of all the comments about empty stadiums I have skimmed right by, this one made me stop and laugh. Happy Monday.