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Inbox: It's a talented field to choose from

The NFL playoffs are going to be a race to the finish

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Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Wayne from New Orleans, LA

Why am I still feeling so sad about this game?

Because none of us have plans for the weekend.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

Congrats to Coach Hackett for landing the Denver job. To be clear I am a diehard Yooper Packer fan. Living here in Colorado makes me appreciate you guys and the II all the more. I have benefitted so much from the "Just Win This Week" focus. The local media's reaction to each Bronco game is this: Lose one game, and it is fire everybody on Monday. Win a game, and you better get your Super Bowl tickets. The this-week focus is so healthy and wise, we all need to be thankful for Mike and Wes!

Congratulations to Hackett. He was a consummate professional here with the media and a smiling face whenever you saw him in the building. It's great to see how things have come full circle for him after what happened in Jacksonville. Echoing what I said about De'Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas, Hackett landing the head job in Denver is good for the Green Bay Packers. It not only allows individuals inside the building to grow and prosper but also makes Green Bay an attractive destination for potential free agents and coaching prospects. Stability is great, but there's also something to be said for turning over the ground after a harvest to enrich the soil. A confident, talented coach like Matt LaFleur doesn't fear change. He embraces it because of what it means for the young coaches around him. I'm excited to see what happens.

Steven from Oak Creek, WI

Now that our OC left to join the Broncos, will the Packers promote an assistant coach to that position or will the team be considering any options out there that are available to them?

LaFleur will cast a wide net. There are a lot of qualified candidates, inside the building and externally. Pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy has been a popular name in the coaching carousel. Run game coordinator/offensive line coach Adam Stenavich has been a home-run hire, too. Also, running backs coach Ben Sirmans is the longest-tenured offensive coach on staff. Justin Outten has been with LaFleur for a while. So, there are a ton of directions this thing could go. It's a talented field to choose from.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

Both Getsy and Steno are mentioned as potential OCs elsewhere...can Green Bay block either one by offering the OC position in GB? Can they decline promotion in GB in order to be promoted elsewhere? Could we potentially lose both?

There were some good questions this week related to this that I honestly don't know the answer to. Teams no longer can block a position coach from interviewing for a coordinator position. That is true. What I'm not sure of is whether a coach is restricted from leaving for an OC job if the OC job is available on his current team. Or if adding associate head coach to a title would change things? Or if a coach has the opportunity to call plays elsewhere?

Simon from Baltimore, MD

Not to beat a dead horse too much about the offensive collapse against the 49ers, but one insight I had that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere: After AJ Dillon was injured, when Patrick Taylor was in, he never got the ball, only play-action, which the defense didn't bite on. Play-action works when the run is a threat, but the Niners seemed confident the Packers weren't going to give Taylor the ball, and they were right every time.

Like I said earlier this week, losing Dillon was a big deal. To me, it kind of felt like when Clay Matthews got banged up late in the 2014 NFC title game in Seattle. One of the stories I wrote for next week is how Dillon feels more motivated than ever to get to a Super Bowl. He isn't alone.

Rafael from Mexicali, Mexico

Am I wrong celebrating all the good things that the Packers did right this season?

No, not at all. Like Spoff and I discussed on "Unscripted," there were a lot of awesome memories this year. Those count, too. I drove with a buddy of mine to Atlantic City in 2019. The destination was all right/not great, but the journey there and all the stops along the way made that trip special. Don't lose sight of the forest for the trees.

Jon from Laramie, WY

The sooner we get Spoff on vacation, the sooner the Aaron Rodgers situation gets resolved, right?

Wanna know what's funny? Rodgers alluded to his decision likely coming around the time the Packers have to make a call on Davante Adams and the franchise tag. Teams can begin tagging players on Feb. 22, and you guessed it, Spoff is off that week.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. So, the Packers released Jack Heflin on Jan. 21 and re-signed him on Jan. 27. What discussions would have gone on behind the scenes during that week? There couldn't have been that much adjusting to do on a rookie's free-agent contract. Thanks.

No real discussions other than probably, "Hey, stick around. If you clear waivers, we want to sign you back to the offseason roster." Heflin was just caught in a late-season numbers crunch. As a second-year player and former undrafted free agent, Heflin remains under team control for two more years.

Issac from Oxnard, CA

I went back and compared Corey Bojorquez's approach to the punt and it was the same as any other all year, as some people suggested he took an extra step. My question might sound stupid but can punters feel a punt possibly being blocked and speed up their process even if it means a less efficient punt but knowing it won't get blocked?

I would think so but I've never had that discussion with a punter. I couldn't tell you what Bojorquez's thought process or perspective was on the play. Mistakes were made, a punt was blocked and the complexion of a game was altered.

Eric from Roscoe, IL

All this salary cap stuff got me thinking, and excuse me if this has been asked before, do coaches' salaries count towards the cap? Thanks for all you do.

Nope. Just the guys wearing the helmets.

Joe from Spooner, WI

Super Bowls are nice but if you lived in my part of the state, beating the Vikings means way…More!

And last I checked the Packers are still up 4-nil on the Vikes when it comes to Super Bowl victories.

Matty from Durango, CO

Wes, it's interesting looking at the newest generation of head coaches. It looks like the demise of the "hard-ass," drill-instructor coach as we see more of the Matt LaFleur types getting hired. I'm not judging but I do remember our high school coach's, "Matty, what are you, some kinda plow horse?" That stung a little and gave me a nickname for a few years.

I think there's a little misconception here. LaFleur does coach guys hard. You're just not going to see that coaching happen in the media. I think what's changed the most is how sports science has been applied to training and preparation. That's the biggest difference today and LaFleur is a staunch believer in that. But when a player needs to be corrected, LaFleur does have an outside voice to get his point across.

David from Oak Hills, CA

So, I noticed that the Packers HOF offers multiple stadium tours: Classic, Champions, Alumni, etc. Now that it's the offseason where do we sign up for the II stadium tour presented by Mike and Wes? That is a must.

It's like the McDonald's secret menu. It exists…but it's hidden, very hidden.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. Since the season is over for the Packers, it would seem that you might have the weekend off. Will you watch the championship games? Or will you have a quality weekend with the family? Guess you might be able to do both. But remember Vince's advice, "Family First."

I will watch some, but it won't be appointment viewing. I'll probably take the same approach I took last Sunday and see if there are any down-to-the-wire games. It's an exciting field, though, with three young QBs and an established vet making his first deep playoff run. The NFL playoffs are going to be a race to the finish.

Sandra from De Pere, WI

Rumors. Who cares?! No matter what, A-Rod will never win another Super Bowl with the Packers. Neither will Jordan Love.

OK.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

I hope the entire Inbox community realizes how much each and every one of you is appreciated and celebrated, both in-season and also during the long stretch of the offseason. It is invaluable to have a forum and an outlet for those of us who are loyal fans of the Green Bay Packers, and it makes all the difference knowing we have a place where we can be educated, entertained, and supported. I hope this dynamic flows both ways to those of you who bring us Inbox. Thank you!

In a world of Sandras, be a Sandy.

Josh from Seattle, WA

Heading into the offseason, I assume as writers you both like to read. Did you pick up anything from the Aaron Rodgers Book Club you're looking forward to reading?

Cliff's book. That's what I'm looking forward to reading.

Noel from Norwalk, CA

Greetings II! I have fully recovered from the bitter and cold ending that was Saturday night. Now I can look back and fully appreciate the season. From your wit and wisdom to the awe of watching games in Lambeau Field there is nothing greater. Thank you. Job well done. May you enjoy your offseason to your heart's content.

Like Spoff said, thank you to everyone who reached out these past few days. I am sorry the season didn't end the way you all wanted, but we appreciate you coming along for the ride this year. I'm going to let Derek and Dean take us out one last time.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I had more to give,

Poem season is over.

Nobody to beat.

And now a special message from 2021 Inbox MVP: Dean from Leavenworth, IN…

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Thank you, Wes. It's been my profound honor and privilege to have the final submission in the Inbox for Packer games the past two seasons. I've known for about four months that I would be stepping down from that role to give others the opportunity. I just wish the final chapter could have waited a couple weeks longer. Once again, my sincerest thanks to you and Mike for the privilege.

Thank you, Dean. I enjoyed the poetry ride as much as you did. The great thing about Inbox is it's ever-changing. We'll see what the future holds, in many regards. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

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