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Inbox: It's all a progression

We won’t know until we know


Jon from Salem, MA

Are you sure it was a Milky Way and not a Twix? They were all Twix! It was a set-up!

Couldn't think of a better way to start my week. Well done.

Pancho from New Castle, PA

I can't help but wonder if the steps taken to make the game safer are treating the symptoms more than the problem. To some it's not just a game, and it's as important to punish an opponent as it is to win. Are we seeing this encouraged less today than in the past?

That's part of the mentality that has to change, and I think it is. You're always going to have those that push the envelope, but I think overall there are more players adapting to the culture that's necessary for the long-term viability of the sport.

Take a look back at photos of Vince Lombardi during his time with the Packers.

Kyle from Charleston, SC

Hey Mike, hope all is well. I wanted to ask about Vince Biegel and Montravius Adams, since both had injury-plagued rookie seasons. Do you happen to know if the organization is pleased with their progression? Do you think either or both could potentially have a breakout year?

No one's going to give, or even have, a full evaluation on those players in June without pads, but it's important they've been healthy for a full offseason of work. Now they have to carry it over into camp, and then into the regular season. It's all a progression.

Bret from Hertel, WI

I could not find a clip online of the Packers’ comeback over the Rams in Moment No. 6. This was the "Paper Airplane Game." I was in middle school and a group of fans encouraged me to throw the first paper airplane, which was a poster in Game Day Magazine from the Air Force. We had Packer season tickets over home plate at County Stadium. I threw the first one and it almost made the field. Within minutes an announcement came over the PA to stop, but the Packers did a miracle.

I vaguely remember the game itself, but I'll always recall as a kid how dangerous the set-up at County Stadium looked, where the stands practically cut off one corner of the end zone. There's no way the NFL would even allow that today.

Chris from Golden Valley, MN

I was watching some old highlights and found a game in which the officials threatened to give the home team a penalty for crowd noise, not allowing the visiting team to hear their signals. Is this rule still on the books and if not why did the league adjust this rule?

It's no longer on the books because the rule was a disaster.

Ivan from Minneapolis, MN

Which of our aspiring young linemen looks to have the best chance of breaking into the starting lineup?

I think McCray will be tough to knock out at right guard, if Bulaga isn't ready for Week 1, the competition brewing at right tackle between Spriggs, Murphy and Bell will be one of the key ones at camp.

Fletcher from Fall River, WI

I am intrigued with the prospects after this year's offseason, especially up the middle. With the addition of Wilkerson and Burks and a more focused role for Jones, I'm starting to get a positive vibe here. What's your early read on the talent Gutekunst has brought in this year, and the second-year talent that appears to be in much better physical condition and now with a year's experience under their belts?

The Packers are going to be counting on young, unproven players in a handful of lead and reserve roles on defense. We won't know until we know. But health permitting, it tells me Green Bay's defense should be better the second half of the season than the first.

Gerald from Fond du Lac, WI

I'm all about the talk for how well our new corners are going to play, but I think we'll be able to gauge the improvement of our secondary by how little playing time these rookies get. Kevin King looked every bit the part of a future No. 1 if not shutdown, Tramon and Davon are time-tested proven guys, and I don't know if I'm ready to say Rollins, Hawkins, Waters, or Pipkins can't play. I get it they're our 1 and 2 picks and they'll be given every opportunity to play, but they still gotta beat those guys.

Yes, they'll have guys to beat out for playing time during the regular season, but the top two picks are going to be among the six or seven corners on the 53-man roster. That's a given. You just listed seven players not including Alexander and Jackson. Camp and the preseason will narrow the field. You can't keep everybody.

Michael from Tucson, AZ

Hey guys! When it comes to Mike Pettine as the new DC and other new coaching staff, I expect to see some new plays, schemes and formations on both sides of the ball. Do you think other teams will study film of the Jets in '09 and some of the Browns film when they had a top 15 defense, to get an idea of what to look for in our new defense?

The early opponents will study some of Pettine's old defenses, but once there are 4-5 games on film for this season, other teams will have plenty of fresh film to go on.

Anthony from Richmond, VA

I'm in no way a T.O. fan, but in a way the voters are proving him right. Reading a lot of negative things they're saying about him and saying they shouldn't have voted for him. I think that's just as bad, if not worse, than what he's doing. Think they need to check themselves and set a better standard. Guy has issues, but he deserves the Hall.

Otto Graham and Y.A. Tittle didn't get in on the first ballot, if that's what this is about. The objections to Owens' candidacy were reasonable, but over a few years they were argued out by the committee. The process worked the way it's supposed to.

George from Hutchinson, MN

What are the main objectives the team wants to accomplish during this upcoming quick minicamp?

McCarthy indicated earlier the minicamp will be about reviewing some of the areas of the installs from OTAs that need more work.

Matt from Janesville, WI

Everyone wants to talk about Allison and the three rookie receivers that were drafted, but what about Michael Clark? He saw some game time at the end of last season and I'm interested in knowing how he's looked this spring.

Clark missed some time during OTAs with an injury. We'll see if he's out there this week for minicamp.

Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Guys, would you agree that the NBA has become unbalanced and predictable?


Doug from Eugene, OR

Hi gents! I truly enjoy the coverage, and as a teacher married to a teacher my favorite Lombardi quote is, "They call it coaching, but it is teaching. You don't just tell them, you show them the reasons." That to me poses a question: Are modern NFL coaches still looked at as "instructors" (teachers) or more as "motivators" (coaches), or has it evolved to something else?

If I've heard McCarthy say it once, I've heard it a hundred times. The job of a coach is to teach and demand. I think that sums it up nicely.

Dave from Liverpool, England

If Vince Lombardi were coaching now do you think Vince would still excel and measure up in the NFL?


Kaveh from West Lafayette, IN

Insiders! I'm getting married in a few short hours! I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for the column, which I made time to read today (as I have every day for years) for a bit of calm amidst all the happy chaos. Can you share some pro tips for a happy marriage?

Choose your battles wisely, and if you're blessed to have children in your future, my advice will be the same then. Congratulations.

Packers CB Demetri Goodson celebrates his birthday on June 11. Take a look at photos of him from the 2017 season.

Kevin from Onalaska, WI

On the question about the greatest drafted Packers receiver, I always thought it was Don Hutson. So I guess he wasn't drafted by the Pack?

Nope. Hutson signed with the Packers in 1935. He also signed with another team and was awarded to Green Bay on the basis of the post-stamp of the contract when it arrived at the league office. The first NFL Draft wasn't until 1936.

Andy from Deerfield, WI

Better to have punter questions now, than during the season. Can I get an amen?

He's a rookie. He'll have a whole season's worth of questions to answer, but it certainly looks like he's up to answering them.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Hi gang, thanks for the insights every day. I'd like to appeal to the faithful that we remember George Teague for something else. My personal view of the true "turnaround moment" of the Packers organization was called by Brent Musburger: "It's, … it's intercepted by Teague in the end zone. He's loose!"

I recall Teague making a similar play in college for Alabama in the de facto national championship game. Maybe not exactly the same, but it was as though he repeated his heroics.

Travis from Fort Walton Beach, FL

I liked the physicality of our corners when McKenzie and Harris were together. Am I misremembering how often they pressed, or were we really lucky to have two really good press corners? I do recall they sometimes drew a few extra PI flags, but that seemed an acceptable cost for the turnovers they generated. Did a rules change make it difficult to reproduce their playstyles?

No, they were pretty good at a style I mentioned before isn't as easy to play as people think, and not all teams have a pair of outside guys with such similar skills. We learned in the 2007 NFC title game, though, what a well-placed back-shoulder throw to the right receiver can do against press coverage. You can't play that way and keep your eye on the ball. It's become a heck of an equalizer.

Alex from Ipswich, UK

Not a question but an add-on to the point about press coverage. I believe it was Adams who, last season, spoke about how he would study how corners press, and how he knows which will be aggressive in their press/contact and who will fake their aggression then back off. It really is a game of chess out there.

Both receiver and corner are also weighing when it's the right time to pull out their best moves. It's a long game.

Nicholas from Portland, OR

In regards to coaches only getting TV video feed, doesn't this call into question networks manipulating the feed to boost their ratings? For example, a questionable call is made on the field at a crucial moment in a playoff game. FOX decides to wait 30 seconds to air a replay, putting the coaches in a tough bind as to whether or not to challenge. If FOX wants a particular team to win, say to improve ratings for the next round in the playoffs, what's stopping them from doing this?

Did you know someone on the grassy knoll?

Rick from Selinsgrove, PA

Was going through the pics of OTAs, and came to the one where Gute is in focus, watching the actions of the players around him who are slightly out of focus in the foreground. Love that pic! I can only imagine all the work that goes into assembling a team like this. Bet he can't wait to see what this group is capable of...I know I can't! Thanks for all you guys do to keep us informed while we wait!

T-minus 90 days and counting …