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Inbox: It's already a bigger part of this offense

They always mean much more than a final score

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RB Jamaal Williams

Travis from Superior, WI

Are we going to run out of things to talk about if someone doesn't kick a football soon?

I was there about a week after the draft ended, but I need to stay employed.

Paul from Rockford, IL

Jamaal Williams has made a few social media posts about him training to catch out of the backfield. Is this something the Packers will be going to even more in Year 2 of the new offense?

I'm not sure about more, but it's already a bigger part of this offense than previously. Green Bay's running backs combined to catch 101 passes last season, more than six per game, and Williams tied Davante Adams for the team lead with five TD receptions. McCarthy's offenses with Aaron Rodgers averaged around 70 receptions by running backs per season. The numbers were higher with Favre.

Ryan from Appleton, WI

With training camp most likely being closed to the public, what can fans expect for media availability?

I'm not sure and wondering the same thing. TBD.

Rob from Aiken, SC

The Ezra answer has got me wondering: How do you correctly pronounce Dave Pureifory's last name? I was only 9 in 1975 but I can remember always saying it like the second "r" was silent.

I believe that's correct.

Mutt from Blaine, MN

If there aren't any fans at games, could the NFL consider some neutral-site games depending on how different states' rules impact the games? Perhaps CA says no to all sporting events. NFL could schedule games in AZ or NV if those states' rules apply. Without fans, it wouldn't be much of a hit other than travel issues.

I don't see the league going that direction.

Eddie from Jollyville, TX

James Lofton was fast, but Don Beebe ran the 40-yard dash in 4.21 seconds. I'd be surprised if any other Packer can beat that.

Those would be my picks. Beebe in the 40, Lofton in the 100. Other readers mentioned Travis Williams, Steve Odom, Philip Epps and Travis Jervey. I'd also throw Sam Shields in the mix. Beebe, Odom, Jervey and Shields in the 40, and Lofton, Williams, Epps in the 100 would be dynamite races.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Mike, Wes answered a couple questions about players changing their numbers (thankfully Ty's wasn't one of them) and ended one with "and everybody lived happily ever after." Everybody except maybe the fans who owned jerseys with the old numbers and the businesses that still had some old outdated jerseys in their stock. By rule, wouldn't Brady have been required to buy all the unsold Godwin No. 12 jerseys that were still in circulation?

Maybe the rule didn't apply in this case because the Buccaneers released new uniforms this year with a different font for the jersey numbers.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

We're all tired of the uncertainty and the "crystal ball business." Unfairly and too often, you guys get asked to make predictions based on knowledge you don't have. So tell us. What would you like to tell us that you know for sure and that can you guarantee?

I'm taking Friday off and having a beer when I finish the morning's column on Thursday night.

Michael from Chanhassen, MN

Hey Wes, in regards to beating the 49ers on the road, you stated in the last half of your last sentence, "if only in the minds of the fans." I have to think there are a lot of players on the team who would like to rectify those losses from last season?

Of course they would, but these things don't stick with the players as much as fans think they do, and a regular-season game means little to nothing compared to a playoff game in terms of settling a score. The players won't feel any better or worse about last January's NFC title game no matter what happens this November. They'll engage in the topic for the media's sake, but that's about all.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

I had a dream last night that the Packers came from behind to beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. But I know beating the 49ers in the Super Bowl is just as likely as winning the NFC Central.

Good to know you still have your wits about you.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Miami, Jacksonville, and other southern teams have the best home-field advantage to start the season. Green Bay, Buffalo, and other northern teams have the best home-field advantage to end the season. Wouldn't you say Denver has the best natural home-field advantage all season long?

I'll buy that. I always wondered growing up, with a Hall of Fame QB in the mix, how much the altitude helped John Elway pull off so many fourth-quarter comebacks.

Vicki from Waukesha, WI

Spoff, I miss baseball too. It holds a very special place in my heart. My dad was playing semi-pro ball when WWII broke out, so he left a game he loved to enlist in the Army. My mother explained that when he returned he sat in his room day and night without speaking. Then one day a neighbor invited him to help coach his Little League team. He came alive again. After seeing the worst that human beings can do to each other, baseball saved him. So to me, baseball – all sports – aren't just games.

I think whether they're a simple distraction, a ritual piece of our family life, a true passion, and/or part and parcel of our occupation, sports are missed by everybody right now. They always mean more than a final score over which we have no influence or control.

Robert from Salem, WI

Do you feel the timing of other major sporting leagues reopening will guide the NFL?

The timing? No. How they navigate issues as they crop up? Absolutely.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

The team has shown a willingness to try players at different positions based on athletic profile when they don't work out at their initial position. Josh Jackson is one player whose skills would seem to translate to safety based on what has been reported about him given his size and zone pass defense skills. Why has that not happened in the course of the two years he has been with the team?

Because good corners are harder to find, depth at that position is more important, and Jackson was headed in the right direction his rookie year before the foot injury became a significant Year 2 setback. I'm not saying he won't ever switch positions, but I don't believe there's been a full accounting of him at corner yet.

Keith from Bend, OR

Is this the strongest team-wide group of leaders in Packer history? Billy Turner, Marcedes Lewis, Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, Mason Crosby, and the list goes on.

I'm not going to get into historical comparisons or proclamations, but this team has a very strong group of locker-room leaders, yes. It's been a benefit for a young head coach, and how he connects with those leaders has helped create the strong dynamic that exists.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

Please pass on my thanks to whoever put together the "album covers" for World Music Day. I particularly like the Taylor Swift/Curly Lambeau pair.

The creativity of some folks in our department can often bring smiles.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

In the history of the National Football League only two running backs have averaged over 5.0 yards per carry, minimum 1,500 carries. You have probably heard of them, Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. I know his agent knows this, Aaron LaRue Jones has an average yards per carry of 5.0. Let's keep him for a couple of years!

I'd love for Aaron Jones to stick around, but let's not get carried away (pun intended). It's one thing to post that number for 450 attempts and quite another for 1,500. The odds of maintaining that average for even one more season are stacked against him.

Bruce from New Canaan, CT

Wes, you wrote, "I'm going to have a story running (hopefully this week) looking at the offensive possibilities of a Jones/Williams/Dillon backfield." A layup to have added "no pun intended."

Even the young are slowing down at times these days. Happy Wednesday.

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