Cody from Ridgecrest, CA
I live in the middle of the Mojave Desert and watching the Pack and reading your Inbox are two of the few things that help me get through being in this wasteland. I am feeling really good about this upcoming season and am curious as to who do you expect, and who would you like to see stand out the most this year on either side of the ball?
Why am I picturing Snoopy’s cousin Spike sitting next to a cactus with a laptop? What an image to return to. I’m back after a thoroughly entertaining week with Wes at the helm. Let’s get to it.
Corey from Whitehall, PA
With the protests, rule changes, and other hot topics affecting the NFL, do you ever see another league such as the Spring League or the soon-to-be resurrected XFL challenging the NFL in popularity as the USFL did?
The USFL reached the level of popularity it did because it filled a void in the offseason and was able to compete to sign star players. With the game’s top salaries now, the chances of another league rivaling the NFL would appear remote.
David from Gothenburg, Sweden
Hey! I was visiting Green Bay for the first time last year against the Bucs. Was traveling alone, but this year I'm planning to bring my wife for the Falcons game. She´s not a football fan yet and therefore she doesn't have a favorite team. How do I make her a diehard Packer fan like myself so I can make the trip to Green Bay an annual family tradition? I don´t want to make the same mistake pushing too hard, as I did with my 6-year-old daughter. She now says that she's a Lions fan.
If a trip to Lambeau Field doesn’t do the trick, for your wife or daughter, I don’t know what will. It’s as good a place to start as any.
Fan Friday, Part 3
Take a look at photos of Packers fans as we celebrate Fan Friday.
Kevin from Van Wert, OH
Any word yet on which game will honor Jerry Kramer?
It sounds like Week 2 vs. Minnesota.
Roger from McGrath, AK
The video with Mike Daniels breaking down good line play is outstanding! It leaves me hopeful that I can learn how to watch football someday but it also leaves me feeling a little like Oliver Twist, "Please, Sir, may I have some...more?"
For all the fans who roll their eyes when they hear players and coaches go on and on about fundamentals, that video is for you.
Doug from Ohio
What in the world is RNDATBL?
Clearly Rodgers’ famous billiards reference of 2016, but I saw a Wisconsin Packers plate the other day that had me stumped: DARMWN. Anyone?
Zack from Christiansburg, VA
At the risk of getting banned (please don't), I believe the reason so many ask about Michael Clark switching is because of the discussion a few years ago whether Graham was truly a tight end or receiver. Also if the third receiver doesn't make the jump, can you see Montgomery playing more WR? I think he's a RB first as well, but at the end of the day you must put your best players on the field to give you the best chance of winning, right? Or do you see Graham being our third WR option?
I’m not into predicting specific stats, but provided reasonably good health, I’ll be surprised if Rodgers’ three most productive targets aren’t, in whatever order, Adams, Cobb and Graham. Others are sure to have breakout games here or there, and some game plans could have Montgomery split wide more often, but the core of the Packers’ passing attack should be those three. I’ve mentioned before what I feel is Rodgers’ genuine excitement for the addition of Graham, and he can’t say enough about Adams. As for Cobb, and those questioning his declining production in recent years, I asked Rodgers when I sat down with him for a Yearbook feature whether he thinks Cobb has another year like 2014 in him. Without hesitation, he said he believes Cobb “has multiple years like 2014 in him.” That caught my attention.
Josh from Denver, CO
People often ask the question, "What past Packers player would most improve the current Packers team?" My variation is, is there any current Packer, excluding Rodgers, that you could put on a past team to make them a Super Bowl winner?
I’ve always felt the 2003 team, given what Ahman Green did that year, needed one more big-play receiver and/or one more productive pass rusher. Take your pick as to position and player to add, but either might have put that team over the top.
Davy from Chetek, WI
I saw that Edwin Encarnacion broke a TV camera with a foul ball and it made me wonder, do the broadcast stations all have their own cameras that they cart to each stadium, or are the cameras owned by the teams/stadiums themselves? If the former, can FOX, for instance, store the cameras at Lambeau Field when they have multiple weeks in a row at Green Bay?
Each network brings its own cameras to each game, and each crew at a given network has its own set of cameras. The top crew (Buck and Aikman in the booth, for example) brings more cameras to a broadcast than other crews. I don’t recall ever seeing production trucks staying parked at Lambeau for multiple weeks at a time.
Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica
Hey Mike, a very long time from now, AR retires and you get to interview him. What do you most want to ask him, now that "competitive advantage" is no longer an issue and he might give up some of his secrets?
I think I’d want to know more about how his mind worked at the line of scrimmage, such as the poker-player “tells” he looked for from defenses and specific defensive players in certain situations that helped him succeed. To give you an example, I remember, long after the fact, a conversation I had with someone regarding Scott Tolzien’s play in 2013 in Rodgers’ absence. Remember the pick-six he threw to the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul at New York, when Pierre-Paul just jumped up from his defensive end spot and snagged the pass? I was told in the film room it was pointed out that Pierre-Paul’s three-point stance at the snap was flat, meaning his feet were parallel not staggered. It was a clear indication he would not be rushing up the field but would be standing up in zone coverage on the play, something Rodgers would have recognized and therefore never would have thrown the ball that direction. Stuff like that fascinates me, and I’d love to know more someday.
Dom from Durham, England
Is football coming home?
I can’t begin to fathom your excitement. Enjoy every moment.
Evan from Durango, CO
“Who’s covering Curtis Martin? It’s 350-pound Gilbert Brown.” I was 8 when XXXI was played but it’s my earliest Packers memory and I’ve been green and gold ever since. My question is, who, excluding Madden, is your least favorite commentator? I know Aikman is a popular answer in Packerland, but do any others come to mind?
I’ve said before I learned a ton from Madden’s commentary in his early years in the booth, until he practically became a parody of himself with his catch phrases and grease pens. Everyone remembers the Madden in the booth in the ’90s and beyond, but it was the Madden in the ’80s who taught me a ton about the game. I also thought Matt Millen was very good until he tried to become the next Madden, and then he was just annoying. He’s been much more enjoyable again on the college broadcasts. As for current NFL broadcasters, I don’t hear them during Packers games and rarely get to watch other games from start to finish, but these guys know they’ll never make every fan base happy if they’re honest with their opinions. As long as they bother people on both sides, they probably feel they’re doing a good job.
Brandon from Wausau, WI
Is Devante Mays the forgotten man? With the suspension of Jones for the first two weeks, let’s not forget we have another draft pick RB with his chance to shine. How did he look this offseason?
Very little can be gleaned from running backs until the hitting is live and they’re getting tackled for real. Mays must make his next opportunity in the backfield count. I think he will.
David from Bay Minette, AL
I am a high school football official. Our state is spearheading instant replay (IR) this season. Have you been to or seen a HS game that you felt IR would have singularly made a difference in who won or lost?
I covered a Kewaunee, Wis., team that lost a trip to the state finals on a blown call on a two-point conversion in overtime. I was standing at the goal line, right next to the official who blew the call, with the same view he had. I’ll never understand how or why he made the call he did, but it taught me the brain in a pressure situation can react strangely. In nearly a decade of covering high school sports, I never felt worse for a group of kids. All that said, replay in high school football doesn’t sit right with me.
Joe from Concord, CA
OK, c’mon, you can’t leave us hanging. What happened between Biff and Starks?
I’ll be waiting until next week to find out, just like the rest of you.
John from Evans, GA
Since health always seems to be an issue down the stretch, killing our season, wouldn't it be to Green Bay's advantage if they were to have players like Clay Matthews sit for a game against a team like Chicago, who we beat handily twice last season? For one it would throw off the other team’s prep, second it would give a guy like Gilbert some valuable reps that will help him later in the season, and third it allows oft-injured Matthews a bit more time to rest.
I don’t get how fans take things for granted. Wasn’t it Matthews’ strip-sack near the goal line in the first quarter that helped win that first Bears game so handily last year? When your players are healthy, they play. You can’t go about it any other way in this league. Though if the rumblings about an 18-game regular season with participation limits approach reality, we may someday be having legitimate strategic discussions on this topic.
Kyle from Philadelphia, PA
“LeBron is coming to Philly, there is no way he doesn’t come here. The Eagles will win the Super Bowl back-to-back years, possibly three years in a row. I’m not just saying this because I am from Philly and love the Eagles and Sixers, so this isn’t biased.” This was an actual quote from a person I spoke to here in Philly. I love thinking that the Packers will win the Super Bowl EVERY year, but at the same time I like to think logically. Do you think the Eagles are good enough to win back-to-back?
Are they good enough? Sure. But recent history will tell anyone the odds are against them.
Steve from Middletown, KY
Nice job Dr. Seuss, Jr. If I had the final say, no reporter would be allowed to attend TO's blubberings. I truly hope Canton doesn't even mention his name. It's not “must be present to win,” because there are always legitimate extenuating circumstances. In his case, he's just being disruptive like he was as a player. Going to Canton would have probably been his only legitimate chance to open up and let people see him in a different light. Don't you think he will end up regretting this decision?
That’s what I’ve been saying all along. He’s missing a huge opportunity, and it’s too bad. A few minutes of highlights in Canton is all I expect, or want, to see during the ceremony. Wes’s Dr. Seuss rant was priceless.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Welcome back Spoff! Did you submit answers to Wes’s Outsider Inbox because you couldn’t help yourself?
Resistance was not futile, and it was the readers’ show anyway. Glad you all enjoyed it. Happy Monday, everyone.