Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: It's been the recipe for sustainable success

You can already feel the excitement over the Packers playing the Giants in London

CB Eric Stokes
CB Eric Stokes

Rich from Southampton, UK

Morning, Insiders. See you in London in October. No idea what the root beer situation will be for Wes, but Mike should be OK. Apart from the game, what are you both looking forward to most over that weekend?

Going to England is good enough for me. I've never been there before and am thrilled to possibly check that off the ol' bucket list. I've wanted to cover an international game since I started covering the NFL. Now that a date is set, you can already feel the excitement. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

Not gonna lie, I'm a little surprised by the selection of the New York Football Giants as our opponent in London. I thought for sure we were going to see either the Rams, Cowboys, or Titans as those all would seemingly have the makings of a much more entertaining game. I guess there's a lot of NFL history on the field whenever the Giants and Packers meet, though. Who did you guys think it was going to be?

Through the process of elimination, I had it narrowed down to the Jets or Giants. Those three games you mentioned are all potential primetime matchups, so I didn't think those would get shipped overseas.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

I think time will validate that this was a very successful draft for GB. However, given that the vast majority of WRs take some time adjusting to the pro level game, wouldn't signing Jarvis Landry or Will Fuller to a prove-it year be beneficial in the short term while the rookies develop?

But they already have that, Steve. The Packers have six receivers with NFL game experience, with Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins leading that group. You wanted draft picks. You got draft picks. Don't look back now. Please, don't do it. (You did it, didn't you?)

Andrew from Bay City, MI

I feel Christian Watson was the steal of the draft getting him in the second round. He should have been taken before many other first-round WRs. Thoughts?

That is what I've been trying to tell people. Watson has every tool you could ask for in an elite receiving prospect. First or second round, that's what made him a top 40 pick. He's a Green Bay Packer now. That's all that matters.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Has everyone forgotten about Lazard? An unselfish teammate like that will have plenty of chances to shine this year!

The plane is ready. The runway is clear. Time for takeoff. As I've said several times before, I can't wait to see what Lazard does with this opportunity.

Sam from Harlan, IA

It has been well documented that practices are more amped up when Aaron Rodgers is in attendance. Do you feel the website/communication crew has enhanced focus when he's around as well? I'm assuming Wes is even packing better lunches when "12" is in the building.

The antennas go up when Rodgers is here. Because you know it's business time and I expect Rodgers will be locked in and ready to go this summer.

Mikah from Brooklyn, NY

Hey II, this question goes back a ways, but I never understood why Malik Taylor didn't get more of a chance at wide receiver. I know a lot of people said he made the team as a special teamer, but during last preseason he made a lot of impressive catches. I think back to that Arizona game we played short Adams et al. and how I felt surprised that Juwann Winfree got the chance over Taylor. Now many are doubting MT makes the team this year. Can you shed some light on why he's gotten so few shots?

There's no looking back. It's forward, only forward. Just like with Lazard, every wideout in the room has a life-changing opportunity in front of them. What are you going to do with it?

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike and Wes, what jumped out at me was none of the draft picks or rookie FA are expected to be starters or impact players immediately. In every pick and in every position, they have experience and starters on the roster. For example, at inside linebacker, Krys Barnes is a veteran now that can play while Quay Walker is learning and the same for all the OL draft picks. The Packers are not picking players to start and turn All-Pro Year 1 which makes them a draft-and-develop team.

Competition is what the Packers look to cultivate in the offseason. It's been the recipe for sustainable success. With a few exceptions, rookies aren't typically thrown right in with the starting offense or defense. Eric Stokes, Rashan Gary and Elgton Jenkins have all followed on that learn-and-earn blueprint. Maybe it only takes a week or two in training camp to get in with the ones, but that price must be paid in full before a young guy gets there.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Well Wes, the Packers may not win the Super Bowl, but they will have one of the biggest, tallest, largest rosters in the league. These guys are huge!

The Packers have one of the best coaching staffs in the business, but you can't coach size and you can't coach height. The front office has given the coaches some elite pieces to mold.

Lee from Clifton Park, NY

Players passing the eye test is mentioned a lot by coaches and reporters during the rookie minicamp. I think AJ Dillon has to be on everybody's Mt. Rushmore list. Who else would you put?

I heard Greg Jennings and James Jones were pretty impressive out of the gate, but I wasn't covering the team back then. During my 10 years on the beat, it would be Dillon, Eddie Lacy, Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

For years, it always seemed the Packers were swinging behind the curveball with changes to strategy. Could they be ahead of it now? The NFL is a passing league and maybe most teams are building teams to defend the pass. I am not saying the Packers are a run-first team because we have Rodgers, but we are set up to be a run-first team with the threat of passing on O. On D, we seem to be set up to be balanced. That in mind, I am not worried about not having a proven No. 1 and maybe a No. 2 WR.

The Packers also have one of the best one-two backfield punches in the entire league that nobody seems to be talking about. The cement was poured a long time ago. Green Bay knows the foundation from which it must build this offense.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Before the draft there was a lot of talk that the Packers should try to get Deebo Samuel. Although with the current roster, Christian Watson could be in that role, I was wondering if Aaron Jones could fill a Samuel role? He has developed as a receiver and has been lined up outside while still being a strong runner.

I think the tunnel vision some fans have shown is what has made this a challenging offseason for Inbox. Because there are so many people who think a player must have "Wide receiver" stamped on his birth certificate to catch a football in this offense. It doesn't work like that. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon were the second and fourth leading pass-catchers, respectively, last season. Embrace the idea of playing the game outside the box.

Dan from Waupun, WI

Do the Packers now have LBs like Tampa?

That's a lofty comparison, but I think everyone in the NFL has taken notice of what Lavonte David and Devin White have accomplished together in Tampa. De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker are different players, but they are tall, fast and athletic. That is what intrigues me most and sparks my belief this defense will take another step in 2022.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Andy Herman noted on Twitter that at this point last year, the Packers still hadn't signed Randall Cobb, Campbell, Rasul Douglas, Dennis Kelly, or Corey Bojorquez. Do we have any salary cap left to make similar moves this year?

They do. If the right free agent is available, Brian Gutekunst isn't afraid to pick up the phone and make that call.

Ky from Santa Cruz, CA

I was happy with the trade up in the second round for the reasons we've covered. However, I was shocked by how little the Lions gave up to get pick 12. They moved up 20 spots in the first round while the Vikings moved up 12 in the second and got a third. I expected the price to be all that plus next year's first-rounder. Do the Vikings just pity the Lions?

We'll see how the Vikings feel about it if Jameson Williams and Watson are torching their secondary in a couple years.

Woody from Kill Devil Hills, NC

When attempting a field goal or PAT, points are awarded on a binary outcome. The ability of a first-round draft pick is not a binary event. The second person selected after the first round is much, much closer to a first-rounder than the tail end of a second-rounder. They could easily be a first-rounder that is passed over if a team if selecting for need. In my mind, Watson is a first-rounder but we are not blessed (or cursed) with a fifth-year option. Am I off base?

I don't think so, but I do have to ask: Did people overanalyze where the Packers drafted Jordy Nelson and Jennings back in the day? Since when does it matter if a receiver was taken in the first or second round? Can he play? If yes, nothing else really matters. I'd rather put my energy towards more important things – like cleaning dust out of my wallet or reorganizing my sock drawer.

Sandy from Waterford, WI

Why does the NFL play games overseas?

The same reason Bayern-Munich is going to play Manchester City at Lambeau – to grow the game and bring it to fans that have never seen their favorite team in-person.

David from Niedernberg, Bavaria, Germany

Flights and hotel are booked, fingers crossed we will get tickets. When will you announce place and time for the pep rally? Can't wait to finally see my Packers live after 24 years of streaming and getting up for 2:30 a.m. games!

Case in point. These stories bring a smile to my face. I don't have any dates and times for the pep rally out there but I'm sure it'll be lit (as the kids say).

Michael from Prague, Czech Republic

Hi, love your great coverage! I have lived in Prague for the last 10 years. I'm a diehard Packer fan since the '80s, originally from Waupaca. I 'm so excited the Pack is playing in London, and I must get tickets for my wife and I. Can you give me any ticket purchasing information?

Congrats, Michael. You can find all the information on the international game here.

Mark from Williams Bay, WI

Do you know what they call the very last guy on the roster, be it through the draft or as a free agent? A professional football player in the NFL. After the dotted line is signed, do you really think the guys in the locker care about their pedigree?

It's all ball from that point on. Even the legacies who succeeded at the next level such as Peyton Manning and Clay Matthews did so on their own merit.

Dylan from Belgrade, MT

In regards to Stephen from Chicago's entry, I always remember Vic's thought of what the Packers could've done with Ryan Shazier. A speedy linebacker who came off the board six picks before GB.

Or C.J. Mosley, who was drafted four spots ahead of GB. That stretch of picks from No. 9-17 is extraordinary, with nine straight Pro Bowlers and a sure-fire Hall of Famer in Aaron Donald.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, we learned from Spoff that Gutekunst is comfortable with you guys using his nickname, Gutey. Does the converse apply? And if so, does he call you Hod, Biff, or something else?

Ha, I've been called a lot of things but I don't know if anyone has called me "Hod" to my face.

Scott from Kissimmee, FL

You read it here first. I am predicting the bye week in Week 6!

We shall see next Thursday.

Keith from North Muskegon, MI

Not only is the II THE place for Packer news, it's often great for my English…not so much my math. I had to look up positing. Therefore, I'll posit your command of English is superior to mine.

Spoff is the 1% of the 1% when it comes to the English.

Kevin from Indianapolis, IN

The concerns about losing assistant coaches and having to cut good players reminds of the anecdote where a president of a company that was tasked with creating a strong employee development program goes to the CEO and says, "What if we train all these people and they leave?" The CEO responds, "What if we don't train them, and they stay?"

Thank God for mentors.