Kyle from Osceola, WI
"Spinal Tap" and "Bull Durham" in a single column! Well played, Weston. I think you could have also gone with, "It's a nickel league, Smokey. There are rules."
There's always room for improvement.
Adam from Taus, WI
Good afternoon II. Please tell me, journalistic integrity aside, that you guys occasionally make up entries under fake names just for the sake of getting a certain message across or for entertainment value. That's the only possible explanation I can come up with for Greg from Wauwatosa's submission yesterday. I sincerely can't believe anyone is actually out there thinking like that. Appreciate you guys daily, even if you are making things up sometimes...
Oh, I can think of roughly 999,999 better ways of entertaining myself than posing questions to myself.
Brad from Nokomis, FL
All math aside, does 3-4 and 4-3 still equal seven?
You guys know my feelings on the base debate. It's a cyclical league. To me, comfort matters more than scheme. If Jeff Hafley and his staff feel the Packers are best suited for a 4-3, then it's the right call for this manifestation of Green Bay's defense. While it doesn't matter in passing situations, I can see how a 4-3 alignment could be beneficial on early downs. In the playoffs, Green Bay had success with a heavy front incorporating Quay Walker, De'Vondre Campbell and Isaiah McDuffie.
Curt from Pine Island, MN
How does the approach to roster change if the base defense is declared to be 4-3?
It really doesn't, especially with the expansion of practice-squad rules. A 4-3 team may be more likely to carry an extra inside linebacker but defenses are still running sub-packages on like 75% of plays. At the end of the day, you can only (logically) cut a pizza so many ways.
Matt from London, UK
If the Packers' edge pass rushers have to make the switch from outside linebacker to defensive end under the new defensive scheme, do you think they're well-equipped to handle that transition? I believe Rashan Gary, Lukas Van Ness and Preston Smith all have the right body types for the DE position. But what could be the biggest challenge in terms of taking on different responsibilities? Or does the "nickel league" trend mean it's not that big of a change these days?
Mostly the latter but Gary and Van Ness come from a 4-3 background. What's more, Van Ness rushed from a three-point stance during the second half of last season. So, I don't think it would be too drastic of a change. While Smith has played mostly in 3-4 schemes, he has the size and experience to play with his hand in the dirt if that's what's asked of him.
Robert from Georgetown, TX
Good morning, Mike and Wes, I see the Packers have announced the search for the next CEO. I would like to throw my hat in the ring early to be the next CEO. My qualifications are great and many – I love football and the Green Bay Packers, I have a special dislike for the Bears, Vikings, and even a new dislike for the Lions, I am very organized and would love to work at Lambeau Field. If you could forward my name on to the committee, I would very much appreciate it!
I have a feeling this will be the first of many "resumes" Spoff and I get sent over the next 16 months.
Al from Green Bay, WI
This Sunday, one team will experience the exhilaration of a lifetime, while another will suffer disappointment that will not be forgotten. If you're coaching one of these teams, what can you do to prevent the pressure of the moment from becoming too great?
Encourage players to be themselves and not make the game out to be anything more than it is. San Francisco and Kansas City are 6½ months into their season at this point. How did they get there? Well, practice habits lead to success on gameday, and success on gameday earns teams a spot in the playoffs. From there, postseason victories are what earned these teams a trip to the Super Bowl. The key to bringing that Lombardi trophy home? It's doing what you've already done.
Joshua from Hartford, WI
With the announcement of the home teams for the international games being half of our away opponents this year, we probably have a good chance of being selected for an international game. I think it would be great to give the most popular team in Germany the chance to play in front of their fans, but the chance to play in Brazil would be interesting as well. Since you follow the team around, which international destination would you prefer?
I love Brazil and hope the Packers play there soon, but Germany makes the most sense. If I'm being totally honest, I'm holding out hope for no international games next year. The trip to London was taxing. I cannot imagine how players must feel. I'd be good with going once every four years.
Hank from Centennial, CO
Unlike the EU, Britain or Mexico, Brazil requires U.S. citizens to get a visa before traveling there. If the Packers did end up playing there, would getting a visa be the responsibility of the individual players and/or their agents? Or would that be handled at a team or even league level?
NFL and its teams take care of all that for players and team personnel. I got my passport updated through the Packers when we traveled to London.
Keith from Bakersfield, CA
I have a question about how teams with international games select the opponent they want to play. Logically, teams don't want to give up a home game against a visiting team that is a big draw, but is this all about ticket sales? Aren't most NFL games sold out? I would assume the Eagles for example would sell out every home game regardless of opponent.
Three words – variable ticket pricing. Teams can charge different prices for those seats based on the opponent. It's why the Packers played the Los Angeles Chargers in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium five years ago.
Ken from Villa Park, IL
I've been pleasantly surprised with our WR core. There is a lot of talent in a very young WR room and they're all showing it. But I do believe we lack a true No. 1. I just don't think they have someone who can get to the Davante Adams/Stefon Diggs tier that could be a real consistent game-changer for us. There has been a lot of speculation on potential free-agent signings like Tee Higgins, but I prefer the idea of trading a second-round pick for Terry McLaurin. Is that even a possibility? Or necessary? Thoughts?
If you don't see a burgeoning No. 1 receiver on this roster, you're not looking hard enough. I still have no interest in signing a veteran wideout. The Packers are better off investing, literally and figuratively, in the young receivers already on the roster.
Ray from Phoenix, AZ
Is there a limit to the number of coaches a team can have? When you take a team picture you need a super wide-angle lens now.
There is no set limit on the size of NFL coaching staffs, though I'd argue the law of diminishing returns eventually does become a factor in at some point.
Derek from South Point, OH
What's the thought process in a mandatory retirement age for the team president? What would it take to change it? Thanks!
That's the bylaws of the Packers' board of directors. As team president/CEO, Murphy serves on the board and adheres to those rules. I'm in favor of it. I love Mark. I loved Bob Harlan. But those are the rules. It's a league game, Smokey.
Joe from Hampshire, IL
Wes, huge congrats to the Harlans' father-daughter Super Bowl duo, and Mike's non-playoff-team-to-Super Bowl list really highlights NFL parity. Now Weston, which movies/quotes came to mind when you heard the audio clips of new linebacker coach Anthony Campanile?
Congrats to Kevin and Olivia Harlan. What an awesome achievement for the entire family. But yes, I have seen the Campanile clips and already busted through two walls in my house on my way to work this week.
Tom from Two Rivers, WI
There's been lots of talk about continuity and succession planning in the player and coaching ranks of the NFL, but I rarely see the same discussion regarding general managers. Since Harlan hired Ron Wolf, the Packers have been fortunate enough to be able to promote from within. Maybe that's why players continue to talk about "wearing the G." There's been a consistent message and plan for many years. You would think this would be another "Green Bay way" other teams would try to emulate.
When you have a consistent personnel philosophy, it only makes everyone else's life easier in the building. Pittsburgh is the gold standard when it comes to steadiness. It's well-documented how the Steelers have only had three head coaches since 1969 but what's rarely mentioned is how Kevin Colbert presided over Pittsburgh's personnel for 22 years, too. Baltimore has developed a similar blueprint with Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta, who have been with the Ravens since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996.
Gary from Davenport, IA
I just watched the video posted on your website commemorating the anniversary of the Packers' most recent Super Bowl victory. I got goosebumps when I saw Kevin Greene tell Clay Matthews, "It is time." We all know what happened next. That has to be one of my favorite Packer highlights ever. I imagine that will be played in August at Clay's induction into the Packers HOF. Will you ever get tired of watching that video clip?
Never. I'm sure K.G. will be smiling down watching his pupil be honored. Those two had such a deep and profound respect for one another. I've said this before, but it still brings a smile to my face thinking of the photo Matthews had inside his locker of Greene from his WCW days.
Craig from Sussex, WI
It seems to me that the Packers ran ML's offense as he intended it to be run. Should be interesting to see new wrinkles he will likely add next year. With Love at quarterback, ML can be confident that his play calls won't be cancelled/changed.
Some of you are still going on about this, huh? Listen, a big part of coaching football is tailoring your strategies and playbook to your team's strengths. Keeping the focus on the future, Matt LaFleur and Love have a lot of positive things to build off from the 2023 season. It's exciting to think of the possibilities.
John from Hudson, WI
I recall last year during training camp Mike noted Jayden Reed "looked like he belonged" (in the NFL). Strong praise, and you were proven accurate. What exactly did you see in Reed, and were there any other players who had similar traits, but you were hesitant to give them a full endorsement?
I'm sure Mike had his reasons for saying that, but what struck me about Reed was how he played so much larger than his size. We knew there was an explosive element to Reed's game, but it's like there's a magnetic force pulling the football to his hands. So, it doesn't surprise me in the least the rookie season he had.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning, Wes. You'd think strength and conditioning are just as important for players during the offseason. Are the Packers able to function normally with the current staff of assistants (without a true coordinator in place)? Thanks.
Yes, because nobody is allowed to coach anybody until the start of the offseason program on April 15. It doesn't matter if you work with linebackers or on the strength-and-conditioning staff. Those notes on what individual players need to work on in the offseason were passed along during final interviews.
Paul from Ledgeview, WI
To the best of my knowledge, there are no restrictions because every NFL team is now allowed to carry an international (and 17th) player on its practice squad.
TK from Grafton, WI
Maybe I'm becoming a nostalgic old man, but I'm excited for Eliot Wolf to be named as New England's head of personnel! Congrats! I will always think of him as "one of ours"!
I'm super pumped for Eliot. Nobody deserves it more. It's also great to see Alonzo Highsmith coming back to the NFL.
Noel from Norwalk, CA
Greetings II! When will it be time to break out "Draft Day"? Always a popular movie this time of year. Also, with the new football league beginning soon, are any current NFL players allowed to participate if they wish? Keep up the good work. Enjoy the stimulating reading.
I'll bust out "Draft Day" once April rolls out. But no, players under contract with NFL clubs are not permitted to play in the UFL. As I mentioned, the NFL offseason program begins a little more than two weeks after the UFL season starts.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Do you think a person who claims to be from Wisconsin but writes the Inbox suggesting the Packers trade Love is secretly a Bears, Vikings or Lions fans?
That possibility was not lost on me.
Mike from Baraboo, WI
Who do you have winning the Super Bowl and why?
Kansas City. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid have been there and won that. Also, Kelsey Tehan collects paychecks there, so that puts the Chiefs over the top for me. In all seriousness, this will be our last Insider Inbox until Tuesday, Feb. 13. The Packers organization is graciously giving its employees a four-day weekend to enjoy our families and the Super Bowl. I hope all of you do the same.