Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: It's going to take some getting used to for everyone

There’s a difference between being creative and getting too cute

DL Kingsley Keke
DL Kingsley Keke

Paul from Minneapolis, MN

Your ending comment about crashing drones reminded me of what happened a few winters ago during World Cup skiing. Drone footage is cool until it's not. If you're interested in posting it, YouTube link can be found by searching Marcel Hirsher Drone Crash.

It's all fun and games until drones start falling out of the sky. Good morning!

Todd from Brighton, MI

Did you get your Packer masks?

Masks? I'm still trying to find a way to get the reimbursement check from March out of my work mailbox, for covering the NFL Scouting Combine.

Randy from Sheboygan, WI

Who do you consider to be the best quarterback in Green Bay history?

It depends on your definition of "the best QB" but I've always felt Aaron Rodgers is the most gifted quarterback to ever play the game. Favre had a remarkable three-year MVP stretch but the consistency of Rodgers' career is legendary. Starr was an exceptional leader and certified winner but he played above his athletic ability. Pound-for-pound, I say Rodgers.

Andy from Verona, WI

With the virtual installation of the offense, defense and special teams, are there any types of offseason assessments to determine if players are studying as much as they need to and/or to determine if any re-teaching is necessary?

By what the coaches see in the classroom. You can't fake preparation. I'm sure they've gotten a sense of each player's work ethic and football IQ during the virtual offseason. The rest we'll all have to see for ourselves on the field. It's going to take some getting used to for everybody once the team is back in Green Bay.

Gilbert from Cuero, TX

What do you consider the Packers' greatest drive?

It's gotta be the Ice Bowl, right?

Jake from Shoreview, MN

Was Vince Lombardi truly the first head coach to embrace having African-American players play for him? The stories I have read/heard, it sounds like he did everything he could to treat all players equally and did not accept racism in his locker room.

I don't know enough about NFL in the 1950s or '60s to call Lombardi the "first," but he certainly had a progressive mindset and broke down a lot of barriers for black players in Green Bay. The greatest leaders don't swim with the tide, folks. They create their own waves.

Dave from Germantown, TN

With David Bakhtiari working out with Rodgers, could we see the old tackle-eligible play being added to the Packers' playbook?

Similar to what I always say about Rodgers – if you have 1,000 offensive plays, I want Bakhtiari playing left tackle for 1,001 of them. There's a difference between being creative and getting too cute. He's a four-time All-Pro for a reason.

Don from Foxboro, WI

Before the draft I saw the biggest need for the Packers on the defensive line with the hope of getting a run stopper. Am I mistaken? Could it be scheme or what was the issue last season?

You weren't mistaken. I was with you in that belief, but the Packers feel like a few scheme changes, the addition of Christian Kirksey at inside linebacker and the continued maturation of that defensive front will get the run defense where it needs to be. One way or another, Green Bay needs Kingsley Keke, in particular, to make a big jump in Year 2. The Packers have to take some snaps off Kenny Clark.

Oscar from Sherman Oaks, CA

I miss Caveman Wes. There, I said it!

My wife and mother don't. I promised them I'd shave after getting my haircut last week, and I'm a man of my word. It also figures I managed to slice my cheek with the razor in three spots. Ouch.

Statham from Pineview, GA

Do you think the Dalvin Cook situation could play a role in the Packers moving a little quicker on extension talks with Aaron Jones?

That's up to the player and his agent. I think running backs do need to exercise some caution with holdouts, though. Le'Veon Bell was sidelined for a year and ended up with pretty much the same contract he was originally offered by the Steelers, while Melvin Gordon sat out the first month of last season and lost a lot of momentum.

Tony from Sterling, IL

I've been a fan for a long time, back to the time when Wes didn't include "Good morning!" in his first response, but for the life of me I cannot remember Devante Mays's story. With all due respect to Devante's privacy, any chance of sharing or elaborating?

It's a great read about the third running back the Packers drafted in 2017. It's a shame Mays couldn't find a place in the league but Spoff's story is still well worth your time.

Brian from Pensacola, FL

Did you all see the article about Bruce Arians' potential plan to "quarantine" a third QB away from the facility in case someone in the QB room ever tested positive? It's crazy that this move is a reality. Are there any other positional groups that you could see following suit? Being that the meetings are in small rooms, they mentioned that if one in the room tested positive, that everyone else in the room may have to quarantine for two weeks as well.

I did. It aligns with my thoughts on keeping a third QB on the active roster this year. We'll see where things are in September but I don't know how you can afford not to have three quarterbacks at the ready. I don't want to speculate on what meeting rooms will look like but I have a difficult time believing you can just stick all these guys in small position rooms and wish COVID-19 away. NFL teams need to be prepared and identify alternatives.

Ryan from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Will the Packers play the first preseason game?

Stay tuned. Reports seem to suggest the league and the NFLPA could shorten the preseason to two games.

Dan from Toledo, OH

Texas is already allowing fans to attend professional sports (even though there's not really sports to attend). If the NFL defers to states, could this lead to the most unbalanced home-field advantage in NFL history? Say every Cowboys home game they are allowed 50/75% capacity, whereas the Giants are forced to go fanless every week. I think the NFL will make a decision based on fairness, but it would definitely be an interesting story.

The NFL won't defer to the states. It'll be all 32 or nothing.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Is it too much for me to request that questions about what the league is doing with COVID and how they will handle games this season be ignored? When the league has answers for us, I'm sure we'll hear from them. Until then, those questions are just wasting time and space.

Some of the best questions in Inbox right now don't have an answer. The NFL and NFLPA are still working through a lot of these issues.

Tyler from Fargo, ND

Wes, you said you get why Paul Hornung's No. 5 is not retired. Can you elaborate as to why it never became official?

For a question like this, we need to go back to the source. Cliff tackled this question during his mailbag in September 2015. Vince Lombardi announced the number had been retired but it never formally happened. One thing Cliff points out in his column is times were very different, even 40 years ago. Retired numbers weren't even recognized in the media guide until 1988. Other than Forrest Gregg passing out No. 5 a few times in the '80s, Hornung's number has been shelved in a regular-season setting.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Can't the Packers players and coaches be tested and when cleared, stay at St. Norbert during training camp as they traditionally do? They would be quarantined as long as they maintained only tested and cleared personnel between the dorms and the practice field. Unfortunately, they wouldn't be allowed to ride the kid's bikes to and from the field.

Sure, but they also could just stay at their own houses, apartments or team hotel, too. Finding the best course of action is what the Packers have to figure out.

Grant from Grand Forks, ND

I don't think a helmet camera will give the true picture of what Rodgers is looking at. We need contact lens cameras to see if he is looking off the safety. That would be epic.

Remember the Google glasses? Those things were wild. Just make all the players wear goggles with that technology.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Camera angles: For the preseason, any preseason I would love to see the camera behind the offense or defense. With 90 roster spots, it is nearly impossible to track individuals from the sideline view. Let's see those numbers!

That's tough to do because the major networks aren't broadcasting preseason games. The Packers, in partnership with WTMJ, handle those for the regional TV networks.

Brian from Twain Harte, CA

In response to Lori from Costa Rica, I got the chickenpox at age 35. Many of the neighborhood moms sent their children over to give me "get well hugs."

I wish I would've. I proposed to my wife and then got chickenpox the following day at 23 years old.

Ed from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

There were a couple questions/comments about fans standing at a big play. It's OK. I get it. I jump up, too. But after please sit down again and wait to jump up at the next big play. I'm older with a bad knee so I can't keep standing to try to look around the big tall guy in front of me. Thanks. And II, keep up the good work!

Thank you Ed…and all the best to your knee.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, do you feel the video department with player, coach and management input could develop an excellent public service video statement that supports racial injustices for game day that gives players a platform several times during pregame and game time? The Packers always seem to be trendsetters for the league and maybe be the nation. Thanks!

I'm excited to see what ideas the locker room and the organization come up with. Both Mark Murphy and LaFleur want to make sure their actions match their words, and I could definitely see a pregame video package being part of the Packers' growing commitment to social-justice reform.

Phil from Oshkosh, WI

Mike, I wonder if you also consider movies to be more than escapist entertainment, and a part of the fabric of our society? If not, why not? And if so, do you think all movies should contain some protest of social injustice?

Hi, I'm not Mike but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I absolutely consider movies to be much more than escapist entertainment. The ones that matter, at least. I could name dozens of films that helped me gain a deeper understanding of an issue and provided a viewpoint I hadn't before considered. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion but what I've learned is don't be afraid to challenge yourself or your pre-established beliefs. That's how you grow as a human being.

Ryan from Providence, RI

To those who don't want to be "uncomfortable" on Sundays or who want to "escape," I hear you. And it's exactly the point. Nothing changes when we're all comfortable. If we didn't want players speaking out or kneeling during games, we should have listened a long time ago.

If you've read the column enough over the past four years, I think most would agree I do my best to leave politics out of this space. When asked about Colin Kaepernick in the past, I've said time and time again I believe he should be on an NFL roster and leave it at that. But this current situation is bigger than football and it's bigger than politics. To ignore the voices crying out for reform in our country is unjust in my mind. Sticking with Phil's movie theme, there's a line by Howard Beale in "Network" that has stayed with me all these years: "Things are bad worse, worse than bad. ... So we sit in the house and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller. And all we say is, 'Please at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radio, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad." The conversations must continue.

Ryan from State College, PA

A response to Peter from Ashland: It is selfish for people who do not bear the effects of prejudice and racism to expect to escape from discussions of it because it makes them uncomfortable and uneasy. The people who experience it daily never have a break and cannot escape it until our society changes. Now is the time for empathy and part of that is feeling uncomfortable.

Precisely, and with that, I wish you all a safe and thoughtful Thursday.