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Inbox: It's hard to project exactly what that might mean

The impact can be immeasurable

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CB Eric Stokes

Earl from Marietta, GA

Now what do we do...wait?

Unless ya got a better idea.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

"Plenty, but the tight end position comes to mind first for me. If Robert Tonyan isn't ready for Week 1, then a lot of eyes will be on Tyler Davis and …" And whom? Inquiring readers want to know. Did cloud storage strike again?

Perhaps. I honestly don't know what happened there. But the end to the answer was Josiah Deguara, and I got it fixed about an hour after initial posting.

Ian form Sherman Oaks, CA

Now that we're in the notorious "dead zone" can you recall any of these stretches that you felt proved to be more interesting than expected?

Um, well, yeah. 2008.

Joshua from Milwaukee, WI

Romeo Doubs is already the steal of the draft? AJ Dillon is the next Earl Campbell? I hate to be a killjoy, but keep the dead zone expectations in check. Hope is a good thing, but hyperbole is nauseating.

I believe that's what I was trying to do with my answers. I framed them not as expectations but as what must be proven first before anyone can go down that road.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

At times Aaron Rodgers makes remarks that are very calculated. He mentioned that the expected starters at WR would be Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins. Do you think that comment serves as pressure relief for the rookie WRs as they aren't expected to be starters right away?

Maybe. But more in line with the last answer above, I think it serves as a reminder they haven't done – read: earned – anything yet in this league.

JoAnne from Seattle, WA

In a picture of Aaron Rodgers walking in the parking area, it seems like it's changed. Am I correct?

Yes, there's a major construction project going on at Lambeau these days. The players' parking has been moved out into the regular lot, because the team facility is being expanded into their previous parking area. Eventually, the new players' lot will be underground, beneath the expanded facility. The anticipated completion, I believe, is summer 2023.

John from Stevens Point, WI

Which of the second-year guys do you expect to make the biggest leap?

Amari Rodgers had the type of offseason that shows he's in the running. I think T.J. Slaton could be in that conversation, too, and I wouldn't rule out Eric Stokes either, given the INT chances he just missed as a rookie. Barring the truly strange or unforeseen, if at the end of the season the answer to this question is Stokes, it's hard to project exactly what that might mean for this defense.

Jerry from Luck, WI

Last year's strategy with the O-line was brilliant and the players stepped up admirably. They kept the Rodgers-to-Adams connection going and provided enough time for a quick-release passing attack. The downside was a drop-off in outside zone run effectiveness and inconsistent success on slow-developing plays. With a little more health from the O-line next season, I think it is reasonable to anticipate more production from the outside zone, screen pass, and slow-developing deep ball. Thoughts?

That sounds like a reasonable, straightforward way to look at it. The Packers will have to earn respect of that deep ball you speak of, though, as the passing game evolves without Adams and MVS. I'll be interested to see how they go about doing that.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

Regarding the starters on the O-line, you've said many times "you put your best five out there." So looking at the D-backfield and deciding on your base four, how do you keep either Stokes or Douglas on the bench assuming you want your safeties to be Amos and Savage? Do you start to work Douglas (or maybe Ja) in as a pseudo-safety position? In asking I realize there is a lot of nickel played and Alexander has been talked about in the "Star" spot. But Douglas, maybe the next Woodson?

Don't overthink it. When the defense needs only two corners and/or four total DBs on the field, I would expect Barry to play matchups based on the offensive personnel in the game.

Robbie from Jacksonville, FL

Hey Insiders, when a defender like Jaire Alexander lines up across from a Packers receiver like Christian Watson in camp, how much of an advantage does Ja' get from his knowledge of his own team's offense?

Good question. I'm sure there's some, but a lot of pass plays have option routes built in for the receivers to change things up based on how they're being defended. So the cover guys can't cheat too much or they might pay for it.

Christopher from Sun Prairie, WI

How much room do the Packers have remaining under the salary cap after offering a $4 million tender to WR Allen Lazard?

Lazard's $4M tender has been counting against the cap since the Packers offered it way back in March. Nothing changed with the cap when he signed it.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

What defines a No. 1 receiver? I've always felt Cobb has all the necessary skills to be fantastic, especially in the slot, but I've never heard about him being a 1. Then again, his heyday had him surrounded by Nelson and Adams, so it's hard to unseat those two.

Schematically, the No. 1 receiver is the guy who's the QB's primary read most often, which means he'll likely line up in different spots more than others and run routes to any part of the field. Cobb has never really fit that definition because he's done his best work in the middle and rarely been an outside-the-numbers/boundary receiver. Statistically, anyone's capable of being the No. 1, especially on any given day. But over time the schematic and statistical definitions usually will merge.

Ty from Jamestown, IN

So over the last 10 Super Bowl champions, only five have had a 1,000-yard wide receiver in the regular season. Four out of those 10 didn't even have a player with 900 yards in the regular season. So with that said, is it safe to say everyone is overblowing the need for a wide receiver to step up as the clear WR1 on the roster and deliver a season over 1,000 yards or so? Fact is, that isn't an ingredient a team must have it seems to lift the Lombardi.

I won't refute there are any number of ways to package successful offensive production, and I'm curious how it takes shape in Green Bay this year. But according to my research (which could be wrong), it's six of the last 10 with a 1,000-yard guy – six of the last eight, in fact. If your source was focused on wide receivers only, it may have missed the 2019 Chiefs' and/or 2014 Patriots' leading pass catchers being tight ends Kelce and Gronk, respectively, with well over 1,000 yards each.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Just guessing, a guy who played at North Carolina and the Panthers, named Julius Peppers, has a 100% shot at wearing a gold jacket!

When Peppers gets in, he'll be the longest-tenured Panther in Canton, for sure.

Jonah from Waunakee, WI

I read Coach Bisaccia mentioning players needing to stay in their books. What does that mean exactly? I'm guessing with today's technology it's more than looking at X's and O's on a page. Is it just mental study or do they run through the motions?

It's almost all mental between now and training camp, and what a coach like Bisaccia wants is for players to come back with a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities of multiple positions. During the spring for example, a guy may have lined up here or there on punt coverage, but now he should spend the down time expanding his knowledge base of other spots in case he needs to move around for training camp or a preseason game.

Matt from Syracuse, NY

In response to William from Scranton about hearing the calls and Wes's response of knowing the play before it happens. For a lot of us, it is no different than following along with the gameday blog that is just ahead of the game stream on TV. At least you tell me where to focus my gaze on some plays...

I don't mean to be a spoiler, but it's the nature of the beast. My best vantage point is the press box, but I can't watch the game from there and then sync up the blog with the TV broadcast. Not even with Doc Brown and a flux capacitor by my side.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I just watched some of the Packer player interviews. One stood out, Jaire Alexander. His recollection and openness in verbalizing a missed tackle in the SF game and how it fuels him was refreshing. I would imagine remembering a negative and using it as a tool for improvement is a trait of all great athletes. In your experience how many of them have been willing to talk with you about it?

Plenty will mention such a moment but they won't necessarily go into painstaking detail. Competitive athletes are always walking the fine line between using a setback as fuel and dwelling on it to the point of diminishing returns. At this level, they know the other guys get paid, too.

Bob from Covington, NY

Hi, guys. Re: Mike from Toronto's issue with few long running gains. Sure, those big plays are exciting but I'd rather have a running back who can consistently pound out 4-5 yards, especially on third down. That guy keeps long drives alive, eats up the clock to protect leads and opens up the passing game in any number of ways. And the Packers have at least two of those guys. With a healthy O-line in front of them, the sky's the limit on the running game and the offense as a whole.

All true, but it's one thing for defenses to respect a solid running game, and another for them to worry about it. Explosive runs create worry, and the impact can be immeasurable.

George from North Mankato, MN

Good morning Mike, how are you? Just curious which sporting event you would choose to attend if you could pick any one to see in person?

I plan to go to a World Series game someday. I just have to. I sincerely hope the Brewers are in it when I do.

Darren from Wakefield, MI

I can be spared the helmet communication. If we must have it, I may as well ask now if "Burst to Green Left Slot F Left Fox 2 X Deep Over, Kill 92 Load Alert Black Otto to 324 Smoke" should be "on one" or "two"?

Happy Thursday.

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