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Inbox: It's never been done in team history

The No. 1 need goes by different labels


Joe from Sun City West, AZ

Insiders, my take on ML in his first meeting with the team will go something like this: "Gentlemen, let's start from the beginning. This is a football." To which one of the receivers will pipe up and say, "Coach, could you slow down a bit." Just history repeating itself.

Today marks another step in the start of a new era of Packers football. It's Matt LaFleur's only chance to make a first impression. I don't think imitating Lombardi is the way to go, but the story is iconic for sure.

Ross from Hudson, WI

For over two decades the Packers have been contenders with only a few exception years coming in single doses. After two consecutive non-contending seasons, have you noticed a change among the fan "faithful" or does hope generally still spring eternal? I for one am un-expectationally optimistic. Tamping down expectations yet holding out optimistically is my mantra now.

Flattery will get you nowhere. After today.

Mike from Holton, MI

What is the No. 1 need going into the draft?

Take your pick, it goes by different labels. Playmakers. Difference-makers. High-impact players. That's the No. 1 need.

Dave from Tomah, WI

There is always talk of how important it is to draft a QB in the first round to get that fifth-year option. If the CBA changes that rule in 2022 are earlier deals grandfathered in?

Great question. I don't know. Perhaps that would be part of the negotiations as well, if there's an inclination to change the option.

Marcus from Plover, WI

Adams, how many TDs in 2019?

I don't know, but it would be great to see him hit double digits for a fourth year in a row. It's never been done in team history.

John from Lexington, SC

Can you please tell me where I can get detailed blueprints of the HVAC ductwork leading to the third floor draft room? It's for a friend. Oh, and he requests this info within three weeks if possible for some reason.

On it. Let me know if you find Albert Belle's bat up there. Or John Bender's gum.

Marty from Grafton, WI

I have heard a lot of talk/questions whether everyone who has retired recently should be included in the Packers HOF. What is your take on the recently retired group of former Packers? Do you think they all deserve to be in the Hall?

I do, and I think it would be really cool if Lang and Sitton went in together.

Chris from La Crosse, WI

Everyone makes mistakes. Multiply that by the number of coaches, players and support staff in the building and the logical conclusion, made by the BR article and reiterated by you, is the blame for "what happened" is shared. This article isn't a bad thing for the Packers. Exactly the opposite. It was clear before it was released there were issues in more than one area of the building. Mistakes can lead to humility and wisdom, both of them bedrocks for growth and leadership. Just grow.

I can live with that. The peace I've reached with it is this: Tension between McCarthy and Rodgers was natural, given their personalities, competitive drive and exceptional abilities. For a long time that tension was productive, pushing both to greater heights. Somewhere along the line – not necessarily a specific moment, but more of an evolution – the tension inevitably ceased being productive, and it led at least in part to where we are now. Chalk it up to the human condition. I don't think acknowledging that means there must have been long-lasting dysfunction. This game is too hard and the league too competitive to be dysfunctional and successful over an extended time.

Paul from Shoreview, MN

Do you think Rodgers will address the allegations in the Bleacher Report story during the upcoming minicamp?

I heard he may address the media sometime this week as the players return for offseason workouts.

Craig from Port Charlotte, FL

How on earth would a report get out that Murphy told Aaron on the phone "don't be part of the problem" (with regard to Rodgers accepting a new coach)? I have not seen Murphy directly quoted on this or seen a comment from him, nor have I seen any source attributed to this revelation, yet the media is running with this story as if gospel.

That might be the single biggest question I have about that entire piece. Getting back to my discussion of unnamed sources from the other day, it's rather irresponsible in my view not to corroborate an unnamed source with at least one other source (even if also unnamed) when putting an apparent fact in the "historical record," e.g., claiming someone else did or said something. It's one thing to relay an opinion, but taking a single unnamed source's word on something that supposedly happened and publishing it without some level of corroboration reeks of sensationalism and tabloid journalism. OK, moving on.

Don from Stevens Point, WI

Can a coach ever request a booth review be upgraded to a table-by-the-window review?

Please see yourself out.

Jake from Athens, GA

Wow, the Primers have been great so far this year. N'Keal Harry looks like a really sturdy slot receiver, an interesting prospect for the Packers. How do you decide which Primers to save for the week or so before the draft?

We've been working our way through by conference, and the rest of the way will pretty much be just ACC and SEC guys, but there are a lot of them.

Ruben from Santander, Spain

This may have already been dealt with in the Inbox, but how much of an impact have historically had tight ends in the game? Sure, Gronk was a dominant player when healthy. Was there ever such a dominant tight end, especially in Green Bay? I've been thinking about this with all this Hockenson talk, and the fact we already have some very good players at the position. Do we really need another one and, particularly, at such a high pick? Thanks for all the good work, guys.

All I know is that two of Rodgers' best stretches – 2011 and the run in 2016 – featured the tight end as a major weapon in the offense with Finley and Cook, respectively. Graham can be that guy and is getting another chance, but it's also a position the Packers must plan for in the future. I'm not saying necessarily at pick 12 or 30, but there's a strong group of tight ends in this draft and I'd like to see the Packers get one.

Paul from Bay View, WI

Guys, might be a little early for this but if the Packers win the first game vs. the Bears, will that go a long way into the players buying into Matt LaFleur's system/scheme? Or if the Packers lose that game, do you think it will be a long road for the players to get on board with the new coach? I think a blowout win against the Bears would definitely make everyone (including the fans) buy into this new regime. What's your thoughts?

I can't believe I'm saying this in April, but the opener vs. the Bears will not define the LaFleur era or the players' buy-in or anything of that sort, one way or the other. McCarthy lost his first game, to the Bears, 26-0, at home, with Brett Favre. I'm not saying anyone needs to prepare for that. I'm just saying it's going to be one game, no matter what.

Dan from Janesville, WI

Hello sir. What is your opinion regarding Kyler Fackrell's role next season? I agree it was absurd to expect consistent double-digit sack numbers and for him to be the answer at edge rusher, but the guy did show he could play a little. I'll hang up and listen.

Fackrell needs to just do what he did last year – when he's in the game, make an impact. I like the fact that he's not suddenly being thrust into an every-down role. Mike Pettine can pick spots for him and thereby get the most out of him.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

I'm just happy that you two put up with all of us knuckleheads.

If you're happy, I'm happy.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

A request for Packer Nation to pray for Mrs. Stafford during her upcoming surgery and recovery.

I don't know the Staffords, but I know people who work for the Lions who know them and they are great people for that franchise and community. All the best, for sure.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

Do you believe that whatever happens with Josh Rosen will influence the top of the draft?

Perhaps. If he stays in Arizona, that helps the Packers.

Scott from Martinez, GA

I imagine you guys are seeing a lot of names submitted by fans on who the Packers should pick at 12. Are there any front-runners yet or is it too early to tell?

Aside from the two Iowa tight ends, the player I've seen mentioned the most by fans up to this point has been Ed Oliver.

Joan from Freedom, WI

Any outlier guesses for the draft?

The outlier would be trading up from 12 or up from 30. It wasn't even on my radar until Gutekunst did what he did in free agency, but I said right away after that, it felt like everything was suddenly on the table, and Gutekunst even used the word "flexibility" regarding what free agency did for him in the draft. I'm not predicting said trade, but I wouldn't be shocked by anything.

JR from East Moline, IL

Have made it a goal to get into and start watching baseball. Heard the announcer say a funny quote during the Cubs game. "Sports writers and managers hate leaky pens." Took me a minute. Granted I'm pretty slow. Anyway I think my favorite aspect of baseball so far is the pitcher. Just coming out and throwing heat with a mindset of "you can't hit me."

The fundamental aspect of baseball that makes it so different from all other sports is the defense has the ball. Maybe that's why I like it so much from a strategic standpoint.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

Spoff, hope you enjoyed the game. Yelich or Trout?

I did, and it was great to get my early-season baseball fix. I love Yelich, but honestly Trout is from another planet. I'm hoping I can stay awake late the next few nights to see them both go at it.

Dylan from Bozeman, MT

What position do you think is easiest to make an impact as a rookie? You guys gotta stop with these Primers. I like all these guys.

There's a lot to like at a lot of positions the Packers have needs. For rookie impact from a high draft pick, I'll go with offensive line.

Monica from Blue Mounds, WI

So glad for Tony Bennett. 10-point lead? And it takes the Guy to hit the free throws! What an ending!

I hope the Green Bay Preble grad can finish it off tonight. I love the thought of the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 coming back to win it all the following year. It's why I picked them from the beginning. But officiating controversies aren't just for the NFL, and I'm not even talking about the foul. You can't miss that double-dribble call in the last 10 seconds. You just can't.

Brandon from Baldwin, WI

So, will there be a tell-all article about the II? Unnamed former interns spilling the salacious details of Insider intrigue? Did Vic really retire or was he forced out by a power-hungry Spofford, eager for control over a subordinate he could manipulate? Or Wes turns out to be a diva demanding interns stock his desk with Fuji water and orange Skittles and the stolen lunches were made up to garner sympathy? Or that the column is really written by George McFly? What do you say to that Biff?

He's just getting started making his second lunch. Happy Monday, everyone.