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Inbox: It's never just one thing

There are ways to adjust and move forward

Packers offensive unit
Packers offensive unit

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

With no more dual use stadiums, shouldn't the phrase be updated to "3 yards and a cloud of crumb rubber"? Although it doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.

Mike from St. Louis Park, MN

Some big-name cuts starting pop up around the league. Gutey and Ball free up cap space. Are you two ready for "sign everybody" season?

It's not a season. It's perpetual.

Dennis from Oak Ridge, TN

Vikes' Harrison Smith could be a cap victim. Would love to see this Knoxville guy in GB. Is he a possibility for us if he is let go?

Case in point.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Does the Derek Carr news out of New Orleans have ANY impact on the Packers' QB situation? Is it too simplistic to say the Jets may be even more desperate to acquire a certain QB? Or are we still in the same old holding pattern until that QB lets us know what he wants to do?

I do think Carr's signing with the Saints ups the urgency for the Jets to find their next QB, but beyond that, what impact that might or might not have on the situation isn't known.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

I know this is still a hypothetical, but I suspect it will have a short lifespan as a live possibility before becoming either a certainty or a counterfactual, so I'll try asking: If the Packers were to trade Aaron Rodgers for a package including conditional future picks, what conditions would likely be attached? Statistical benchmarks? Games started? Playoff performance? Retirement? Trading him to the Vikings?

I think the only conditions potentially attached would be based on how many years Rodgers continues to play.

Sam from Rexburg, ID

How important is it for our run game that our receivers and tight ends are proficient blockers? If we lose both Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis and don't replace them with someone like Darnell Washington is our run game gonna suffer?

Losing those two guys would certainly downgrade the offense's perimeter blocking prowess, but young up-and-coming players can be taught how to block, and runs can be schemed up differently depending on personnel, too. There are ways to adjust and move forward, if it comes to that.

Bob from Eau Claire, WI

Green Bay Packers' fans want a Super Bowl victory, but to the front office and the city of Green Bay, isn't being a contender every year more important?

The latter increases the odds of the former.

Andrew from St. Petersburg, FL

Right now I'd say Derek Carr now makes the Saints the favorite for the NFC South. But if Carolina were to get a serviceable QB (Jimmy G, Geno) would you put them at the top?

It's a coin flip in that division in any case. All four teams finished either 8-9 or 7-10 last year. It's anyone's for the taking.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

A few IIs ago, you mentioned that it was unlikely both QBs would be on the roster in 2023. Is that because of the size of the contracts? If not, I could see a scenario where 12 comes back and declares that he's playing for one more season. This gives 10 a starting job in 2024 at the latest, possibly sooner if 12 is injured or plays poorly.

To be clear, again, my comment about the Packers not having both QBs on the roster was in reference to 2024. I continue to see people misrepresenting what I said.

Mark from Vienna, VA

Where do you see the improvement in this group of offensive linemen? Aren't these men the same ones who struggled to produce against the two worst defensive teams in the league (1-3 vs DET & MIN) and against the fourth-worst defense (CHI)?

Bakhtiari and Jenkins will be another year removed from their injuries/recoveries, and all the young linemen who have gained experience over the last year or two (Myers, Nijman, Runyan, Newman, Tom) are by no means finished products. As I wrote about Monday, Gutekunst sees that unit as the strongest piece to the team's foundation moving forward, and I tend to agree.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Does every participant in the combine get drafted? How many participants are there total?

There are more than 300 players at the scouting combine, and the total number of draft picks is in the upper 250s, depending on diversity compensatory picks awarded and lost draft picks due to penalties. So not every combine participant gets drafted, and every year there are players not invited to the combine who do get drafted.

Paul from Nevada City, CA

Spoff (and Wes), with much chagrin, I find myself being trapped by previously saying the "never" word as to making inquiries. Agree with your Greg's response as to the contrary would have found the Pack in the playoffs on an ascending note. Can you be so bold as to opine whether the scoring failures were due to play-calling or execution? Further, agree about your analytic comment; it's all about the "MO"!

LaFleur certainly admitted to some play calls he'd like to have back when in scoring territory last season. The film also showed plenty of execution breakdowns, whether a missed block, bad read by a ball carrier, missed throw, you name it. The offense simply wasn't good enough when it got in position to score, and it's never just one thing.

Nate from Naples, FL

It's interesting to review the QBs drafted in 2012 when Sherman's QB-hungry Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill. Andrew Luck and RGIII were selected with picks 1 and 2. After the 'Phins drafted Tannehill eighth overall, Brandon Weeden went 22nd. Then there weren't any QBs taken until pick 57, (Brock Osweiler, anyone?). Russell Wilson (75th) and Nick Foles (88th) both waited until round 3, followed by Kirk Cousins in the 4th (102nd, joining RGIII in Washington). The crystal balls were cloudy that year.

And how. I highly respect the career Tannehill has carved out for himself, but it took until his seventh year with a fresh start in Tennessee before his INTs got down to single digits, his season passer rating rose to triple digits, and he became the type of QB he was projected to be. This business can be strange, unkind and rewarding all the same.

Dave from Edina, MN

I noticed there are only 31 first-round picks this year. Can you remind me who lost a pick and why?

The Dolphins were docked a first-round pick this year and third-rounder next year based on the tampering investigation into the franchise's pursuit of Tom Brady and Sean Payton.

Jason from Lake Orion, MI

Having spent two years as a lowly college GA, I can expand upon James from Appleton and his inquiry regarding questions asked by scouts. One of my duties was to assist scouts with prospect game tapes and they would ask anyone (even me) involved in the program questions related to prospect character, effort, attitude, whether they're coachable, etc., in their quest to develop a complete evaluation of the players. On a side note, I was able to score a free lunch from the Bears scout!

All righty then.

Check out photos of quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends working out at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Anthony from Madison, WI

Just a comment...I have thought that even with AR, GB has been kinda rebuilding the last few years. And we still had the seasons we have had. Yes, a tad short, but it takes a lot for everything to line up just right, as we all know. With that said, I think Gutey and the staff have done a five-star job on keeping the talent we have had while getting talent now. It's easy to look at (and expect) the immediate impact of draftees, but what kind of team will GB have in 2-3 years?

That's the quadrillion-dollar question, right? The Packers have had to retool at certain positions each year. Nature of the beast. Last year the receiver position was in an even brighter spotlight because of Adams' departure. This year, though we're still seven weeks away from the draft, it appears tight end and safety could be spots under the microscope. Regardless, with the exception of 2020 when Dillon was the only significant rookie contributor, multiple players in each Gutekunst draft class have provided early impact. I think '22 produced the largest rookie impact yet, which is promising, but it guarantees nothing. Which of the young guys will develop into core, foundational players on the roster, and which will remain just contributors? Time will tell.

Patrick from Folly Beach, SC

What's your thoughts on the news about the Titans wearing a throwback Oilers uniform this season? To me, it was ugly then and it's uglier now.

I always loved the powder blue with the oil derrick on the helmet. One of my favorites as a kid for sure. Earl Campbell had a lot to do with that.

Ted from Findlay, OH

Your comment on analytics made me think of one of my favorite sport adages: Lucky can beat good any day of the week, but it's not the basis to bet on the game.

Hence perhaps why the illegal activity at Bushwood is called gambling.

Chuck from Sun Prairie, WI

I totally agree with your analysis MLB took the easy way out banning infield shifts. Players, as athletically gifted as they are, could easily beat said shifts. Strategically placed hard bunts would result in nearly automatic singles or (less automatic doubles). However, today's game is less motivated to play "small ball." Home runs are king and rewarded with big bucks. It's not that today's players can't beat the shift. Sadly, they're just not motivated to do so.

All the data correlates the bulk of run production to home runs, so that's how teams build their lineups to win, and that's how players get rewarded at contract time. That home run in the eighth inning when you're already up five runs isn't worth nearly as much as that one run you need to manufacture when you're tied or down one, however. Heck, they had to go to the "ghost runner" on second base in extra innings because all teams did was wait for someone to blast a homer, so games took too long. I actually don't mind the rule in the regular season, but the need for it speaks to the same issue. The inability, stemming from a lack of desire, to push a run across the old-fashioned way has changed baseball, mostly for the worse.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

How do you calculate the length of Inbox when you write it? It's always just the right size to read through on my lunch break at work. Thanks for all you do!

Rule No. 1, Caleb. Don't push me on rule No. 1.

Bob from Wellington, CO

Often, in football terms, when referring to players phrases are used like "aging," "not much gas left in the tank," "old." When do those phrases apply to writers?

Such judgment lies not with me. Happy Tuesday.

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