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Inbox: It's perhaps a greater opportunity for early impact

This is not an easy business


Randy from Des Moines, IA

You two are a couple of dorks.

I don't know about Wes, but I've been called worse. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Kent from Leavenworth, KS

I'm a strong supporter of drafting BAP. But I like (perhaps emotionally) the thought of drafting a stud inside linebacker. What impact does an impact inside linebacker provide, and how does that change the defense?

A playmaker at that spot can disrupt a lot of things near the line of scrimmage, yet he can be difficult to game-plan against specifically because he's not right on the line of scrimmage. If he's fast enough to cover tight ends and running backs, that's a major help to a defensive coordinator making coverage calls. But all that said, he needs stout linemen in front of him to keep blockers at bay and him roaming free, and he needs the instincts to beat his opponent to the punch.

Deanna from Oregon, WI

Should the Packers draft a cornerback?

At some point in this draft, yes.

Jake from Salt Lake City, UT

Nice "Back to the Future" reference in Wednesday's column. But how can we bring up that movie and not realize the speed for which time travel is possible is 88 miles per hour? Coincidence? I think not, Insiders.

I can't decide if that's ban-worthy or IIHOF-worthy.

Russ from Billings, MT

Do the players and coaches follow much of what's being said/reported in the media or just not pay any attention to it at all? I reference Tyler Dunne's "What Happened In Green Bay" as an example. This kind of stuff may play well in the tabloids but, seriously, talk about stirrin' the pot...It's OVER. There isn't a single thing anyone can do to change any of it. Personally, I can't wait for Monday to get here.

Amen to that. Regarding what went wrong, if I said it once in this space I said it a hundred times, there's plenty of blame to go around. The Bleacher Report piece didn't change my view on that. I don't take everything in the story at face value, not when a lot of it is coming from players who weren't a part of either of the last two trips to the NFC title game. This is not an easy business. The competitive juices of everyone involved can both drive and hinder success. It's the nature of the profession and those devoted to it.

Jon Marc from Columbia, MO

After watching the primer on Hakeem Butler, I looked up some mock drafts. Some have him in the third round while other have him in the top 10. How can there be that much disparity? Is it something about him or something about mock drafts?

Take a guess.

Matt from Albany, NY

I'm pretty sure Tom Brady's other hand already has one ring. I think Philip Rivers or maybe Frank Gore deserve a ring. I think both of these players are going to Canton regardless of a ring but I'd love to see these guys get one after all their continued success in this league. How many players in Canton actually have a ring and how many do not? I think that would put some perspective on how hard it is to win a Super Bowl.

I don't have that list in front of me, but I made no secret of rooting for Rivers last January. I really thought this past year was his best shot.

Tom from New York, NY

Does Jayrone Elliott get another chance with the Packers now that the AAF has collapsed? He did lead that "league" in sacks. Poor San Diego lost two football teams in two years. That city got dumped by its true love and its rebound.

I don't know if Elliott gets another look with the Packers, but I hope he gets a shot somewhere. A great guy who appears to still have something to offer. I wish him luck.

Dan from Toledo, OH

Just a few weeks ago we were talking about how the AAF could maybe become a developmental league for the NFL and how good its ratings were. Life comes at you fast sometimes. Feel bad for all those coaches and players though.

I feel worse for all the employees doing the jobs no one knows about.

Todd from Eau Claire, WI

I was a little disappointed to hear Mike McCarthy state he felt that his dismissal was done in a very poor way. I agree that it seemed time for a change; however, it could have been done in a better way. I think that MM earned better respect based on the accomplishments he had in Green Bay. What are your thoughts on this? Or is this just an example of MM feeling hurt being let go in the middle of the season?

It's clear he felt he should have been allowed to finish the year, but I still contend, as I did at the time, that if the decision had been made, leaving him to coach out the season in our current media climate would have done him a disservice. In that vein, I'm not sure there's a "good" way to fire a longtime, successful coach mid-season, and he has every right to his personal feelings about the delivery of the news. But in the ensuing days he also was allowed to return to the building, twice, to address his coaching staff and his players. I don't think that part of the process should be ignored. In any event, it sounds like he's reached some level of peace with it, and I wish him well wherever he coaches next.

Grayson from St. Paul, MN

What's your informed opinion on how much into the future the Packers consider taking a young quarterback to be groomed as Rodgers' successor (just as he was with Favre) or is that ridiculous to even ask, given his new contract and longevity expectations?

I think you target when Rodgers has one or two years left, if getting that kind of clarity from him is reasonable.

Mike from Holton, MI

Will Aaron Rodgers win a third MVP?

I think he's got it in him.

Tim from Upland, CA

Hello gents, as writers and journalists, what are your thoughts on "unnamed sources," especially those labeled as "close to the situation." Rather than applaud them for breaking their silence, I look down upon them as cowards who can't be confronted directly about what they have said. Do either of you have a different take?

I can understand a source's desire to go unnamed if there's a legitimate reason for doing so. As a reader, the final analysis for me goes back to the writer and my familiarity with his/her work. If the writer uses unnamed sources constantly and liberally, it always makes me question whether he/she is really discerning anything for the reader or just providing a platform to a mouthpiece while maintaining a relationship with a source. If a writer uses unnamed sources rarely and judiciously, a notable deployment will catch my attention and carry more impact, because I know that writer has thought it through and decided it was necessary and worth using an admittedly questionable tactic to deliver the information. I guess you could call me fussy when it comes to media consumption.

Ryan from Sheboygan Falls, WI

What will the Packers be focused on this next year?

Winning games.

Joe from Liberty Township, OH

One thing I've never understood about replay is why coaches are limited to two (or three) challenges? I get the point of disrupting and extending the game, but a timeout does the same thing. Why not allow a coach to challenge as long as he has a TO? The game stops and goes to a TV commercial in both cases. If the concern is the coach could get multiple overturns and keep all his TOs to use later, are we then saying we're OK with officials getting the call wrong?

Preaching to the choir, Joe. Exactly why I'm in favor of two-strikes-and-you're-out. If a coach is going to keep getting things corrected on replay, why should he have to stop? You get one mulligan. If you're wrong again, you don't get to stop the game anymore. Seems pretty simple to me.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

I read an article recently where a former official was talking about there being almost twice the number of TV cameras covering the Sunday/Monday night games as there are on the noon games. If TV cameras are to be used in officiating, how can they ignore such an obvious inconsistency across the league? Has there been any study of the quality of replay review from both situations?

Not that I'm aware of. But as long as both teams in a given game have access to the same camera angles, it's fair.

Andrew from Cincinnati, OH

Do you think we will ever get to a point where a ref could throw a flag during the play and state conditions without making a decision? They would simply report, "Verify offensive hold on 55" to a booth reviewer, who would have X seconds after the play to make the call? It would add time between plays but would allow someone a chance to look at it 2-3 times vs. once.

Not anytime soon, but I wouldn't rule it out somewhere down the line.

Janet from Brown Deer, WI

I'm sick of hearing about replay. Just go to the B1G format that every play is "under review" and the game stops with a buzzer. It ensures that the call is correct, I feel the game has integrity, and it doesn't make the game drag on. Why am I the only one that is talking about this?

You're not, but we're a long way from the NFL ever adopting the college system. It'll take another postseason fiasco like the one in New Orleans, at least.

LeeAnn from Carefree, IN

Mike, if Penny were explaining the new rules to Leonard, how would that look?

Perfectly simple and digestible to everyone but Leonard.

Olle from Herrljunga, Sweden

Catching the Relevant train, has any QB ever drafted at "pick six" become anything of relevance?

Funny. The last one taken at that spot was Trent Dilfer in 1994, and the Packers took Rich Campbell at No. 6 in 1981. The list also includes Y.A. Tittle and Sammy Baugh, so there's that.

Albert from Caledonia, MS

How fitting is it that T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton retired within a few days of each other?

Very. Heck of a duo.

Mike from Iola, WI

Hey guys, thanks for all you do for the team and this site. You've brought up numerous times over the past couple years the playbook being on a tablet that the players have to return when they're released/traded/cut. Are the tablets encrypted so that the player, or a rival coach, couldn't take the information off it and copy it to a different tablet? Seems like something that a team might try to get an edge if they are facing the team in the upcoming schedule.

I'm pretty sure the files on the tablet are protected from being copied electronically. I know for certain the tech gang has the capability to wipe a tablet remotely if it's not turned back in.

Brian from Schertz, TX

When will Coach McCarthy be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame? Is it based on number of years after leaving the organization? Would the Hall vote him in if he is actively coaching another team?

He will go into the Packers Hall of Fame at some point after his coaching career concludes. Mike Holmgren was inducted four years after his last season coaching in Seattle.

Dylan from Chapel Hill, NC

Are any of the offseason (pre-training camp) practices open to the media?

In the past, the Packers have had some of their OTA and minicamp workouts in May and June open to the public and media. Plans for this year have not yet been announced.

Garrett from Lake Elmo, MN

I'm usually not privy to drafting WR or TE in the first round, but that mindset was entirely based off of McCarthy's and Rodgers' long tenure at the helm. For their entire careers together they learned and built the offense to what it was, thus making it difficult for first-year players to grasp on and have an immediate impact. Would you agree that with a new coach and offensive scheme, the risk of drafting a guy like Metcalf or Hockenson at No. 12 is much lower now?

I wouldn't call it less risk. It's perhaps a greater opportunity for early impact.

Trevor from Carmel, NY

I still can't wrap my head around the idea of the No. 1 pick in the draft being a 5-9 QB. Call me old-school. But what do you think is more responsible for this? Rule changes? The success of Wilson and Mayfield? Desperation to find "the guy"? That said, does Doug Flutie become a HOFer if he is drafted into this era as opposed to 30 years ago?

All those factors play into it, but I'd rank Wilson's success first. Given what Flutie did in Canada in a more pass-oriented, three-down game, I think the answer to that question is yes.

John from Peoria, IL

How many people from the organization will actually be at the draft?

For years it's been two – video director Chris Kirby and assistant equipment manager Bryan Nehring. They're the guys at the table turning in the cards. Aside from our digital department and others in and around the Lambeau Field media auditorium to cover the happenings, everyone else is in the draft room on third floor.

Tony from Marquette, MI

What big moves have been made by our division rivals?

Thus far, the Bears' biggest acquisitions have been Cordarelle Patterson, Buster Skrine and Mike Davis. For the Vikings, I'd say re-signing Anthony Barr and picking up Josh Kline have been the most significant. And the Lions' signings of Trey Flowers and Justin Coleman were certainly noteworthy.

Chris from Mankato, MN

Fans need to remember that mock drafts are simply there to entertain the fans. The "experts" have a lot on their plates, whereas team scouts have one job: scout. I searched "Jordy Nelson Combine" and came across his so-called negative attributes: "Good route-runner, but lacks explosiveness out of his breaks and elite deep ball speed...may lack the acceleration to be anything more than a possession receiver at the next level." Looks like scouts do a much better job than the experts.

Yet another reason we have no idea how this is actually going to unfold.

Colin from Tripoi, WI

All the Crew does is win one-run games. Is this a good sign? I think so. Good teams find a way to win games, period. I'll take 100 or so of them.

The one-run game equation will start to even out over time. The season's too long for it not to. But if the current trend could hold through Sunday, when I attend my first game this year, that'd be great.

Scott from Martinez, GA

Count me as one of those too nervous to approach Spoff. It was the Packers Everywhere event in Jacksonville. Towards the end, Spoff is standing next to the stage talking to some people who looked like family. I was the only fan in the area and stood there for a minute pondering what to do. Ultimately I decided I didn't want to be rude and interrupt his conversation to say hi, so I walked off. Next time though I'll be a bit more brave, especially since he may recognize who I am.

I appreciate your discretion. If I recall Jacksonville correctly, I was reconnecting with a longtime Wisconsin friend who had moved to Florida, so I apologize for being so occupied. But please, I don't want anyone to be "nervous" about approaching me. Holy cow. That's actually embarrassing, to be honest.

Jack from Indianapolis, IN

Of course the people on that side of the state are too shy to go talk to Spoff, he's infamous for stealing lunches! Has Wes ever considered eating things Spoff hates?

Wes goes out to lunch all the time now, and for some reason he never brings back leftovers. Or he leaves them in his car.

Jocelyn from Lavon, TX

Think I'm burnt out of offseason drama and am ready for the season to start already.

T-minus exactly five months from today. Happy Friday, everyone.