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Inbox: It's ready-made for him

Three days away …


Bill from Iowa City, IA

Iron sharpens iron, and men sharpen men. What position groups do you see gaining the most during training camp?

I expect the one-on-one pass-rush/pass-blocking and the one-on-one WR/DB drills to be particularly noteworthy this summer. In the former, a number of accomplished veterans will be honing their craft. In the latter, a lot of young talent will be trying to establish itself. Three days away …

Steve from Wauwatosa, WI

Back in the olden days of this popular Packer Q&A, we would occasionally be shown a truly nasty question, just boiling over with meanness and hate. Are those ugly and usually ignorant questions no longer showing up in the Inbox, or are you just evaporating them with the deft touch of the delete key?

The Packers are undefeated through six months and 23 days of the new year. As soon as that streak is snapped, the meanness and hate are guaranteed to return.

Benjamin from Bear, DE

In the late '90s I remember seeing stories written about players taking dancing lessons to help their balance and ability to ward off soft-tissue injuries. Now the new en vogue training preference is yoga. What's the weirdest, strangest, out-there training thing you've ever seen or heard an NFL player doing to prepare for the rigors of an NFL season?

To your first point, if I recall correctly from my youth, Lynn Swann was the first football player to take ballet lessons. Maybe Vic could confirm that. Back in 2010-11, I remember talking to a couple Packers players who were doing boxing workouts in the offseason for the intense cardio. Jermichael Finley was one, and there were others. It seemed pretty new at the time, and now MMA training is rather common among NFL players.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, how much hangover is there the week following a tough loss? How much carryover to the next week is there after a great win? Is it all just business as usual from week to week in the NFL? What is your experience as an up-close observer?

You get Monday to celebrate or mourn, but that's about it. On Tuesday, the coaches are game-planning for the next opponent, and the players are off to get ready for the next practice/prep week beginning Wednesday. If the emotions, good or bad, carry beyond Monday, it'll catch up to you in this league.

Brett from Oshkosh, WI

How fast does Davante Adams look to you guys, as in, bee-line speed? I've been a fan of him since his rookie season, and now other teams and media outlets are starting to notice his talent. They always mention his physicality, release at the line, etc., and they often mention he's not the fastest, but he knows how to manipulate his speed. I think he's on his way to the elite WR club. Can you think of a WR that was dominant at any point in his career that seemed kinda slow?

I don't think Donald Driver was ever considered the fastest receiver on the team at any point in his career, and he's the franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. Game speed is always different from timed speed, and the best pros without the top timed speed know how to close the gap.

Robert from Valrico, FL

Gents, happy last few days of dead zone before you dive into 2018 headfirst. I'm a Packers fan in Tampa and trying to gauge, aside from prime time, when I'll get games broadcast here. Any idea on, if GB starts hot, how many 12 p.m. games could be flexed?

Flexing is very limited from Weeks 6-10, and the Packers have multiple prime-time games in that period anyway. Down the stretch, the one that jumps out as a flex candidate is Atlanta in Week 14, but FOX might protect it from getting taken away. No way to know how things are going to look at that point, though.

Former Packers become 160th and 161st inductees into Packers Hall of Fame

Peter from Lansing, MI

How did Bob Harlan convince the board to relinquish control of football operations? Ron Wolf being able to run the team his way was a huge part of the Packers' turnaround, but I don't really understand how it happened. Was it just the years of futility? Was the Mandarich pick the straw that broke the camel's back?

I don't think anything was the last straw. If I recall what I've heard Harlan say previously, he explained that in order to get Wolf, whom he considered the top personnel evaluator available, full control would have to be in his hands. Wolf was demanding it. That's how successful franchises were operating, and yes, it was obvious the Packers' model at the time had not been successful.

Jim from Manteca, CA

In regards to the backup QB competition, with many new TEs and WRs, in camp, it seems that Rodgers may get even more that the usual number of reps in practice to get in sync with them, giving the other QBs' minimal exposure. It appears that the preseason games will become more important for them, as they will have to get their exposure, and prove their worth in them.

I don't see Rodgers taking a lot more practice reps than he usually does. Maybe a few here and there due to the playbook tweaks, but he and the coaches know what he needs to get ready. The pattern has been for Rodgers to run the scout team leading up to the final preseason game, which turns the primary practice reps over to the backups the last week of camp.

Al from Wollongong, Australia

Wes (and Spoff, if you feel the same), why do you feel Graham is a better fit for Green Bay's offense than he was for Seattle's?

The Packers have been their most explosive offensively with an athletic, matchup issue at tight end. Jermichael Finley in 2011 and Jared Cook in the latter stages of 2016 are the best examples. Graham steps right into that role. It's ready-made for him. With Russell Wilson at QB, the Seahawks never had a tight end with even a 40-catch season until Graham arrived in 2015.

100% of all proceeds went to Wounded Warrior Project & Angel Flight

Eliot from Denver, CO

Reading a season preview magazine, and the Packers' section concluded by saying that the Pack "would be FORTUNATE to COMPETE for a Wild Card berth, and will be holding their breath every time Rodgers drops back to pass." (Emphasis mine.) That's why it's a reckoning tour: The wrong party in that summary is holding its breath. They have forgotten. I love when they forget.

The predictions for the Packers in 2018 are all over the map, and they don't mean a thing.

Greg from Hamilton, Ontario

What would you say is the highlight of the 2018 Packers offseason?

Too many to pick just one. New GM, new coordinators, signing Wilkerson and Graham, the big draft-day trades. It wasn't the usual offseason around here.

Sean from Arlington Heights, IL

What happened to the bylines in the mobile app?

It's an issue that cropped up when a recent update was made to the app, and the developer is aware of it and working on it.

Raymond from Milford, CT

I remember watching the Thigpen game and the drop makes me want to believe in karma. Shortly before the drop the Steelers benefitted from an extremely favorable spot on a fourth-down play. There must not have been replay or the Pack was out of challenges. The Thigpen play should never have happened.

I had forgotten about that, but I vaguely recall the controversial play. There was no replay system from 1992-98.

Mark from New Brighton, MN

The best sports nickname was for an obscure '80s era backup catcher for the Padres, Doug Gwosdz. They called him "Eyechart." On a tangentially related note, is Marquez Valdes-Scantling causing consternation in the sewing room, or is he welcomed as a guarantee of full employment?

If Marge and her crew could handle Gbaja-Biamila for nine years, I don't think they're sweating any challenge Marquez's last name might present.

Brett from Merrill, WI

It occurs to me that the NFL single-game record by an individual for sacks and passing TDs is both seven. What do you think we'll see first, an eight-sack game or an eight-TD game? I'd put my money on eight passing TDs.

Me, too.

Matheus from Blumenau, Brazil

I'm really excited about our D this year, thinking Pettine will turn it into a strength, especially the pass rush. I'll bet you guys we get 45-plus sacks this year, with Matthews and Perry combined for 20-plus (you heard it here first). As for the question, which was the Packers' best season in sacks? Did we ever lead the league?

The official team record is 52 in 2001, which ranked third in the league. The high in the McCarthy era is 47, achieved twice, in 2010 and 2012, which ranked tied for second and fourth, respectively.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The Packers recently released their financial statement and as a shareholder it's comforting to know that the future is stable and secure. To my knowledge the Packers are the only team to "open their books" and I wonder your thoughts on how the other owners view this? Private businesses are generally not eager to release this kind of info. Also how do the players and the NFLPA view this information?

The other owners would rather not have the information public, but the Packers' structure requires it. I don't think the team reveals anything CBA-related the union isn't already aware of, at least to a certain extent.

Gary from Murrieta, CA

Not a question but a few interesting numbers. The Inbox is telling us that the game is one of replacement. I just noticed the all-time players roster on the new website, listing 1,666 players who have played at least one game with the Packers: 120 played only one game, 993 played in 16 games or less (equal to one season of games), 1,181 played in 32 games or less, and 1,345 played in 50 games or less. Only 110 played in 100 games or more! Truly a game of replacement.

Roster turnover is constant. A competitor is always around the corner trying to win a job. Long careers are not easy to forge.

Tom from Iron River, WI

I am sure you have answered this question before, however, I plan to attend Packers training camp this year and am looking for a recommendation on which week to attend. I would like to attend when we might be to witness the wide receiver competition.

That competition will be ongoing, so you won't really miss that no matter when you come. Personally, I think the best week of practices runs from the third workout of camp (when the pads first come on) through Family Night.

Doug from Lafayette, OH

Training camp begins this week. Is this the deep breath before the plunge?

… … … … I guess I can't hold my breath and type at the same time. Happy Monday, everyone.