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Inbox: It's something to watch during training camp

He has to do what it takes to win

CB Shemar Jean-Charles, CB Corey Ballentine and CB Carrington Valentine
CB Shemar Jean-Charles, CB Corey Ballentine and CB Carrington Valentine

Christopher from Hagerstown, MD

How about Say Less Wes? I do love the one-word answers.

That's not bad. I'm not sure it's good, but it's not bad.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, the pangs of jealousy were almost unbearable when reading Tom's "I just went to work for the Packers" post. As I near retirement and look over the successes and failures of a lifetime of work, I regret not finding a way to work for the greatest passion in my life other than family. Any chance you could find a spot for a retired, yet technologically savvy senior in some internship? I can carry laptops, parse film, make jokes, caddy, protect/make lunches, and I don't own an 88 jersey.

I'd love to have someone read through all the Inbox submissions every day, set aside the ones I should answer, and fix all the grammar, spelling and punctuation before passing them along. I have no hiring authority and can't pay anything, however, so it looks like we're both outta luck.

Mike from Hammond, IN

Do you think Rashan Gary will be ready to play any time this season?

Yes, but we don't know exactly when.

Jim from Algoma, WI

I see that the Milwaukee Bucks traded a 2030 draft pick. Does the NFL have a rule about how far into the future a draft choice can be traded?

Three years out. I'm not an avid follower of the NBA, but I heard the Phoenix Suns have no first-round draft picks for the rest of this decade. That seems insane to me.

Jason from Lincoln, IL

First time submitting a question, longtime reader and lifelong fan. When Rodgers took over I remember thinking to myself "looks like he learned not to throw INTs from Favre." I often thought that Rodgers played not to lose to almost a fault and Favre played to win almost to a fault. I know that's not exactly true; they both played to win obviously but 4 would throw the ball up whereas 12 would throw it away. Is anyone like me hoping Jordan Love takes a little from both in regards to both styles?

That's an extremely popular sentiment. Personally, I don't care what style of play Love adopts or espouses. It's about winning games, and he has to do what it takes to win. His two predecessors both won a lot of games. That's all that really matters.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

How many games will it take for Love to find his way with the offense?

If I knew that I'd be lifting the ban on gambling at Bushwood and planning my retirement.

Stan from Jupiter, FL

Confusing to this old man, but we have "OTA" ... "offseason program" ... "mandatory minicamp" ... why not just call it all "spring training" like MLB?

Because it's a very different time of year? I don't know. The offseason program is the all-encompassing label. OTAs are just no-pads voluntary practices within the offseason program, and minicamp is just another round of OTAs but players are mandated to attend.

Mark from San Antonio, TX

Is there a point in the season/preseason where team workouts shift to maintaining strength, not trying to build it? From an injury standpoint, it seems like more maintenance may help the team's overall health. Curious to have your insights on the strength and conditioning aspect of the season.

I'm no expert, but a lot of weight room work is for maintenance once training camp begins because of what the players' bodies are going through. It's similar in the regular season, too.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think the special teams can still get better?

Yes. Even with all the improvement shown in the latter portion of last season, the Packers still had a PAT blocked in Week 11 vs. Tennessee and a punt blocked in Week 17 vs. Minnesota.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

Are players given a suggested menu to follow during their off time? If in town, are they able to eat at the stadium cafeteria?

If a player requests a nutrition plan, or if there's an ongoing discussion regarding weight/nutrition, he'll be provided guidance. During the down time, the player cafeteria is closed.

Doug from Neenah, WI

I can remember a large statue of a Packers wide receiver wearing uniform No. 88 located outside of the old Hall of Fame building. Do you know whatever happened to the statue? Maybe one of you Inbox guys has it in your backyard because of that number. Thanks.

Ha, no. It was refurbished and repainted with the No. 80 and moved downtown just outside Titletown Brewing Co. as a tribute to Donald Driver after his retirement as the franchise's all-time leading receiver.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

I'm respectfully requesting a 24-hour Inbox ban for Steve from Milwaukee, so he may reflect on his statement that a Packers vs. Jets Super Bowl would be a dilemma for fans regarding the team for which to root. I don't care if the Pack is playing against the ghosts of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi, we ALWAYS root for the Packers. I'm willing to count Sunday as "time served," since this is a first offense, but that wrist of his definitely needs a good slap.

Evan is gonna race you for it.

Evan from Fort Drum, NY

It seems that most of the posted content relating to Rodgers and his new team is very supportive. I'm honestly just starting to wonder if there is anyone out there feeling like me? I don't want the Jets to win a single game, there, I said it! Is that so wrong?! Can I still appreciate what we had yet completely root against him? Wait, feels like I've done this before.

I got a kick out of this. Fans are allowed to feel however they feel, which is part of fandom. And yes, we've been through both sides of this before.

Don from Aurora, CO

Hey guys! I'm excited to see a full season of Keisean Nixon in the nickel/star position. But come September, who do you think is the next man up behind him in that role? It seems like most of the cornerbacks are best suited to the perimeter. Would it be Stokes? Jean-Charles? Carpenter? One of the safeties? Thanks!

That's a good question, and it's something to watch during training camp, as far as who's the nickel with the No. 2 defense. I could see rookie Carrington Valentine getting a crack at it. Shemar Jean-Charles, too. Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage are both capable of playing there if required.

Rob from Springfield, IL

I received information about the annual shareholders meeting. I have never had the opportunity to go, but thought about taking my father who is a lifelong fan and has never been to GB. Typically, what is the turnout for this event? I understand that there are a ton of shareholders, but am curious as to the fit of this meeting. Definitely something that I would like to enjoy, but Lambeau is about six hours away and don't want to get there to find out it is cramped.

There's plenty of space in the seating bowl to observe the meeting if that's what you're concerned about. Last year's attendance was around 8,000.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I did not remember that Chris Jacke was drafted in the third round back in 1989. That seems really high for a kicker. Have times changed such that kickers are no longer drafted that early, or was Jacke that much of a standout from his college career?

Jacke was a sixth-round pick in '89. I should've caught that in Wes's column on Saturday but missed it while editing. As for the current trend, early-round kickers remain the exception, not the rule. According to my research (which could be wrong), since the Raiders took Sebastian Janikowski in the first round in 2000, only four of the 48 kickers drafted have gone in the third round or earlier – Nate Kaeding (Chargers, third round, '04), Mike Nugent (Jets, second, '05), Roberto Aguayo (Buccaneers, second, '16), and Jake Moody (49ers, third, '23).

Avida from Vienna, VA

Do you see the Packers adding another kicker before training camp? I know Anders Carlson is a rookie and needs the reps but it seems grueling to have a single kicker take all the training camp reps. Do you expect they'll bring in a "training camp leg"?

I wouldn't rule it out, but the special teams can still work on field-goal protection/block without actually kicking the ball. Kickoff return and coverage also can get their work in using the Jugs machine (provided it's properly calibrated). So it's not a necessity and Carlson's reps can be monitored appropriately.

Ross from Hudson, WI

It feels like the Packers are younger on offense than defense. Is it easier for the defense or offense to be younger and still be successful?

It's an interesting question, but I have absolutely no idea. There's far more than age of the players that factors into whether or not a unit is successful, so even a comprehensive study that looked at all the age data would paint a very incomplete picture.

Matt from Kolesin, Poland

Hi! Chicken or the egg question. What do you think about 2020 – did great offense create great TE (in Robert Tonyan) or it was more like the great TE helped the offense to reach a new level? I think about it in terms of red-zone efficiency. Having a big body and soft hands in the middle of the field helps a lot. I hope our new TEs will be used as much as Robert was two years ago.

Any big bodies with soft hands have to get open first. It's a game of adjustments. Over the 2019-20 seasons, Aaron Jones scored 30 touchdowns and Davante Adams scored 23. Eventually defenses are going to make the ball go somewhere else. If a player has the skill set to take advantage, the ball should find him.

Troy from Ninety Six, SC

Bill Belichick recently said that Matthew Slater was the greatest special-teamer of all time. He certainly has the accolades with multiple Pro Bowls, All-Pros, and Super Bowl appearances. As a longtime afterthought, the third phase of the game has become increasingly important and as we've seen often has changed the outcomes of games. Do you think it's time guys like Matthew Slater and even Devin Hester get their props and gain entrance into the Hall of Fame?

I don't consider Slater and Hester in the same category. Hester was the greatest return man ever and deserves to be in Canton. He scored touchdowns and impacted games the way top offensive and defensive players do. No disrespect to Slater and others like him, but their overall impact doesn't compare.

Cynthia from Hales Corners, WI

Which player creates the most team spirit?

Tough call, but last year I'd say that player was Keisean Nixon and it wouldn't surprise me if that continues.

Patrick from Lakebay, WA

It looks like there was one correlation that I see in this draft was to find all-around players who played the defensive front seven who were good against the run and pass. Was the philosophy to have a more solid run defense and tougher front seven play?

Just because the Packers recently haven't reached the level strived for doesn't mean it wasn't the previous objective.

Danny from Potosi, WI

If you had to make a top 10 list of the darkest days/moments in Packer history, what would that list look like to you?

Well, the franchise was on the brink of bankruptcy and/or extinction multiple times in its first 40 years of existence, so everything else beyond that would feel worth celebrating. For what it's worth, my top five most devastating losses in team history are as follows (in chronological order): 1960 NFL title game, Super Bowl XXXII, the TO catch, 4th-and-26, and the game that shan't be discussed.

Jim from Westland, MI

Since Nos. 3, 4, 14, 15, 66 and 92 are officially retired, 1 and 5 are unofficially retired, can't talk about No. 88, and Lewis's number will or won't be discussed this year, it seems like a good choice of numbers for a Powerball ticket, if gambling was allowed...

If anyone's willing to try it, feel free to share the results. Happy Monday.

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