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Inbox: It’s time to flip the script 

RB Aaron Jones
RB Aaron Jones

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

Do either of you have a particularly salient memory of a "Welcome to the NFL" moment? Did either of you have such a moment in your current roles?

My “Welcome to the NFL” moment came when Pete Dougherty finally followed me on Twitter (after working with him for six years). In my current role, it was getting booed in the team meeting after I was hired. Jordy Nelson and I had a good laugh about that later in the season. Good morning!

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

First training camp with Coach LaFleur, joint practices (and bike rides) with the Texans, and a game in Canada. Do you remember a preseason this unique in recent memory?

No sir. It’s unusual.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

When Mason Crosby was sent out to try a 57-yard field goal in Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ momentum change was like an earthquake after the miss. Can such questionable strategic decisions affect a coach's employment?

Isolated, no. But enough of those type of “questionable” decisions can snowball. No different than a baseball player in a hitless streak or a golfer hitting too many chili dippers.

Nick from Portland, OR

Seems to me this season is shaping up a lot like 2006. New coach, some big free-agency moves, and a veteran QB seeking redemption. Unfortunately, that year started with a brutal shutout loss at home to the Bears and ended with a mediocre record of 8-8 after a late run of wins. Though it set the team up nicely for the strong 2007 season, it was a tough go. Will the modern Packers be able to weather such a storm of an “eh” season, or will the current leadership panic in our “win-now” world?

A lot has been said and written about the Packers over the past seven months, but I don’t think anyone can call the organization guilty of panicking. So I don’t see them panicking regardless of how 2019 goes. They stuck with Mike McCarthy for 13 years and moved decisively when it came time to choose his replacement. Last year wasn’t good enough. You know that. I know that. The moves they made this offseason were meant to propel the Packers back into contention. My advice: Expect excellence, but have patience.

Daniel from Riverview, FL

Should we be concerned about the RB depth?

No. Next question.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

Do you think the Packers should bring in players to compete for the backup quarterback position?

No. It’s July 22. It’s been four months since free agency began and three months since the start of the offseason program. It’s up to DeShone Kizer, Tim Boyle and Manny Wilkins to reward the Packers for their faith.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

That's one small step for a first-year player...one giant leap for ___ in Year 2 and will bring smiles for all Packerkind.

If Josh Jackson takes a giant leap in Year 2, this secondary will be singing.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Hello Mike, Wes: How much do the new catch interference rules play a part in players preparing for preseason? I assume playbook comes first. Any idea on study time in percentages for one and the other?

McCarthy and his staff always made it a point to walk players through new protocols. I don’t expect that to change under Matt LaFleur. Beyond that, it’s up to the players how they wish to study away from the facilities. I’ll tell you what, though – be prepared for a lot of flags in the preseason. Whenever there’s a new emphasis, it will get over-officiated in the preseason (e.g. leading with the crown of the helmet).

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

With the biggest cap hits to the Packers this year being on offense (Rodgers, Bakhtiari, Graham and Adams), doesn’t this mean the ball will still move through the passing game? Just feels like too much hype around running the ball to me in these offseason articles on the interweb, especially in an era of throwing. I realize a new coach will want to implement his own game plan, but I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s working with and what he’s doing.

That’s not the Packers – that’s the entire NFL. At least the good teams with franchise quarterbacks, left tackles and receivers. Green Bay needs the ball in Rodgers’ hands to win consistently, but a healthy running game will make his life immeasurably easier. It’s obvious the attention was going to be on the ground game this offseason after how infrequently they ran it in 2018.

Lucas from Stevens Point, WI

I thoroughly enjoy the conversation around our defense and how you can "feel the swagger" when an elite defense is on the field. I've been preaching for years the key to a successful defense is swagger. You have to believe you're going to beat your man or, quite simply, you're going to get beat. I felt a turn-around coming when we drafted Jaire Alexander last year simply due to the intensity and swagger he plays with. I see Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary bringing the same "swagger" with them. Our D will be exciting!

The post-Peppers defense in 2014 was probably the most confident unit I’ve covered in Green Bay, but this is the most enigmatic. It has talent and personality, but it’s not all words and bravado, either. Jaire Alexander is uber-confident and walks that walk, but there are also guys such as Kenny Clark and Adrian Amos who are the coolest customers in the club and every bit as confident as the second-year cornerback.

James from Murfreesboro, TN

What are the odds that WR Malik Taylor will make the team?

If you asked me this question about James Crawford last August, I would have confidently said zero and looked like a fool in September. You don’t know until you know.

Dan from Waupun, WI

Would a longer training camp get the "rust off," and make for better preseason games?

Extended training camps were intended to get players back into shape. Today, with the rise of professional training facilities and nine-week offseason programs, players are never out of shape – at least not the elite ones.

Troy from Madison, WI

One thing that sticks out about Gary is his get-off at the snap. How do you believe that aspect of his game will be affected when he lines up in a two-point stance instead of a three-point stance?

An athletic pass rusher with an explosive first step is going to get the job done regardless of his stance, but there is an advantage for an outside linebacker rushing from a two-point against a back-pedaling tackle. We’ll see how Gary looks once the pads come on, but his offseason work was as impressive as any rookie rusher I’ve covered. I feel like he could make an impact across the entire line of scrimmage.

The flag football tournament included match ups between the Appleton Fire Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Department, De Pere Fire Rescue Department and Green Bay Police Department.

Tom from Eugene, OR

If the NFL decides to start scheduling games at neutral-site stadiums, would teams likely have a say in where they play? I could see Lambeau being a sought-after destination because of the history and mystique surrounding the place. Then again, Bears-Vikings at Lambeau? Seems like sacrilege.

The question provided Lambeau as an example for a neutral-site game, but unless I’ve been reading the tea leaves wrong, the idea is the 17th game would be an international contest. They’re not going to mix things up so the Bears and Vikings play a game at Lambeau.

David from Saint Paul, MN

Wouldn't a 17-game season throw all of the previous generation of statistics out the door?

It would muddy the water the same way the 16-game schedule did in 1978.

Dan from Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada

If the NFL were to expand to a 17-game regular season, would the salary cap increase? If so, how much?

I think it would have to. If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. You can’t ask players to work an extra week and not pay them for it.

Tony from Bronxville, NY

Regarding the discussion about the neutral-site games and revenue, it all makes sense. But every other year, the Green Bay economy is down a preseason game. It probably doesn't hurt as much as if a regular-season game is missed, but it still has an impact. Thoughts?

That is a salient point. There are only 10 guaranteed games at Lambeau Field every season. Each is sacred to the community and stadium district. While I can’t imagine the two preseason games net as much as the regular season, it’s still an NFL game.

Tim from Normal, IL

Insiders, Bill from Bloomfield Hills had a great question on Saturday about advanced metrics changing strategy in sports such as going for it on every fourth down. In basketball, guys are regularly passing up layups for a pass to a corner-3 because of metrics. That would have been considered benching material in prior generations. Do you see any similar plays or decisions so blatantly metrics-driven now or in the future in the NFL?

That’s a great question. The one I still don’t quite understand is the use of timeouts while on defense before halftime. That’s not a dig on McCarthy. I just don’t get that strategy given how the league favors the offense. Regardless of what the numbers say, there still must be a human element to this game (momentum, intimate knowledge of your team, etc.)

Brian from Lawrenceville, GA

Lots lately about NFL revenue. I believe my question falls under that category. Teams such as Georgia and Grambling State University use the "G" logo that's synonymous with Green Bay. For the teams it applies to, how much, if any, revenue comes from others using their logo?

I don’t know about other logos, but the Packers derive no profit from allowing others to use the "G." I believe Georgia and Grambling State asked for permission to use a version of the "G" a long time ago.

Suzanne from Elgin, TX

Pampers is coming out with a line of smart diapers called Lumi which alert parents via an app when their baby goes No. 1. The sensors in footballs are closer than we all think...

Point taken, but the yellow-to-blue strip is good enough for me.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Safe to say Wes survived and is properly hydrated?

We made it; finished just before the monsoon hit. Thank you for your concern.

David from Hilliard, OH

Insiders, what do you think about sports reporters who use their platforms to comment politically on the air or over social media? Do the Packers have a no-politics policy for their media department?

It’s a free country. If you don’t like it, Twitter has this state-of-the-art “Unfollow” button for your consideration. I choose not to put any kind of leanings on social media, but it’s not because of the Packers. They aren’t telling me what or what not to tweet. I just feel there’s nothing to gain from it. I use Twitter to promote my content. That’s it.

Dominic from Newark, DE

With the word on the third jerseys, what is a personal favorite throwback? I liked the one before this with the yellow circle in the middle and the brown helmet.

My favorite throwback is one the Packers have yet to wear – the 1935-36 unis. I need to see that uniform on an NFL field before my time on earth is over.

Take a look at photos from the tenth annual Packers 5K Run/Walk presented by Bellin Health. The run was held on Saturday, July 20.

Dave from RAF Lakenheath, UK

Good morning Mike and Wes! Not a football question, but a personal one. I’m currently on my eighth deployment to the Middle East with the Air Force as an Airborne Arabic Cryptologic Linguist. I get the opportunity to fly each night doing some unique things and I truly appreciate your insight and entertainment for the taste of home they provide. In appreciation, I’d like to fly an American and/or Packers flag on one of my sorties to send to you for flying or display. How can I get them to you?

What an incredible gesture. I’d be my honor to display it during an episode of “Packers Unscripted.” You can send it to 1265 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay, WI, 54304, with attention to Mike and Wes. Thank you for your service, Dave. Stay safe.

Eric from De Pere, WI

Does a player suspension that starts prior to a bye week but includes one or more games after his team’s bye include loss of the bye-week salary? Could a player lose three paychecks on a two-game suspension?

No. The player would get paid for the bye week (as long as he’s not released) and then remain suspended for the next game.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Any hope for an “Insiders In-Person Day” this season?

Spoff signs autographs and kisses babies in the Atrium from 5-7 p.m. CT on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the season (Editor’s note: Wes is kidding, don’t actually show up).

Theologos from Athens, Greece

In Saturday's II, there was a segment with pictures of the Packers Experience. I couldn't help but smile when I saw a little girl, up in her father’s arms and the expression in her tiny face was the purest form of joy I have seen for a while. I guess the Packers do that to you...

The Packers Experience is returning this week. I implore any fans in the area to check it out. It’s free and awesome. My nephews (ages 6 and 9) had a tremendous time last year.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, J.J. Watt can't run over Aaron Rodgers in practice, can he?

Not if David Bakhtiari has anything to say about it.

Patrick from Valrico, FL

The Packers don't seem to be getting much love from most outlets on the skill-position front. I figure if Davante and Rodgers do their usual thing, Graham continues his comfort climb in the offense and Aaron Jones gets a full season of production, then we really only need like one more person to step up. We have numerous candidates primed to do so. Why are the Packers not getting more respect on this front, or am I just being a homer?

The Packers are what their record says they are until Sept. 5. Right now, they’re viewed nationally as a 6-9-1 club. There will be some who believe that to be accurate and others who see it as a mummer’s farce. Regardless, the baloney stops soon…and I, for one, cannot wait for that. It’s time to flip the script.

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