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Inbox: It serves a playmaking purpose

The Packers are one of the best when it comes to finding the right spot for players

TE Dominique Dafney

Paul from Phoenix, AZ

Wes, what is the definition of "future players," from your response: "Most of the Packers' future players were not present or not practicing..."?

I owe the Inbox an apology. Last year, we've started using an automatic cloud storage system to store our Word documents and content. I was against this because I have my own 15-year-old, tried-and-true process for storing every word I've ever written. Anyway, when I got my new computer this past winter, I had to get on board with cloud computing. Spoff warned me about how glitchy the system can be, and that it doesn't always save properly. Well, it finally bit me in the butt Wednesday. It turns out the system didn't save my final version of Inbox – it spaced out roughly 75% of the way through. So, for a little more than two hours, you were treated to a mostly unedited version of what I wanted to publish – including a few questions I wanted to cut out during final editing. Evidently, when I edited the word "Malarkey" it threw the entire system out of whack (Thank you for that, Craig from Port Charlotte). We figured this out at approximately 11 a.m. CT and uploaded the correct version. No future players were mislabeled during the writing of this Inbox.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Wes, inquiring minds want to know. Give us an update on your first impressions and experience in your first locker-room visits and player interactions in over two years. Do any of these young players know that you are kind of a big deal? Do they know that you are very important and have many leather-bound books and your apartment smells of rich mahogany?

I highly doubt that. Like I said with rookie minicamp, it didn't feel that unfamiliar to me. Apparently, some folks were doing stories strictly on the media being back in the locker room. To me, it was another day at the office. It was cool to talk with Tyler Davis and some players I'd never seen before in-person, but I try to keep a little perspective here. There are more important matters going on in the world than whether Wes is allowed in an NFL locker room.

Jon from Temecula, CA

I see a lot of questions about having Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon on the field at the same time. But have we forgotten about Josiah Deguara's play taking out two Vikings with one block? I want to see Deguara and Dillon punishing defenders at the second level. Using a fullback to lead block for The Quadfather sounds brutal. It's not an every-down play, but boy can that set a tone. Our WRs have been unselfish with their willingness to block. Let's pay them back and soften up that secondary with our heavy hitters.

Deguara definitely plays with an edge. He and Dominique Dafney were both on the roster for a reason last season. That F-tight end is a vital position in Matt LaFleur's offense. It's a selfless position, but the potential is there to make an impact on any play. Jones talked in the past about how much he enjoys running behind a fullback. It serves a playmaking purpose.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

I think of the years invested in Robert Tonyan, Yosh Nijman, and now potentially Tyler Davis. Am I biased or do the Packers do a real good job of developing players and especially being patient?

I think the Packers are one of the best when it comes to fitting the right peg to the right hole. The synergy between the front office and coaching staff has enabled many under-the-radar prospects to find footing in the NFL.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Wes, when seeing the development of a player like Rashan Gary, who was rated the number one recruit out of HS, was labeled an underachiever in college, and is becoming a dominant force as a pro…is that more attributable to scheme difference (LB vs. DE) or are the coaches at Michigan thinking, "Wow, we did not get the most out of that guy when he was here!" Do you think that is ever a thought coaches have?

I'm sure college coaches think about it, but you also need to remember how young Gary is. He played as a true freshman at Michigan and was just 21 when he got drafted. Gary is like that smart kid in your class moving up a grade over his football peers. I think he's grown into both his body and developed a firm understanding of his responsibilities here. The game is slowing down for Gary and his elite potential is transforming into elite production.

Sean from Boulder, CO

For all the excuses being presented by fans as to why Aaron Rodgers should be at OTAs, he doesn't need a single one as to why he isn't there. These are strictly voluntary, as agreed to by the players and owners in the CBA. If anyone chooses not to attend, their motivation, reasoning or commitment shouldn't be questioned by anyone. Period.

And it's not like Rodgers and these other veterans are sitting on their couch, eating potato chips. They're putting in the work and will be where they need to be when they get here.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Why don't we hear more about our two first-round picks? It seems like Christian Watson gets more limelight than them.

Spoff wrote a nice story on them a few weeks ago. Other than that, there isn't much to say right now. Both Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt look athletic and physically imposing but it's tough to get much of a read on players in the defensive front until the pads come on.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

Curiosity led me to Watson's and Davante Adams' respective NFL Scouting Combine pages. Obviously, looking at this retrospectively can be good for a laugh, but what I liked the most is Davante Adams: Weakness - "Lacks ideal functional playing strength to consistently beat the jam and can get hung up at the line." Interesting. Then this, Christian Watson: Strength - "Displays foot quickness for take-off versus press." I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see someone better at beating coverage at the line.

Adams was overlooked in that area for some reason, but he continually worked at it to improve. With everything that's been said about how Watson attacks the job, I feel confident the rookie has the willpower to elevate his game.

Cam from Pekin, IL

Wes, I can tell you for certain Christian Watson is the real deal. I watched him play four years at NDSU. After Day 1 in the draft and the two receivers linked to Green Bay already gone, I was hoping Watson would still be available by the time the Pack picked again in the second round. Trading up to get this kid is a move Packers fans will talk about for many years to come. Kudos to Gute.

And Cam seems to agree with me.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think the special teams will be better?

I do. Rich Bisaccia's attention to detail is already evident during special team periods and drills. There's an uptick in tempo and you feel his energy at all times. It's up to the players at the end of the day, but Bisaccia and his staff have done a great job of establishing their standards for the unit.

The Green Bay Packers held practice on Tuesday, May 24 at Ray Nitschke Field for the start of Organized Team Activities.

Paul from Clive, IA

I guess this is more of a prediction than question but watch Samori Toure. His college play with an erratic QB will only improve with the darts Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love toss. He is sneaky quick in the mold of many Patriot slot receivers. I like his chances!

I like Toure. I think last year his success at Montana can be carried over to better competition. He's slender but explosive. The Packers' history with seventh-round receivers is somewhat underrated, too. Of course, Donald Driver is a legend, but Jeff Janis, Brett Swain, Charles Lee and Charles Johnson had fine careers, too.

Chris from West Allis, WI

In your observation, does LaFleur get more fired up in practice when Aaron Rodgers cleverly pulls off the impossible and beats the D or when a savvy defender pulls off the more impossible feat of tricking AR12? Being a former QB himself and the offensive play caller, I would guess the former, but I could also see him enjoying having something to rib his quarterback about.

That's not really the way LaFleur does his thing. If the QB makes a big throw or helps the offense win a two-minute period, LaFleur will throw his hand up for a high-five and offer congratulations. But he's not spiking footballs or doing double-gun celebrations. He's there to coach, not to cheerlead.

Richard from Woodruff, WI

Hi Wes, just wondering if you know where Tyler Lancaster went, if anywhere, and also wondering about No. 93, do you know what T.J. stands for? Great work you guys, lunch is on me (but you have to come here, though). Thanks.

The Raiders signed him hours after you sent this in, Richard. I'm thrilled for Tyler. He's a good dude. Last week, Jerry Montgomery went into good detail about how important Lancaster was to the defensive line the past four years. T.J. stands for Tedarrell Jr. He goes by T.J. because Tedarrell can be tough to pronounce (according to Slaton).

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom

Wes, what are your best and worst memories of the training camps you've attended?

I don't want to name names but one of my all-time favorite camp memories may fall into both categories. Many years ago, a third-string quarterback was running a two-minute period late in practice. The ball is just inside the red zone and the clock is ticking down. He rolls out, can't find anyone open and throws a dart into the stands and it hits an unsuspecting woman like four rows into the Nitschke Field bleachers. She lets out a grunt but is otherwise fine. There was no music playing back then and the place falls completely silent. You could hear a pin drop. Finally, the coach wearing the headset proclaims in a dejected tone over the sound system: "That was fourth down."

Lee from Long Beach, CA

I have been to major European cities, and they do not use land for parking lots for stadiums. I have been in London for just a normal futbol match and the pubs, the metro and streets are like nothing here. How can a good old American survive the "game" culture shock?

Down an extra pint, click your Skechers together and quietly chant, "There's no place like Lambeau?"

Georg from Neuss, Germany

In response to John from Leeds: Wisconsin in September: Make a trip around Lake Michigan starting at Chicago. A lot to discover and on the way: Green Bay with Lambeau Field. Even if it's not game day, take a stadium tour and do not forget to visit Hinterland brewery. We did in 2019 and enjoyed our vacancy coming back with a lot of spectacular pictures

Driving around the Great Lakes is low key one of the coolest things you can do in the Midwest, especially when the seasons change.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Wes, how many miles do you run each day? How many times a week? At what pace per mile? Just curious as I'm a runner too, but it ain't pretty.

It ain't pretty on my end, either. But with a history of diabetes in my family, it's something I feel I need to do. I try to run a 5K at least three or four times a week. So, what does that come to? Probably 12 miles a week? I know, I know…

Dan from Kewanee, IL

Back to St. Norbert this year? When your buddy Marc Shield was crossing the bridge in the recent marathon, he encountered the leaders already on the return route heading back across the bridge the other way. He jokingly called out to them that they were going the wrong way!

That sounds like Marc. I'm not sure about St. Norbert. We're still waiting for the training camp schedule.

Brian from Fort Atkinson, WI

Can we please stop any future conversation about laser goal posts? It is not feasible, and never will be, for one very simple and obvious reason. How are you ever going to hang a windsock on laser?

By using the same technology that the First Order used on Kylo Ren's crossguard lightsaber to indicate the wind patterns. Duh.


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