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Inbox: It shows the respect Jordan Love has earned in a short period of time

We have to see the new kickoff in action before drawing any conclusions

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

Jeff from Wauwatosa, WI

Hi II, I would like to propose a rule change. I think if an offense has the ball at or inside its own 5-yard line and they commit a penalty I think the defense should have the option of taking the down. Thoughts?

I think I'm proposal'ed out. Is Spoff back yet?

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, do you concur with Larry, the Packers are in a sweet spot as we look ahead to the draft?

Oh yeah. It's straight Candyland up in here.

Doug from Woodington, OH

Do you see Josh Jacobs being on a pitch count during the first half (or so) of the 2024 season? I'm wondering if the approach will be similar to how AJ33's workload was managed.

I don't think that happens. Assuming Jacobs is healthy, it's all systems go for No. 8. What I'd say is unlikely is him carrying the ball 30 times like he did for the Raiders on a few occasions.

Clifford from Alexandria, VA

I hope the NFLPA pushes for more rules like the one that enabled us to re-sign AJ Dillon. It benefits the players AND the league for player to grow roots in a community. Incentives for re-signing a player instead of releasing should be encouraged.

I love it. I'm always for putting a little extra money in veteran players' pockets without adversely affecting the salary cap. The prevision also incentivizes teams to develop homegrown talent over a four-year window.

Keith from Truro, Canada

Hi Wes: We seem to be concentrating on drafting offensive line, CB, and safeties. Don't you feel we also have a big need for edge rushers?

You could make a case for that. While Preston Smith, Rashan Gary and Lukas Van Ness are all back, the Packers will need to fill the 452 defensive snaps Kingsley Enagbare played last season. That's why I spoke on how big this opportunity could be for Brenton Cox Jr. or even Colby Wooden depending on where Green Bay plans to line up the former Auburn standout.

Mike from Novato, CA

And good morning to you, II. Just read an article where they ranked all QBs in the draft classes from 2020. Joe Burrow was (of course) No. 1, but Jordan Love is now ranked No. 2. Of course, it doesn't mean much, and he has to keep it up, but it's interesting to see how dramatically perceptions can change in a relatively short time.

We don't need to get into ranking everyone, but I think it shows the respect Love has earned in a short period of time. The talent level of that 2020 QB draft class is incredible. Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Love, and Jalen Hurts were the first five QBs taken, in that order. They're all bona fide NFL starting quarterbacks with not a miss among them. That's something special.

Joe from Duffield, Canada

Hey Wes, I have never been so excited for the schedule release. This week, I celebrated 10 years with the same company, and as a token of their appreciation, the owners are sending me and my wife to any Packers game of my choice. My wife isn't a big football fan but will come along, it's on my bucket list to go to Lambeau. I don't know how to decide the best time of year to come to Green Bay, and if I should go with a division game or someone else? So many decisions... any input is appreciated!

Regardless of the opponent, you can't beat holiday games at Lambeau Field. I just wish I didn't have to work. But there are a lot of fun home games on this year's schedule, including Houston, Miami, and San Francisco (finally). I'm guessing one, if not all three, wind up in primetime.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, Matt LaFleur talked to Larry about the importance of bringing in players well-suited to the culture of the team. How would you characterize "the culture" of the Packers?

Everyone doing their part, sticking together, and working towards the ultimate goal. It's not flashy. It won't get printed on a shirt, but it's led to a whole lot of winning during LaFleur's first five seasons in Green Bay.

William from Kronenwetter, WI

Did I miss something or are we talking about five yards. If I was DC, Nixon would never get his hands on a kickoff. Kick it through the endzone and start at the thirty and trust my defense.

Well, that's worth five more yards than a touchback was last year. Sometimes you just gotta take what they're giving you out there.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

With the new kickoff rule, can the returner catch the ball in the endzone and take it out? Or is it dead once the ball crosses the goal line and placed at the 30? So many questions...

It's my understanding the player can return it from the end zone (at his own peril, of course) or choose to take a touchback to the 30.

Mike from Nashville, TN

Under the new rules for kickoffs, how relevant might be our best gunners when we are kicking? Does anyone lose their value as a special-teams starter?

Gunners have always been a key part of the operation and I'd say even more now. If a coverage unit doesn't have its stuff together, it's gonna get beat fast.

Jeffrey from Taylors, SC

How about after a score in the fourth quarter a team could get an extra point by the kickoff going through the uprights? Could add some interesting turnarounds and strategy.

The NFL is counting on it.

Jeff from Austin, TX

Good morning. I see Jeff's are still getting a lot of questions answered. Maybe the Insider Inbox can do a Jeff's Saturday Q&A? See what I did there? I will let myself out. Thanks for all you do. Love the column.

Insider Jeffbox.

Joshua from Milwaukee, WI

I know it's not what we're used to, but could you argue this is what the kickoff always should've looked like? Having players line up in close proximity is more akin to all other football plays. Even in the game of football, letting grown men build-up 10-plus yards of steam before smashing into one another felt needlessly reckless.

Perhaps, though it's gonna take some getting used to seeing the kicker stand back there by himself.

Dan from Richmond, VA

I know we need to move on soon and stop dissecting every nuance of the new kickoff rule, but I can't help offering one more observation/question. I question the prevailing wisdom that we're going to see a big increase in returns. Most kickers can easily boot the ball through the end zone, and I would think they will continue to do so. Why not? Giving the receiving team the ball at the 30-yard line seems infinitely more acceptable than the now-increased chances of a long return.

Long returns aren't necessarily a given under the new format. Sure, maybe it leads to smaller gaps in the coverage team? Or there are line drives like some of you fear? But we have to see the new kickoff in action before drawing any conclusions. If big returns become a problem, then maybe teams will start kicking the ball through the end zone.

Josh from Key Colony Beach, FL

So, if the ball will now be spotted at the 20-yard line on kicks that hit inside the landing zone but bounce into the end zone, won't kickers just resort to low, line drive kicks that skip from the landing zone to the end zone, resulting in even less kicks returned?

Then, it would behoove the returner to pick up the football and, uh, return it.

Mike from Cottage Grove, MN

Are there any players on the current roster that are pre-Gutekunst? Seems to my old eyes it's totally his team now.

With the release of Jones and David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark is the only remaining Packers player who was drafted by Ted Thompson.

Gary from Little Chute, WI

So, the NFL is going to play on Christmas day this year. First, being that the holiday falls on a Wednesday, how? Secondly, do you think they'll finally get wise and have the Packers play at home if they schedule them? Two years in a row having the team play down south at Christmas time seems like an opportunity lost. Keep up the good work!

According to the NFL, teams selected to play on Christmas will have a game on the prior Saturday to setup a four-day schedule of preparation like Thursday night games. If the Packers are selected, I sure hope the game is at Lambeau Field. Green Bay playing in Miami on Christmas two years ago remains one of the league's great scheduling blunders.

Barry from Hoover, AL

A couple of UFL players of note that are still looking for an opportunity. Former Packer's third rounders Jace Sternberger and Amari Rodgers are on the roster of the Birmingham Stallions. Last year the Stallions team included Packer's QB Alex McGough and Cowboys' kicker Brandon Aubrey. Sometimes dreams die hard, sometimes they come true.

Aubrey was one of the best stories in the league last season. I believe the spring league is a great opportunity for specialists to not only put their name out there but also get in-game reps that often are difficult to come by in the NFL. I'm sure there will be a few more Aubreys and Daniel Whelans out there this summer.

Marc from Crandon, WI

Thank you for pointing out the subtle, but vital role the OL has played in the past 30 years! I hadn't thought of that, but jeez, Tausch, Wahl, Timmerman, Taylor, Lang, Spitz, and on and on; they made this all possible. Football truly is a team sport and you're only as good as your weakest link. The OL was never that.

Did you guys catch Jim Harbaugh's comments at the AFC coaches availability? Harbaugh isn't always known for his quotability, but he hit the value of offensive linemen on the head.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

Have there been any instances where a potential rule change affected the Packers decision to re-sign one or more of their free agents?

Not in the modern era. I remember there were some rumblings of how changes to the two-point conversion could result in a player like Tim Tebow having value in "goal-line" situations but nothing like that ever came to pass.

Jon from Burlington, KY

What do think of the first three games being divisional and the last three divisional? Would be like watching a totally different game. Admittedly, it would be a nightmare for the schedule makers. But that's why they get the big bucks.

Sure, cool, fine…but it ain't changing.

Craig from Sussex, WI

How soon before the inevitable 18-game season? I believe it will happen before the next CBA. I'm cool with it, play 'till March, baby.

I don't get how that would possible, but that narrative seems to be working its way back into the mainstream. I get an 18-game regular season might be an inevitability, but I sure hope it's after 2031.

Michael from Jacksonville, FL

Could Dak Prescott hold out this coming year for a long-term deal? What's keeping him from doing that?

Every player has to do what's best for himself and his family. I'm not familiar with Prescott's contract negotiations but I'd still be surprised. We rarely see a star QB hold out these days.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

Responding to Yotam from Israel. Back in 2021 I tracked Inbox submissions for a few months (because COVID) and in that time the furthest destinations to submit questions were all from Australia coming in between 9,247 and 9,736 miles. There were also regular submissions from Johannesburg and the Philippines coming in at 8,714 and 8,283 miles from Green Bay, respectively. The more you know.

I remember that! Kyle from St. Charles Sports Bureau. Wild times.

Lucas from Denpasar, Indonesia

Israel...PLEASE. Hello from Denpasar, Indonesia...9,575 miles away. Thank you II for making my trip just a bit more pleasant.

Thank you for joining us!

David from Minneapolis, MN

Wes, are you saying it's "Peanut butter jelly time?"

Man, that brings me back.

Mike from Ames, IA

What WWE theme would Wes pick to play when he walks into the press box for the home opener? Any era.

WWE? I'll go with Drew McIntyre's "Broken Dreams." Any wrestling organization? Will Ospreay's "Zenith of God."

Charles from New Berlin, WI

Hello II. This is in regards to Hal from Lanesboros' question as to peeking into the draft room.
In Cliff Christl's "The Greatest Story in Sports," there is a photograph of the Packers' draft board with the name of a USC quarterback on it. He was drafted in the eighth round by the St. Louis Cardinals. He never made the final cut and went on to coaching. His name is Mike Holmgren.

And a coaching legend was born. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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