Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: It usually takes care of itself

Offensive innovation is in abundance

T/G Jordan Morgan
T/G Jordan Morgan

Bil from Stateline, NV

Does the dead zone mark the beginning of Baloney (Bologna?) Season?

Oh, no. That starts the day after the Super Bowl and lasts until the ball is kicked off in Week 1. It's the longest season on the football calendar.

Pat from Hudson, WI

On Oct. 26, 1991, I was offered a ticket to Game 6 of the World Series between the Twins and the Braves, but turned it down because my wife and I were expecting our first child in early December and I didn't want to leave her home alone, missing Kirby Puckett's 11th inning home run off Charlie Leibrandt and Joe Buck's immortal "And we'll see you tomorrow night!" call.

It was Jack Buck, but you wouldn't have heard him say it if you were there, ha. Kidding aside, I feel for you. The catch Puckett made at the wall earlier in that game was an all-timer, too.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

So I had a ticket to the opener of the 1988 World Series. My boss asked me to host and speak to a long-tenured employee banquet (in Oakland of all places). Dutifully I did so. If you want to get goosebumps, replay Vin Scully's call of Kirk Gibson's at bat!

The most famous backdoor slider ever.

Dave from Stevens Point, WI

Talk about a missed opportunity! On May 26, 1959, I sassed back to my mom and lived to regret it. Dad was to take me to the Braves game that night and my "error" made me miss the 12-inning perfect game by the Pirates' Harvey Haddix. Lew Burdette threw 13 shutout innings and got the win when the Braves scored on an error and Joe Adcock's bleacher bomb. Hank Aaron had walked but ran off the field after the run scored, depriving Adcock of a walk-off homer. I guess Hank and I both blew that game.

At least you were in good company.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen, just a comment about a missed opportunity of seeing a great sports moment. 1980 Olympics and just got done watching Canada and Czech hockey game. While walking out my girlfriend (now wife) and I are offered two tickets for USA and Russia for $100 each. I thought about it and said no, the USA just got crushed by them about two weeks ago at Madison Square Garden. Listened to the game on the radio on the train back to Rome. Fond but not so fond memory!

Oh my. That one absolutely takes the cake. I realize $100 40-plus years ago is about $350 now, but still. Man. I'm often asked about any past event I wish I could've covered as a sports journalist, and the Miracle on Ice is always the answer.

Bob from Mahtomedi, MN

Talking about offensive players shifting to defense, one of the worst decisions made was shifting Gale Gillingham to defensive tackle. It may have been Phil Bengtson.

It was Dan Devine, but you weren't the only one to mention it.

Luke from Fredericksburg, VA

Can Kenneth Odumegwu count as an IPPP exemption again when it comes to the roster spot, or is that just one year per player?

He still carries the exemption for the offseason roster and, I believe, the practice squad for 2024. But there is no exemption for the 53.

Dan from Minneapolis, MN

Welp, it appears Jordan Love should expect a contract with a minimum of $200M in guaranteed money, totaling at least $275 for five years. Tua and Dak yet to go. Seriously, Russ, get it done before it becomes prohibitive for long-term roster building. What do you think? Thanks as always. And in a nod to Vic, how are you?

It'll get done. I've had no worries. I'm guessing Love's new contract will look similar to Trevor Lawrence's, but there's a small caveat. Lawrence was still under contract for two more years, 2024 plus the fifth-year option in 2025. So technically, the five-year extension will spread his $275M in new money over seven years, on top of what he was scheduled to make for 2024-25. Love is entering the final year of his current deal in 2024, so there will be a difference in how the cap charges are structured.

David from Cable, WI

A lot of worry over getting Love's contract done, ESPECIALLY after the Goff and Lawrence deals. Well, it will take as long as it takes and it will cost what it costs. Because what matters is the process. You want to come out of this with a good relationship for the future. Because hopefully this is the beginning of a long partnership.

Ding ding ding!

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Hello Spoff/Hod. As a 60-year GBP fan, I truly enjoy reading II five and/or six times/week. I noticed in Wednesday's 24 II entries that the first 19 were all from non-Wisconsinites, or (like me), former Wisconsinites. (Sorry about the II math.) Just more proof that the Green Bay Packers are truly America's team. My question is: Other than Jordan Love and Kenny Clark, who is the next Packer up for contract renewal that you would consider a "must keeper"? And when is his contract up?

Next up is the 2021 draft class, and decisions on guys like Eric Stokes, Josh Myers, T.J. Slaton and Isaiah McDuffie. Then there will be the fifth-year option calls on Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt, with them and others from the '22 draft class like Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker eligible for extensions for the first time. I'm not sure anyone qualifies as a "must keeper" at the moment, but let's see how 2024 plays out.

Mark from Appleton, WI

Dead zone question: David Bakhtiari signed a four-year, $92M contract from 2020-24. Since he has not been picked up by another team as a free agent (yet), are the Packers on the hook for any remaining dead money from his contract this year?

The Packers don't owe Bakhtiari any more money, but he is counting in the neighborhood of $18-19M in dead money on this year's cap (and only this year) due to bonus proration and previous restructures. That figure won't change, regardless of whether he signs with a new team.

Andrew from Columbus, OH

Insiders, Matt LaFleur's reputation for play design precedes him. Do you ever notice something in the play design that makes you go "that was neat"? I'm partial to when WRs and TEs fake block like it's a screen before turning up field for a big gain.

Offensive innovation is in abundance, and LaFleur is amongst those on the cutting edge, I believe. These innovators also take concepts they see elsewhere and tweak them to fit their systems, so only the true film experts (and the coaches themselves) know the inventor. Someday when they're done coaching, all these guys like McVay, Shanahan, LaFleur, McDaniel, Taylor, etc., need to sit around a table with the cameras rolling and start explaining who came up with what and who stole what from whom.

Linwood from Travelers Rest, SC

Mike or Wes, you've each mentioned how certain players like to joke around, light up the locker room or have a great laugh. Are those observations from locker room access after last season's games or access to the locker room this spring during OTAs and minicamp? How much locker room access did you get this spring and how much will you have during training camp in July? Have a great few weeks of down time! GPG.

Those were observations from the spring, when we had access once per week during OTAs (three times) and then for both days of minicamp. During training camp, we'll have locker room access pretty much every day there's a practice open to the media.

Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA

When an offensive lineman states he's more comfortable at tackle, for example, but is being moved around during practice, OTAs and training camp do the coaches take that into consideration when deciding where they play him or is it just information they ignore?

It usually takes care of itself. Comfort level generally shows up in the quality of play.

Jim from De Pere, WI

Greetings II. In the kicker competition during OTA practices, were you able to see who will best be able to handle the new kickoff rules in regards to placement, hang time, etc.?

Not really. A lot of what we saw was drill work, using a Jugs machine, not the fully live play. But hang time on kickoffs is now irrelevant because all the coverage players and blockers are stationary until the ball is caught.

Michael from Baraboo, WI

Is there a chance that our new rookie QB could battle his way to Love's backup before the start of the season?

I'm not ruling anything out, but given his year of experience in LaFleur's system and preseason work from last year, Sean Cliffordis definitely the favorite to be QB2.

Andy from Sparta, WI

With draft capital being at a premium and with GB being so deep and young at receiver, would it make sense to trade some of our young receivers. GB will not be able to keep all these ascending players. Some of them will go in free agency with no recourse when they should/could have value to a team needing a young talented player under contract. Which one of the receivers will GB be regretting losing 5-6 years from now? It feels inevitable. Or is this more of a "Next Year" problem? Thanks.

I have zero concern for this right now. It's a future issue that'll sort itself out.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

What is Coach LaFleur hoping to learn about Jordan Love by having him call plays during two-minute drills?

He's learning how Love sees the game in those moments, how he reacts to the situation and the defense, and what plays his mind gravitates toward in the heat of it. It's just another way a play-caller can work to get in sync with his QB, which can help in all situations, not just two-minute.

Chris from Waukesha, WI

I just watched the latest Three Things video. I really appreciate that feature, especially how the three of you together provide a broad picture of what's going on with the team. But I have to ask the living breathing Inbox how many takes, on average, are required to produce the segments we see on the website? Mike and Wes do a good job, it seems, stifling the laughter that Larry's antics produce. Does he regularly crack you two up to the point that you have to start over?

We've never started over due to cracking up. That's part and parcel of the process. I'd say the vast majority of the time we're a one-take crew, but occasionally somebody will stumble over a thought badly enough we retake.

Steve from Wauwatosa, WI

I end up here every year. After digesting every bit of Packers news and a whole lot of clickbait, I am at full hype for the season. This year, my hype meter is higher than ever. The team is young, deep, fast, and well coached. Every position group looks stacked with quality men. They seem talented, united and hungry. I know it's dumb, but I cannot fathom how anybody can beat this team. You have been in the building a lot of years. How does this year compare to years past on your hype meter?

Well, I never "cannot fathom how anybody can beat this team," but like many Packers teams of the past 15 years, this team is good and knows it can be really good, but it'll have to earn everything it gets.

Mike from Hammond, IN

Is this team built to have an extended playoff run?

That's the goal. The proof will be in the playing, or pudding.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

Took some time to look up "dead zone." It mostly comes back as a body of water without sufficient oxygen (it appears we have plenty of that here), a place without cell phone coverage, or a place where no life exists (not here either.) But then I saw "a place or period in which nothing happens." BINGO! Okay Inboxers, let's see your wit and help us all get through this!

We'll do our best.

Matt from Brandon, SD

When does Mike go on vacation so JL can sign his extension?

Hope all the dads had a great Father's Day. Happy Monday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox