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Inbox: It was on the verge of happening three times

That’s crazy

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers & former Saints QB Drew Brees

Mitch from Bettendorf, IA

I, for one, cannot wait until SB LXXXVIII. Just rolls off the tongue.

And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.

Nathan from New Lisbon, WI

Jeff has shown that we really do need to switch back to American numbers. Roman numerals have been used for so long, we've forgotten the order of operations!

But Wes didn't.

Ryan from Carmel, IN

Huh?…now I understand…no math. Good call, II.

See? And now it's time for math to return to its darkness retreat.

Ron from Bellaire, MI

Mike, did the Vikings defense just improve?

Most likely, but it's bound to, right? The question is how much, and there's a lot of uncertainty regarding what their personnel will look like come September.

Sue from Tomah, WI

I know a lot of folks are taking the Eagles, but I just want to say that a well-rested, healed, I'm-in-the-SB Mahomes is a very dangerous critter. Don't rule him and the Chiefs out.

My thoughts exactly.

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Hi Mike, aside from having an MVP QB, what is the position group that most makes the Chiefs and Eagles super? I'll go with O-line for the Eagles and D-line for the Chiefs, but it's not easy making the choice.

Definitely the offensive line for Philly. For KC, it's not as much about a position group to me as having two of the absolute best in the league at specific spots – Travis Kelce and Chris Jones.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Not counting QBs, what player are you most looking forward to watching in the Super Bowl?

Former Badgers linebackers T.J. Edwards and Leo Chenal.

John from Stevens Point, WI

It's often a thin line between success and failure in the NFL. Where are areas where that line was muddled this past season?

On the one hand, it was the failed possessions inside the 10-yard line in London and Detroit in two games the Packers lost by less than a touchdown each. On the other, the overtimes vs. New England and Dallas easily could've gone the other way, and the game in Tampa was one Tom Brady play away from going to OT as well.

TK from Grafton, WI

How did they EVER play an exhibition game of college all-stars vs. an NFL team?

The money mattered to the participants.

Scotty from Lombard, IL

Was this past Sunday a preview for the continued evolution of the NFL? It would not surprise me to see sometime in the future both quarterbacks and punt returners wearing flags.

They'll mandate two-point stances for all before that day comes, so it's still a ways off.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

To follow up on the baseball positions that translate best to QB, my vote goes to catcher. They seem to participate in the game mentally more than anyone. They need to understand and survey the field, keep baserunners honest, determine the best pitches to call, hide and mix up signs, and have a quick release and strong arm to catch runners stealing. I'm not a baseball expert, but it seems like they have the most on their plates, similar to QBs. Mike, thoughts?

I agree, to the extent you can take the analogy. But I'm of the belief such comparisons with baseball only go so far, because baseball differs starkly from all other major sports in one key, unparalleled aspect – the defense has the ball.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Do you see any chance of both Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love both being on the Packers in 2023? If not, which one do you think will still be in GB?

I could see it. Not in 2024. But in 2023? Sure.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I love a good Ask Vic reminisce. Seems like yesterday I stumbled upon that column. I too enjoyed "human confrontation," because it solidified the importance of the 1v1's, beating your man, doing your job etc. In other sports a single individual performance can swing a game one way or another. In football it doesn't matter if a WR is wide open every play if his QB has no time to throw. The ultimate team game. I think that's why it always feels so good to win, and can hurt so bad when you lose.


Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Happy XII birthday Inbox.

For the record, the official birthday of this column on packers.com is Feb. 21, 2011.

George from North Mankato, MN

It seems to me we hear an awful lot about Andy Reid and his coaching tree. It doesn't seem like Mike Holmgren gets as much credit for helping develop Reid, Pederson, Jauron, Gruden and the other coaches who he had as assistants on his staff. Seems like some are thought of as branches of another tree, while others sprout a new tree. Who decides that?

The botanist of the day, I guess. Look, I don't know how you rank them or separate different branches necessarily (Pederson never coached under Holmgren, to be clear), but I've never heard of a staff that rivals Holmgren's initial collection of hires in 1992. The Packers media guide every year includes a photo of that staff. Aside from Holmgren and the strength coach, there are just 12 men in it, a pittance compared to the size of today's staffs, and five of them were future head coaches – Reid, Jauron, Gruden, Mariucci and Rhodes. There's a lot made these days, and rightly so, of Mike Shanahan's Washington staff in 2012, which included future head coaches Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur and Mike McDaniel, along with former head coaches Jim Haslett and Raheem Morris. But that was on a staff of 16, not including strength coaches. Five of 12, with all five coaching teams to the playoffs and two of them winning Super Bowls? That's crazy.

Nathan from Kellnersville, WI

Do you see the Packers moving on from Mason Crosby?

It's certainly possible, but personally I hope not.

Glen from Leesburg, VA

Has there ever been a season where the Packers had three rookie receivers all have TD catches? Although it's only a small sample of work, I do like the fact that rookies got playing time and produced in their first season. I'd like to think those are investments for the Packers.

According to my research (which could be wrong, and only went back to 1940 in this case), three rookies caught TD passes in one season for the Packers twice previously – in 1987, when replacement players were used for three games during a strike, and 1954. The rookies in '87 were Frankie Neal, Keith Paskett and Lee Morris, who got his one TD in a replacement game. In '54 they were Max McGee, Veryl Switzer and Joe Johnson, the latter two listed as running backs.

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

In your guys' tenure with the Packers have they ever been in a worse cap space situation than they are now?

The previous two years were both worse than the current one.

Check out photos of Jaire Alexander and Elgton Jenkins during the NFL Flag football game on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I realized in the roughly 30 years of Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre leading the Packers, they've matched up against every team in the NFC in the playoffs at least once except for the Saints. I find that to be a little odd given the overall success of the Packers and the success of the Saints with Drew Brees under center.

A Rodgers-Brees playoff matchup would've been a treat, and it was on the verge of happening three times. In 2009, had the Packers won that crazy overtime shootout in Arizona, they'd have headed to New Orleans for the next round. In 2019, if the Saints had won the overtime wild-card clash with the Vikings, they would've come to Lambeau the next week instead of the Seahawks. Then in 2020, New Orleans lost in the divisional round at home to Tampa Bay, which sent the Buccaneers to Green Bay for the NFC title game instead.

Matt from Burlington, WI

Have the Packers ever had two first-round picks two years in a row?

They drafted Mike Butler and Ezra Johnson in the first round in 1977 and then James Lofton and John Anderson in the first round in '78. They also drafted two players in the first round in four straight years in the '60s – Donny Anderson and Lawrence Elkins in '65, Jim Grabowski and Gale Gillingham in '66, Bob Hyland and Don Horn in '67, and Fred Carr and Bill Lueck in '68.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

When will the new video boards be installed at Lambeau?

My understanding is they'll be in by late July, if not before. Construction is already underway.

Shawn from Stratford, WI

Speaking of officiating, am I the only one worried about the discussion about to happen at the league level regarding "hip drop" when tackling, and how it could further cause an over-officiating scenario? I am already getting sour on how inconsistent officiating has become, and this one certainly wouldn't help!

There's no way the league would be able to officiate such a rule without full access to replay, in my opinion. So the positive I'm taking from the potential discussion is it could spur consideration of making more safety rules subject to replay review. That said, the league is treading into treacherous water if it wants to start regulating how a defender is allowed to get someone on the ground after legally wrapping his arms around him. It's already been difficult enough with RTP calls on what appear to be clean tackles.

Tom from Fort Myers, FL

Who would be a beneficiary of a neutral site conference championship game? It's my understanding that currently playoff ticket revenue goes to the league, except for some host team facility expenses. Why would team owners approve it? It is such an obvious negative from a fan view. Seems like it would mean more money flowing to southern cities.

It would be a cash grab by the league, because it would have two more games (in addition to the Super Bowl) to "sell" to host cities, who would get into bidding wars with that kind of economic impact at stake. It would be a major loss for the fans and the teams themselves, who would be less incentivized to fight during the regular season for home-field advantage in the playoffs. I was pleased to read Mark Murphy in his latest MT5 say it's never been officially discussed at a league meeting and to call it a "huge mistake" should the league go that route. If it's ever seriously considered, it would take only nine "no" votes to quash it, and it sounds like Murphy would enthusiastically be one of the nine.

Joe from Bozeman, MT

Lynn Dickey was the best deep passer Mike ever saw? Lynn's best year was 1983. How old was Mike almost 40 years ago? 2 or 3?

Ha, you're too kind.

Scott from Salem, OR

Re: The occupational hazard of the analysis function when watching sporting events...are you hoping to stop analyzing everything when you eventually (not-too-soon-though) retire, or do you think that's just how the Spoff spoffs and it's going to stay that way?

After nearly 30 years in this business, it's just how my brain is wired.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

"Spoff isn't allowed back in Vegas." My first thought was, "By who?" If it is Vegas itself, he won too much. If it is his better half, he lost too much. Please, II readers need to know. And thanks to both of you for keeping things entertaining for all of us when they otherwise aren't so much.

Speaking of how brains are wired, the correct question is "By whom?" Happy Wednesday.

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