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Inbox: It won't be that simple

The psyche of a professional athlete can’t fully be known

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QB Aaron Rodgers

Aaron from Green Bay, WI

So Detroit, Buffalo, and Cleveland are the three teams that haven't won their division. It is kind of Erie how they are located on the same lake. Do you think it is something in the water?

Please see yourself out.

James from Chicago, IL

To continue with the sports trivia, this QB was on two Super Bowl-winning teams. The victories were against the same team, in the same stadium, on the same day, 11 years apart. Hint: Bears fans hate the answer.

That's a good one, though not very difficult given your hint. My favorite Jim McMahon story was when he tried to get out of giving me an autograph as a kid by pretending to fall off his motor scooter and injure his wrist. This 12-year-old wasn't buying it.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

Mike, on the "Alumni Spotlight" series, how do you and Wayne Larrivee determine which player to interview? What criteria is used to determine what former players qualify? Lastly, which former player (currently living to narrow the list) would you be most interested in interviewing?

"Alumni Spotlight" is actually Wayne's gig, and I just fill in when he can't make it to conduct the interviews. It was ironic I ended up interviewing Dellenbach, because very early in my sports writing career in Wausau, I wrote an extensive biographical piece on him when he (a Wausau native) signed with the Packers. As for the larger process, during the season, the team invites two alumni back for each home game. They're involved in activities throughout the weekend, including getting introduced to the Lambeau Field crowd at halftime. We're fortunate enough to get a chance for a sit-down interview the day before the game, and then the videos are edited, produced, etc., as offseason content. A lot of readers have commented how much they enjoy the pieces. Our video crew does a bang-up job.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

As far as functional game speed, I'd nominate Greg Jennings for the conversation, too. He seemed to glide while catching a slant and taking it the distance. Never slowed down to catch it.

Glide was always my word for Jennings, too, and that running style allowed him to make every route look the same, until it wasn't. Defenders had a difficult time reacting to Jennings' moves in a timely fashion due to that, even though he wasn't what anyone would classify as a speedburner.

Chase from Ft. Wood, MO

I think you should do a hypothetical Inbox day (or week). Typically, hypothetical questions aren't addressed (for good reason) but it's been a long offseason already, with no end in sight. Or maybe just post one per day. Something to get the creative juices flowing. What do you think?

Sorry, hypotheticals aren't my thing. What if I can't think of a good answer?

Celebrate World Emoji day with emoji-themed Packers photos.

Mario from Kettleman City, CA

An NFLPA database shows that 72 NFL players were known to have tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 10. But not even a very large number of players have been tested. Big news?

Regarding this season, not really. The key to getting things started right will be the intake testing when everyone reports. If all initial positive tests result in quarantines and other proper measures, that's what'll matter.

Bill from Manitowoc, WI

I'd like to revisit the Jordan Love selection and comparison to the Aaron Rodgers pick. It greatly improved Brett's performance AFTER he got to Minnesota, due to his wanting revenge on the team that let him go. I'm hoping Aaron can do the same but in a Packer uniform. Sometimes we can get in a comfort zone due to past accolades and motivation wanes. What do you think of my logic?

I've never questioned Rodgers' motivation, but I acknowledge the psyche of a professional athlete isn't really quantifiable or can't fully be known. I'll say this: Whether Rodgers performs well or poorly, the pundits will be wanting to tie it to Love's arrival, and I guarantee it won't be that simple.

Dave from Waterford, OH

With this terrible pandemic in mind, maybe the NFL could consider, for this year only, shortening games by going with 12-minute quarters. At first glance, the idea doesn't seem all that helpful, but there could be some unseen benefits to such a move.

I'm not dismissing the idea as a bad one, but in reality it'll never happen. It would either remove too many ad spots in the broadcasts, or force more ads to be crammed into a shortened game, making for a more disjointed and frustrating viewing experience.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Dear Dr. Mike, what should an II fan do to bounce back when he or she has lost the ability to think of a question to send in to packers.com?

Don't despair. As much as we appreciate you, Lori, a temporary read-only phase is no crime.

Derek from Norton, KS

Could a key player opting out of the season cause a trickle-down effect for a single team? An example would be, Tom Brady opting out, leading to Evans, Godwin and Gronk not wanting to play with a backup QB.

Wow, I hadn't really thought of that possibility. It's hard for me to imagine that many high-priced players leaving that much money on the table. They'd all get paid the same no matter the QB.

DT from Bozeman, MT

So jealousy is not allowed but gloating is?

When you have to write this column for a whole week without a break, yeah.

Carol from Cedar Rapids, IA

Has a seventh-round pick or free agent ever won the rookie of the year award? What is the lowest for offensive and defensive POY?

An undrafted player has never won either Associated Press award since inception (offense 1957, defense 1967) if my quick research is accurate. In the current seven-round draft format, the lowest pick to win one is Denver RB Mike Anderson, a sixth-rounder in 2000 (No. 189 overall). Back in 1958, Pittsburgh end Jimmy Orr won the offensive award as a 25th-round pick (No. 291), and in 1980, Atlanta LB Al Richardson was an eighth-round pick (No. 201 overall) who shared the defensive award with a teammate.

Matt from Kula, HI

I haven't seen any news about Clay Matthews recently. Do you think he will get signed somewhere before camp? If so, where would you guess? Or do you think he's done?

I have no idea where he'll end up, but I don't think Matthews is done playing. I could see him signing somewhere during camp as soon as an injury or infection takes out someone's key pass rusher. Or because vested veterans are guaranteed their full-season salary if they're on a Week 1 roster, maybe some of these available elder statesmen like Matthews will get picked up Week 2.

Stephen from Palos Park, IL

Since fans won't be in attendance, will the Packers hold training camp indoors, or will it still be held were they hold it when fans in the past have been able to attend?

I'm sure they'll practice outside, weather permitting, with the tarps up around the fencing. They have a lot more room on the outdoor fields to run drills than inside the Hutson Center, especially with a 90-man roster.

Gina from Waukesha, WI

Since St. Norbert won't be used for player housing this year, has the organization made any decision regarding player housing during training camp? Thanks, as always for answering our questions.

Players will be staying at their own places in Green Bay. Those who don't have one will be at a local hotel.

David from Catoosa, OK

If there are no families at Family Night, wouldn't that be considered Non-Family Night? What's the point?

There's a local TV contract obligation to fulfill.

Jordan from Eau Claire, WI

You're probably sick of questions about the future, but one hypothetical that I can't wrap my head around is if college football scraps their season completely, how could the draft possibly be held? Do you think the NFL would skip a year for drafting players in the event of worst-case scenarios?

No. I think the draft would be held as scheduled.

Phil from Gladstone, MI

Read the article about Matt Flynn's record day during the finale in 2011. My friends and I bought tickets before the season started for it. It was very entertaining, but at the time I was disappointed Rodgers wasn't playing. Accidentally witnessing history makes for a great story, and I'm glad it happened the way it did.

I've always wondered what that day did, mentally, to a pretty good Detroit team. I know the Lions had their issues on defense that year, but that was absolutely the worst way to head into the playoffs – giving up 480 passing yards, six TDs and 45 total points to a backup QB while playing your starters and trying to get the No. 5 seed. They gave up 45 more to Drew Brees six days later and were done, just like that. I wonder if they even felt they had a chance after what Flynn did to them. Mentally, they'd have been better off facing Rodgers. By the way, today's upcoming morning post is the last of the "How it happened" series (for now), and there will be links at the bottom of the story in case you missed any of the six installments.

Ralph from Fond du Lac, WI

It's the day before the Super Bowl and the Chiefs are playing the Packers. What happens if Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes wakes up with a headache, fever and cough? Does he go in for a test? This is the extreme, but it points out the inevitability of calamitous results for some teams and serendipitous for others. This will be an interesting season.

2020, the year of calamity and serendipity. I don't see the whole thing catching on.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

"Dumb luck in garbage time made me a winner." I think this should be the official motto for fantasy football. I'm sure we could work it on to an Insider Inbox T-shirt somehow, too.

The wardrobe continues to expand. Happy Friday.

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