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Inbox: Its impact is not the same for all sports

There’s no way to quantify it

Lambeau Field

Ray from Miami, FL

Besides winning, what is the primary goal of this year's team?

Y'all take over the column for a week, and this is what I come back to?

Mutt from Blaine, MN

OK, Outsider Inbox is over. What's the plan for the next three weeks?

We're back to the usual format, and I have the column all of this week. Then Wes takes it for a week-plus while I disappear.

Katherine from Milwaukee, WI

Which player will be most improved compared to last season?

Narrowing the list of possibilities to players we've seen play but not an extensive amount yet, my candidates on offense would be Jon Runyan and Dominique Dafney. On defense, Kamal Martin and Vernon Scott.

Edward from Canton, SD

In Spoff's excellent article about Willie Buchanon's four picks against San Diego, he said that the Packers missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker loss to Minnesota. He forgot to mention that if the "Miracle in the Meadowlands" had never happened, the Packers would have been a wild card, as the Eagles would have been 8-8 without Joe Pisarcik's idiotic fumble, as all he had to do was kneel down.

True, but it's not as though Philly's "Miracle" occurred in the last week or two of the season to suddenly alter the playoff race. After that, the Packers still had four games left and went 1-2-1, including the costly tie with the Vikings and a shutout loss to a sub-.500 Bears team.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

What other team in our division are you worried the most about?

The Vikings, unless Bears QB Justin Fields storms onto the scene in the second half of his rookie year like Lamar Jackson did a few seasons ago.

John from Topeka, KS

II, the outsider entry about Rockwood Lodge contained an editorial reference to a specific Insider edition. This got me thinking: After losing the Ask Vic archives, does the new integration with NFL.com allow any sort of duplication or other storage? Not sure that we need to know the exact date laser goalposts were first mentioned, but I'd imagine there's some stuff in there people would rather not disappear someday.

I couldn't tell you, and everything regarding the platform and electronic archives is out of our hands. The history of II should remain rather esoteric anyway. There's more nostalgia to it that way.

Tim from Perkasie, PA

A comment after reading Outsider Inbox. I was living in Maracay, Venezuela, in the '80s. I subscribed to Packer Report because that was the only way to get Packer news (pre-internet, cell, etc.). It arrived two weeks after a game, but whatever. One week there was a second copy stuck inside my copy. That's when I discovered a local priest from Maracay was also a Packer fan.

Are you sure you "discovered" that, or did a higher power simply want you to know?

Michael from Adams, WI

What expectations do you have regarding the future of Robert Tonyan? After last season's exposure of talent do you see Josiah Deguara or Jace Sternberger cutting into Tonyan's production? As a Packers fan it's difficult to swallow the thought that two recent third-round picks are becoming irrelevant on the stat sheet.

If/when healthy, I expect Deguara to be a big part of this offense, but regardless, anyone who thinks Tonyan is going to walk out there and score 11 touchdowns again needs to understand the context of his accomplishments in 2020. Only one other tight end in the NFL did that last year, All-Pro Travis Kelce, and no tight end had done that in Packers history in 37 years.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

With Coach Drayton and a potentially dynamic returner on the roster this is the most optimistic I felt about ST in a long, long, long time. There are no givens but … If the Packers ST jumps from 29th to let's say 14th is there a general sense in the NFL how that translates to victories...an extra 1/2 win, win per year?

There's no way to quantify it, really. All I know is one bad play on special teams proved very costly last season in the loss to Indy, and other bad ones made victories over Jacksonville, Philadelphia and Detroit much closer than they should have been. Walking that tightrope is not a viable long-term strategy.

With 63 days until the regular-season opener, packers.com looks back at those who have worn No. 63 in Green Bay.

John from Livermore, CA

After this strange year that past, what do you now appreciate that you took for granted before?

My answer is the same as it was 12-15 months ago. Gainful employment and good health.

Nancy from Concord, NH

What do you think we can do to help Aaron Rodgers decide to play for us again?

What can you do? As in, the fans? Sorry, nothing. The organization? Only Rodgers knows.

Bob from Gladstone, OR

How many quarterbacks do you expect to carry during the season?

If Rodgers is one of them, two on the 53. If not, three.

John from Belleview, FL

The last two seasons the Packers have gone 13-3-0 during the regular season. I predict, no guarantee, and will bet any amount of money that will NOT happen for a third year in a row! (I'll even write your response: "Pretty safe bet with a 17th game...")

Not actually safe, but only pretty safe.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Hey Mike, which sport has the biggest advantage when playing a home game in your opinion? Everyone talks about home advantage, but I think it matters more in football than basketball or baseball, especially for teams playing football outdoors.

I think in football it depends on the actual venue and the weather for how much it matters. In baseball and hockey, there are actually strategic advantages to being the home team, so in a more basic sense I'd say it matters more in those sports. Psychologically, the biggest advantage may be in basketball. Its impact is not the same for all sports.

Eli from Yardley, PA

There is one click bait headline that always gets me hooked "This Aaron Rodgers throw..." I just can't help myself clicking and praying it's the mysterious video from practice several years ago that has somehow finally been made public. Spoff and Hod need to go full-on Mission Impossible and find the secret super computer at 1265, download video from the Packers servers, and escape home to post it for the world.

Did you not hear what I mentioned earlier about gainful employment?

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Mike, if you were Christian Yelich's hitting coach/repairman, how would you fix him?

I'd start by calling in the Men In Black with their neuralyzers.

Jeff from Madison, WI

Almost training camp time.

Still a couple more weeks, but we're getting there.

Fred from Manitowoc, WI

What time will Nitschke Field open up for the scheduled 10:10 a.m. practices?

The bleachers will be open to grab seats at least an hour or more before practice starts.

Nik from Moore, SC

Trey Lance was drafted No. 3 overall with limited playtime but impressive physical skills. If Jordan Love was in the 2021 draft, where would he have been drafted? Is it crazy to think he could have been top 10?

Based on his final college season (2019), I'd say that would be a stretch. But had he stayed in school and played in 2020, who knows?

William from West Bend, WI

If Jordan Love is the QB, what type of regression do you see in Davante Adams and the other receivers?

None, in their skills. They aren't going to be worse at what they do.

Chipper from Albert City, IA

No question, just a comment. I'm not much for sentiment...ever. But reading the Outsider Inbox and hearing everyone's Packers memories and traditions truly made me a little bit richer this week. It's a good idea, and thanks for doing it!

All the credit goes to Wes. He put every edition together, and I appreciated a little lighter workload last week while focusing on other duties.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

I don't know when Jeff from Littlefork ran out of bear meat, but if it was after the last Bears game and we have a rough outing vs. them Week 6, let me be the first to contribute to a crowdfunded hunting trip to replenish his freezer. I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.

May our roots remain replenished as well.

David from Sydney, Australia

Loving the Outsider Inbox. I have learnt a lot, including to add "Packers fan" to my list of risk factors for high cholesterol. Wow, they were some recipes alright.

I had to stop reading. I got full.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

To be cited alongside legends like Lori, Derek, Margeaux, and now Dean? I'm humbled. Too many here deserve high praise: Texans Neal, Shannon, Daniel, Mike, and Jason; Wisconsinites Doug, Gretchen, Dan, other Dan, TK, Bret, and Wags; US fans Sal, Dave, Sawyer, Dennis, Ryan, Roger, Julian, Darren, Paul, and Thomas; and foreign fans Col, Neil, Nic, Ronald, Al, Flavio, and Ian; and so many others. Most of all, Mike and Wes, thanks for your kind editing. You make us all look good. I love this family!

Don't we all.

Joshua from Houston, TX

What does the Insider Inbox MVP trophy look like?

Whatever Dean imagines it to be. In his case, probably a muse.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Thank you II, I'm humbled and proud. Thank you Packers for an inspiring season. Thank you Wes and Mike for the opportunity. Thank you loyal Inbox readers and Packer fans. You have inspired me to face the uncertainty of 2021. I salute you.

Happy Monday.


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