Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: It's not a battle of transactions

Minimal disruption up front goes a long way


Joe from Hampshire, IL

Wow, a shot across the bow, how does thou respounden? To Wes's quip that Spoff has not been gone long when asked about Vic. No lunch to steal this week.

That was a layup to beat all layups. Too easy. I've got a few days here so I'll bide my time.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

So do Derek and Al have to split the MVP incentive bonus?

Something like that. The full amount still counts against the cap, though. In all seriousness, congrats to the winners and nominees, and hats off to Wes for another great summer of OI.

Sam from Janesville, WI

Regarding the co-MVP for II, Wes said, "We made an executive decision." I'm guessing the exchange went something like this: Wes: Hey Mike, they're tied! What do you think we should do? Mike: Do whatever the hell you want. OI is your thing. By the way, did you leave any extra lunches for next week? Congrats Al and Derek, well deserved.

Accurate on all counts. Now, back to traditional business.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning! I was pleased to learn during the Outbox that the Packers played in the Western Division. When did that change, and then, in what division did they play?

The Packers played in the Western Division from 1933-49, the National Conference from 1950-52, the Western Conference from 1953-66, the NFL Central from 1967-69, the NFC Central from 1970-2001, and the NFC North since.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

There has been a lot of talk about who will be RB3 this year coming out of camp and it is understandable. However due to a number of factors (quality of the depth, Love's first year, a renewed reliance on the run game, Aaron Jones' possible retirement to become a cornhole champion … ha), might this be the year we have an RB3 and an RB4 on the roster?

It still seems unlikely to me, but only if RB4 is a special-teams regular and a better player in that phase than others further down the DB or LB depth charts.

Jason from Austin, TX

Mike, if you were to rank the elite-ness level of the position groups for the Packers, would you rank the running back group higher than the cornerbacks or do you think the CBs have the edge? Two very important position groups and both very good. Could be a 1A and 1B situation. What do you think?

I'd say the Jones-Dillon duo has accomplished more, considering the current No. 3 corner (Nixon) is getting a full-time defensive assignment for the first time and Rasul Douglas has been here for just 1½ seasons thus far. But when Eric Stokes is back and healthy, I really like the possibilities with that corner quartet of Jaire Alexander, Douglas, Keisean Nixon and Stokes.

Mike from Novato, CA

Good morning, II. A quick comment/prediction about our TEs. I see a lot of comments regarding the lack of first-year production from TEs in this league, with some rather minimal projections for ours. I believe we may get over 1,000 yards/six TDs from our set. While young TEs have a steep learning curve, most teams have a vet they can throw in to eat snaps when things get tough for the youngsters. For better or worse, we're going to be committed to our rookie TEs. Thoughts?

No one's going to be fed the ball just for the sake of it. The young tight ends will have to prove themselves and earn their opportunities. They'll also have to show they can block effectively, because LaFleur isn't just going to give away whether it's run or pass based on which tight ends are on the field.

Steve from Hurricane, UT

I was also at that first Monday night game at Lambeau Field. It stood as the highest-scoring Monday night game for a long time. In those days you could look out at the parking lot over the back of the stadium. Some tailgaters had left their charcoal grill smoldering under their car, and it burst into flames. No one dared or cared to find out if it was their car or if it was next to theirs. Thanks to Wes for bringing back the memories. Can you recall a Packer game as exciting that you've attended?

The '09 NFC Wild Card game in Arizona beat it by one for total points (96-95) but needed overtime to do so. That's the only "shootout" I can recall witnessing in person that comes close. What I remember about the '83 Monday night game was going to bed at halftime (begrudgingly, but that was the rule for me then) and being blown away by watching the highlights the next morning.

Michael from Bloomington, IN

Good night and farewell to II (jump the) Shark Week. When evaluating the season to come, Bakh staying healthy and available rockets to the top of the wish list. What is your realistic ceiling for this offense if we get 15-17 games of prime David Bakhtiari at LT?

I'm not sure what you're asking, but when it comes to the guys up front, it's not just about Bakhtiari. It's having as much continuity with the group as possible. The best offensive lines practice and play together week after week. Everything with that unit has felt in flux since Bakhtiari's injury at the end of 2020. That factored heavily into the playoff loss vs. Tampa, then Josh Myers and Elgton Jenkins had long injury absences in '21, which created more shifting and shuffling as that season wound down, followed by frequent uncertainty in '22. Injuries are part of the game, but if an offense is going to steadily improve and (hopefully) peak at the right time, minimal disruption up front goes a long way.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

Hey Mike, are we as a fanbase pushing Zach Tom's ascendance a little quickly? I know he certainly passed the eye test for me last season and looked unfazed when thrust into action. But Royce Newman was pretty solid in his rookie campaign and didn't keep the same trajectory. I wish both young men nothing but success but wonder if we should temper expectations for Tom a bit?

My only expectation is that Tom will compete for a starting job. Nothing's going to be handed to him, and if he earns it, he'll have to keep it. But there's plenty of reason for curiosity and enthusiasm when a fourth-round pick shows so much promise at a prime spot like left tackle as a rookie. That doesn't happen very often.

Caden from Green Bay, WI

What should the expectations be for the special-teams unit this season?

Stability, which hopefully will help ease the transition at the biggest unknown within the group, kicker.

Robert from Corpus Christi, TX

Are there any moves that can be made to help stay even with the Lions' and Bears' offseason moves?

Because the goal is to keep up with two franchises that have won a grand total of one NFC North title in the last dozen years? OK, I'll cut the snark. The Packers will measure themselves against their rivals when they play them, and they'll look to turn the tables on the Lions from last year just as the Bears are working to flip the script against the Packers. But it's not a battle of transactions from February through August.

Avida from Vienna, VA

Are the Packers at their 90-person roster limit? And do you see them adding a player or two before training camp? Thank you.

The roster is currently at 89 with two unsigned draft picks. I wasn't sure previously but have since clarified they do have an exemption for the international player (Kenneth Odumegwu) relative to both the 90-man and practice squad, but at this point, any additional acquisitions would require a corresponding release.

Richard from Caledonia, WI

Hello, are the new scoreboards working for the upcoming shareholders meeting? Thanks!

That's the plan as far as I know.

Darren from Wakefield, MI

I just wanted to state what a great piece and interview with Eddie Lee Ivery. He was one of my favorites as a kid. I never was able to get to go to regular-season games, though as an altar boy, we yearly went to the Bishop's Charities game and remember Eddie Lee getting pushed out of bounds and took out a cheerleader. He helped her up and dusted her off. Great man, and I never knew of his troubles back then.

I was quite young when he played, so I wasn't aware of all the injuries and other issues involved in his career, but I remember thinking how darn good he was while older fans always wondered what might've been. I never appreciated the whole picture until I got much older.

Mark from Normal, IL

In looking at the rules for "Hard Knocks," if I understand them correctly, the Packers really need to make the playoffs this year. Because the "Hard Knocks" rules say, if a team hasn't made the playoffs in the last two years, and they don't have a new coach, they can be forced to accept a "Hard Knocks" assignment. If the Packers don't make the playoffs this year, there is no way that HBO won't jump at the chance to feature Green Bay next year (2024 season).

Let's hope it's a bridge that won't have to be crossed. Perhaps we'll see this year what the production is like with a team not overly enthusiastic about the exposure, given that it sounds like the Jets are very reluctantly accepting the intrusion.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Mike, did ya make Brewer games on this current homestand? Some dandy games the last week! Wishing the All-Star break wasn't here yet. It's feeling like the Brewers were just starting to roll.

Didn't make it to any games this time, but followed daily and closely. That was some homestand, you're right, but I think the team could use the break after all that madness.

Luke from Holcombe, WI

I'm not a baseball fan, but De La Cruz's three stolen bases in two pitches against the Brewers was one of those moments that makes a person stop and say "Wow!"

As a Brewers fan, it made me stop and wonder when the pitcher was going to get his head in the game.

Cheryl from Strawberry Point, IA

Uh oh, I think Wessy may have started something.

That nickname shall be summoned at specific times to be determined.

Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI

Are we there yet?

Another day closer. Happy Tuesday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

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