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Inbox: Jaire Alexander is something special

Explosive threats lead to explosive plays

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CB Jaire Alexander

Jerry from Luck, WI

Is this the correct time of year to ask about the glorious potential of slow-motion replays showing the ball exploding upon impact with the laser goal posts?

Not quite, but I appreciate your enthusiasm. I defer to the Insider Inbox instruction manual in these insistences, but I'll cut you some slack. On page 22, section 5(a): "Don't ask about replays and laser-goal posts until after Memorial Day." It's gonna be a long two weeks, huh?

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

The photos of Jaire Alexander signing his contract were awesome. Specifically, his embrace with Joe Barry. You can tell how much Barry's players mean to him and vice versa. It makes me want to buckle up the chinstrap and go hit someone for him myself!

You can't help but feel tremendous for Jaire. Nobody deserves it more. He's overcome a lot in his short 25 years. The fact Alexander received such little attention coming out of Charlotte remains one of football's great mysteries. But the cream eventually rose to the top of the secondary. It's fitting Brian Gutekunst's first draft pick was a home run, just like his predecessor. Jaire Alexander is something special.

Patrick from Murfreesboro, TN

Our desperation for NFL news is highlighted by the overhyped blathering analysis the schedule release triggers. Amazing. Glad to see II moving on to other topics, so we can hopefully get to the important offseason questions like who's going to emerge at long snapper, and which fourth-string TE candidate might be groomed for surprise stardom in 2023. What are the other heretofore overlooked storylines that we should channel our obsessions into this time of year?

The receiver competition and Jordan Love's development. That's what I'll be looking at during OTAs. You can't draw many conclusions during the offseason program, but it is interesting to see where the young skill-position players are in their development this time of year. This is when Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan began making noise in 2019 before their eventual emergence in training camp.

James from Appleton, WI

Christian Watson played about a third of the snaps last year because North Dakota State was so run-heavy. Maybe the Packers should just organize their receivers like lines in hockey and run them on and off the field as units. The benefit being, of course, that I would be entertained.

Ha. Well, that's kind of how I expect it to look in the preseason. I doubt Randall Cobb or Lazard will play much, if at all. All those young receivers are going to have an opportunity to distinguish themselves. In Watson's case, NDSU provided him a good foundation to transition well into this scheme.

Matt from Kolesin, Poland

Hi! While reading various materials about our new players I noticed that Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs are both considered as deep threats. Today, I read it even about Sammy Watkins. Is it just talking, or will we witness the evolution of the passing game like the Seahawks have had with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, who are so different but great in creating big plays?

I expect the Packers to play to those strengths. They sure did when Marquez Valdes-Scantling was drafted. There's more to offense than running go routes, but those traits help keep a secondary honest. Whatever way you slice it, explosive threats lead to explosive plays. The Packers have several.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Last season 70% of offensive yards came through the pass. Do you see a different split in 2022, or just different distribution of those passing yards? I think a 60/40 split feels like complementary football.

Yes and no. I think some of those vacated yards will go to Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon but not necessarily on the ground. As I've said before, Jones and Dillon will have a big role in the passing game, too. The Packers will move the ball this year. They're just going to be taking a different route than what we've grown accustom.

Nicholas from Owego, NY

Do you think we'll see more two-RB backfields as a way to get the best 11 players on the field while having Jones help a little in the passing game to fill the void from Davante Adams?

In a single word: Without question.

Rob from Hartland, WI

I assume most of the veterans work with coaches/trainers from outside the team during the offseason. How do those connections form? Are they usually just relationships with teammates and agents, or does the coaching staff have recommendations for specific trainers based on where they see the most improvement is needed?

It's a little of everything. It's up to the player – and sometimes the agent if the player needs a lead. Some start training at a certain facility during the pre-draft process and stay there. Other players have trainers near their home in the offseason they go to, like Aaron Rodgers does in California and Lucas Patrick did in Oregon.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. The Packers signed an undrafted rookie long snapper named Jack Coco. If his snap attempts are deftly and powerfully executed, would those be Coco Krispies? Cocoa snaps were too easy.

I knew Packers fans were gonna eat that one up.

Chris from Clive, IA

Good morning! Any insights or takeaways on how Tyler Goodson looked on the field? I'm curious what you think about his chances to make the 53 with some favorably comparing him to Aaron Jones coming out of college.

Goodson seemed like a fluid runner with some pass-catching ability during rookie minicamp. After the Packers chose not to draft a running back, the No. 3 job is up for grabs with Kylin Hill returning from injury. Goodson will be in the conversation this summer.

Thomas from Madison, WI

Wasn't K. Enagbare projected to go much higher than the fifth round, or am I misremembering? Do you have any insight into why he wasn't drafted earlier? I'm excited to see him tear it up in preseason games.

I appreciate how you shortened Kingsley but still spelled out Enagbare. I'm not a scout (nor have I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express recently), but I think the 40 time had a lot to do with the fall to the fifth round. Enagbare is built like your prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker, though. He has optimal length with consistent production and seems to relish all responsibilities of playing the defensive front. I think he'll fit right in, with a chance to contribute right off the bat.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Hello II, any word on Robert Tonyan's injury and a timeline for his return?

I would imagine he'll be rehabbing during OTAs and minicamp like Josiah Deguara was last offseason. Tonyan tore his ACL in late October, so he's still only about seven months out. John Dunn is excited to work with him, though. There's a role waiting for Tonyan in this offense whenever he's cleared.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

Julio Jones? OBJ?

IDK. My bff Jill?

Ken from Plano, TX

Any chance the Packers use the money saved by Jaire's extension to sign Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr, or Justin Houston? Based on the quality of free agents still available and the needs of the team, it seems like signing another outside linebacker would be one of the best uses for the additional salary cap room.

Only if something makes sense from both a team and financial standpoint. Then, I support bringing someone in (e.g. De'Vondre Campbell and Dennis Kelly last year). But just because you get paid Friday doesn't mean you have to spend it by Sunday. A gentle reminder cap space can be rolled over, too. The Packers might need it in 2023.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

What can we expect from Isaiah McDuffie this year? Joe Barry mentioning him watching and learning from Campbell has me thinking we may be even deeper at LB than before hearing that. A late-round pick, with a full season and two offseason programs, can really take a big step forward. We already know the value of Krys Barnes, so if the 'Dawgs come as advertised the interior of this defense can really pin its ears back and get after the ball. Especially knowing the backside of this D is going to give them time.

First and foremost, McDuffie has a great opportunity to take a big step forward on special teams. Inside linebackers are often core-four contributors and there's an opening there with Oren Burks leaving for San Francisco this offseason. McDuffie is a tried-and-true middle linebacker who runs toward the fire. As Kirk Olivadotti pointed out, McDuffie had a good plan for learning the playbook last summer and should benefit from that experience in Year 2.

Máté from Nyékládháza, Hungary

As an international fan who was looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of seeing my favourite team live, I feel slightly offended that John thinks the U.S. has a monopoly on football and that we know nothing of the game. I can assure everyone that we know to never cheer when the offense is on the field and to always steer clear of the laser goalposts.

…which puts you a few steps ahead of some of the locals. I will say, John sure opened two cans of asparagus Thursday. And the international contingent came out with their knuckles wrapped. I'll just let them take it from here.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

In response to John from Boscobel on why the push for NFL games overseas...American football is VERY popular overseas. I remember reading an article from 20 years ago that a UK journalist asked average citizens questions about the USA. Some questions were what city, college and sports team in USA do you think of first? Answers were NYC, Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers. They not only love the NFL – they love the Pack!

In my opinion, American football is the greatest sport in the world. It checks all the boxes – drama, physicality, athleticism, strategy, teamwork and pacing. More international games not only expose the sport to new fans but also make the game stronger in the long run.

Jon from Leeds, United Kingdom

As for "less than knowledgeable," I would gladly challenge John to a quiz-off.

The Insider Inbox World Cup…coming to packers.com (…whenever we can get more help).

Liam from Newcastle, United Kingdom

In response to John from Boscobel, WI. This will be my 20th season following the Packers. I've been to Lambeau five times and six road games. I've watched every game live for the past 15 seasons even if that means staying up till 4 a.m. for night games. There's many others in the UK who have similar stories. Trust me, we're knowledgeable.

I believe you, Liam. Each of you in the UK have my undying respect. I cannot imagine what those Mondays must be like.

Will from Bristol, United Kingdom

In response to John from Boscobel, what a load of baloney! As someone who has supported the Packers for over 15 years, I cannot wait for the game in London. I'm no less of a fan, and certainly no less knowledgeable given my readership of packers.com since the Ask Vic days. I've had my share of late nights and 1:15 a.m. wake ups to watch the Pack. This will be the only time in my life that I get to watch Aaron Rodgers play live and I for one will be cheering every minute wearing my green and gold. GPG!

I am so incredibly happy for all the UK fans who get to attend the game in-person. As fun as the atmosphere is at Lambeau, Packers fans travel incredibly well. I will never forget the energy inside the LA Coliseum in 2018.

Warwick from Melbourne, Australia

I object to the notion that fans from countries other than the states have less knowledge of the game and I applaud the insiders for sticking up for us. Thank you. Andrew Brandt recently tweeted one of the things he hoped for in the schedule was a December away game somewhere warm to help the players thaw out. Is the Miami Christmas game a blessing in disguise?

Like Mike said, our international fans are well-informed. I'd argue Stephen O'Brien and the UK Packers know more about the team than many of Green Bay's own residents. To your question, it is nice to mix in a Florida game in December – but again, why did it have to be on Christmas Day? It does not make sense to me. It's putting a hat on a hat (and not the football version of that analogy).

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

Would you describe Jerry Montgomery's attire a hooded vest or a sleeveless sweatshirt? If that is available at the Packers Pro Shop, you need to pick one up. Show Spoff you got the guns.

I don't know, but Jerry looked like a boss at the podium on Wednesday. Maybe I'll cut one of my sweatshirts and give it a try.

Andrew from Edmond, OK

Jack Coco is a great name. What are some of your favorite monikers to have played for the Pack?

Blaise Winter is the only correct answer.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Wes, as revenge for Spoff always stealing your lunch, try this: Each road game in a different time zone, don't reset your watch. See how he reacts. Thanks.

What makes you think I haven't done that already. Spoff missing the bus in Winnipeg was no accident.

Eddie from Onalaska, WI

Wes, now that Mike is away, do you have any naughtiness planned? Or are there too many security cameras around? I'm guessing that Mike probably has his phone hooked up to them…. ;-)

I'm just looking forward to enjoying my lunch again. Have a great day, everyone.

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