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Inbox: Let's just find out

Now is the time for discovery


Adam from Rochester, NY

I am a big fan of "Unscripted." I met you both at the pep rally in Pittsburgh last year and you couldn't have been nicer. That said, maybe don't film "Unscripted" in HD? ;)

A big ouch to start the day. Hello from Canton.

Chris from Marshfield, WI.

New team to make playoffs, how about the Colts? Andrew Luck is back. I'm not buying on a QB with a handful of starts in SF, I don't care what the record says, and I don't understand all the hype.

With Luck back, the AFC South gets even more intriguing with the Jaguars and Titans coming off playoff seasons, and the Texans getting their QB back as well. That's going to be some dogfight in the division. As for Garoppolo, he stepped in for a 1-10 team, won five straight games, and he's got the offensive architect of the Falcons' Super Bowl team (and Matt Ryan's MVP year) calling the shots. I get the hype. Now he has to live up to it.

David from Madison, WI

Two or three days ago I think I recall reading something about receivers and "underneath speed" on this website. What is "underneath speed" when discussing receivers?

Their burst on shallow crossing routes, underneath the linebackers. Those routes are about getting up to top speed in a hurry, without the time or space to lengthen the stride.

Sam from Melbourne, Australia

G'day, out of our youthful cornerback prospects, who has the highest ceiling: Kevin King, Jaire Alexander or Josh Jackson?

Why rank them? Let's just find out.

Kevin from Des Moines, IA

Looking back at the run to Super Bowl XXXI and XLV, I remember having a feeling at the start of the season that something special was going to happen that year, that all the pieces were finally in place to get us there. That feeling is back this year. With everything we have done in the offseason bringing in Mike Pettine and bringing back Joe Philbin, a strong draft, and a strong free agency, do you feel something special is in store for us this year?

Make the playoffs and take your chances. That'll never change for me. Do I feel the Packers are a playoff contender? Yes. Indubitably.

Kurtis from De Pere, WI

I notice untold reverence paid to Larry McCarren on this site. You would think that a person who receives this much praise and has achieved so much (Packers HOF, media awards) would get a big head. Two years ago a HS friend of mine came back to GB to visit and we saw Larry at a restaurant. My friend didn't remember him from 1980s childhood and asked me to introduce him. I personally don't know Larry, but we approached him anyway. He talked to us for 30 minutes like we were friends. Reverence deserved.

Well put, and this week I've been seeing similar stories in the Inbox regarding encounters with Jerry Kramer. Too many to post, but I wanted to mention it. This franchise has tremendous ambassadors.

Bill from Houston, TX

For all the oohing and aahing, JK Scott was not even the first punter taken in the draft. The Seahawks took Michael Dickson earlier in the fifth round. I wonder if he's getting oohs and aahs in Seattle?

Oohs and aahs in August are nice, but they won't help him punt in single digits in December. Hey, Scott appears to have all the tools, but his rookie season will be full of obstacles and new experiences. The entire body of work is what matters.

Michael from Schofield, WI

Were you guys in on the talk Mike Pettine gave to the team on the first day? Can you tell us if it really lived up to the tone-setting hype?

We were not privy to that, but Rodgers' comments aren't to be taken lightly. I really liked the new piece to the talk we found out about Wednesday from Pettine himself. "At the end of the day it was talk. That was part of the message, too. Everybody is talking about it right now. How do we separate ourselves from the other 31 teams talking about winning a Super Bowl?"

Randall from Mesa, AZ

When Josh Norman was asked about facing Adams in Week 3, he shook his head and said, "Crafty, real crafty, you gotta watch him. Has all the moves." Sounds like the DBs are well aware of how tough a matchup Adams is.

Adams' film down the stretch in 2016 would put any DB on notice, and he followed it up last year when everyone was aware. Now we're further into the chess match. What adjustments will the DBs make on Adams, and how will he counter?

Brad from Oshkosh, WI

My uncle is the X-ray tech for the Packers games. Jeff "X-Ray" Gruse. I've always been jealous of the game-day view he gets standing on the sidelines, unless of course there's an injury. The time he may spend in the locker room during games cannot be a good experience, for him or the injured player. He (among many others) is an unsung member of the team. Hope he gets his 15 seconds of fame today!

Wish granted.

Josh from Denver, CO

There was some expectation that Spriggs was entering training camp stronger and more filled out than in previous years. Has he made a step this offseason, or has Murphy just made enough of a jump himself to demand first-team reps?

Both, I believe.

William from Newburgh, IN

With all the love being shown to the defensive line, with a lot of emphasis on Adams healthy, why is Lowry not getting any coverage? He has progressed and should be in the rotation and has played well and should still have some upside.

Absolutely. I look at Lowry as a versatile piece like Wilkerson, body-type-wise, but without the All-Pro pedigree. He has the perfect teammate to learn from in Year 3, which means, to answer Greg's question from Belvidere, IL, yes, his arrow is still pointing up.

The Packers were back at practice Thursday at Ray Nitschke Field.

Jason from Portland, OR

Hey Insiders, what's the biggest key for the Packers to contend for a Super Bowl this season? Health, defensive improvement, more from the running game, etc.?


Fearn from Rolling Meadows, IL

Spoff, was watching Terrell Davis on NFLN and he was talking about the new "helmet rule" and how difficult it will be for RBs and the defense alike. Do you find it strange the league is implementing this rule change now? TD alluded to the players basically having to learn a new technique, and due to the CBA, they won't be gaining extra practice time to adjust how they play, let alone practice what they need to in order to be prepared for this season and/or just make the team. Safety/health aside, strange.

Practice time has nothing to do with it. Live tackling doesn't happen in that fashion. Players will have to adjust in the heat of battle, and there's going to be confusion and inconsistency in the officiating part of it. It's a given with a rule change this significant. Hopefully a lot can get sorted out in the preseason and early stages of the regular season so this doesn't become a lingering story throughout 2018.

Nathan from El Paso, TX

Tom Brady got a rule change when he was injured; now Aaron Rodgers has one, too. I reckon the change to Rule 12, Article 9 can be attributed to Aaron Rodgers. The NFL doesn't like to see its star players miss time because it affects ratings and is an overall loss to the game when someone of Rodgers' caliber misses time.

The NFL is going to continue to take unnecessary violence out of the game. The player-safety movement appears to be reaching a peak.

Ryan from Providence, RI

I'm sitting in the Providence airport as I write this and can see the Patriots team plane out on the tarmac. Do you know if the Packers will fly through Providence when they visit Foxboro, and will there be any chance for a Spoff sighting/scoring free tickets?

I won't have any tickets for you, but if I recall the two times I've been to Foxboro, the team has stayed in Providence.

Nick from Lancaster, PA

As is well known, our defensive backs have taken A LOT of heat the past several seasons. What are some things we should be looking for early on to see if this year's group of DBs is trending in the right direction?

The opponent passer rating stat and ranking, and I'm not talking about the preseason. Get the first four games of the regular season under the belt against Trubisky, Cousins, Smith and McCarron – not a murderer's row of QBs but quality opponents, including two proven veterans – and see where the Packers stand before a more difficult run of four in Stafford, Garoppolo, Goff, and Brady.

Nancy from Milwaukee, WI

With Jerry Kramer's HOF induction going down at the same time as Family Night, will the Packers organization track the induction and then call a "timeout" in the team activities to televise the official induction on the stadium big screens?

There won't be enough time during the practice to broadcast the entire speech (I'll try to recap it in my story on Saturday night as best I can), but I'm sure there'll be some sort of recognition for Jerry on his big night.

Jan from Hannover, Germany

I believe that this camp is the most challenging camp for Aaron Rodgers in years. He is coming of an injury and has to throw against a new defense. I´m not concerned about the INTs. I think if 12 got to work hard in camp it´s the best thing that can happen to our team. Thoughts?

Missing the bulk of last season, I think he's rejuvenated a bit, and I would imagine he's enjoying the challenge the new defense presents. That's the kind of competitor he is. Judging by Wes's and Larry's coverage of practice while I was traveling to Canton, Rodgers clearly rose to the challenge Thursday.

Mitchell from Hazel Green, WI

Has anyone ever made a career out of the NFL without playing any college football?

Michael Lewis was an All-Pro return man for the Saints a while back. He had played only high school football, plus some indoor ball, and was driving a beer truck when he got his NFL break. He's not the only one to have skipped the college ranks, but I'm partial to stories with connections to beer.

Lee from Grants, NM

Very hard to hear the news on Jake Ryan. But I've always been a silver lining kinda guy. Better this happens now so the young guys have time to prepare. Agreed?

Who will shrink from the opportunity and who will seize it? Now's the time for discovery.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

It seems to me the question is not who replaces Jake Ryan, but rather who replaces Blake Martinez when he goes down. The Packers cannot afford to be without an experienced replacement should the unthinkable happen. They cannot be one injury away from a total season-ending disaster. Do you agree?

I think the Inbox needs to calm down and let the new defensive coaches and leaders in the personnel department do their jobs.

Geoff from Beaver Dam, WI

How are lockers assigned? Do vets have first pick and it trickles down from there, or does the captain assign them to players? Do they ever fluctuate in season if guys become friends or anything like that? It seems that if Burks' locker wasn't already near Martinez's, it should be now.

Burks' locker is next to Martinez's. The lockers are assigned by the GM. Once the season starts, normally the only shifting is if someone comes out of the auxiliary room into the main room to take an empty locker. This year, there were some adjustments between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp, but nothing major.

Jake from Franklin, WI

If there was a new piece of equipment that was made that was proven to completely negate the chance of serious knee injuries, but inhibited mobility for the players, do you think most would wear it?

Not voluntarily. The physical disadvantage against those not wearing it would be too much to overcome.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Insiders, seeing the quick summary of Hutson's accomplishments in the "100 Moments" segment with him, Curly Lambeau, Johnny Blood, and Cal Hubbard ("Canton Quartet") getting inducted into the HOF really puts in perspective how dominant he was. It reminds me of 2007 when Tiger Woods' FedEx point lead over No. 2 Phil Mickelson was wider than Mickelson's lead over No. 166! Really, there was no No. 2. In your lifetime, have you seen anyone as far and away better than their peers as Hutson apparently was?

I remember doing a presentation on Wayne Gretzky when I was a freshman in high school, and when he scored 92 goals in the 1981-82 season, the NHL single-season record then was 76, and that was the only 70-goal season in the history of the league at that time.

Deb from Camarillo, CA

Playing roulette in Viva Las Vegas last night and No. 12 came up five times! I think it's a sign we win our fifth Super Bowl this year. Do you agree?

Sure, why not.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

Talk about ends of the earth, we've heard from North Pole, Alaska, and now McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Hey Mars, you on? We're waiting.

That's a stretch. I hear the red planet has Wi-Fi issues. Happy Friday, everyone.