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Inbox: Let's see if both get their wish

Fifty years ago, no one would have predicted it


Jake from Racine, WI

I'll ask again for him since you posted the question, but didn't answer it for the poor guy living in a gosh darn desert wasteland. Who on either side of the ball do you expect to stand out this season? Also, who would you like to see stand out this season? The guy lives in a desert for Pete's sake and he more than likely spit his last sip of water out when he saw you posted, but then skipped, his question.

Welcome to another day in the Inbox. You can always request a refund.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

DARMWN: da (the) Arm wins?

This and other related suggestions were the most common. Doesn't really work for me, though. Moving on.

Nick from Lancaster, PA

Have you heard any projections on the expected impact of the kickoff rule change, specifically what change we can expect to see in the number of concussions, and conversely the expected change in return-yard averages and field position?

I've seen no statistical projections. The expected hope safety-wise is obvious. I don't think anyone really has a clue what the impact on returns and field position will be until we see the new rule in action in the preseason games.

Gary from Topeka, KS

I know this is a tough question for you to answer. Do you think the restructure of the upper management with Mark Murphy being in direct control over the head coach is a mandate to go deep into the playoffs to keep your job?

Not at all. As I've stated before, I think Murphy chose a structure he feels will work best for the three individuals he wants in the three most important football jobs. I read nothing else into it.

Chris from Marshfield, WI

If Chris is out of town when he submits a question, is he still from Marshfield?

It depends. Only if he knows more than the half dozen or so Auburndale High School grads I do.

Take a look at what the Packers have been up to this summer during the offseason.

Craig from Laramie, WY

I'm waxing philosophical about some of the "dead zone" musings and pondering the distinction between optimism and expectations. Here's what I've got so far: Optimism always feels good and almost never exacts a toll on me. Expectations sometimes feel good but almost always come with a heavy price tag. So, I'm sticking with optimism. "Hope springs eternal in the human breast."

Optimism breeds excitement. Expectations set up disappointment.

Sean from Portland, ME

Can you settle something for me, please? Is Geronimo Allison fast for a WR? I enjoyed the article posted on his work ethic, but it also referenced his size/speed combination. I know he ran a bad 40 time at the combine and that 40 times are not the only indication of speed, so how does he look in person? Can you give a comparable?

Allison is not a burner, so he wouldn't be my first choice to run a go route, but I wouldn't classify him as slow. He's got plenty of initial burst to get open, even if his top-end speed doesn't match DeSean Jackson's, for example. There really wasn't a comparable for Allison's body type and physical characteristics when he showed up in Green Bay, but the Packers certainly targeted length and catch radius like his in the most recent draft.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

Do you think Hunter Bradley will be our long-term answer for LS? It seems like we always go back to Brett Goode after trying out a new guy, and Goode is only 33. Long snapper seems like such an underrated position in the NFL. Those guys have to be consistent regardless of weather, game on the line, etc.

They have one job and it's best if no one knows their name. I wouldn't hand the job to Bradley just because the Packers used a draft pick on him. The battle with Triner will be one to watch in camp. We won't know until well into the regular season if the Packers have a long-term answer, a la Goode.

Daniel from Duncan, SC

Just wanted to say I appreciate you guys keeping me company at lunch over the past couple years. The Inbox has become a great companion while eating lunch on the go, or just eating a sandwich in the local deli. Speaking of eating, have you guys heard or witnessed any strange habits or food choices of players, past or present?

Not since Mike Daniels talked about his Cheerios.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

Wes, just a reminder that you pedal bicycles while riding them and peddle them only when you're trying to sell. Now my question: In each of the Packers' first three games against Zimmer's Vikings, Eddie Lacy rushed for at least 100 yards. Since then, we've not had even a collective 100-yard outing from the RB corps. Do you think this is the year that changes?

I think it has to. Offensive balance is the key to beating the most well-rounded defenses. I chuckle at some of the Wes-isms that get through when I'm on vacation. I'm not perfect by any means, but his mistakes are funnier than mine.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

Objectively, it looks like the D-line has a chance to be truly special this year. Personally, I think Wilkerson is going to have a monster (Pro Bowl) season. But it seems almost inevitable that he will be a one-year rental. Mike Daniels gets paid well. Kenny Clark will be in the near future. Not sure I see a path to a long-term contract for MW, but I'd love for you to tell me I'm wrong.

The Packers would love for it to be very difficult to re-sign Wilkerson, and Wilkerson would love to make it difficult on the Packers. Let's see if both get their wish.

Larry from Oshkosh, WI

All the injuries over the last several years the Packers have had, could these have been prevented by more playing time in preseason? And they always seem to come out a little flat. Wouldn't more playing time get them into football shape and have more continuity?

In my opinion, the preseason is much more about evaluation of young players than preparing veterans to play real games. I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

Great picture on Monday's Inbox. It made me think: Care to make a bold prediction by when the current scoreboard surrounds will be full (there is room for three more SB-winning years)?

A fool's errand. Fifty years ago, in 1968, no one would have predicted there'd still be three empty spaces today. It's why we watch.

Brad from Oshkosh, WI

Do we know when the padded training camp practices will be?

The first one will be the third practice, by CBA rules. Beyond that, no guarantees, though I suspect of the 13 open practices from the third one on, including Family Night, the majority will be in pads. In my opinion, the week leading up to Family Night are the most competitive padded practices to watch.

Carly from St. Joseph, MI

In response to David in Sweden who wants his wife to become a fan of the Pack, Lambeau is absolutely the way to go. When I met my husband, I didn't have an NFL team because I preferred college football. After a couple years of force-feeding and one glorious trip to GB (with a trip through the Hall of Fame), here I am a daily reader and sometimes question submitter to the Inbox. Persistence is key, my friend. And tailgating at Lambeau doesn't hurt either.

There you have it.

Chris from St. Louis Park, MN

Thanks for mentioning Jim Irwin the other day. I can recall many of his memorable calls, but the one that has always stuck with me came in the '96 NFC title game against Carolina: "Edgar Bennett with a hole on the right side that you could drive a truck to the Super Bowl through!" His passion was always evident. As a side note, how lucky are Packers fans to have transitioned from Irwin to Wayne Larrivee? Two all-timers, if you ask me.

Only Irwin could make a dangling preposition so iconic, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.

Packers CB Davon House celebrates his birthday on July 10. Take a look at photos of him from this past year.

Austin from Caledonia, WI

Spoff, do you believe in Jesús?

Indubitably, and it would be a shame if the league leader in homers is left off the All-Star team. He proved he's human in the late innings last night, just to be clear.

Mark from West Bend, WI

Spiff, Brewers trade for Realmuto or Machado, reason for and against. And going back awhile, bad calls in baseball, ball four on Peter Ladd against Willie McGee in the '82 World Series.

This Machado stuff is getting interesting. It all depends on what Baltimore will demand. The Brewers have developed, comparatively speaking, so little quality starting pitching through their own system over the years it would be tough to part with too many top minor-league arms, but here's the added layer – with the Machado suitors almost exclusively in the National League, should the Brewers be willing to give up more to prevent another NL contender from landing him? I don't know the answer to that question.

Josh from Denver, CO

Joe Buck seems to get a lot of criticism for his "monotone" commentary. While re-watching Super Bowl XXI, I was surprised at how the play-by-play by Pat Summerall seemed much less energetic than Buck's. Touchdowns and big plays were announced rather matter-of-factly. Have commentators generally changed styles over time, and have fan expectations changed as well?

Simplicity was Summerall's hallmark, in my opinion. "Aikman … Irvin … touchdooowwn Dallas." Back then, everything felt more natural. Nowadays, lines and delivery are more contrived. There's a whole cottage industry of media evaluating the media. Right or wrong, it drives change.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Which RB would you give the ball to at the 2-yard line? Rip and QB sneak are off the table. Who do you have the most confidence in to get that ball over the line?

I want to see how Aaron Jones' rebuilt lower body looks in a real game. I also want to see a healthy Montgomery again in a short-yardage situation. I'm not deciding now.

Dave from Comer, GA

I see no player was given No. 87 this season. I'm glad of that. Do you think that was intentional as Jordy was such a fan favorite? And who makes those decisions anyway?

The GM does. Some separation is good for the soul.

Anthony from Covington, KY

Spoff, did you really have to bring up the Kewaunee/Lancaster game? I was on the Kewaunee team that was jobbed out by that call. It inspired me to begin refereeing high school sports. I know that having replay for every game and every call is not feasible at the high school level, but given the ubiquity of technology nowadays, isn't it a bit unfair to the fans and referees to not allow them video replay for playoff/championship games? "It's always been like that" is an increasingly lazy answer.

College and professional sports are billion-dollar industries. They're in a different world, and not everything has to trickle down. Growing up, if I had a nickel for every time my father told me life isn't fair, I never would have run out of candy. The sooner we learn whatever lessons we need to, the better. You answered your own question. You were inspired to officiate prep games, for peanuts in pay I'm sure. Those are the results that matter.

Rick from Albuquerque, NM

For me, Minnesota at GB in Week 2 with a new DC for GB and new QB for MN may well be crucial for the division championship. Who makes the most gaffes for MN? QB and OL on calls or timing with receivers? Who makes the most goofs for GB? Defensive vets reverting to old playbook during unexpected situations, or young players trying to execute a bigger playbook against a strong team? Who adapts best?

Week 2 at Lambeau will be a big game. I suspect Week 12 in Minneapolis will be bigger.

Simon from Santa Clara, CA

I love the questions where you don't answer the question. So what color socks are you wearing today?

Have a good Tuesday, everyone.