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Inbox: London is one of the few boxes left unchecked

The coaches will know what to expect and have the Packers ready

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Bob from Bement, IL

Wait. Spoff drove to Indy and returned before the combine started?

He's good like that.

Paul from London Town, England

One Brit with two things! Would, could the fact that the Pack are coming to London hold any sway with Aaron Rodgers' decision to stay? With plenty of talk in the II about a pep rally in London, I'm just wondering about the numbers you generally get attending over your side of the pond? I'd have no qualms about suggesting the number of wannabe attendees in London could well be in the thousands, choose your venue wisely gents! Oh, and any tickets you have going spare, can I have first dabs?

London is one of the few boxes left unchecked, for both Rodgers and the Packers. He's spoken in the past on how he wanted to play overseas at some point in his career, so certainly this wouldn't appear to be a deterrent. The pep rallies vary depending on the city, but my biggest pep rally also was my first. I want to say we had like 2,000 fans in Jacksonville in 2016. Maybe Spoff has been to a bigger one.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

How do you think the Packers' coaching staff will prepare the team for the game in London, balancing the need for focus on preparation and readiness to play the game with the novelty of being in London (and the temptation to play tourist and sample the exoticisms of the locale) along with the inevitable effects of a long-distance road game, jet lag, etc.? Seems like it could be a formidable challenge.

Matt LaFleur has coached in London twice before, so he and the coaches will know what to expect and have the team ready. I don't see the tourist thing being much of a distraction, though. Most of these guys are well-traveled. A handful probably have already played there once before. It'll be a cool deal for fans. For players, I think it's just going to be one of 17 games on the schedule.

Matt from Albert Lea, MN

Why is it that the Packers know they are playing in London now but the team they are playing doesn't? Or do they and it just hasn't been announced publicly?

I think last week's announcement was because the NFL is now mandating teams to play overseas every eight years. It's a situation where, "Hey, these are the five teams that are being required to go and we'll figure out the rest from there." This likely was the first step in the schedule-building process for the league.

Luke from Oconomowoc, WI

It's no question that everything in today's NFL revolves around QB1. Keeping all of that in mind, how much harder is the offseason decision-making for the front office given the uncertainty with Rodgers' future?

Not very, Luke. I believe Brian Gutekunst when he says that he, Russ Ball and the front office already have forecasted all the scenarios in their heads. At the end of the day, the Packers are here to win a Super Bowl next year. If it's me, I'm setting my chessboard with Rodgers as the quarterback and will make the necessary adjustments if he isn't.

Heather from Burlington, WI

Will the Packers tag Davante Adams?

We'll let you know in the next four days or so.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

Is this the draft class where we look to an amazingly talented and athletic defensive lineman to help shore up the run defense?

It could be. The Packers haven't invested a Day 1 or Day 2 pick into a defensive tackle since Montravius Adams in 2017. While this draft doesn't appear to have a top-10 interior D-lineman, there is a lot of depth at the end of the first round and into the second.

Mike from Sacramento, CA

Do you have a way-too-early hopeful draft pick? I know Packers say they like to take the best player available. Personally, I hope for big guys in the early rounds.

Unfortunately, the Packers usually pick way too late in the first round for me to answer this intelligently. I'll throw a blind dart the week before the draft, but right now I couldn't tell you. A first-round pick today could easily be a third-rounder in eight weeks. It happens every year.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Hello II, ML mentioned Elgton Jenkins is in Green Bay doing his ACL rehab. Is this done at the Packers facility with Packers medical staff or is this through an independent facility? Do other contracted players have the advantage of having access to team trainers during the offseason? Are contracted players supplied with a conditioning regimen, or are they left to sort this out on their own? Thanks for being the wealth of information that you all are.

That's up to the player. Some choose to stay with the team. Others will have the surgery and rehab at independent training facilities. Bryan Bulaga did both during his time with the Packers. The team's medical staff will give counsel but the decision is entirely up to the player. It sounds like Jenkins has mostly done his rehab with the Packers. It's good to hear it's going well, though.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

In addition for being known for his great coaching work, it seems Tom Clements was also a Heisman finalist, finishing fourth after his senior season. Over the years, the Pack has had their share of Heisman-level players, among them Paul Hornung, Ty Detmer, Desmond Howard, and Charles Woodson. Besides Clements, is there anyone else currently employed by the team that was a Heisman hopeful? I assume Larry fell a spilled coffee mug short of becoming the only center to be considered.

You can throw Danny Wuerffel in the mix, too. I can't think of anyone else currently on staff who was in contention for the Heisman. Tony Fisher should have been, but there's probably some personal bias there on my part.

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi II, how many personnel do the Packers send to the NFL Scouting Combine? Is it a combination of coaches and scouts?

I know things have changed somewhat in Indianapolis but the Packers still send all their scouts and coaches to the combine. The coaches don't stick around as long as the scouts but LaFleur said he feels it's important for his coaches to mingle with players and check out the workouts.

Dan from Eagan, MN

Do you think a player like George Pickens saying he wants to play for the Packers actually impacts his chances that the Packers would draft him?

Sure, but the guy also was answering a question from a reporter about whether he met with the Packers. I would've said the same thing.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Wes, do the talent evaluators look for reasons a prospect's combine performance doesn't equal his game tape, whether good or bad, or do they just chalk it up to the "combine" effect? I would think if someone inordinately helps or hurts themselves at the combine everyone would want to know why.

You have to. Because scouts need to find out whether the red flag is real. If the Packers wrote off Micah Hyde for not running a 4.4, they would've missed out on a real fifth-round find. On the other side of the token, a poor performance at the combine occasionally shines a light on there being a ceiling to a prospect's pro career. You gotta pay attention to all of it.

Shaun from Bayside, WI

The questions regarding the future cap problems seem to forget that the reason the Packers don't/won't have much wiggle room is because of the tremendous talent (David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Aaron Jones, etc.) that is signed for future years. I am sure the Packers would love more cap space but they aren't looking to build a whole roster from free agents. With the salary cap eventually rising, they should be able to have room to sign more of their own (Jaire Alexander, Jenkins, etc.) and maybe a free agent if needed.

The Packers are tight against the cap not because they spent poorly. The reason they're facing these issues is A) because of the pandemic and B) because they have a plethora of elite, homegrown talent. And you want to reward that talent.

Joe from Liberty Township, OH

In yesterday's II, there was a question about Sam Vainisi, Jack Vainisi's younger brother. Jack was largely responsible for bringing Vince Lombardi to Green Bay and for most of the future HOF players on the roster. Only Herb Adderley and Dave Robinson were drafted after his death, and he had already scouted Adderley, so he might've influenced Lombardi drafting him in '61. I've often wondered how the '70s and '80s could've played out had Jack Vainisi still been with the Packers.

You wonder. Not only because of what Jack would've accomplished in his own career but also the lives he would've touched and scouts he would've mentored.

Shane from Philadelphia, PA

In response to a comment from Matt from South Bend about HOF QBs, Mike said, "If the Seahawks hand the ball off to Lynch, Wilson is probably a shoo-in." While I think we all agree they should have run the ball, I think it's strange everyone uses similar language to Mike instead of, "If Russell Wilson does not throw an interception..." It was only second down and Wilson easily could have thrown it away to allow for a run on third down. Wilson always seems to get a "pass" for that mistake.

I owe an apology to Spoff for lighting the fire on this topic.

Dave from Raleigh, NC

Is the team flight/plane the same as most generic flights, or is it modified to give the players more room? If not adjusted, that would be a long flight to London for a lot of our athletes.

Well, it's been a minute since I've been on a team flight so I couldn't really tell you how things changed, or haven't changed, since 2020. In the past, however, there was an open seat between each player to give them some space.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

With all the talk about whether some QBs are worthy of the HOF, is there a minimum number of players that have to be inducted each year so that some players get in just to fill a slot?

There is no minimum but the maximum is five modern-era inductees. And I could not tell you the last time they didn't put in all five modern-era finalists. The voting process consists of two cuts from 15 finalists to 10 and then 10 to five. Once the voters have the final five, it's an up-or-down vote on each guy.

Re from Laramie, WY

Further to the question about the Packers' losses in the playoffs, we should note that to have so many losses, coupled with a good winning percentage, leads to one conclusion. They have had a LOT of playoff games! That should be a reminder as to how lucky we fans are.

Win or lose, you're always entertained. That's what makes the product work.

H.R. from Las Vegas, NV

To follow up on Thursday's response to Richard from Greenwich, NY...you are wrong, Mike. What people want is equity in overtime, which boils down to each team getting ONE possession. If the game is still tied after each team has possessed the ball once, then move to sudden death. It is wholly unfair to have the coin flip decide the winner. Do you think KC would have stopped Buffalo? Do the Falcons win the Super Bowl? What is so hard to understand about that?

Well, the Indianapolis Colts submitted the proposal for each team to get a possession in the playoffs. If there's going to be a change, that's going to be it. Now, it's up to the owners.

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

When do the Packers normally announce the date for the owners meeting?

There's no formal announcement but the winter meeting is the last week of March.

Tom from Mt. Juliet, TN

When a player receives their incentive bonus does that bonus go against the cap? It's a yes or no question.

Then, yes.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

I hope the Packers players have good CPAs to file taxes on their London-based income. Do the Insiders, coaches, equipment staff also have to file taxes in multiple states and/or countries when you travel for road games?

Oh, yeah. It's always a pleasure.

Patrick from Folly Beach, SC

Help me out here. When I was growing up the team colors were always referred to as "green and gold." Now I am hearing references to "green and yellow." I prefer the former. Which is it?

"Green and gold." Unless, of course, Lil Wayne is rapping.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Today I turn 61, my physicians said when I was a teenager my Crohn's would most likely be my demise by the time I was 60. Guess I'm a miracle in a sense. As of today, I had two bowel resections and three major surgeries so hopefully I can prove them wrong for another decade or so!

God bless you, Jeff. Keep fighting the good fight.

Col from Ludlow, UK

You won't find root beer in a pub in my part of the world, Wes. You might need to bring it with you. Perhaps you need to ask the London Insiders for help? Can't wait to see you all soon!

So, I guess it'll be Shirley Temples then.

Todd from Brighton, MI

I don't think anybody that follows the Packers can argue that Coach LaFleur really missed an incredible opportunity. The disappointment is quite palpable and can never be duplicated again. Not asking Larry about his "nether region" in the 1-on-1 interview was a HUGE miss.

Some questions are better left unanswered. I'm going to be stepping away for a bit again. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and I will see you on the other side.

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