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Inbox: Never be sure of anything

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Cam from Pekin, IL

24 more days until the wait is over. With all the questions you guys get regarding who the Packers will select in this year's draft, do you ever wish it was April 28 already?

April’s here. No looking back now. Sorry for the brief delay this morning.

Dale from Caledonia, NY

If you yourself could play any position, at an NFL level of excellence, which position would you want to play?

Long snapper. I could play for a long time, with minimal injury risk, make plenty of money and eventually fade into the ether with no one knowing who I am. What’s not to like?

Matt from Roanoke, VA

Do you foresee the Packers selecting several players from one position again in this year’s draft? The O-line, safety, inside and outside linebacker and TE all lack depth. I'm not sure they can afford to use three picks on any particular group this year.

I would have said something similar last year, and then they drafted three receivers before they took an outside linebacker with their last pick, so never be sure of anything.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

I was watching a video about the top Rodgers comebacks, and I was surprised at how many time over recent history we have been in a situation of 20-0 or close thereto at halftime. While it is cool to watch those comebacks, I am hoping with this new era of coaching we can be more consistent from minute 0 through to minute 60.

I’m not hung up on it. When it comes to wins, they don’t ask how, just how many, and if it’s enough to get into the playoffs, then you’re entering a whole new world anyway. I’m not saying it’s a great idea to live on the edge every week, but no one plays consistent football for 60 minutes in the NFL. Because it’s the NFL. Proving you can win different ways over time can be beneficial.

Brian from Schertz, TX

It seems like baseball is just making up terms now. “Immaculate inning” is a thing? I have never heard that term before. Perhaps being a sportswriter you have. Isn’t that a bit much?

Of course it is, and I hadn’t heard the phrase either, but it has to be called something.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Mike, I have just one question: WHY am I starting to seriously consider spending $370 for an official Christian Yelich authentic home jersey? Maybe it's because he's DA MAN? Wait, that's two questions...

Spend what you want to enjoy this while it lasts. He’s been on some kind of run since last summer. The guy smoked a 102 mph fastball in the ninth inning with the game on the line like he was hitting off a tee. This is just special.

Russell from Deerbrook, WI

With free agency how many Packers have only played for the Packers in the last 25 years or so? I know it's becoming rarer for a player to play for the same team during his entire career like Donald Driver.

I don’t have those numbers in front of me, but it does feel like it’s becoming less and less common. Right now, of the players on the Packers’ roster entering their fifth season or later, only eight have played their entire careers for Green Bay. How many of those will finish in Green Bay? Maybe two, three at most.

Brad from Ann Arbor, MI

T.J. Lang, in a local Detroit radio interview, mentioned he discussed Packers tendencies with the Lions’ coaching staff after he started playing there. The Packers are 0-4 against the Lions since Lang became a Lion in 2017. Coincidence? Or is that just not enough to provide a significant advantage?

Just a hunch, but I’ll bet the Packers playing with a backup QB in three of those four games had a little more to do with the outcomes.

Amanda from Shelbyville, KY

What do we do without Matthews?

Pay other players instead.

Robert from Weehawken, NJ

How will this offseason's spending spree impact the ability to re-sign key free agents next year?

The Packers don’t have an overwhelming list, so I don’t see them being hamstrung financially. A little tighter, sure, but if there was a year to make these moves, this was it.

Eric from Chula Vista, CA

What is PI? I think some fans are overthinking this. What is a catch is difficult because a fraction of a second can alter the perception of a catch. Reviewable PI should be straightforward. Did the contact prevent the receiver’s ability to make a catch? The question isn’t the contact but the impact. Put another way, rubbin’s racing, Harry.

There are going to be gray areas, but this is pretty much what I’ve been saying. If the review focuses on obstruction, not just contact, they can get this right. By the way, sports movie references are fine, but no cheesy sports movie references, please.

Randy from Lebanon, KY

With the retirement of Jordy, T.J. and John Kuhn, which I would consider Packer greats, and then add the coaching changes we seem to be closing the door on an era. Which of these players do you feel are worthy of the Packers HOF/Canton?

I see all three in the Packers Hall of Fame, but sorry, none in Canton.

Megan from Quincy, IL

Who do you have advancing to the Final Four?

I got it half right this year, which is pretty good for me. Virginia and Michigan State came through.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

On any given play in the NFL, there is probably one or more penalties being committed "according to the book."  I believe what the officials try to determine is whether or not the offending player is actually gaining an advantage over their opponent. If so, they'll throw the flag. Easier said than done of course.

Absolutely, and I agree with the sentiment. But I also think when the league annually presents its “points of emphasis,” the stipulation removes some level of judgment and the officials are more likely to flag something simply because they see it. It’s a complicated job, and I don’t envy the officials. That’s why I think using technology to get as much right as reasonably possible is only fair to these guys and the game.

Bruce from Bloomington, IL

The inside hook. It's going to dominate the DPI conversation in the first few weeks of the season. On a deep sideline pattern, the DB hooks the WR's inside arm at about waist level, keeping the WR from having two hands to catch. The side judge's perspective from outside the boundary doesn't allow him (or her) from seeing through the WR's body to see the contact. The camera can see it. Replay NFL games of last couple years and over 50% miss that call (past SB too).

I think a key issue for coaches is how much will they trust their receiver’s opinion on the spot, or will they have to get a good look at a replay (if there’s enough time) to make the challenge.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares some of his favorite images he took of Packers WR Jordy Nelson through the years.

Nate from Amherst, WI

If any head coach in the league had performance results similar to what Al Riveron produced last year, how loud the wolves and how quickly the dismissal. Food for thought.

Preaching to the choir on this one.

Kris from Henderson, NV

Aside from Rodgers and Crosby, are there any Packer players from Super Bowl XLV still playing?

For the Packers? Bryan Bulaga and Tramon Williams.

Tracy from Sioux Falls, SD

Sunflower seeds or peanuts?

In the stands, definitely peanuts, as long as my son isn’t with me (he’s allergic). In the dugout, seeds.

Tom from Columbus, GA

II, can a challenge flag be thrown and then picked up if the coach gets better information before the ref asks him what he is challenging? Like how the refs can throw the penalty flag then pick it up after consulting with each other.

Not that I know of. Tossing the red flag in effect calls a timeout. If the official were to allow the coach to pick up his red flag and not challenge the play, I think he’d still charge him with a timeout.

Justin from Ivins, UT

With as deep as this draft is rumored to be, do you anticipate that the rookie of the year awards are going to have a lot of competition? Or do you think there will be a few that rise to the top as is usually the case in most years?

There probably will be a few that rise above, but this draft strikes me as one with a lot of rookies who are going to play right away. They’ll still have to prove themselves, though.

Simon from Santa Clara, CA

"Over time we’ll get clarity." Really Spoff? When has that ever happened?

I thought we were getting clarity on the catch rule after a handful of years, until Dean Blandino left.

Matt from Rewey, WI

In regards to Dan's question about scoring plays being reviewed and the possibility of a pick play causing PI, can a coach ask that something be looked at on the automatic review?

He can try to drop a hint, but I’m not sure how much good it’d do.

Chris from Urbandale, IA

Did you see the 49ers auctioned off a couple seats in their draft war room for charity? I warned my wife to watch our life savings if the Packers ever did this! Oh, to be a fly on the wall...priceless.

I’m quite certain your life savings is safe.

Rick from Marinette, WI

Will the pack pick at No. 12 or trade up/down? Will they go offense or defense? And don't answer "best available" BS.

If you think BA is BS, I can’t help you.

Jim from Manteca, CA

With the new PI challenge rules, who is watching what to notify the coach to challenge? The coaching staff all have their own players and areas to concentrate on. Do you foresee teams adding a "TV monitor" position to their coaching staffs whose sole duty is to concentrate on the TV views and replays to help the coach make the call?

There is one member of the coaching or support staff in the booth upstairs whose primary game-day duty is to do just that.

Robert from Salem, WI

How do you see the WR positions playing out, particularly in the slot? And do think Moore can make the jump to being a solid contributor this year?

At this point, I can see the Packers trying various guys in the slot until someone emerges with the right chemistry with Rodgers in that position. I’d put Allison as the leading candidate right now in the early stages. Moore can make the jump, but others are going to keep improving as well. It’ll be competitive for playing time.

Christian from Munich, Germany

Hi guys, my first question ever but I was really wondering about this year’s draft. I totally agree that many mock drafts see us picking a TE at No. 12, but there seems a lot of "experts" thinking that we should go with WR with the second pick. In my mind this is the one skill position we have enough depth on the roster. Should we not try to move up a little bit to get a really impact player on defense? What are your thoughts on our picks and/or about trading eventually up on the board?

There’s enough depth at wide receiver, but if another Nelson or Adams is there in the second round you don’t pass him up just to add another defender. You want playmakers, not just players. Rank them, see where they fall. I’m generally not in favor of trading up, but going in with 10 picks it’s a more viable option and I’m not ruling it out.

Andrew from Eau Claire, WI

When there are NFC Championship-quality teams everywhere you turn like the Saints, Rams, Bears, Eagles to name a few, why do we as fans get excited about this consistently underperforming team? The glass isn't half full...even with the Amos and Smiths FA signings, the upcoming draft with all the early picks and having Aaron Rodgers, I see no way to even win the division in the next five years. It's over.

April Fool's! Good morning! Hope is a good thing!

Make it a great Monday.

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