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Inbox: No one outside of that room knows

This league can be funny that way

Packers Draft Room
Packers Draft Room

Mark from San Antonio, TX

In response to Dustin from KC, I assumed "II" was the Roman numeral because there are two of you hosting the forum. Then I realized it stood for "Insider Inbox" and my mind was blown (it doesn't take much). I still pronounce it "two" in what's left of my head though.

It doesn't take much, indeed.

Allen from Fairhope, AL

II: The QB2 runs the scout team during the season. Does that mean he and the scout team are supposed to know the Packers' playbook perfectly AND learn some part of a different team's playbook each week? THAT sounds like some mental gymnastics!

Yup. Part of the gig, and part of how coaches find out how much certain players can handle mentally.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

Yosh Nijman signed his RFA tender. Does that mean he's for sure back this season or is there still a window that another team could give him an offer?

He's back.

Jacob from Menomonie, WI

What is the most iconic Packers play/moment from the '90s?

It has to be the early TD pass to Rison in Super Bowl XXXI and Favre running off the field with his helmet raised in the air. Doesn't it?

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

I've never really understood why the NFL implemented Thursday night games. Wouldn't it make more sense to have Saturday games all season (instead of solely in Dec/Jan)? Do you foresee a future in which the Thursday games are replaced with season-long Saturday night games? The players' union would love it from a safety perspective, and I assume average game revenue is higher on Saturdays than Thursdays anyway, so it seems like a win/win for everyone.

Not for college football. The NFL has always been careful about that.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

Hey II, just been thinking about the draft and it got me to realize how crazy it must have been back in the day without all the YouTube, social media, and all other film stuff we have in today's age to get info on a prospect. How in the earth did the Packers scout all their greats in Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke, Willie Wood, Forrest Gregg, etc.? I know the hype of the Golden Boy Paul Hornung. But being a GM today must be easier now when drafting a player (laughing too as this not totally true).

To answer that question I'll direct you to anything Cliff has written on this website or in his franchise history anthology on Jack Vainisi.

Michael from Portland, OR

I seem to recall the Packers playing a preseason or exhibition game in Portland way back when ('60s?) but can't find anything on it. All I get in my search are Packer bars and I already know those. Any intel on the game itself and circumstances surrounding it? Any chance we can get them out here again?

Also for Cliff (but don't hold your breath on an August visit 65 years in the making). All I have at my fingertips in the Packers media guide is that in Lombardi's first season, Green Bay played a preseason game against Philadelphia in Portland on Aug. 29, 1959, and the Packers won, 45-28.

Ian from Kirkwhelpington, UK

Mike, you suggested the Packers lost faith in Casey Hayward after two blunders in that game. Aaron Ripkowski was a favorite of mine who seemed to fall out of favor and out of the league on the back of one fumble where all he did wrong was try too hard. What say you?

I don't equate the two at all. The Packers' offense was simply changing. They went from a receiver as the top running back in 2016 to incorporating two draft picks in '17 as integral pieces at the position, leaving fewer opportunities for a fullback to be a bigger part of the action.

The Green Bay Packers kicked off the first day of the 2023 offseason program inside the Don Hutson Center & the team's weight room.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

Regarding players who got away, this is a futile practice in what-ifs that only saps mental and emotional energy. Like with any relationship that just wasn't up to snuff in life, at some point you just have to move on. Either the player became too expensive and priced himself out of the Packers' realistic price range, or just didn't perform well enough to merit a contract. Sometimes it takes a change of scenery for a player to reach his potential. Sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while.

No argument here.

Steve from Flagstaff, AZ

If size were the reason Reynolds (had speed) failed as a prospect in '99? What makes Will Anderson at 236 pounds best in space off the edge, where he can be a speed rusher? He earned an 84.1 pass-rushing grade in '22 and an 85.3 mark in '21' and Nolan Smith is a modern undersized edge-rusher who, at only 238 pounds, can be a three-down player. In fact, he earned a 90-plus run-defense grade over the past two seasons. So-called can't miss prospects in this draft according to ESPN. Both are small, too!

Well, first off, Anderson is 250-plus, not 236. But Reynolds was drafted to play defensive end on a classic four-man front, not line up as an edge rusher in the sub and hybrid fronts that are so prevalent now. He simply did not have the build to succeed in that more traditional role.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Is it ridiculous to think that perhaps the Packers and the Jets have already agreed on the trade, but the NFL has asked them to wait until the NFL Draft to actually announce and finalize the deal? The purpose would of course be to increase the ratings and overall festivities on such a big stage. Could such an arrangement even be kept quiet until the draft?

I seriously doubt it. No, check that. I unequivocally, wholeheartedly doubt it.

Beno from Machesney Park, IL

When will there be new alternative uniforms again?

The Packers have used their current alternate uniforms for two seasons, so they have three to go with that look before they can design another one.

Ummy from Two Rivers, WI

With all the hubbub about linebackers, defensive ends, etc., wearing single-digit uniform numbers, am I the only one that thinks Zach Tom's No. 50 looks out of place on the offensive line?

He's the first Packers offensive lineman to wear No. 50 in a game since backup center Mike Arthur in the mid-'90s. Before that, it was replacement player Vince Rafferty in '87, and then you have to go back to the Lombardi era (Bill Curry, Bob Hyland). Otherwise, over the last 60 years, it's always been a linebacker number here.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

I was blessed to be in Green Bay last week and take my wife and grandson on the Legendary Tour. So impressive to see so much behind the scenes. Two things surprised me: that the visitors' locker room is not on the field level and that the Lee Remmel Press Box is so big. It is clear the Packers do things in a first-class manner. What other NFC teams would you put in the Packers' company with first-class facilities? Thank you.

I can't speak to any other team's full facilities, but I will say that in most stadiums built in the last 20 years, the press boxes are at least as big if not bigger than Lambeau's.

Gary from Lowell, MI

Patience, will the Packers nation have it to share the Love? I think Jordan Love will be a good leader but he still has things to learn about pro ball. My hope is that fans remember Aaron Rodgers only won six games his first year as a starter. Do you think we will be happy if we get six wins out of Love's first season at the helm?

I don't think anybody would be "happy" with that, but it also depends on how he looks along the way. That said, even with Rodgers showing a lot of positive signs, the 6-10 mark followed by a 4-4 start in '09 had a lot of wolves howling, and that was before social media had become fully embedded in our culture.

Matty from Durango, CO

With a kinda rookie QB I'll guess that the Packers pick somewhere between 5 and 15 next year. The Jets with AR would optimistically be thinking next year's first-round pick might be in the mid-20s to 32nd. Do future trades take into account the likely finishes of the trading teams?

Not officially, but obviously the Jets' situation speaks in part to why the Packers would rather get a pick or picks in this draft rather than the next one. But you never know. The Raiders supposedly took the Bears' offer for Khalil Mack in 2018 instead of the Packers' offer, figuring they'd get a better 2019 first-round pick from Chicago, and then the Bears won the division and the Packers were changing coaches. This league can be funny that way.

Jonathan from Osceola Mills, PA

How likely are Packers to select a quarterback in this draft?


Sean from Vermontville, MI

Mornin' fellas! Jalen Hurts got paid (and good for him!). He now accounts for about one-fourth of the Eagles' salary cap. Do you foresee a day where the NFLPA or the league works to cap the yearly price of individual contracts? It just seems unsustainable to me that QBs will continue to have this much of the team's cap hit each year.

It's not going to change. The union is never going to restrict any specific member's earning power, and promotionally the league wants megastars with mega-contracts. In the immortal words of Capt. Jack Ross, I can't stop it anymore.

Chuck from Richfield, WI

Really loving Tailgate Tour coverage, your Prospect Primers and Cliff's legacy series. The team, Bucks and Brewers are doing their part to energize this snowy week. MLB's pitch clock implementation is making games so much more enjoyable than the 3½-hour slogs of the past. What would be the easiest/best change that the NFL could enact to shave average game times to three hours? A little extra Held's brat grill time before SNF never hurts!

The average is right around three hours now, hence why the league remains very hesitant to expand replay review, which could lengthen games. Reducing commercial breaks would certainly shorten games, but again, that's not happening.

John from Stevens Point, WI

How critical is this draft to the futures of Coach LaFleur and GM Gutekunst?

I see what you're getting at, but believe me, around here every draft is just as critical as the previous or next one. A good draft needs to produce 2-3 mainstays, guys who develop into core players and strong contenders for second contracts. When that doesn't happen, life eventually gets a lot harder for everyone.

Ron from Broken Arrow, OK

Mike, with just over a week before the draft, has the Packers' draft board been set, or does that continue into next week?

I would imagine it's pretty well set by now. The last few meetings might produce a tweak here or there, but barring some earth-shattering news that gets uncovered, the homework is done.

Matt from Waterloo, IA

What is the oddest Packers jersey you have ever seen a fan wearing? In 2008 I almost bought a Brian Brohm jersey before my brother talked me out of it. I can't help but be happy I didn't get it, but also wonder how fun it would have been to wear today and see how many people would still know who he was.

I saw somebody wearing a Harlan Huckleby jersey once. Can't remember when or where, but I know I saw it.

JP from Colorado Springs, CO

Insiders: The Packers have too many needs to trade up or maybe even to stay at No. 15 … Edge, TE, WR, S, QB, RB, OL. The Packers are not one or two players away. Hopefully, they can find a willing trade partner to work with. Granted, if the second coming of Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice , Bruce Smith or Barry Sanders is available at 15, then take him (just make sure you're correct in your evaluation, right :). Otherwise, stockpile picks and try to fill those needs. Thoughts?

You just described everything that makes the draft so intriguing and unpredictable. It's all about how the board looks in the moment, and no one outside of that room knows.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Once we know, will we know, or will we just think we know?

Happy Wednesday.

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