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Inbox: No one's going to complain

Hopefully it doesn’t become too reminiscent

DL Kenny Clark
DL Kenny Clark

Nate from Pueblo, CO

Are teams allowed to have their media personnel go to interview a player with a specific question? I think getting Mike and Spoff involved could be a good way to interview more than 45 players.

Get Wes and Hod involved, too, and we could really cover a lot of ground.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

The David Ayres story from over the weekend was pretty cool. I know there's no direct comparison in the NFL, but what do you guys think would compare to that story in the NFL? I'm thinking probably the emergency kicker.

Well, a Zamboni driver becoming the emergency goalie would have to be like a grounds crew member walking out to kick a field goal, right?

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Back when the NFL Draft started on Saturday we always had a draft party. Every time Mel Kiper said "tremendous upside" we had to drink. We actually ran out of beer. Every time I hear that cliche it makes me laugh.

Just once I'd love to hear the analysis of a prospect with "tremendous downside."

Andrew from Madison, WI

In response to JR from East Moline, IL, I can think of at least one other such team/two-quarterback combination to each reach the conference championship four times: the Pittsburgh Steelers have had Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger each reach at least four.

Multiple readers mentioned the Steelers, who were my first thought when I saw that question. The 49ers are another answer, Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Mike, in response to Jennifer from Middleton's comment on the missing tracking of read articles in the app, there is a workaround for now. If one selects "More" and then "All News," the seen items are still shown grayed out.

Just passing this along.

Chris from Frederick, MD

I'm so happy Mason Crosby got his extension. It might just be me, but I've always felt he should be a Packer for his entire career.

I hope that's the case. I hope the guy who's going to put the franchise scoring record so insanely out of reach is also not going to score a point for any other NFL franchise. That would be pretty cool.

Jacob from Madison, WI

Mason Crosby scored 104 points for the Packers last year. If he sustains that average, he'd be 11th on the NFL's all-time scoring list by the end of his contract. What a career. Sorry, that wasn't a question. What a career?

Indeed.

Brian from Montclair, NJ

I will agree that the extra two playoff teams is a terrible idea until we become one of them.

A perfectly valid take.

Dominic from Manchester, UK

I respectfully disagree with Joel from Israel, having a good team like the Rams barely miss out on the playoffs is what makes Weeks 16-17 so exciting. I'm worried lots of teams will start resting players Week 17 to give them a bye week before the playoffs.

That's my fear as well.

Nicholas from Portland, OR

If we're expanding the playoffs to seven teams I feel we're making it way too easy for the No. 1 seed to reach the Super Bowl. They get home-field advantage, and now everyone has played an extra game. I feel that the eight-team playoff is ultimately inevitable with this move. Thoughts?

Yet another fear.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

"Plus, the Packers never have really needed that seventh spot to sneak in." Weston, Spoff may steal lunch and dinner from you at the combine for that one! In 2006, 1999, and possibly 2000, the Packers would've been the No. 7 seed, and each time coming off a four-game win streak to finish the season. And for what it's worth, if there was a No. 6 seed in 1989, the Packers would've been No. 6. I figured I'd save you the research since you're on the road, Mike.

Much appreciated, though in Wes's defense, any seven-team references pre-2002 would have been under a different structure (three division champs, four wild cards). And like any responsible editor, I checked the research and believe the Packers would have lost a head-to-head tiebreaker with Carolina for a mythical seventh seed in '99.

Drake from Huntsville, AL

Do you think we'll ever see another draft like the Steelers had in '74? Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Mike Webster, four of the five first picks.

I'm guessing no. Hard to imagine that happening again.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

Can a player participate in both the combine and his college/university's pro day?

Absolutely, and most do. If there's any test number they feel they could improve, they'll use their pro day to take another shot.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Which second- or third-year players on offense and defense are you most surprised/disappointed have not had a "coming of age" game or season?

I don't want to frame it in terms of surprise or disappointment, because I'm not a scout or decision-maker, and all kinds of circumstances can create crossroads. But if I were to pick the first somewhat veteran player who comes to mind on each side of the ball with a lot riding on the 2020 offseason and training camp, I'd say Robert Tonyan and Montravius Adams.

Jim from Edgerton, WI

With the chatter regarding Green Bay as a potential site to host the 2022 NFL Draft, I have a couple of questions: Where would it be held, and how hard would it be to get a ticket?

I imagine it would be held in the Resch Center or the new expo hall being built adjacent to it, but I have no idea how tickets would be distributed.

Andrew from Graettinger, IA

At what point does re-signing your own affect comp picks? Does re-signing during the legal tampering period not count, e.g. Bryan Bulaga and Cobb a few years ago? What about signing your own free agents during free agency? Say we re-sign Bulaga but let Blake Martinez walk, do they offset assuming similar AAV?

Re-signing your own free agents has no impact on the comp-pick formula, whether you re-sign them before or after free agency starts.

Andy from Verona, WI

Which offensive and defensive position group are you most interested in evaluating at the combine?

Just to be clear, Wes and I aren't watching workouts and evaluating players. We're just covering their media availability, and I generally try to focus most of my attention on positions that appear to be the team's biggest roster needs.

Chuck from Antigo, WI

Will the Packers trade up and draft a WR to help Rodgers?

As deep as this receiver class is purported to be, I don't think the Packers will have to trade up to do so.

Doug from St. Germain, WI

Travel tip No. 1: Wear a rain suit while gassing the car in case of spills. Travel tip No. 2: If you want lunch, stop at a restaurant, otherwise your companions will steal it. Travel tip No. 3: Bring lots of Slim Whitman CDs to keep the Martians away.

Working in that first reference is as hard core as it gets in the offseason.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What division team will be totally different from last year?

Unless the Bears change QBs, the Lions are likely to change the most with their draft position.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

Which do you think is the more pressing need, an improvement in the run defense or better production from the receiving corps?

I felt the Packers' run defense was a hit-or-miss proposition, but the search for a true complement to Davante Adams was an ongoing factor on offense. The fact that he was out for four weeks and nobody jumped forward to seize the job tells me that's the larger concern of the two.

Leandro from Lexington, KY

At what point in Rodgers' career did it become universally acceptable for the media to refer to him as a future-HOF quarterback? Obviously it's an accurate take, but it's also necessarily speculative and represents a rare degree of certainty from NFL pundits.

I would say no one was sticking a neck out there once he won his second MVP in 2014.

Robert from Verona, WI

We spent the weekend in Chicago celebrating my son's 13th birthday, and drove past Soldier Field several times. I can't believe how ugly it is in person. I've seen it many times on TV, of course, but it's worse-looking than I thought. How is it watching a game there? I suppose in the Favre/Rodgers era, the experience there has been pretty good for Packers fans, but I'm wondering about the views of the field, etc.

The press box is terrible, but when I picture myself in the outdoor seats it seems like a decent place to watch a game. From the outside, they took a historic stadium and just made it look really awkward. It's unfortunate.

Randy from Trophy Club, TX

I just don't see the value in low-round draft picks. It seems the Packers get a lot of those picks and, for me, use too many of them. This team needs quality over quantity right now. I say package those 5-6-7 round picks and move up if you can to get more 1-4 round picks. What are the odds of that happening and what are your thoughts?

Picks from the fifth round down generally can't help acquire more picks in the first two or three rounds. They just aren't worth enough. And packaging multiple 5-6-7s for maybe one extra fourth-rounder is rare when on Day 3 of the draft most GMs are inclined to take more swings at the plate to try to find a hit.

Steve from Alexandria, VA

I typically pay no attention to pre-draft speculation, but the crawler on the TV screen the other night made it look like plenty of QBs and WRs go ahead of the Packers' first-round pick, which has me wondering: Under that scenario, how likely there will be some potential "beefy" gems on the board when the Packers are up?

We'll just have to see. The Packers got Kenny Clark at 26 four years ago. If another Clark is there at 30, no one's going to complain.

Dave from Germantown, TN

The Packers paid out about $5 million in bonuses this year for making the active 46-man game day roster. My question is when do these bonuses hit the salary cap? Are they assumed to be paid at the beginning of the year with a "rebate" if the player doesn't earn it, does it adjust during the year as the bonuses are earned, or does the cap hit come at the end of the year when the bonuses are paid?

A combination of the first two, I believe.

Take a look at photos of Packers TE Robert Tonyan from the 2019 season.

Dave from Eau Claire, WI

So many people now want the Packers to draft the successor to Rodgers. I don't for the simple reason that, when we get our next QB, I want him on the field during his rookie contract. That's when a team can take advantage of low QB cost and load a bunch of talent around him. If he blossoms you have a great chance to win it all. Once the QB gets paid, the chances of getting a ring really drop.

The New England anomaly aside, that's what the current game is telling us.

Steve from Las Vegas, NV

With the scheduling quirks that exist in the NFL, I believe that Green Bay will be playing regular-season games at San Francisco during both the 2020 and 2021 seasons. That would make three regular seasons in a row the Pack played on the road versus the same team. Are you aware of that happening before to the Pack? The team better get the West Coast jinx and their run defense figured out by the start of next season.

It's reminiscent of the whole Dallas thing in the '90s, but hopefully it doesn't become too reminiscent.

Jeff from Greenville, SC

Thanks for the interview with Donny Anderson. His was the first football card I remember. Even at my young age having punting and rushing totals on the same card was unusual. Wish I had that card today. What is the first card you remember?

As you can probably surmise, I was a baseball card kid, so my first memory of a great card was Rickey Henderson's 1980 Topps rookie card. I used to take my cards and construct lineups for a dice game my friends and I created on our own (before we moved on to more sophisticated games like APBA and Strat-o-matic), and he was my leadoff batter, so his card was always on the top of my stack.

Will from Oakland, CA

Watching the first "Legacy" documentary, covering 1919-29 and enjoying it greatly! At the 30-minute mark there's a photo of the "Lumberjack Band" and the member in the top row, right, two people over from the sousaphone player, bears a striking resemblance to Spoff. I had to rewind and do a double-take. Are you two reincarnated former Packer enthusiasts?

Oh, boy.

200224-lumberspoff-2560

Lane from Calgary, Alberta

Hi guys, any chance you can stop answering "when are we drafting Rodgers replacement" questions? Anyone who is informed about the state of the Packers shouldn't be asking this question for at least three years. Also, I'm firmly against the league moving to seven playoff teams because it opens the door for possibly an eighth team in the future. Suddenly there's no bye week and half the league makes the playoffs, watering down the product that we love so much. I'll put up with 7-9 division winners over that.

Your submission came in at the tail end of Monday's road trip, so rather than delete a bunch of previous Q/As, I'll just say amen.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

At last year's combine we learned that Spoff had an injury-prone shoulder due to one-strapping his backpack. Has there been any improvement in that area under the LaFleur administration? Has ML's two-strap message gotten through or will this be another year of missed expectations?

Combine week is officially underway. Happy Tuesday.

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