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Inbox: Oh, it'll happen

If it could be taught, the ability wouldn’t be so rare


Aaron from Chico, CA

As a writer, does it bother you to see the almost complete collapse of punctuation used in texts, social media, and even on national news broadcasts? I am constantly harping on my girl to use proper punctuation, even in text messages.

I'm less concerned about those who do not care in a given moment than those who do not know any better.

Ron from Geneva, IL

Comparing Freeman and Brooks is like splitting hairs? Brooks had two years with over 900 yards receiving and scored 32 TDs over eight years. Freeman had five years with over 900 yards receiving and scored 61 TDs. Injuries are what they are but you can't say they were even close in production.

I wasn't asked to compare their production, I was asked who was considered the better player. Talent-wise, I don't think there's much that distinguishes the two, and I mean that in a very complimentary sense.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Just read the Moment No. 22, Fourth Crown. I noticed there are 27 players in the team photo and two coaches. My how the times have changed. It is hard to keep less than 27 people off your injury report today! Any interesting stories or insight into the growth of roster and coaching staff sizes over the years?

I know roster limits were still in the 30s as recently as the early Lombardi years, and the limit didn't crack 50, I don't believe, until about 25 years ago. The more interesting thing to me is when training-camp rosters were unlimited through much of the '70s and '80s. When I used to attend the Bears' practices in my hometown as a kid, it never occurred to me that well over half of those players were not going to be on the team when the regular season started.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

Just realized I can read the Insider Inbox with my phone flipped sideways now, thanks! I enjoy using that pop socket thing and being lazy and not holding my phone, so this small change excites me.

We aim to accommodate all forms of laziness.

Take a look at photos of Packers fans as we celebrate Fan Friday.

Rafael from Upland, CA

Watching some of Aaron's first starts, it appears he used his entire body to throw some absolute lasers. Nowadays, he seems to merely flick his wrist to get the same amount of velocity. How the heck does that happen? Can that stuff be taught, or is it natural ability? I remember Favre using his entire body until the day he stepped away from football, which is why I ask.

Rodgers has developed a lightning-quick release over the years, and somehow he harnesses all the power in his arm and shoulder in a fast, compact manner. Only a few can do it like that. I look at it as natural ability that's been honed and refined. If it could be taught, the ability wouldn't be so rare.

Zach from Rochelle, IL

I feel like for every era of the Packers organization there has been a "consummate Packer," if you will. I think that Jordy was definitely that guy, but with him gone, who do you see taking that position?

I think the Packers have had several in the locker room at the same time over the last handful of years. Aside from the face of the franchise, Crosby, Tramon and Cobb all fit the bill, and I'm sure I'm neglecting someone.

Edward from Canton, SD

With all of the recent discussion of the longest pass, longest run, etc., I am surprised no one mentioned the "longest drive in Packers history resulting in points but not a TD." In a 2007 MNF game at Denver, the Packers started one drive from their own 1- or 2-yard line, drove all the way to the Broncos' 1-yard line, stalled and had to kick a short FG to tie the game. No. 4 hit Greg Jennings with a bomb on the first play of OT and the Packers won. Probably the last time the Pack won an OT coin toss!

I had to go back to my '07 archive and pull out the play-by-play to refresh on the details. The drive actually was in the second quarter. Cutler fumbled on the 1, and the Packers took over, driving 98 yards in 14 plays to kick a 19-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead. Here's the most amazing thing about that drive - the Packers faced only one third down, converting a third-and-3, before getting stopped on third-and-goal from the 4.

Nate from Plymouth, MN

Hi Insiders, I was watching World Cup soccer yesterday and neither team scored a point until well into the second half of the game. That, along with all the talk of rare football happenings and one-point plays, got me thinking. We know that NFL games can end in a tie, although it rarely happens. Has a game ever ended tied 0-0?

It's happened eight times in Packers history but not since 1936, and dozens of times in NFL history but not since 1943.

Bret from Port Angeles, WA

Weirdest score ever was the Rams beating the Buccaneers 11-6 in the 1999 NFC Championship Game.

That was a weird one. Long live Bert Emanuel.

Andrew from Memphis, TN

While always a good read, an extraordinarily interesting article from Cliff about Lambeau's reputation. I have never before heard anything derogatory regarding Lambeau's character, much less the scathing remarks mentioned in the article. A little difficult to put Pandora back in that box for me, but is there any player or coach that y'all have since heard stories which have changed your perception of his legacy?

It didn't change his legacy for me, but because he was my childhood hero, I admit there were some parts of Jeff Pearlman's excellent biography of Walter Payton that were difficult to read.

Eric from Erie, PA

I would like to hear "Say, Geronimo" played after every one of G-Mo's catches this year. When did the Packers start using the song "Bang on the Drum All Day" as the touchdown-scoring music?

I don't know after which specific touchdown or during which game it was heard at Lambeau for the first time, but the Todd Rundgren tune has been used since the mid-1990s. By the way, when my wife is in the stands and I'm in the press box, we have a contest to see who can text "Geronimo" to the other the fastest as soon as the lyric "Say, Geronimo" starts. If my daughter ever gets in on the game, I'll lose every time.

Col from Ludlow, UK

Being a little too young for the Ice Bowl, the most memorable touchdown I have seen would be Favre in the dying seconds in Milwaukee against the Falcons, for all sorts of reasons. It was great to see it included in the 100 Seasons section a week or so ago. Do you have one clear favorite from your lifetime at all?

First NFL game I ever attended, Dec. 9, 1984, Packers-Bears at Soldier Field. Both teams were banged up at the QB position. Payton threw a TD pass and an interception for Chicago. But the favorite TD was Green Bay's game-winner, 43 yards from Rich Campbell to Phil Epps with 34 seconds left. I'll never forget it.

Hal from Lanesboro, MN

When I was very young, my dad took my younger brother and me to see the Giants play the Redskins in NYC. We had "great" seats somewhere near the 50-yard line behind the Giants' bench. This was the game where Y.A. Tittle tied the record for most TD passes in a game - seven - but all we saw was the backs of the Giants players and, more frequently than I could have imagined, the ball arcing through the air. My question is, do you think anyone will throw more than seven in a game ever?

Oh, it'll happen. Rodgers got six in one half not long ago, and we just saw 84 points scored in a Super Bowl, so it'll happen. In all the research fun this week I came across the record for most interceptions in a game by a QB - eight, Jim Hardy, Chicago Cardinals, 1950. One week later, he threw six TD passes. Go figure.

Scott from Dallas, TX

The other day, my son asked me a question that I think I know the answer but I'm not sure. If a pass hits the goal post, is a player (receiver/defender) able to catch it or is it a dead ball? My guess is that it's still in play.

Nope, it's a dead ball. The base of the goal post touches the ground out of bounds, so any ball hitting the goal post and staying in the field of play is dead.

Jacob from Kansas City, MO

Hello Insiders, most people threw a lot of blame onto Hundley last season, but I thought it was mostly unfair criticisms as you can't expect anyone to be Rodgers. He had his moments, such as battling Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in the national spotlight to the very end. Most people have him written off with the Kizer acquisition, but I still think it's Hundley's spot to lose. Can you share your favorite Hundley moment from last season?

The back-shoulder TD throw to Adams at the front pylon in the fourth quarter in Chicago. I thought that would be the turn-the-corner moment.

Brad from Minneapolis, MN

Hey Insiders, is it possible for a team to possess the ball for an entire half? I think it's possible. As long as the defense gets penalties that gives the offense first downs. If it's not too hard to research, what's the biggest difference in time of possession between two teams in a game?

Time of possession did not become an official stat until 1977, and the NFL Record & Fact Book does not have any official records for the stat. I did find that in a 2009 game, Peyton Manning's Colts had the ball for only 14:53 and beat the Dolphins, the lowest TOP for a winning team since the stat has been kept.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

You guys have mentioned using available cap space this year towards Rodgers' new contract, to lighten the cap hit in future years. That got me thinking, is it possible Rodgers and the Pack are waiting until after cut-downs to see if there are any cap causalities, then using that savings towards the new deal?

I think the Packers would like to absorb as big a cap hit as they can with the new deal this year, but I don't think they're waiting to find more cap to apply, as you suggest.

Erik from Penfield, NY

Hey Mike, I think it was around 25 years ago, a Green Bay defensive player intercepted the ball in the end zone and took it all the way to the house. I joined Packer Nation in the Majkowski era, and don't remember the leap. Was that a record then, as I'm sure I've seen it tied or broken since? Thanks for the great work, and any research this takes.

In 1984 against the Rams, Tim Lewis intercepted a Jeff Kemp pass and returned it 99 yards for a TD, breaking a team record for longest INT return that had stood for 34 years (Rebel Steiner, 94 yards, 1950). In 2008, Aaron Rouse matched Lewis' record with a 99-yard INT-TD against the Colts and Manning.

Bob from Queen Creek, AZ

Was checking out NFL Network and watched a clip on most dominating returns and it got me wondering. How many returns for touchdowns did Travis Williams have for the Pack?

I know the Inbox has a lot of Williams fans. Six total, five on kickoffs. Four of those kickoff-return TDs came in his rookie season (1967). It still stands as a single-season league record for rookies, and it's also the single-season league record, period, shared by only one other player, Chicago's Cecil Turner (1970).

Christian from Washington, IN

I see people bring up the question of who could be the surprise cut at cut-downs ever since Sitton was let go. Of the roster right now, who could be the surprise cut at the end of camp?

If anyone is able to predict it, how could it be a surprise?

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Who do you think has the potential to be the next Gunner Janis? I think it is critical someone emerges to carry the torch.

The Packers appeared to have a lot of players working on the gunner drills during OTAs. I don't think we'll get a read on who will emerge until we see a few preseason games, and how roster spots and roles shake out. For example, I think Josh Jones could be really good at it, but if he's going to be playing a lot of snaps on defense, I'm not sure you want him busting it 60 yards down the field on a punt and then having him line up for first down on defense right away.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Spoff, any tips or words of wisdom from coaching your daughter's team? I've volunteered to coach a kids' basketball team and welcome any advice!

Tell the kids, and their parents, the priorities are to have fun and become better players. If you stick to those priorities as a coach, you can let the rest fall as it may.

James from Chicago, IL

You and your buddy are watching the game. The score is 9-7 when you realize you're out of beer. You make a run over to Kwik Trip to get another 12er of PBR. When you get back the score is 11-10. Your buddy says, "Both teams hit a field goal." How is that possible?

OK, I'll bite. Have a good weekend, everybody.