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Inbox: Opportunity abounds there

Part of the mystique of the play

S Christian Uphoff
S Christian Uphoff

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Hey Mike, my son just got married and their choice of dance music introduced me to some new bands. I looked into one called Vampire Weekend and found they have a song titled "Oxford Comma." So I guess they have that goin' for them?

Which is nice.

Ian from Cumbernauld, Scotland

Suggestion. It seems to me a sailor would call this time of year "the doldrums," no movement, not a breath of wind and calm seas. Well, two out of three isn't bad.

Maritime ideas were popular with this topic.

Eugene from Neva Corners, WI

How about "low tide" for this time of the year.

Nah, too Bama-ish.

Bill from Stevens Point, WI

A suggestion. Naval Academy Midshipmen (I am a USNA grad) call the timeframe between Christmas and spring break the "Dark Ages" for the dreadful cold weather and short days, compounded by academics and end of football season. May be apropos to the "void" before training camp.

That might work. It would speak to how often I'd prefer to have my computer off while I take time away.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

I'm much more disappointed in Wes than I am in Dar from Mansfield. Do they not remember the "lightbulb heads" solid yellow helmets? Or how about rewatching Donald Driver's replay of his amazing TD against the 49ers when he refused to be his brown throwback helmet.

For the record, the solid yellow helmets were just the regular helmets with the logos and stripes removed, I believe. And those brown throwbacks were actual leather helmets, right? Weren't they?

Mike from Cascade, ID

Happy Monday II, like a lot of Packers fans, I'm excited about our defense this year. I know you only have the OTAs to judge it by so far, and training camp will bring more clarity, but do you have any feelings on how well and how quickly the defense will gel and come together?

Normally, I'd be more cautious with a new coordinator coming in. But I don't have as many reservations about this changeover for a couple of reasons. One we've already talked about at length, that all the other defensive assistants are back. But also, barring injury, they're only asking one newcomer – first-round pick Eric Stokes – to play a significant role, amongst the top four corners. Everyone else is back, with several young players (Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, Krys Barnes, Kamal Martin) not fully established and still hitting their stride at this level. There's reason to be optimistic the transition will have fewer bumps than most.

Dylan from Cary, NC

Did the team stay at St. Norbert for training camp last year?

No, and I don't believe the NFL's protocols will allow it this year, either.

John from Livermore, CA

In your opinion, who do you think is poised to have that "breakout" year?

If 6½ sacks last year (including playoffs) doesn't count as a breakout, then my answer is Rashan Gary. Otherwise, it's an easy call to say AJ Dillon.

Jeff from Woodridge, IL

I read that the Packers are also going to go to electronic tickets. I've not ever used an electronic ticket to an event before, but assume it's like airline boarding passes. This would mean that all of the people hawking tickets around Lambeau Field on game days (buying or selling) goes away right?

Pretty much. All transactions between fans have to be online now.

Ed from Appleton, WI

Why did the front office waste the talents of a Hall of Fame QB and NOT attempt to get better players and actually TRY TO WIN? On the same note, why did you coddle Aaron Rodgers then face slap him? You did the same to Favre, 40-plus years a fan, I'm DONE! I'm sorry but this team is the whiny child of the NFL. Poor me! Go back to 2-14-0 seasons, and half-full attendance. Maybe then you'll get it!

Bye. Oh, wait. You should know in the era of 16-game regular seasons (1978-2020), the Packers never went 2-14-0. The team's worst record was 4-12-0, which it posted four times (1986, '88, '91, '05). OK, now bye.

Michelle from Ringgold, GA

What was the most positive thing to come from the Packers' OTAs this year?

Nobody sustained a serious injury, to my knowledge.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Insiders, I know pads have not gone on yet, but can you tell me what you have seen in Christian Uphoff? It seems to me the safety room would be very hard to get into to make the team.

I will admit I didn't see enough of Uphoff this spring to form an opinion, but I would disagree with your take on the safety position. Opportunity abounds there. After Adrian Amos and Savage, maybe Will Redmond has an inside track on another spot as a veteran and special-teams regular, but after that there's not much separating Uphoff, Vernon Scott, Henry Black and Innis Gaines, and at least one if not two should make the 53.

Sean from Boulder, CO

To follow up with Bill from Wilmington, how awesome is it to see players reach across enemy lines to develop their tools of the trade (credit to Von Miller) together? Considering the potential pitfalls due to injury risk, do you think the league would sanction this officially? I'd hate to see an injury go unpaid, as is often the case with off-premise injuries. In the end, the Kittles and Adamses of the world can learn as much from others as they can from him, and a rising tide raises all ships.

I think it's cool and collegial and all, but there's no way the league would ever get involved. Not a chance.

Dale from Lima, NY

I was checking out some of the jersey countdown photos, and it got me thinking. Which number has been worn by the most great players? For example, both Lofton and Driver wore No. 80. Is there a number that has been worn by more Packers superstars?

The first two that always come to mind for me are 87 (Willie Davis, Robert Brooks, Jordy Nelson) and 75 (Forrest Gregg, Ken Ruettgers, Bryan Bulaga).

With 77 days until the regular-season opener, looks back at those who have worn No. 77 in Green Bay.

Richard from Farmington Hills, MI

The reference to Micah Hyde's missed interception of Kaepernick late in that playoff game brought to mind the too many failed-interception snafus that the team has suffered over the years. And there was yet another in the Tampa Bay game as Redmond dropped an easy one at the end of the first half just before the TB long pass for the TD. So many missed opportunities over the years.

Painfully, yes. Shields in Arizona in '15, the slide the year before. That's enough for today.

JR from East Moline, IL

I'm glad Mike mentioned those great SB plays because I was thinking about those the other day. I have to go with Ben to Holmes. It wasn't a bad QB read like Butler's or Harrison's, or recovery from bad throw like Edelman, or some luck like Tyree/Manning. Ben's ball could only be in one place and it took every inch of Holmes. It was good coverage, but perfect execution by Ben and Holmes at the biggest moment.

I'm still not 100% convinced that second toe was down, though I'm also not convinced it wasn't. Part of the mystique of the play to me.

Dan from Toledo, OH

I didn't mean to say the executives won't consider Green Bay (e.g. the NFL Draft), I just meant if the league has a choice between Vegas and LA or Green Bay in February, I would think they would choose the warmer climate. But I also hope Green Bay gets its chance to host the combine.

Everything is indoors, so if climate is factored into the traveling combine equation, then a whole bunch of NFL cities (Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, New York, etc.) would be ruled out. It'll come down to other factors.

Erwin from Leesburg, GA

Spoff and Wes, you live in a magical world which suspends time and allows you to cover not only the Pack but any other team and sport excluding baseball. What team would you chose to cover and why? Thanks for all the fun you two provide as well as the education and information on our Packers!

My answer to this is always the Miracle on Ice team at the 1980 Olympics. Another high on my list would be the 1983 N.C. State Wolfpack basketball squad.

Max from Ingolstadt, Germany

Hey guys, do you think the Rams trading for Matt Stafford and the 49ers expensively trading up for Trey Lance were triggered by the way Rodgers performed in this style of offense last year?

No. I just think those teams wanted better quarterbacks.

Rick from Brookfield, WI

Wes/Mike, given David Bakhtiari's comments regarding the toll the season takes on players' bodies (not to mention Thursday night games), wouldn't a second bye week mitigate some of the wear and tear?

This is often suggested by fans/readers, but players already have lost one week of their offseason to the 17th game. I'm not aware of any interested in losing two.

Robert from Saginaw, MI

How about some love for Wisconsin native and former Badger Cole Caufield going to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Montreal Canadiens.

Some are arguing they don't get to the doorstep of a championship without the rookie's late April arrival. What an impressive start to what looks like a promising career.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

I had a pretty good run of questions being answered. But I seem to have hit a dry spell. Should I just wait 'til the preseason starts?

Up to you.

Jeff from Watertown, WI

Hey guys, any word on the official announcement of training camp dates? I have a room booked and plan for it to start on Tuesday July 27, as in the past it is the day after the shareholders meeting. I want to be there on Day 1 so I can see 1) if Rodgers is present or 2) I want to tell my grandkids I was at the first public training camp practice of the Packers' third HOF QB in a row! What say you?

We should be getting word on the official training camp schedule any day now. My understanding is the players are reporting for camp on July 27, so the first practice will not be that day. I'm not sure if they will hold a public practice right away the next day, though.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

When the Packers' player liaisons give their informal tours of the stadium and facilities to incoming rookies is the Inbox suite of offices on the tour? Also, the Inbox gets a lot of questions regarding things Vic used to say or points Vic used to make. Years from now when you're wearing socks with your Crocs and pulling weeds from your lawn in South Carolina, what wise comments or points do you want future Inbox questioners to remember as coming from "old Spoff"?

Ha, on the tour question. Cube-ville on second floor is not on the agenda. Regarding nuggets of wisdom, I'll let others be the judge of any that might stick with them. But if I were to pick one I'd want folks to remember, it's the one I've borrowed many times from James Jones. "The other guys get paid, too."

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Mike Spofford, do ya wanna play hookey and meet me at the ballpark Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? Them Cubbies are deservin' of a good smackdown...

Gonna be there Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, Eddie. If you see me, give a shout.

Blake from Marion, IA

Good morning II. You guys know how we are, we take ideas and run with them (88, laser goal posts, stealing lunches). Do you ever receive a good question but not post it for fear of what it could spin up to? Go Pack Go.

Only when I'm writing two days in a row, like I will be at the start of this week so I can take my little baseball breather. We'll talk again tomorrow. Happy Monday.