Presented by

Inbox: Teams never have enough

They really don’t have a choice

210526-insider-inbox-2560
Offensive line group

Jeff from Madison, WI

Almost June.

It's been feeling like it outside lately. That's good enough for me.

Jonah from Pine Bush, NY

I think Hod units could become the new metric used at pro days and the combine for weighing players.

It's bound to catch on.

Elliot from Hopkins, MN

Any reasoning for the top five WRs being out for OTAs? Aaron Rodgers fly them out to Hawaii to train?

Not that I know of. LaFleur said he wasn't aware of the position group's absence being coordinated, explaining he spoke to each guy individually.

Paula from Apple Valley, MN

I just watched the Aaron Jones press conference. Aaron handled himself with such grace and poise, despite the fact that he still deeply grieving the loss of his beloved father. Kind of puts the other Aaron situation in perspective.

Couldn't agree more on all counts.

Matt from Burlington, WI

With Robert Tonyan at OTAs does that mean he is signed?

I don't know if he officially signed his tender, or if some provision is in place for him to participate. Everything in this pandemic era is hard to get a handle on.

Sean from Chicago, IL

Good morning Mike! The Packers have spent sixth-round picks on All-Big Ten tackles (Jon Runyan and Cole Van Lanen) the last two drafts, and I cannot figure out why they fell so far. Am I overvaluing the All-Big Ten accolade?

Scouting and evaluation for the NFL Draft focuses on what a player will become, not on what he is or what he's done. I think Runyan fell because he was projected more as a guard, not a tackle, and the Packers might have gotten a steal. I know Van Lanen had some injury issues in college, and some scouts also see him more as a guard. I was taught long ago that player evaluation is like a pie, with every element examined constituting another slice of the pie. Always be careful of focusing too much on any one slice.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike and Wes, what position needs the most depth for an entire NFL season?

If I were to pick one on each side of the ball, I'd say offensive line and cornerback. Teams never have enough capable players at those spots to get through four-plus months of games. Speaking of the offensive line, it's worth pointing out, as I did in my post-practice story, that the Packers' plans until David Bakhtiari returns would appear to feature Elgton Jenkins at left tackle, Billy Turner at right tackle, the rookie Josh Myers at center, plus Runyan and Lucas Patrick first up as the guards.

Chase from Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Good morning team. Does AR12 normally go to voluntary OTAs? Thanks.

For the record, yes, he's regularly attended in past years and earned workout bonuses in his contract as a result. It's pretty clear there was no expectation he'd attend this year.

DT from Bozeman, MT

Aaron seemed pretty specific on what he loved about Green Bay (players including Jordan Love, coaches, history, traditional culture, etc.) but was totally vague regarding what was bothering him so much he was ready to bail on all of the above. Did you pick up on something I missed?

No. I didn't feel his comments really added anything to the discussion, not that I anticipated they would. I don't deny his issues with the organization are real, but I do know utopias aren't.

Quinlan from Mead, NE

When I heard philosophy, my mind replaced it with communication. Communication is never 100%. It is never perfect. Humans are messy. We're bound to make mistakes. I must say I'm even more confused now than before the segment on Mayne's show. I'm just wondering if there's any more grace left in this situation?

We can only hope. I believe if both sides want this to work out, it will.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

So, Rodgers finally talks but doesn't say much. What is going to happen?

Your guess is as good as mine. Wes has said June 8 is the only day he's targeting right now. I don't expect that day to provide any more clarity or move the needle, frankly. Training camp will still be about 50 days away at that point.

Tim from Cameron, WI

Can we divide players' reactions to this Rodgers quandary from regular fans'? Personally, I know quite a few people that have already turned on Rodgers and are ready to move on. We're all human, right? Or are players' reactions simply different as professional businessmen?

I wouldn't say players enjoy drama and controversy swirling around their team. But in this sport especially, every player has a job to do, with other players waiting to take their job if they aren't up to the task. They have to focus on that first. They really don't have a choice.

Rebecca from Madison, WI

Insiders! I am responding to Wes's answer to James from Appleton about Jordan Love. Wes mentioned what he knows of Jordan Love is based on the 10-minute "young guys" period at the end of practice. My interest was piqued about Wes's opinion of what he witnessed. I know it's not much time but just a hint of your first reaction.

I won't speak for Wes, but my initial look last August confirmed Love has an NFL arm, and he's plenty athletic in the way he moves around. Beyond that, we've never had a year like last year where we got less of a gauge on rookie players making the transition to the NFL.

Jacob from Superior, WI

I apologize if this has been asked but I keep seeing articles about Jordan Love not being close to ready. Have you guys seen him yet?

We saw him Tuesday, but continuing the last answer, there's no way Love can be ready in late May of Year 2 after everything he missed last year. No rookie minicamp, no OTAs, no full-squad minicamp, no preseason games in 2020. If he in any way, shape or form was going to be ready without all that, he wouldn't have been available at pick No. 26. Nothing I saw on Tuesday changed my initial thoughts from last summer, but until we see the seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 drills at full speed this summer, no other evaluation from media observers will mean a whole lot.

Tim from Jupiter, FL

Teams should be required to run at least one lateral on offense in every game in which they wear throwback jerseys.

With no replay to determine whether or not it was illegally forward, right?

Carl from Sheboygan, WI

I watch a lot of sports, but mainly football, basketball, baseball, and some hockey. All have implemented some form of video replay, increased the number of referees/umpires, etc., all with the idea of "getting the call right." Of these four sports, which do you think is the toughest to control from a ref/umpire perspective?

I'm not sure what you mean by "control." If you mean fixing bad calls, I think they've all improved officiating in that vein, but all have rules in place that don't allow certain types of calls to be reviewed, and that leads to understandable frustration when mistakes are egregious. Individually with the sports, I don't watch enough hockey to comment, though I do want to catch more of the Stanley Cup playoffs this spring. Football's problem is there are so many moving parts that reviewing one thing (whether or not the QB losing the ball was a fumble or incomplete pass, for instance) often reveals something else that can't be part of the review (holding by an offensive lineman, or hands to the face by a defensive lineman, as examples). For me, baseball and basketball get most annoying when replay shows little things that ultimately decide calls but were never meant to be within the spirit of a review, such as during tag plays on the bases and tipped balls going out of bounds on the court. The law of unintended consequences is inescapable. All that said, the sports have to keep looking at their review systems and trying to improve them. Diligence and dedication are required more than ever, because as I've said many times, getting rid of replay is not an option when the broadcast technology is showing fans at home a different game. The officiating has to match, as reasonably well as possible, what fans are seeing on their TVs or the problems only get bigger. Sorry for the long answer.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Good mourning Mike. I'm curious how the tighter cap for '21 and '22 might affect the normal trades and cuts around the league that take place in the first week of June. Do you expect to see more this year? Less? About the same? Post June 1 transactions just push half the dead money into 2022 so in the end how much does a team actually gain by only ripping half the band-aid off?

In this particular year with the unprecedented drop in the cap, the gain is significant and can help teams keep their guys together through this cap crunch. Potential trades may have been on hold until after June 1 for cap reasons, but how many actually will go through is hard to say. I don't expect the pace or frequency of other roster moves to change, because teams can cut a player and designate it as a post-June 1 move. That's not an option with trades.

Jason from Spooner, WI

With 17 games this year do you think teams will try to play a second QB a little more just to rest the No. 1 guy especially if they have a legit chance to make a run to the Super Bowl?

If a game result is still in doubt, absolutely not.

Andy from Verona, WI

How much of the OTAs are you able to attend?

Yesterday was our only opportunity this week. There will also be one day next week, the full minicamp from June 8-10, and then one more OTA the week after that.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

What is your "go-to" karaoke song?

Ha, good one.

Randy from Benton City, WA

In Hemingway's day it was possible to literally bleed at the typewriter if a key was missed and your finger ended up down among the steel support arms.

That sounds more fun than karaoke to me. Happy Wednesday.

Advertising