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Inbox: That might be a new one

It’s pretty wild how it all comes together

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

TK from Grafton, WI

It's hard for me to say what I like best about II, but the complete absence of fake funk is a big one.

I'm not entirely sure what real funk is, let alone the fake version. But we do our best.

Niels from Bridgetown, Barbados

In the last "Unscripted," you guys discussed faces of the NFL on the same team. How about Jerry Rice and the 49er QBs? GPG


Rod from Ephrata, PA

Will the defense mature faster than the offense did last year?

I believe the odds of that are good considering there won't be as much youth on defense this year compared to that on the offense last year. The defense likely will have two rookie starters, but there's a lot more experience overall on that side of the ball for this transition, which is less about scheme and more about play style anyway.

Brian from Sussex, WI

How much does a new DC impact rookies earning playing time over veterans?

There's a lot we don't know about this new defense, but if there's one thing I do know it's that the best players are going to play. Playing time will be earned across the board. Doing it any other way risks undermining the entire locker room.

Jeff from Wauwatosa, WI

Hi II, I know Kenny Clark is excited about playing in Hafley's defense but I would bet Quay Walker is really excited. I'm hoping Hafley uses him like the Cowboys use Micah Parsons.

I fully anticipate Hafley & Co. figuring out how to best utilize Walker and get the most out of him. I mentioned this back in January as an expectation for the next coordinator before the new hire was even made.

Dave from Waterford, OH

The other hidden benefit of an aggressive attacking style defense? An offense often times loses its rhythm, not only on drives that cannot be sustained as they might be accustomed to, but even if they score quickly on a big play, they can never settle into any kind of rhythm because they're never putting together a series of plays that allows them to gain a semblance of flow and comfort. So, come crunch time, they have nothing to hang their hat on when a critical conversion is needed.

I'm not sure I buy all of that, because hitting on a big play can loosen up the defense and create opportunities elsewhere. It's a game of constant adjustments. But creating a sense of discomfort with the style of play is definitely a defensive goal.

Paul from Franklin, WI

Guys, during practice does our offense play against Hafley's 4-3 defense or will the defense line up the way our next opponent will be doing? I've often wondered how our practices are structured offensively when there are so many different variations they could see defensively. Thanks for all you do.

In training camp, the first units will compete in 11-on-11 running their own stuff. Once game prep starts in the regular season, the No. 1 offense and defense go mostly against scout teams, respectively, with a competitive period against one another mixed in on occasion.

Lori from Woodbury, MN

Whom do you see competing for punt returner this year? That is such a unique role. You have to be uber confident, fearless, and a little bit crazy to catch a ball while massive bodies are racing full speed towards you.

Keisean Nixon and Jayden Reed are at the top of that depth chart for me until further notice.

Sean from San Diego, CA

I realize a new contract with Jordan Love can come anytime between now and next year, most likely sooner than later, but I did not think it would come before June. My understanding is we have money coming off the books in June. Wouldn't your expectation be after the money frees up?

I'm sure that's been part of the thinking as this process has unfolded. But I'll say this now – no matter what we hear over the next couple of months, I will have zero concern about Love's contract getting done in due time. It's going to get done. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.

Jeff from Puyallup, WA

Sigh, Tonyan to the Vikes...

He initially signed as a UDFA in 2017 with the Lions, so he's now been under contract with every NFC North team.

Adrian from Chula Vista, CA

Is there a ceiling for QB pay? Goff, Burrows, and Mahomes are all $50M men. Jordan Love will soon join them. Even though that is a ton of money, they all have proven themselves in both the regular season and the playoffs. My question: Has Dak Prescott done enough to warrant joining the $50M club? He has shown that he can win in the regular season, but has consistently imploded during the playoffs. Once you have your franchise QB, you keep him. But, is Dak worth it?

Because he's in the final year of his current deal in 2024, I think there's a decent chance Prescott becomes the first $60M QB in the NFL. I just don't know if he'll get that money from the Cowboys or someone else. But he'll get it the way QB salaries keep escalating.

Brian from Maple Grove, MN

If both Clifford and Pratt put up good stats this preseason and look good, can you see the Packers keeping three QBs on the active roster? I know Pratt was a seventh-rounder, but most draft prognosticators projected him as a third- to fourth-round pick.

When the time comes, if the Packers aren't comfortable losing Pratt to a waiver claim, they won't expose him. A lot will depend on everything else that goes into the roster-building process, though. One decision or set of decisions can certainly influence others.

Ross from Hudson, WI

I would think the quick turnaround between games is more difficult on the defense. How much is a game-by-game scheme predicated on what the other team does and how much is just line up and play? Can any team just line up and play anymore?

If you aren't studying your opponent, you're putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage. There is less studying and more "line up and play" on those really short weeks, out of necessity, but the game happens too fast and isn't long enough to go in blind and adjust entirely on the fly.

Kellie from Hallandale Beach, FL

Mike, in reference to your reply to "Paul from Ledgeview" stating that Green Bay doesn't have enough hotel rooms to house 100,000 people, I recalled that when Jacksonville hosted Super Bowl XXXIX the city brought in cruise ships to address their room shortage. Could not the same be implemented in and around the waters of Green Bay?

There's talk of doing that for the draft in late April, but that's not feasible in February for a Super Bowl with all the frozen waterways up here. No way to get the ships in.

Brian from Fort Atkinson, WI

Good morning, I read an article months ago and have been saving this for now. It was about the PGA average viewer age being in their mid-50s and the PGA realizing they could have a future problem. It then went on to say the NFL national audience was in its early 50s on average, while the average viewing age for streaming NFL games is mid-40s. Like it or not the younger generation's viewing habits are different than us 50-somes. Do you think the NFL really has a choice but to stream?

Nope, which is why I mentioned that weeks ago when this whole conversation started about the Brazil game being on Peacock.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Not a question, but an observation. I was curious how the NFL schedule is developed each season. I just read "creating the NFL schedule" on the NFL Football Operations website. Wow! Thousands of computers spit out thousands of possible schedules, which are then reviewed by six NFL executives to determine the best schedule. There are so many external and internal factors to consider! It's a mind-boggling process and a very interesting read!

It's pretty wild how it all comes together.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

49ers-Dolphins-Lions stretch. Prediction? Pain.

Clubber Lang's iconic line aside, I don't know if I've ever seen the Packers scheduled to play three playoff teams from the previous season in a span of 12 days. That might be a new one.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, I'm wondering if the schedule makers took into consideration the effect the schedule may have on marquee rookies like Caleb Williams. Not having division games until Week 11 allows Williams to be more acclimated to the NFL and keeps the intrigue going longer. It is certainly the NFL's hope that he will be a longtime star in the league. Even the Steelers, who have the same schedule oddity and are a premier franchise, have QB questions that should be worked out by Week 11.

I don't think those particular schedule anomalies had anything to do with those specific teams. But Mike North, the NFL's VP of broadcast planning, told reporters on a video conference call that the league might look into loading up division games late in the schedule as a general approach in coming years.

Adilson from Rotterdam, Netherlands

The 49ers rematch late in the afternoon and the Texans with C.J. Stroud at 1 p.m. ET? I guess I have to reevaluate my stance on the NFL wanting to do anything for ratings.

The networks get to prioritize certain games in the process, so FOX probably spent a chip on the Packers-49ers playoff rematch to prevent it from going to primetime. Multiple folks asked about the Texans game being at noon CT. I wondered as well, until I looked at the rest of the Week 7 slate. The 3:25 p.m. national game that day is the Super Bowl rematch between the Chiefs and 49ers.

George from North Mankato, MN

What do you make of the NFL and their little "nuances" to the schedule? The Jets get a record number of primetime games because of "that guy" who owes us one. Then the Chiefs and the Swifties catch a break during her tour to have her likely in attendance at the Bills game. I know it's a business but these seem like huge money grabs with a blatant disregard to other teams. Your thoughts?

Putting the phrases "huge money grabs" and "blatant disregard" in the same sentence is a clear signal the subject is professional sports.

Craig from Sussex, WI

Both of you frequently bring up the hassles of travel, arriving back home in the middle of the night from a faraway road game. At least NFL players and coaches have a week to recover. If you play in the NBA you arrive at your next destination in the middle of the night and then you have to play a day later and you do this repeatedly throughout the season. Baseball players are living out of hotel rooms for half of the season! Imagine living like that.

From a players' perspective, every situation has its drawbacks, but what NFL players put their bodies through physically just doesn't compare. There's a reason baseball can play 6-7 games per week and basketball has 2-3.

Theresa from Sylvania, OH

Kudos to the social media team again for a great schedule release video. Please tell me there is an outtakes video coming soon! In all seriousness, with the bombardment of news coming out the day of the release, I found myself more appreciative than ever on the Packer news team content and the lack of grammatical and spelling errors in your published material. I'm curious, do you have additional editors reviewing documents before they are published?

Nope. If it gets past me, it's on me.

Joshua from Appleton, WI

When will we see you guys wearing the clown outfits again?

No promises. Happy Monday.

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