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Inbox: That might've done it

The draft has to be the backbone of the team over the long haul

Former WR Jordy Nelson
Former WR Jordy Nelson

Jonathan from Madison, WI

Dear II, it is not at all boring to be confined at home with my dog but why does one bag of rice have 7,456 pieces and another bag has 7,398?

I was wondering late Sunday night how many leaves were in those piles at my curb. You're hired.

Corey from Bethlehem, PA

If you could choose any Packers greatest moments in history to be at in person, which would you choose? I would have loved to have been at the Packers/Vikings when Antonio Freeman caught the ball while on the ground and still scored.

Well, the Ice Bowl would obviously rank No. 1. I'd also love to see other significant Lombardi-era games – the '60 and '62 title games in Philly and New York, respectively, the controversial '65 playoff game vs. Baltimore, the '66 NFL title game in Dallas. Those would be at the top of my list. The one Favre game I'd wish to see in person was his first playoff game, '93 at Detroit.

Richard from Racine, WI

Is it likely that newly acquired LB Christian Kirksey will be designated as the on field defensive play-caller, especially given his past familiarity with the defensive system our Packers defensive coach had used previously in Cleveland? Might this move really help or slow the overall development of the Packers' defense?

I think there's a good chance of that, and it should help the defense pick up where it left off from a communication standpoint rather than have to start over in that regard.

Hannes from Milwaukee, WI

Thanks to everyone at for keeping us afloat with content to relax our minds during these trying times. Speaking of which, do you guys ever get a chance to talk to Russ Ball? I might be boring but with the cap being such an important part of running a football team I think it would be fascinating to learn more about him and his job (at least a few bits that aren't confidential).

Russ doesn't regularly make himself available to the media, but I've been fortunate to interview him twice – once about a dozen years ago for a website story, and again before last season for a Packers Yearbook feature. There isn't much about his job that isn't confidential, which is why he prefers to stay under the radar. But his career, which included early jobs as a strength coach and video assistant, is fascinating in its own right.

Erin from Bellingham, WA

Anyone else watch the Super Bowl replay on FOX? I legitimately shed tears watching the team celebrate. Perhaps influenced by our current situation, but more so because of my love for this team and how badly I want Aaron Rodgers to win another one! Do you think his career "needs" it? I believe whatever fan base experiences the next championship will be treasuring it more than they would have a few months ago. Sport gives us so much hope.

I did not watch the Super Bowl XLV replay, but I agree with your closing sentiment. As for Rodgers, I don't think his career "needs" anything per se, but a second Super Bowl championship would put him in very elite company. Rodgers is one of nine players with multiple NFL MVP awards, but of those nine, only four have won multiple NFL titles – Brady, Manning, Montana, Unitas.

Will from Stewartville, MN

I was re-watching Super Bowl XLV, and I remember thinking at the time Jordy was so close to having a historic game. Do you think if he didn't have the three drops he would have had a chance at Super Bowl MVP?

I've always wondered that, too. I think he might have. He had 140 receiving yards. More than 162 and he'd have been in the top three in Super Bowl history for a single game. That might've done it.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Even though the start of the NFL regular season is five months away and a lot can happen between now and then, the prospect of attending a game in a packed stadium terrifies me at this time. I am hoping the league and owners will make prudent decisions based on facts and geared towards the health and safety of athletes and fans rather than on making money. Suspend the season? Games without fans? How would you feel about covering games without knowing you are protected from exposure to this virus?

I'm with you, I'm counting on prudent decisions to be made, and given how much has changed in the last three weeks, those who profess to know where we'll be three months from now are kidding themselves. We just have to wait and see. As for me, I'll see what the facts are when the time comes. With that, let me just ask politely for a reprieve from the constant stream of "what if" questions filling the Inbox. I don't know, Wes doesn't know, nobody knows. Conjecture based on speculation is just another layer removed from reality, so there's no point.

Gary from Davenport, IA

I was sad to hear about the passing of Tom Dempsey. Could his kick at sea level be considered the best kick in NFL history? He broke the previous record by seven yards.

Nobody tied it for 28 years, nobody broke it for 43 years, and he kicked it with half a foot. Yeah, I'd say that 63-yarder ranks up there. RIP, Stumpy.

Timmy from Chicago, IL

I saw something that stated Jace Sternberger would be the No. 1 tight end in this year's class. Sometimes foresight can be a ladder between draft classes?

Interesting way to look at it.

John from New Richmond, WI

Hello Insiders, which type of wide receiver do you think would make a greater impact for the Packers' offense: a slot receiver or a big target on the outside?

Whoever's going to get open more and give defenses another concern to game plan around aside from Davante Adams. I don't care where he lines up. I just want him to produce.

Robin from Racine, WI

Who are the Packers' top five receivers of all time in your opinion? I think I can guess the top three but it gets tough after that!

I'd go with Hutson, Lofton, Sharpe, Driver and then a difficult call between Nelson and Howton but I'd lean toward Nelson.

Paul from Shoreview, MN

I hear differing opinions on whether or not the NFL Draft should be held. I think we have millions cooped up in their homes...a distraction is MUCH needed! I think teams practicing social distancing leads by example as well. What is your opinion? Have the draft as scheduled or delay?

The need for a sports distraction is real, and I believe the NFL wants to use the draft being this month to help raise money for some good causes.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Looking at our free agents coming up next year, do you think the GM has done a good job building depth throughout the team? I know we get caught in our personal opinion of what the Pack needs (mine is OL or IDL) but looking at the fact that by this time next year there is a good probability that three or four of the following will not be on the Pack – Clark, Bakhtiari, Linsley, Jones, Williams or King – draft and develop and BAP are buzz words but having a HOF QB1 salary makes it necessary.

Which is also why Gutekunst has tried (and Thompson before him) to go into every draft with extra picks, whether acquired via trade or awarded as compensatory selections. Some draft picks aren't going to work out. Not everybody can be re-signed. The nature of both realms. I do think the Packers have decent depth, but no one's ever satisfied. The draft has to be the backbone of the team over the long haul.

Nik from Piedmont, SC

While watching the Saints-Packers replay Saturday night, the size of Pickett, Raji, and Green...holy smokes! Those three were giant run stuffers. Do you think teams will get back to those types of players in the middle of the line? Are there any current players coming out of college that look like that?

That's a bygone era as far as having multiple interior defensive linemen that size on the field together frequently, aside from short-yardage and goal-line situations. QBs checking to pass plays against that type of personnel in normal down-and-distance turned nickel into base.

Jim from Woodbury, MN

Is it a complete ghost town at Packers HQ, or are there some staff/coaches/players showing up!

Couldn't tell you. The last time I sat at my desk was March 12.

Tim from Lino Lakes, MN

With teams likely having to draft from the confines of their individual homes, I'm anticipating some glitches occurring. It's difficult when I'm on conference calls for work and people are talking over each other, but when you're on the clock, there's only so much time to communicate. I think this year more than any other, the ability to communicate takes on a whole new level of importance. We may not hear about it, but do you see a team sending in the wrong name or missing the cutoff time?

I don't know. I'm not saying there won't be an issue here or there, but for the most part, teams that do their homework know their choice as they see their pick approaching. If they don't turn it in right away, they're usually just fielding trade offers while on the clock to see if there's a deal that's too good to pass up. It sounds like the league is going to be lenient with the time limit if a trade is in the works.

Billie Jo from West Plains, MO

Hi Mike and Wes! Several times I've seen you guys refer to a 7-9 division-winning team as "an anomaly." I agree with your reasons for accepting this anomaly as a necessary evil for a balanced playoff schedule, but just how many times in the modern playoff system has a team with a losing record won their division?

Only twice, the 2010 Seahawks (7-9) and the 2014 Panthers (7-8-1). As I mentioned, it's also the 8-8 and 9-7 division champs hosting wild-card games against teams with better records that bothers people, but I just don't get that worked up about it.

Miranda from Rochester, NY

II, I have a question regarding offensive linemen. Is it really hard to transition from a guard to a tackle? To the layman, it seems as it's a little more important to move your best lineman outside to the tackle position to protect the QB. So I guess my main question is, would it be unheard of to move Elgton Jenkins to RT?

It's rare to move an interior lineman outside. A switch the other way is far more common. Athletic traits notwithstanding (footwork, arm length, etc.), working inside there's traffic and sometimes help. Outside, a lineman can be all alone. If he's not used to being "on an island," as they say, it's not an easy or simple transition.

Take a look at photos of Packers G/T Billy Turner from the 2019 season.

Brian from Sussex, WI

I saw the NFL may not schedule division games in first four weeks of year in case they need to start late and cancel some games. I've been saying for years no division games should be scheduled early in season as there is already excitement for football. Division games have more impact and excitement no matter when played so I hope they do this and realize it's a good idea going forward.

I wouldn't be opposed.

Sal from Hailey, ID

The comment on Rodgers' intellect got me thinking – what positions naturally require thinkers, and which are more instinctual? It would seem QB and MLB (or whoever is wearing the headset) need to out-strategize the other team, whereas DBs need to have a sixth sense for where the ball is headed. What would you say? Do teams take off-field work into account when gauging these capabilities?

Sure, they try, but ability still matters most. Both instinct and intellect can go a long way, though, at any number of positions when you take into account film study, in-game adjustments, etc. Smarts and instincts can help players who've lost half a step look like they haven't.

Steven from Newtown, PA

It seems as though every couple of years or so that the Pack come across a rival team that is not in their division which makes us draft our picks to make the style of the team a certain way. Do you feel that we are solely thinking about how to match up best against San Francisco while determining our draft board this year?

Absolutely not, and the only time I can ever recall the Packers taking that approach was when Ron Wolf drafted cornerbacks with his first three picks after Randy Moss's rookie year. Otherwise, I've never seen it.

Nate from Pueblo, CO

GMs have worked with other teams' GMs and scouts in their careers. When it comes to the draft, does their knowledge about each other go into the decision process of making a trade or staying put? Knowing other GMs' thought processes can be like card players reading faces.

I think they often have ideas, but they can never be sure. I don't know how good they are at predicting former colleagues' picks, but over the years I've heard from various personnel people after the fact they "weren't surprised" at a pick made by someone they know well.

Tony from River Falls, WI

What are your top five underrated sports movies?

As far as ones that aren't talked about much, and they aren't flawless by any means, a few that I liked plenty would include "The Hurricane," "Invincible," and "Million Dollar Arm."

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

What question would surprise you the most if someone asked it? No, this wasn't taken from Yogi Berra's list of famous quotes either.

What percentage of the game is half mental? Happy Monday.