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Inbox: That's how the Packers got as far as they did

You know special when you see it


Daniel from Rothschild, WI

"Just in case you needed a reminder of who runs the bingo." I am stealing this, thank you very much.

You beat me to it. I didn't get back fast enough.

Nate from Naples, FL

I noticed another team's official site has an offseason feature called "Mock Draft Tracker." Can you imagine?

Speaking of stealing, it's pretty common in the click-bait world. Hijacking might be the more appropriate term in this case.

Jenn from Peoria, IL

I know that mock drafts are mostly ridiculous speculation and assumptions, but I still tend to read them at this time of year. There isn't a lot of other football coverage to read and they occasionally provide a bit of insight on potential draft picks for us or our competition. The best insight I have found is the Prospect Primers. When do those start?

Sometime around mid-March. Production on them doesn't begin until after we get back from the combine.

Tom from Two Rivers, WI

I'm 52 and have now seen more winning seasons (27) than losing seasons. There have been 21 winners since 1992, counting 8-8 as losing seasons. I never thought I'd be able to say that prior to 1992. What an incredible run of success we've all blessed to see! The 1996 team was one of the most dominant of all time. They were truly special. I'd love to see such a team one more time. What are your thoughts on how this team can get there? Obviously not easy, but what do you see?

Frankly, no offense, but you're living in fantasy land. I don't think that type of dominance really exists in the NFL anymore. No one would argue the 49ers were not a deserving Super Bowl participant and the best team in the NFC, yet they were an inch away from not even winning their own division. The 14-2 Ravens won five games by seven points or less. The Chiefs were down double digits in every postseason game. The '96 Packers won only two games with a single-digit margin, including the postseason. If you're looking for dominance like that these days, you're not going to find it. You have to appreciate what it takes to make the big plays when they matter most. That's how the Packers got as far as they did. That's how the Chiefs won it all.

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

Hi guys, not sure if this even warrants an answer. Is "Packers Daily" being offered every once in a while now? Thanks.

Twice a week at the moment. I'll have one later today.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Just an anecdote. When I was in junior high, my friend and I used to shag balls, water, and helmets for the Packers players at practice. I once saw Willie Wood throw a ball some 50 yards...underhand! He was an amazing athlete.

The anecdote in Cliff's obituary on the 5-foot-10 Wood touching the crossbar with his elbow is all you need to know. Some individuals are simply blessed with otherworldly athletic ability, and they maximize on it. I watched the Bears in training camp for years in my hometown growing up, and Walter Payton would jump into almost any drill involving the ball just to have fun (and show off). He could throw it farther than any QB who ever suited up for Chicago, and he generated more velocity on long snaps than the specialists could. You know special when you see it.

Fritz from Stevens Point, WI

Broad/podcaster Jay Sorgi makes a solid case that Willie Wood is the greatest undrafted NFL player of all time. Actually, it's more than solid. A recent NFL list of the top 10 incredibly didn't even list him. Just another bad call?

Hard to say. There are now 17 undrafted players who have been enshrined in Canton, so a top 10 is going to leave off some really, really good players no matter what. As for the all-time best, Kurt Warner was a two-time MVP, so that's tough to top, but it's worth pointing out Warner went undrafted after the draft was shortened to its current length and did not feature 300-plus, 400-plus players getting drafted as in other eras.

Storm from Houston, TX

Good evening II, someone made a comment about Prime Time complaining about TOO MANY getting into the HOF. "I'll" choose to "believe" he "feels" it "cheapens" his.

Of course. That's stating the obvious as far as his view goes. But it's inevitable when procedures and voting rules change – and particularly when you have an extra committee whose job it is to substitute its judgment for that of previous selectors – the circle keeps getting wider and wider. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just very predictable. Between senior nominees and the contributor category, it's now been 15 years since Canton had fewer than six inductees in a given year. There's some truth to Vic's old-school thought that selection committees should see their jobs as keeping people out rather than letting them in. But let's be honest, that level of exclusivity isn't good for business and doesn't promote the game to the same degree. In the big-picture sense, a Hall of Fame needs a steady flow of inductees to remain vibrant and perpetually relevant. Otherwise it becomes stagnant and more of an afterthought in our fleeting-attention-span world.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

In regard to rule changes in the NFL, my understanding is that the competition committee researches and presents proposals to the owners, and the owners discuss and vote on the proposals. At any time are the owners involved in making adjustments/changes to the proposed rules as presented by the committee? It seems to me that the committee members might have greater knowledge and expertise in how the rules would transfer onto the actual field of play.

They generally do, but if a proposal spawns a lot of discussion at the owners' meeting in March and there's some sentiment to look into it further and/or tweak the proposal before a final vote, the issue is often tabled until the owners get together again in May.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Not to make comparisons but did No. 87 breaking open in the end zone for a scramble-drill TD during the NFC Championship Game give you flashbacks? It did for me.

I don't know. I'm not saying it wasn't possibly a sign of things to come, but I saw an offense in desperate catch-up mode trying anything at that point. We'll see.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Unless you can get one of the top two or three receivers in the draft, wouldn't it make more sense to try to add a veteran to the mix of young receivers on the team? I know it's a two-way street with FAs but in an ideal situation adding yet another new receiver to the mix when it seems to take so long to jell with A-Rod won't help the team in the short term.

I don't see the additions at receiver being one or the other. I think the Packers would like to add both, but the free-agency route will depend on the cost.

Steve from Alexandria, VA

Any inkling of whether the commissioner's office will take punitive action against the Patriots for videogate, or has Roger Goodell moved on (which would be an outrage)?

Goodell said at his pre-Super Bowl press conference last week the investigation remains ongoing.

Tony from Cedarburg, WI

When do the scouts start looking at future opponents? I was wondering during the season at what point do some of the scouts start looking at potential playoff opponents?

Most coaching staffs spend a portion of time in the spring doing advance work on their division opponents, because they know they're playing them (at least) twice. Playoff opponents? That would fall under the category of distraction, or putting the cart before the horse, take your pick.

Art from Honolulu, HI

Just wondering if any veterans who are mentors to the younger players in strategies and technique are doing it with the idea of using that experience for coaching the position in the future?

They could be, but there's a lot more than mentoring that goes into being a position coach in the NFL. The gig is not for everyone.

Derek from Lowell, IN

Am I wrong for the excitement I got from seeing the disappointed faces of the 49ers? I just think they're all very cocky and I was beyond excited to see them lose. Also is it normal for a GM who's in his press box but then comes down to the sidelines with a 10-point lead? Looks like he was a little early on the celebration.

Anyone who's going to be part of a potential podium/trophy presentation is instructed to be available on the field as soon as the game ends. The network doesn't want to wait for anyone. Lynch being on the sideline at that stage of the game was pretty much standard operating procedure.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

I don't understand why first-round picks get a fifth-year option on their contract. Seems like they are being penalized for getting picked in the first round, having to wait longer for that big second contract (first contract pretty much dictated by draft position nowadays, right?)

The fifth-year option was something the players' union agreed to in the last CBA as part of the extensive and rather contentious negotiations. One of the biggest changes from the last CBA that's easily forgotten is the raise in the salary floor, which prevents teams from regularly underspending on players (in the aggregate). That was part of the financial trade-off.

Take a look at photos of Packers RB Tyler Ervin from the 2019 season.

Kevin from Holmen, WI

If you had to choose between keeping Bryan Bulaga or obtaining a high-priced wide receiver or tight end in free agency, what would be your approach?

It really depends on the market for Bulaga, which I think is very hard to predict. He'll be 31 next month, with an injury history, yet he started all but one game in 2019 and might have put together his best season yet (close call with 2014). If I'm the Packers, I absolutely want Bulaga back, but not at the expense of a cap-crippling contract forced by some team swooping in with a different perspective.

Ivan from Little Chicago, WI

Could you guys elaborate on Terry from Rothschild's question about KC stopping the run game? More specifically, what Packers personnel changes will allow us to do the same? Thanks in advance for helping us thru the doldrums.

The Packers could use another interior defensive lineman like KC's Chris Jones (who couldn't?) to hold the point and disrupt. They also need their outside 'backers to set the edge better, which they had done for the bulk of the season, though not that day. But let's be real. The Chiefs didn't stop the run. Take out the QB's rushing numbers, and the 49ers averaged seven yards per carry (20-139). But as Wes said, they didn't get gashed for as many explosives, so when KC did "win" on the occasional first-down run, San Francisco didn't just keep pounding away. Prior to their last two drives Sunday, the 49ers were in second-and-8-or-more six times, and they passed on five of those six plays. Against the Packers, three huge runs occurred on second-and-8-or-more (19-yard TD, 32-yard gain, 22-yard TD). Game flow told the 49ers they could pop an explosive run at any time, so down-and-distance didn't matter. Heck, they busted a 36-yard TD run on third-and-8 to start the scoring. They didn't feel the same way in the Super Bowl, even with the decent success they were having on the ground, and the play-calling reflected that.

Dan from Herriman, UT

Wes, to follow up on Eric from Oshkosh, the intro music needs some help as well. I know I've probably opened a can of worms, but I just can't handle it anymore. Thanks.

Objections noted.

Matt from Manhattan, KS

Well Spoff, Wes says we have to ask you about 401(k)s and doctor's office copays. What about Packers stock options?

I'd buy right now. Happy Thursday.