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Inbox: That's how you get noticed in the spring

It's a quarterback league; always has been, always will be

CB Carrington Valentine
CB Carrington Valentine

John from Jordan, MN

So, Mike chooses to post a couple questions about submitters to the Inbox, then posts one from Blayne from Blaine. Next thing you know, it'll be Jane from Janesville, Woody from Woodbury, Evan from Evansville, and Alex from Alexandria. Should've changed my name to Jordan just for this submission, missed opportunity there. Mike did this to you on purpose, didn't he, Wes?

He's out until Monday, right? Of course, he did.

Josh from Seattle, WA

OK, follow-up to my veteran depth question. I can respect and understand the answer that we have to take our cap pill. That is just a one-year pill of dead money, right? If so, then Brian Gutekunst deserves a lot of credit for what looks to be an emerging young team that will take its bumps this year, but if the QB can live up to his first-round status, then we will again be perennial playoff competitors. It's wild to even have hope of playoffs the year after Aaron Rodgers leaves!

Gutekunst and the personnel department did a masterful job of resetting the gameboard this offseason while still keeping this 2023 Packers competitive. Even while competing for a Super Bowl title, the Packers still had their eye on the future when they loaded up on receivers, defensive linemen, and linebackers in the draft the past three years. What's more, the Packers also have an extra first- or second-round pick next year to keep building toward the future.

Ben from Spokane, WA

Elgton Jenkins' comments about being the best left side got me thinking about when I was younger watching Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson pave freeways for Shaun Alexander. What is the best left side you remember watching?

The 2020 pairing of David Bakhtiari and Jenkins is up there for me. Bakhtiari was at the peak of his powers as a first-team All-Pro and Jenkins also made the Pro Bowl that same year. Together, they plowed the way for Aaron Rodgers' third NFL MVP and Aaron Jones' first Pro Bowl appearance. In 2023, David and Big E are gettin' the band back together…and I can't wait to see it.

Lucas from Oakdale, CA

Good morning II. I was thinking about the debate of the importance of a good quarterback vs. other positions. The Bears had arguably two of the very best running backs in modern history and how many championships? Minnesota and Detroit have had arguably one of the best running backs and one of the best wide receivers in modern history. How many championships? Green Bay Packers have had arguably three of the best quarterbacks in modern many championships?

Seven. It's a quarterback league; always has been, always will be.

Craig from Laramie, WY

I was intrigued by Tom Clements' three primary concerns for successful QB play. I understood the first two but the third one, regarding "premeditated decisions," gave me pause because I was thinking in terms of preparedness. Then, a Mike Tyson comment came to mind: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." So maybe TC is saying be as prepared in advance as you can be AND be ready to adjust and create as the play unfolds? I'm eager to see how Jordan Love adjusts and creates this season.

The job of the quarterback is to go through his reads and find the open receiver, not to lock onto one target and make a critical error. That's easier said than done but it still must be done.

Tom from Rochester, NY

I know the D-line is one of the areas of question for this year and I appreciate all the info on the young guys. But one name we haven't heard about is Jonathan Ford, any updates on if he has shown any signs of progression? Does he look stronger? Bigger? Quicker? He had some nice moments in preseason last year and I was hoping he takes a big leap to give even more options on the line. If T.J. Slaton and Ford could man the nose that gives us the ability to move KC all over!

It's tough to grade D-linemen while in shorts, but I am expecting a big jump from Ford after he redshirted last season. Both he and Slaton are massive individuals. There's more to playing nose tackle than size but the framework is there to be quality run-stuffers. Like you said, the evolution and development of the young D-line will only enhance what the Packers can do with Kenny Clark.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Wow, I forgot we still had Chris Slayton. He was my favorite player from the 2022 preseason! I would love to see him make the 53!

Slayton has a real chance, too. He had a nice preseason last year, too, but the Packers chose to keep Ford on the 53 over Slayton and Jack Heflin. At 26, Slayton is sort of like Crash Davis. This will be his fifth NFL training camp but he's still looking to play in his first regular-season game.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, which draft pick, second-year player and veteran have impressed you the most from offseason workouts and training? Thanks!

I like Carrington Valentine. I even talked a little about the Kentucky cornerback during Thursday's "Unscripted." Valentine is one of the youngest players on the roster but plays confident, which is what you want to see out of your young defensive backs. Without Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas at OTAs, Valentine took perimeter reps with the first-team defense on Tuesday and had a pair of pass breakups (both intended for Romeo Doubs) during a red-zone period. That's how you get noticed in the spring. Second-year player would be Doubs and veteran is Aaron Jones looking as smooth as ever at 28 years young.

Jerry from Rockford, IL

Good morning, Wes, and all Insiders. After reading the article on how Kenny Clark is now the “old man in the room,” I couldn't help to notice Colby Wooden said he played "Madden" with the Packers' defense. I have not played a video game since the original "Pong." Is there anything a player can learn from a video game? I do realize that nothing replaces in game experience. What have you learned from Madden? Or any video game for that matter? Thanks, and see you at Family Night? Oh yeah, almost forgot GPG!

I don't know how much someone like Wooden, a four-star recruit who played in the SEC, can learn from a video game but "Madden" has introduced so many to the nuances of football, including myself. That's where I first learned the difference among nickel, dime and quarter sub-packages, Cover-2 defense and the appropriate time to call a fire-zone blitz. At some level, I think the rapid expansion of video games has had a profound impact on the game we enjoy each Sunday in the fall.

Adam from Rapid City, SD

I've seen posted about some veterans not being at OTAs. Like Mike mentioned, veterans have their own routine to get ready for the season, and if they're at OTAs, they might be taking snaps away from a new, young player who needs them to show he can contribute to the team. Thanks for what you both contribute to access on the best team there is!

As Spoff wrote, every player has his own process and I fully respect that. Alexander wasn't in attendance at last year's OTAs, either and still returned in All-Pro form. I do think it's a good idea to be here, if only to get to know the incoming rookies in your position rooms. Clark obviously had a large financial incentive to attend OTAs, but in talking to him for that story, Clark knows he's going to be counting on a lot of new faces on the D-line this season. You want to build that bond.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Wes, have you been impressed by the TE room in OTAs?

I have. I see a lot of size, speed, and athleticism there. I still think there's a crafty 39-year-old vet on the market who could help tie it all together, but my job is to write words, not distribute contracts.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

I was daydreaming of previous Packers practices. Suddenly the vision of those huge, oversized test helmets popped into my head. What started out as a grimace, soon turned into a grin! Thankfully gone, though not forgotten.

Don't worry, Dennis. They'll be back in time for the ramp-up period of training camp.

Mike from Dubuque, IA

If the NFL's choice for "Hard Knocks" comes down to a decision between the Jets, Bears, Saints and Commanders, it seems to be a no-brainer. I'm not sure what the Vegas line is, but the smart money in Dubuque, IA (and I imagine Bushwood, if gambling was allowed) is on the Jets. Mark it down. You heard it here first…or second… or maybe third.

It's gotta be the Jets, right? The only way I don't see that happening is if the NFL is like, "Look, they already got picked for the Hall of Fame game, let's go another direction." In my mind, New York is the most compelling of those four possibilities and I'm also sure the league doesn't want it to be Washington with a looming change in ownership.

Luke from Arlington, TX

Hello gentlemen, it has been a while, I hope all is well. What percentage of Packer Nation do you expect to watch the N.Y. Jets this season if there aren't any kickoff time conflicts obviously? Count me in.

I'd think most Packers fans would be interested. I know I'd watch. Even if AR12 is no longer in Green Bay, the NFL is still better with Rodgers playing in it.

Dirk from Downers Grove, IL

Hi Mike and Wes, let's suppose that Jordan Love has a career similar to that of Eli Manning. He's very good but not great, plays 10 years or so and wins two Super Bowls. How would you then rank him in the pantheon of Packer quarterbacks, especially vis a vis Favre and AR12?

Too many hypotheticals in this one for my taste, Dirk, but know this – having an NFL career like Eli Manning is not a bad thing. It's difficult to win a Super Bowl, let alone two. Eli twice reached the peak of the NFL's highest mountain. I ain't gonna sit here and critique the climb.

The Green Bay Packers finished their third and final week of organized team activities (OTAs) at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday, June 8, 2023.

Steve from Lampson, WI

Thank you for what you do! No offense to either of you, but when it comes to content on here, Cliff is the man. I went to school for history and everything he puts out there is an absolute gem. It makes me feel wholesome and even more proud of this team and fanbase.

Cliff's history pieces are the best of the best. Each entry is timeless and relatable to Packers fans of any age. I thoroughly enjoyed Thursday's column on the origins of term, “Lambeau Leap."

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

As one of many Jeffs in Insider Inbox, I'd like to take a moment to recognize the greatness of our collective Jeffness. Now to more important issues. I know you are working through some technical issues to film "Unscripted" from the same room. But the best place they could find for you Wes is a hallway? Can't we see your cubicle, the one with the walls and stuff? Or would you have to kill us if we had access to such sensitive information?

The cubicle is a no-go. My colleague, Matt Arvin, is on a different call every 10 minutes. Lambeau Field is a large building with few quiet (and well-lit) areas, which is why I'm in a hallway. I look forward to being back in the studio this summer.

AJ from Rio Rico, AZ

Hi Wes, back in the day when cell phones were new, I moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota for a new job. Got a new cell phone and number with 763 area code (yuck). How to remember my number, last four digits are 1592. That was easy, 15 Bart Starr and 92 Reggie White. I felt a little better about the change.

I, too, use the same tactic to remember phone or confirmation numbers…unless they include consecutive eights.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Multiple Jeffs and Scotts, but only one Bil from Stateline, NV.

A true 1/1.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

Haha, that's an impressive list of Scotts, Scott. As one of the Scotts, I'm pleased to be (sometimes) featured in II. Random question for the Outbox: Do you feel like Wes or Spoff is more likely to answer your question? I feel like I can get Spoff with a Brewers question. If I followed wrestling, I could get more Wes responses. And I hope that no Scotts ever stole Wes's lunch, but I will again remind Wes that he's good friends with someone who stole from me in HS. Scotts never forget!

I'm good friends with someone who stole your lunch, Scott? He wasn't also named Scott, was he? If you're asking a Brewers question, there's virtually no chance I answer it. I know Christian Yelich and Rowdy Tellez. That's pretty much it.

Joe from Hampshire, IL

Joey Wiemer has gotten the mullet and hits two2 HR and has 11 bases overall. Corbin Burnes and other Brewers are open to getting mullets if they make the playoffs. Will Spoff make the same commitment?

If Spoff did, I'd watch every Brewers game for the rest of the 2023 season. Have a great Friday.

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