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Inbox: That's like asking the secret to coaching

Getting to know the players is the key

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans

Rich from Mifflinburg, PA

Wait, you mean to tell me you don't spend all of your working hours on II, geez, who knew!

Wes did a little too much talking about II in II, but I was out of town. I couldn't stop him.

Sonia from Fairbanks, AK

Morning Mike, hope you enjoyed your baseball break. Did you prefer the nail-biter win on Tuesday or the rout on Wednesday?

I couldn't have picked two different games to attend on back-to-back days, that's for sure. Tuesday night was one of those it felt like the Brewers had no business winning. They had only two hits, maximizing them for two runs. The Cubs had 15 baserunners (six hits, seven walks, two HBP) and somehow managed only one run. The Crew was fortunate, to say the least. I figured after Wednesday's top of the first, the baseball gods had decided to even things out a bit. But, nope. Unreal. I've always been waiting to attend a no-hitter or something to frame my scorecard from a game. I might have to frame that one.

Patrick from Ashland, WI

When Spoff leaves we all know something wild happens. He just happened to be there this time. Atta boy!

And here I was early in the week lamenting that I missed Monday night's 10-run inning by one day. "Oh, ye of little faith," as my father would say.

Salongo from Hailey, ID

What does Jordan Love need to do in those preseason games to silence the critics? Wait – critics can never be silenced. How about this: What does he have to do to impress the Packers faithful?

Move the chains, score points and protect the football.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Is this the only time the Packers' coaching staff has a chance to "get away from it all"? I imagine it's pretty quiet in Green Bay. At the stadium and in the city itself.

The coaches get two extended, multi-week breaks each year – now, which is their time to rest and gear up for the long road ahead, and right when the season ends, when they can decompress.

Ed from Appleton, WI

I have been a loyal, daily reader since the Vic days, and even know the inside jokes (88 kicks the ball through the laser uprights!). I have had questions published, and especially enjoyed seeing my memories of Willie Davis published after he passed. II is an enjoyable break that I look forward to daily. For the first time in many years, I missed a few days, and suddenly some other "Ed from Appleton" ruins it for me. How can I ever show my face again? Maybe I could be "Edward from Appleton"?

Whatever works. Sorry, man.

Chris from Kennesaw, GA

Wes said Love's biggest challenge "is going to be pre-snap reads, adjustments and reacting to the variables developing." One of my peeves is that people totally write off Love as if he started playing QB the day the Packers drafted him. He has experience under center, just not NFL speed experience. We read about the game needing to slow down for young players. Won't that be JL's biggest challenge? Getting enough reps so it slows down for him? Not being a QB. He is!

Certainly, and all those things Wes listed he has done before, and he does need to do them at NFL speed. But he also has to do them at NFL volume. Pre-snap reads, adjustments and variables developing are all more numerous at this level. So it's processing a larger volume than he's seen before, and faster than he ever has, a double whammy if you will. That's why not every quarterback who has all the physical tools makes it. It's called the toughest position to play in all of sports for a reason.

Rob from Muskego, WI

Regarding Jordan Love's biggest challenges, will he need to adjust to taking a hit during games? I can't imagine he's been tackled since whenever the last time he was sacked in college.

It usually takes just one to get accustomed to it again. Hanging onto the ball in those moments is the more important reminder.

Gary from Pewaukee, WI

Each new player brings both his football skills and a work ethic to training camp. Players have differing IQs and mental abilities to learn/memorize the plays he will have responsibility to memorize and be ready to perform those plays in both practice and in regular-season games. How do the position coaches determine how each player should be coached?

That's like asking the secret to coaching in general. Getting to know the players is the key to making those determinations.

Andrew from Saddle Brook, NJ

Vic always repeated the mantra "players not plays" whenever someone criticized Dom Capers. Based upon the current Pack D roster boasting at least one top-of-the-line player at every position (except ILB), barring injuries, is there any excuse for not having a top-10 D?

Playing out-of-division games against QBs like Ben Roethlisberger, Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield might have something to do with the Packers' defensive ranking, but we'll see how the season goes. Last year, the Packers finished ninth in yards allowed and 13th in points allowed, and the list of non-division QBs included Brees, Ryan, Brady, Watson and Rivers. So, I like their chances.

Bryce from Kenosha, WI

Following up Gordon from Newport Beach, CA, and Hod's response thereto, Vic once said he could foresee a future wherein the three-point stance was eliminated. Can you (foresee that possibility)?


Dave from Waterford, OH

Lamar Jackson, from what he has shown so far, will never be a top-flight quarterback. When he plays in big games, against the best teams and/or in the playoffs, his vision of the field ceases to exist upon being pressured. If the play does not unfold as scripted immediately, and/or if he is hemmed in, he almost automatically puts his head down and looks for a path to run. Unlike Aaron Rodgers, Watson, Wilson, Burrow, QBs that keep their vision downfield when pressured, Jackson invariably does not!

You make it sound as though he'll never improve. He's started 37 NFL games, plus four in the postseason. He's 24½ years old. The book has not been written on Jackson yet. Not even close.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, I thought the response on repeat questions Wednesday was interesting. I love having my questions answered (definitely posted a screenshot of my alternate response being called "hall of fame" worthy to social media). However, if I have a question I think everyone else is wondering I just wait and see rather than flooding the Inbox with the same content. Am I missing something or is there a benefit from trying to get posted every day no matter what?

To each his or her own. Asking about the obvious, hot-button topic puts you in a pile of names from which only one is likely to be drawn. Picking a different angle on said topic might boost your odds. And now I'm talking about II too much again.

Jim from Bluffton, SC

The CB room seems jammed. If Kevin King were released, how much of his $6M deal would be charged against the 2021 salary cap? I am a daily reader...about 9:31 EST. Thanks to you and a class GB organization.

The salary cap gymnastics with King's deal actually have him count almost twice as much against the cap in 2021 if he's not on the team than if he's on it.

James from somewhere in IL

Martin from Evansville is wrong. The Bears fans I've spoken to like the idea of the Bears moving. Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Parks District and space on the lakefront is limited. So there is little room for expanding to add a Bears HOF and the CPD keeps tight clamps on what the team can do with the stadium. The team can't even change signage without the OK from the CPD. A new stadium, w/20K more seats, could be a year-round venue like Lambeau. Lots of fans are all for it.

As a regular visitor to the stadium, the lakefront location is iconic, but it's always felt to me the tradition of the place was lost when during the "renovation" they dropped a spaceship in the middle of a war memorial. The Bears are locked into their Soldier Field lease with the city of Chicago through 2033, so either way, nothing's happening soon.

Brett from San Antonio, TX

Mike from Austin asked a question about college rivalries spilling over to the pros. I remember when Nick Bosa fake spiked a flag at midfield in 2019 to mock Baker Mayfield, who spiked the OU flag on Ohio State's field a couple years prior. I think sometimes these guys remember what happened back in college and there might be some extra motivation.

Adam from Wausau mentioned that, too. I thought it was a clever sack celebration on Bosa's part, and of course they remember. But extra motivation? Nah, I have my doubts.

Bill from Manitowoc, WI

Given that this year's roster has a significant amount of talent, what position improvement by stellar performance could make the biggest difference on either side of the ball?

Returner, punter, punt and kickoff blockers and cover guys.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, there was a question the other day about your offices/cubes not being on the players' tour of the facilities. Do players ever come looking for you in your cubes to have a friendly conversation, or is that sort of thing not allowed?

Back when I worked on third floor (prior to Wes's arrival), down the hall from the coaches' offices, a player would occasionally wander by my cube if he got lost finding his way back to the elevator. But that was about it.

James from Ottawa, Ontario

Spoff, you only caught a few innings of ball at the stadium in San Diego? Methinks there's a story somewhere here. Was it one too many brats? One too many libations? Did you leave of your own accord or was it "suggested" for the good of your section? You know we need to know.

Funny story actually, from the 2012 preseason. We arrived at our hotel, just across a walking bridge from Petco Park, in the late afternoon during a Cubs-Padres game. I tossed my stuff in my room and headed straight over to try to catch the last few innings. I was asking a gate agent if there was any way to get in (every ticket window within eyesight was shut down), and this guy leaving early with his group heard me. He hands me an online printout of a ticket and says, "One of our friends didn't show today. Here." I handed it to the gate agent, she scanned it, and I got in for the top of the seventh.

With 73 days until the regular-season opener, packers.com looks back at those who have worn No. 73 in Green Bay.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Insiders, I have enjoyed the coaches "Mic'd Up" segments. Is there any chance that we can both of you guys mic'd up for a training camp practice? If this is not allowed I'm sure the readership could start a petition or something to make it happen.

You have no idea how thoroughly boring that would be.

David from Prior Lake, MN

II, no question, just fun fact. Since the common draft started, only one draft has had multiple Hall of Famers without any of them being first-rounders; 1991 with Favre and Aeneas Williams. Overall there have been eight such drafts with 16 Hall of Famers. Five of those 16 were Packers. Favre, 1958 with Taylor, Nitschke, Kramer, and 1941 with Canadeo. Have a great day.

You as well.

Matt from Omaha, NE

Is there anything we haven't covered at length already?

No, which is why the upcoming holiday week is the perfect time for the Outsider Inbox. With that, here's the second set of questions, so feel free to start sending in your responses. The regular Insider Inbox will return Monday, July 12, so please resume the usual submission of questions (inane and otherwise) the weekend of July 10-11 so I have material for that Monday morning. Thanks everyone. Happy Friday.

Thursday, July 8

Who is the most famous Packers player or coach you've met in person?

With Lambeau Field closed to fans during the regular season, were there any new gameday traditions you started during the pandemic?

Friday, July 9

Who is your pick for breakout player of 2021?

What's your go-to gameday recipe?

Saturday, July 10

What will you remember most about the 2020 season?

Who is your pick for 2021 Inbox Fan of the Year?