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Inbox: That's pretty consistent impact

There’s no shame in simplicity

LB Za'Darius Smith

William from Thornton, CO

Green Bay has a metro area?

With suburbs and everything.

Karl from Brookings, SD

Brew pub here has a beer named Indubitably. Did I see the use of lasers in curling?

It's always just a matter of time.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

Allow me, please, to be the 47th reader to chime in on the 8-8-1 record. For standings purposes, the NFL has counted a tie as half a win and half a loss, so an 8-8-1 record is indeed a .500 winning percentage. Or was it the presence of two eights that got to Wes?

You think 47th, huh? Surely you jest.

Larry from Carney, MI

We now know why company policy is no math in the Inbox. That's what you get when you break your own rule.

No lie there.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

I can't recall a year where there are so many players competing in their respective position groups for roster jobs. This year the RB, OL, and WR battles should be intense. Do you recall a year that compares with so many players' jobs at stake?

We'll see how it shakes out, but Wes was definitely onto something when he mentioned the overall depth of this 90-man roster. We very well could see more veterans and recent-year draft picks cut than we're accustomed to. Long way to go, though.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

Got to thinking about what Cliff's voice sounded like and I was wondering if you or Spoff ever were play-by-play announcers or color guys at some early point in your careers. Who would be the best if you haven't done it yet?

Wes was in charge of live-streaming some prep games when he was at the Press-Gazette, I believe. For me, I have to go back to my Wausau days when I was the TV analyst for the Channel 7 golf tourney one year. That was a blast. I even whispered.

Ryan from Appleton, WI

Are the Packers planning on unveiling a new throwback jersey for this upcoming season?

Yes, but I'm not sure exactly when.

Nicholas from Baltimore, MD

I find that the 10-6 Dolphins didn't make the playoffs yet the 8-8 Bears did to be very annoying, not just as a Packers fan. What do you think about a revised playoff structure where only the eight division winners are tied to their conference in the playoffs, but then the wild cards are allocated just based on record and could go to either the AFC or NFC bracket? Would create some interesting playoff matchups.

It might, but for the bazillionth time, there won't be any discussion about melding AFC/NFC playoff spots, matchups, etc., without changing the scheduling formula, which has all teams playing 12 of (now) 17 games against their own conference. And since that's not changing anytime soon, neither is a structure that selects the same number of teams from each conference for the postseason. This comes up all the time, and I don't know why it's so hard for people to grasp.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

As an II vet, going back to the Ask Vic days, do you think we would have time to explain to Brandon about the stolen lunches and laser goalposts? Or should we keep that as privileged information?

Depends on my mood.

Paul from Superior, WI

Is anyone thinking that Kevin King might be a sneaky fit at nickel back?

I think King is an outside corner, pure and simple. If Stokes wins the No. 2 cornerback job – which is not a given by any stretch, only a possibility at this point – then when King would come on the field as the No. 3, either Alexander or Stokes would move to the nickel spot. That's how I see it anyway.

JR from East Moline, IL

In your lifetime, what/who were the best Super Bowl halftime performances?

Nothing will ever top U2 after 9/11 for me.

John from Munising, MI

Why is it the "Super Bowl," the "Stanley Cup," and the "World Series," but merely the NBA Finals? Go Bucks!

Well, the first one is named after a child's toy, the second actually started as an amateur trophy, and the third is inappropriately titled, so while I enjoy all the monikers as much as the next sports fan, there's no shame in simplicity.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

I meant QBs drafted in the salary-cap era (although I guess there was a salary cap by the time Favre got his second contract). To that point, which had a bigger impact on teams' approach to acquiring a QB: the salary cap in '94, or the new rookie contract regulations in '11?

The game wasn't as blatantly QB-driven in the early cap era. Even though the HOF QBs were winning most of the Super Bowls (Aikman, Young, Favre, Elway), Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson still slipped in there around the turn of the century. As the game became more QB-driven than ever, the rookie wage scale implemented with the 2011 CBA made it much easier for teams to build around their first-round QBs. When guys like Matthew Stafford ('09) and Sam Bradford ('10) were No. 1 overall picks, their teams had to pay them so much money before they'd proven anything it was a challenge for those clubs to build competitive rosters.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Is Mark Murphy envied by other CEOs because he has no one owner to answer to or not envied because of all the owners he has to satisfy?

I would imagine they're most envious of his ability to sell stock, if necessary, to raise money for a major renovation or expansion of the stadium.

Jake from Oswego, IL

In regards to Travis's question about if defensive players have the autonomy to change plays: Defenses are more reactive than offenses, and within a play call there are dozens of checks that change what the different positions are doing. These checks are sometimes just individual changes for a specific player, but can also be checks that change the entire play for everybody. Usually it is the "green dot" who has the autonomy to make these calls based off what they see, similar to a QB.

True, but again, the risk is significant, and defensive checks that change everyone's responsibility are rare. If that type of check can't get communicated to everyone in time and the offense snaps the ball, the defense is sunk. Defensive checks are more likely to be the individual type you reference, or for a pair of players who can confirm responsibilities, not for the entire group.

John from Liskeard, UK

Thanks to Bill from Sheboygan, I now have an image of Waldorf and Statler behind the desk doing "Unscripted." Which one would you be?

It doesn't matter. The honor would be mine with either.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

I am happy that the Packers are adding Charles Woodson to the HOF, he was one of my favorite players to watch. Always aggressive on the ball, whether it was stepping in front of a pass or tackling a player and smacking at the ball. So often he made a splash play with a pick or caused a fumble. You just knew he was going to make at least one big play per game. Does Jaire Alexander or anyone else on the current team have that in their future?

Amidst the secondary, Alexander is the best bet, followed by Savage. Pass rushers don't get the picks DBs do, so it's not quite the right comparison, but I think the player who has embodied that type of defensive play most recently for the Packers is Za'Darius Smith. In 36 games for Green Bay (including playoffs), Smith has at least one sack or forced fumble in 22 of them. That's pretty consistent impact. Rashan Gary has the potential to get there, too.

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

I can't believe "88" is five years old. Time flies when you're beating a dead horse! When did you and Wes take over Insider Inbox?

Back in 2016. Vic was still doing one day per week that season, with Wes and I doing the other five. Then we assumed all the duties the following year.

James from Ottawa, Ontario

II, this time of year usually represents a post-draft high brought on by surviving the NFL dead period along with the anticipation that comes with a new season of Packers football. With the ongoing situation (no need to beat that dead horse) and pandemic fatigue, I think everyone is a little more "blah" than usual. And then what comes along to brighten our collective mood? The creation of "Sausagibalism" (Webster's acceptance pending). Thank you both for being a bacon – er – beacon of light!

Please see yourself out.

Don from Iron Mountain, MI

My biggest need in the draft was at center, a replacement for an All-Pro is not to be taken lightly. But with David Bakhtiari's knee injury there are questions on how the OTs will shake out to start the season. Out of the listed OTs on the roster is there a player that can take the step up and play either LT or RT without having to move any of the inside players until Bak returns?

I'm not sure how you define "inside players" with this team, given how much everyone has moved around. Billy Turner and Elgton Jenkins are the only ones who have played both right and left tackle in NFL games. If you want to keep Jenkins inside then the best answer, without putting an unproven player on the QB's blind side until Bahktiari returns, is to have Turner play left tackle and have several young guys battle for the spot on the right side.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Mike, what are your thoughts on the Brewers trade? I'm biased because JP is a local boy for me and I played softball against his dad and uncle. Always hate losing good pitching.

The bridge from the starters to the back end of the bullpen will be harder to build on a consistent basis now, but the Brewers had to get more offense and better defense from such a key position like shortstop. They just had to, and you have to give up something to get something.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Hey Mike, how's about going on vacation so the big news will be sure to break?

Soon. Be patient. I have to be.

Evan from Durango, CO

People are peeved about the doldrums of the offseason. They want the latest news, pertinent information, "Insider" details, and they want it now. That's not what this space is about. The magic of II is that it's a community of opinion. A community run by two people who aren't (and God willing never will be) NFL players. They aren't in meetings with MM, BG, or ML. That's not what Insider means. It means that if I run into Matty from Durango or Bob from a Cortez, I'll happily buy them a beer.


Joshua from Houston, TX

Any idea who we are going to draft next year?

Happy Monday.


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