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Inbox: That's the beauty of this Packers offense

It’s easier to load up in one specific area when a team has the draft capital

WR Jayden Reed
WR Jayden Reed

Gene from Jacksonville, FL

So... Sam, Will, and Melodious?

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

John from Livermore, CA

Any early feedback from the rookie class and their interactions with the team?

I was impressed. I wasn't able to get to the media scrum of every rookie draft pick but very much enjoyed my interactions with MarShawn Lloyd, Jordan Morgan, Kitan Oladapo, Javon Bullard and Travis Glover. As I **wrote in our “5 things” story**, I thought the linebackers and safeties looked great during the two practices. You can only draw so many conclusions from two non-contact workouts, but their speed and athleticism came as advertised.

Glen from Bellevue, WI

When teams get a new head coach and assistant coaches, they're allowed more time together in the offseason to put in their systems with players. Since the Packers have a new defensive coordinator, and many assistants but not a new head coach, they will have to teach their new system in traditional minicamp and training camp time periods. Will the defense likely be behind to start the regular season as players learn to "play fast" in a new system?

Not if rookie minicamp was any indication. Those defenders were locked in. Hafley even alluded to that during his news conference Monday. He's had time to build his staff and outline the defensive vision. When you hire coaches like Anthony Campanile to your staff, that vision quickly becomes apparent to the players.

Ed from Cedarburg, WI

What exactly is an "off-the-ball" linebacker? I really enjoy your work!

It's just another way of saying inside/middle linebacker. It's like using "edge" to describe a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker.

Gene from Greenville, WI

How do you think hosting the 2025 draft will distract the coaches from reviewing/checking out the possible picks?

I'm not concerned about it. Everyone will have to adjust their schedule somewhat, including the team as it works through Phase 1 of the offseason program, but the Packers will move mountains to make sure Brian Gutekunst and his scouts have what's needed over draft weekend. It's football, first and foremost.

Roger from McGrath, AK

When we double- or triple-down on position groups not only do we get a higher likelihood of hitting on a keeper but we also somewhat control when position group contracts come to a head after the rookie deals expire. Since you can't pay everyone, we somewhat assure that we don't have too many groups of need all at once. Do you think that's a deliberate part of recent draft strategies?

I think of it more as a byproduct of having a ton of draft picks. Gutekunst selected three offensive linemen when the Packers had nine picks in 2020 but otherwise the triple-downs seem to come during years in which Green Bay finished with double-digit selections. It's easier to load up in one specific area when a team has the draft capital.

Al from Green Bay, WI

It's easy to know what success looks like in a football game (scoreboard). But what do coaches look for in a minicamp in order to deem it a success?

Energy, focus, and tempo are probably the three biggest things that lead to a productive, competitive practice. Rookie minicamps won't be perfect. Two-thirds of the players are seeing an NFL playbook for the first time. But I think it was telling how Matt LaFleur talked about the energy and enthusiasm the rookies showed after getting in the building last Thursday. Every fire needs that initial spark.

Kristian from Aarhus N, Denmark

Hi Inboxers, thank you for a phenomenal draft coverage and the discussions that follow from GB's draft. Getting the guys (draft class, UDFAs and walk-ons/tryouts) in the building, it's major evaluation season. Which one character trait do you value the most in a new prospect? For me, I think it's humility. Not to the point of inaction, of course, but to the point of knowing you step into history in the making and that you are checking the ego at the door. So far, I think we've lucked out!

You can't put character on a stopwatch or measure it with a ruler, but I'd argue it's as important as any other trait that scouts track. Teams won't get every draft pick right but it's important to hit on the people. I feel like the Packers score well in that area every spring.

Mark from Big Bear City, CA

Good morning, II Box. I read a piece on Michael Pratt and his attitude going forward to control the controllable. Wow seems like he has a good attitude and team-first ethic, as in there is no "I" in team and it takes a team to win, not one person. I hope he stays around for a while.

That dude won a lot of football games with that approach and helped turn around Tulane's football program. Winners win.

Tyler from North Manchester, IN

Do you think the Packers will have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2024? If so, who and why?

I do…I just don't know who it'll be. That's the beauty of this Packers offense.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, are there roster limits all year-round? Can the Packers have more than 90 players on their roster before OTAs or camp? Or is 90 the max? If the roster must not exceed 90, is there a grace period after any signing to allow time to make a corresponding move? Thinking about the three players signed after the recent tryout.

Teams can't go beyond that 90-man limit (or 91, if you count international player Kenneth Odumegwu). In order to sign those three tryout players, Green Bay waived cornerback Anthony Johnson (not the safety Anthony Johnson Jr..), defensive lineman Deandre Johnson, and receiver Thyrick Pitts.

Randy from Arcola, IN

I am fully vested in the story of Kalen King and want nothing but success for him. I remember a player from quite a few years back, who also fell down the draft board and came in with a "chip on his shoulder" and the desire to prove them all wrong. He had a nice little career with the Packers! I'm hoping for the same for Kalen.

Fans should have every reason to cheer for the young man. King is a guy who did everything right at Penn State while competing against some of the top receivers in the country the past two years. What's done is done. He has a roster spot, which means he has a chance.

Dan from Lowville, NY

Do you see Alex McGough as developing into the Packers' version of Taysom Hill, being used in a variety of gadget plays?

It's tough to compare anyone to Hill, who ran in the 4.4s and likely would've been drafted in 2017 had it not been for all the injuries he sustained at BYU. McGough is still a good athlete, though. He ran a 4.62 in the 40 with a 1.6 10-yard split and 32½-inch vertical at his FIU pro day in 2018.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

Hey guys, last week there was some talk about what role AJ Dillon would have after drafting MarShawn Lloyd, but even prior to the draft LaFleur was quoted saying, "So we know what we're getting with AJ Dillon. I think there's some versatility we can start to use with him moving forward and start to use him more as a movable piece, not just a tailback." What do you think ML meant by this, and what role do you expect AJ to play this year? I'm hoping we can use him in a Kyle Juszczyk-type role.

Until I see something to the contrary, I take LaFleur's words to mean Dillon has played a lot of football in a variety of different roles. He can run. He can catch. He'll even throw a block or two. Again, we'll get to OTAs here in a couple weeks and see what's what with all these returning veterans.

Jim from Mundelein, IL

Jake Bates. He appears to be a weapon. What is his status regarding possible signing with an NFL team? Bates seems to fit the Gute strategy of multiple peeps competing for a roster spot. Kicker should be a premium position in my humble opinion. Appreciate your insight.

It's inevitable Bates will sign with an NFL team once the UFL is over. What I can't get over is how Bates never attempted a field goal at either Texas State or Arkansas. The former Central Arkansas soccer player only handled kickoffs, earning first-team All-SEC honors as a kickoff specialist in 2022. Everyone knew Bates had a leg. It turns out he also had the accuracy.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

If you could coach any position group on the Packers, which would it be?

Offensive line, obviously.

Chris from Kennesaw, GA

Hey guys, couple questions. Are two preseason games enough? I'm sure if you ask the eight-plus-year vet, they'll say yes. But is it enough for rookies and coaches?

That's the million-dollar question…because those eight-year veterans typically aren't the guys playing in most of those three preseason games. It's rookies and undrafted free agents who don't have enough opportunities the way it is. My biggest issue with a possible 18th regular-season game is how the NFL is eying the Super Bowl being held over President's Day weekend. Yet, it also doesn't want Week 1 to come before Labor Day. There's only 52 weeks in the year, folks. You're now asking players to work two additional weeks. If this is what the NFL wants, then training camp shouldn't start a day earlier than the first full week of August in my opinion.

Chris from Waukesha, WI

Now that we've had the draft, we have the contract signing period. The later-round draftees seem to sign first, and the first-round draftee always seems to sign last. The CBA has a rookie salary cap, so I am curious why it takes so (comparatively) long a time to wrap things up. What does the CBA govern besides salary and what is left to the team and the player to agree to?

Guaranteed money.

Richard from Caledonia, WI

Enjoyed as always reading Mark Murphy's Take 5. Have the Packers ever hidden a player for the draft? If so, who? Thanks for the great insights and terrific articles!

That's no longer possible. The closest you'd come now is Ted Thompson hiding Jordy Nelson from his scouts on the Packers' draft board.

Gary from Bellevue, WI

My wife and I attended the Senior Bowl practices, and I got a shirt with all the players' names on the back. The Packers selected or signed quite a few names ON MY SHIRT!

It's almost like you knew what you were doing out there.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

You guys aren't the only sportswriters to use the "5 Things" title for a subject. Any particular reason why just five? Peter King in his weekly Monday column had a section called "10 Things I think I Think" and then famously wrote far more than 10, adding one codicil after another. So why limit to just five? Short readership attention span?

Sometimes we'll do 10, too. It just depends on whether there's enough information to warrant it. We have to give people words worth reading. I believe in two things – people like numbers and intrigue. Here, you shall receive both.

Doug from Salem, OR

First, I would like to thank you for your hard work and thoughtful responses. I was a teacher for 30 years and I take offense to how you responded to Greg's question in yesterday's Inbox. Imagine if I told a student: "Respectfully, that's one the dumbest things I've ever heard in life." He may have told other readers he has submitted a question. Imagine how humiliating that would be. Respectfully, if it's "one of dumbest things you have ever heard," it isn't worth printing.

Staying on the respectful front, I'm not a teacher and you are not a columnist. While I don't need to explain myself, my retort was not an admonishment of Greg from Perkasie's question but rather the narrative surrounding its origin. I'm sure Greg, as a frequent reader, can appreciate the difference…respectfully.

Rex from Laramie, WY

"Mock drafts are like potato chips." Wes, the master of metaphor and super scribe of simile. Does he think these up as he goes, or does he have a resource book in his library?

To the extreme, I rock a metaphor like a vandal.

Robert from Pittsville, WI

After reading the article on the arrival of the new draft picks, what struck me was the range of reactions. From your perspective, does this rekindle the appreciation that you had when you began work at 1265 Lombardi Ave.? Do you both still feel the "I can't believe I work here" vibe? I know it reaffirmed how blessed I was to teach in my hometown for 30-plus years before retiring. All the best!

The weather was weird on Saturday, but the lingering clouds made for some cool evening scenes around Lambeau Field. While stuck at the stoplights at the corner of Oneida and Lombardi, I glanced over at the stadium with the sunset on its shoulders and thought for the 4,241st time over the past eight years, "It's pretty neat I get to work there." Have a great Tuesday.

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