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Inbox: That's what it comes down to

It will have to get those

DL Rashan Gary & Kenny Clark
DL Rashan Gary & Kenny Clark

Josh from Seattle, WA

Happy Monday! Did you guys do anything good for your mothers or the mother of your children?

The kids were both home for the weekend and we prepped a heck of a homemade brunch, if I do say so myself. The evening trip to Baskin Robbins was fun, too.

Ronald from Edison, NJ

Are we looking at a kicker?

Yes, three of them in fact.

Gregg from Arlington Heights, IL

"200-250K range"? Are you kidding us? If Detroit can manage 750K Green Bay should manage 1M, no problem. Agree, or disagree?

I'm just relaying what Mark has said. While Lambeau Field will attract a number of out-of-market folks to come for the draft, I think the modest projection is based on the fact that Detroit has a metro area population of 4.3M to Green Bay's roughly quarter mil. The metro areas of Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay combined don't even equal 3M, I don't believe.

Tom from Blaine, WA

Jordan Morgan's hand-size measurement made me curious, so I pulled out the tape measure this morning. I consider myself a decent-sized human being (6-foot, 210) with above average sized hands and I come in at a 9-inch hand span. I found myself staring at the tape measure trying to image Jordan Morgan's hand and suddenly I felt rather small. Just another reminder that NFL athletes are not average human beings. How often do you feel tiny or physically out of place in the locker room?

Only when around the offensive and defensive linemen, mostly. I mean, guys like Jordan Love, Christian Watson, and Isaiah McDuffie are plenty bigger than me, too, but it's not quite the same. That's easier to get used to.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

Should the NFL continue chasing streaming deals, I hate to say it but I will rely on your blog or a radio station if available as I am not willing to pay more to watch. Do you think that there are more people like me out there? I have been a fan since the '60s and watching the game, while important, is not life or death.

There are plenty like you out there, and I don't blame people for not paying for extra subscriptions to watch games. But it's obvious where TV as a whole is headed and the NFL is smartly continuing to dip its toes in those waters before the tide rushes in. Will the league lose some of the older audience along the way? Probably. But it's also trying to be where the younger audience is over the long haul.

Craig from Williamstown, Australia

Morning guys, great piece on Jacob Monk. He looks to be a right high-character guy. I think the Packers are lucky to have him.

If he can settle in and find a place in the starting lineup by Year 2 or 3, I could see him being in Green Bay for quite a while.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. Jeff Hafley mentioned that T.J. Slaton could play the "shade" position on the defensive line, among other spots. Would you please explain the term "shade" in this context? Thanks.

I'm pretty sure that means playing a version of nose tackle, but shaded between the center and guard as opposed to lined up right on the center.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Packers have competition at every position except punter/FG holder. Do they think Daniel Whelan will be their guy, or do you expect a punter will be brought into camp to compete for those jobs?

I think they like what they have in Whelan, but if they find some worthwhile competition out there, I could see someone being brought in.

Christopher from St. Louis, MO

You know what would be a nice is for draft picks to be protected on PS. Hear me out. If a draft pick gets cut he stills needs to clear waivers. In the event he isn't picked up and his original team signs him to the PS then he keeps his original draft contract and is protected from being poached by other teams. Unless he's called up to the roster and cut again then has to go through waivers again. This would encourage development and is a win-win for players and teams. Thoughts?

Having draft picks with their original contracts on the practice squad could create cap hits nobody would want, and that wouldn't really be fair to the other guys on the PS. Draft picks being protected on the PS isn't necessarily in the players' best interests, either, if they'd otherwise have a chance to get signed to an active roster elsewhere. The PS protections currently in place are not absolute for any player. They're rather limited and, in essence, only pertain to not getting poached within four days of an upcoming game.

Ashton from Dallas, TX

Was just reminiscing on how it's been 10 games since the Bears have beaten the Packers. This begs the question – how many players on our active roster have actually lost to the Bears?

As a member of the Packers, just two – Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander.

Joe from Ormond Beach, FL

Packer fans are excited about future prospects, and deservedly so. However, I don't agree with the notion many are stating about the young players taking a jump this year in terms of performance. History shows that some will progress, some regress, and some stay about the same. Depending upon which player(s) fit into each category will determine this year's success. Which player(s) do you predict will take the biggest leap forward this coming year?

I have no idea, and that's part of the intrigue. I think the Packers are protected against regression, somewhat, because so many of those rookies got significant playing time last year. Not saying they're immune, but the players won't be stepping into anything in Year 2 that in itself is a major step up, which can create setbacks, even if temporary. That same notion has put them at a higher floor in Year 2 and therefore we might not see leaps as large as at other times. Or I could be just full of baloney because it's May.

David from Cable, WI

Why do I have the feeling BG is not convinced we have to move Zach Tom to center?

Adam Stenavich and Luke Butkus sounded much the same tune last week, in my opinion.

Curtis from Moreno Valley, CA

With all due respect to Jeff Hafley, I ran out of excitement and optimism for our defense many moons ago. Every year since the SB win, things have changed but yet they've stayed the same. I need to see a solid, well-coached, and CONSISTENT defense before I even think about getting excited. Too many heartbreaking losses built this wall.

Understandable, and I know what you mean by desiring consistency, because I harped on that plenty during Barry's tenure as well. While I'm the first to admit FULL CONSISTENCY is entirely unrealistic, and the game is so geared toward offenses every defense is going to take its lumps, the eye test tells us when a defense is capable of righting the ship in a game once a few things inevitably go wrong. Aside from what I stressed Friday about key plays at key times, the best defenses also don't let things snowball out of control. They (almost) always give their team a chance.

Chris from Waukesha, WI

After 15-plus years of playing the 3-4 as our "base" defense, the Pack is switching back to a 4-3 alignment. How will the change affect the assignments of the front seven players? DC Hafley has stressed aggression in his approach, and players like Kenny Clark have expressed their approval. How will the responsibilities change from play to play for Clark and Rashan Gary, or Devonte Wyatt and Preston Smith?

We'll see how it looks for a real in about four months, but it sounds like the guys up front won't be two-gapping at all anymore. It's attack one gap to try to disrupt, which also means no more playing the run on the way to the quarterback. It's just get in the backfield, putting a ton of responsibility on the off-ball linebackers to fit the right gap and not miss tackles.

Gary from Belle Mead, NJ

Following on the "great defense" in the current era (credit: TK from Grafton, WI, and Mike's very informative response), is a "bend but don't break" defense still relevant? Or is it now, "bend but make a splash play"? For the last few years, I've felt that GB's "don't give up the big play" philosophy led to points given up too often anyways, time lost for the offense, and a defense totally gassed by the fourth quarter. Is a defense that gets off the field quickly with occasional ruptures better?

You have to get what you emphasize. That's what it comes down to. I said repeatedly in this space over the past couple years the biggest problem with the previous defense is it was designed to limit big plays, yet the Packers were routinely among the league leaders in allowing explosives. That's not going to cut it. From what I'm hearing, I think this new approach could be vulnerable to the big play, but it's seeking takeaways, sacks, TFLs, etc. It will have to get those. If you get what you emphasize, you find a way to win with it.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

Back to Bil. You're probably right "proven track record" may have been a poor choice of words regarding his recent production. However, Jacobs has shown his ability to lead the league in rushing and he's still inside the prime window for RBs. I'm hopeful last year's regression was an anomaly due to Vegas' overall offensive ineptitude and a move to one of the league's top offenses under LaFleur will bring him somewhat back to that 2022 form. Healthy offense should be fun to watch.

What you describe is in line with the Packers' perspective, I believe.

Jeff from Mesa, AZ

Allow me to weigh in on Josh Jacobs. We don't need a bell cow. We need someone who can average 6-7 yards per carry 10-15 in the first three quarters as a distraction from our eight WRs and four TEs. Then kill the clock in the fourth quarter. If that happens, we will have home games in January.

Oh, that's all. Sure, because 6-7 yards per carry for 10-15 carries through three quarters is a piece of cake. Allow me to explain only six running backs in NFL history have averaged 6 yards per carry in a season with at least 200 attempts, and three of them are in the Hall of Fame (J. Brown. O.J. Simpson, B. Sanders), with a fourth soon to join them (A. Peterson). Oh wait, then you said kill the clock in the fourth quarter, at what, 3.5-4 per tote to bring that average down a bit? OK, let me check the list of guys who have averaged 5.6 or better in a full year with at least 200 attempts … once again it's Brown, Sanders, Peterson, and now Dickerson is in the mix, too … hey, finally a non-HOFer, Chris Johnson! All he did was crack 2,000 yards in 2009.

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Last spring I would have been in favor of signing a veteran backup QB to the roster as insurance. In hindsight it might have been hugely detrimental to do so. Can you imagine what October and November would've been like for Jordan Love, Matt LaFleur and yourself?

There might've been some wolves howling, sure, but the Packers were committed to the transition and were going to let Jordan grow and develop regardless. I think they would've loved to have a veteran backup to help Love behind the scenes, but their cap situation didn't allow for it.

Michelle from Sycamore, IL

Listening to a lot of the online pundits and worry we are putting too much pressure on Jordan Love to come out swinging this year. What do you think the coaches are saying to him right now?

Dedicate yourself, trust yourself, be yourself.

Mike from Winchester, TN

Hi II, my wife and I made the drive across the country about 2 weeks ago, moving from Idaho to Tennessee. One thing I wasn't prepared for is that the Inbox shows up around 8:30 a.m. here, an hour later than I was used to. The first morning here I kept refreshing right after 7:30 a.m. until I figured it out. That extra hour has given me time to read a lot more content on the website. You two put a LOT of great content on the site, as well as the great cast of characters the Packers have.

Glad to be of service, but sorry, time zones are out of our control.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

Mike, I really like your suggestion of the NFL taking a break for one week at World Series time. If only "my" baseball team could make a World Series just once in my life! (Ok, fine, I was 10 months old in 1982. That one doesn't count for me!) Let's take it one step further, and just make that entire week a national holiday. Nobody has to work all week, we just get to watch baseball. Which puts the Super Bowl on President's Day weekend like the league wants, and lets us enjoy the next day off.

Whatever works. For the record, I was in fifth grade when the Brewers went to the World Series, so it counts for me. As a kid, the heartbreak wasn't so bad because you just figured they'd get another chance. Ah, youth.

John from Jordan, MN

Did Mike really compare Wes to a mule? Was that intentional? Like Wes is dependable, intelligent, and sturdy? Or more like the colloquial name for the backside of a horse? Maybe Mike got kicked after stealing Wes's last lunch from the fridge? Inquiring minds need to know!

Happy Monday.

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