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Inbox: That was the hope when they were selected

They didn’t resemble one another in the slightest

WR Amari Rodgers

Jake from Lake Mills, WI

Cool Bucks game, huh? Do we refer to this time frame between now and players reporting for training camp as the dead zone, dead period or the void?

Epic Game 7 on Saturday night. Wow. I'm not even that big an NBA fan, but I'm excited to see what the Bucks do from here. Vic always called it the "dead zone," so I just sort of picked it up and carried it on. But I think I actually like "the void" better.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

When will the training camp schedule be announced and will it be the same protocol for fans?

I would anticipate an official announcement of the camp schedule, Family Night, etc., fairly soon.

Mike from La Crosse, WI

As a retired librarian I just HAD to read Ainsworth Spofford's Wikipedia entry. Impressive, VERY impressive. Wish I had such an illustrious ancestor.

The last time this came up in the column, someone went to Ainsworth's Wikipedia page and tried to add that the senior writer for packers.com is his great-great-great grandson (I have confirmed it's three greats). It was summarily deleted. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

I've been trying to find the Josiah Deguara play where he blocks one defender into another defender, but I cannot find it anywhere. Any way you can help a brother out?

It was in the first quarter of last year's opener at Minnesota. Ask and ye shall receive.

Jonathan from Vero Beach, FL

Hi guys, here's an interesting stat – the last seven times the Packers have made the playoffs, they have gotten knocked out by a team that they also lost to in the regular season ('12 & '13 SF, '14 SEA, '15 AZ, '16 ATL, '19 SF, '20 TB). Is this just a coincidence or is there something to be said here for not making the adjustments for the playoff rematches?

I'd chalk it mostly up to coincidence, because with the exception of San Francisco in 2019, all those other years the two games played were dramatically different. They didn't resemble one another in the slightest.

Gary from Klawock, AK

During the season there is always emphasis on film study, walk-throughs and meetings. What is the normal routine for players to physically keep in shape during the season?

They have a weightlifting schedule that is followed rather religiously. Players can get fined for skipping a scheduled weight-room workout no different than a practice or meeting. They get the rest of their conditioning in practice itself.

Jake from Rockford, MI

A fun fact about Ben Braden: I graduated with him at Rockford High School in 2012. Prior to high school, Ben didn't play football until seventh grade, not because he didn't want to play but because he was too big to play. Apparently you can't teach size … until seventh grade.

Well, he certainly fits in size-wise just fine now. At 6-6, 329, he's got the build.

Jason from Vernon Hills, IL

What did the Packers learn at OTAs?

I think they learned their top draft picks came as advertised and have a good chance to help them right away as rookies. That was the hope when they were selected.

Dylan from Cary, NC

When is the NFL selecting or announcing future draft sites?

I'm not sure, but probably next spring after one of the owners' meetings.

Thomas from Casa Grande, AZ

First question ever … but not a question. Regarding rookies choosing their jersey numbers, I remember reading Rashan Gary picked his number because five minus two equals three, his number at Michigan. Michigan grad here.

I think that's math we can do in the Inbox, fortunately.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

If need be, do you think the Packers have the personnel to be a defensive-minded, run-first type team, or would they just have to hope Jordan Love can master the offense as is?

I feel like no one has been listening every time I've mentioned how run-oriented LaFleur's offense is and how much of the passing game is predicated on play-action. The Packers rushed for 2,118 yards in the regular season last year, the second-highest total for the team since 2003, and the only year since then that was higher was 2013 (2,136) when Rodgers missed half the season due to injury. As for the defensive-minded part, I think this is the best overall personnel the Packers have possessed on defense since 2014, but there's a degree of unknown with a new coordinator.

John from Madison, WI

No question, just an observation: Highlight videos from last season are going to look weird forever. All those empty seats...

Hopefully never again. But forevermore it'll always be easy to tell which highlights are from 2020.

With 84 days until the regular-season opener, packers.com looks back at those who have worn No. 84 in Green Bay.

Rob from Rockford, IL

After watching OTAs and minicamps so far this year, which player or players are you excited about taking the next step to becoming dependable, reliable contributors whether it's this year or next year?

AJ Dillon, Gary, Kingsley Keke, Jon Runyan and Deguara would probably be my top five, as far as guys not yet considered fully established starters.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Which first- or second-year player who is flying under the radar will be garnering the most of your attention come training camp?

Wes and I discussed a handful on our final offseason episode of “Unscripted.” We begin the discussion just past the 14-minute mark.

Dave from Machesney Park, IL

Many draft projections had Creed Humphrey higher than Josh Myers. Do you recall how many O-linemen were projected higher than Elgton Jenkins? I'd say the Packers got that one right.

I don't recall all the projections, but there were four interior offensive linemen drafted ahead of Jenkins at the 44th pick, and Jenkins is the only one of the five to make a Pro Bowl. Denver's Dalton Risner is the only other one in that bunch who made the PFWA All-Rookie Team.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

In reading the question about numbers assigned or requested, can a player want to wear a number like 82 (my number in high school) that another player is wearing, but then said player is cut freeing that number? Can the player now change to that number?

Yes, but if he's a well-known or popular player, he must buy out all the pre-printed jerseys of his old number the NFL shop has in stock in order to make the change. Even without that stipulation, most players stick with their NFL number once they get it.

Kirsten from Madison, WI

Vic said he sometimes felt silly having to ignore a timely Packers-related issue because as a member of the organization, he had to wait until the Packers said something official. I appreciate that you two have been willing to discuss the Rodgers situation head-on. Is that a shift in philosophy or is it a reflection of the story being so big it can't be ignored? Thanks, Insiders. Grateful for you, as always.

There's less and less that the organization stays silent on for very long these days. We've heard from Gutekunst, LaFleur and Murphy on the Rodgers matter, so we can certainly talk about it, but it's incumbent upon us with this website not to make it look like any thought or opinion we share speaks for the organization as a whole. That is not our job, nor intent.

Ted from Kiewicz, NV

Do the Packers have any potential "fullback" candidates in camp? I have not seen either of you post anything related to that position. Or, do you feel like I do that Coach LaFleur would prefer the roster spot be used for adding another tight end to complement his offensive scheme?

Mostly the latter. LaFleur is not averse to fullbacks if the right one fits what he wants to do, but in general tight ends provide more flexibility schematically.

Matt from Irvine, CA

Do fines for missing OTAs, training camp, or regular-season events have any effect on a team's salary cap?

Fines, no. If salary is not paid, yes.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

Do you think the timing of Aaron Rodgers' potential return could have any effect on who plays center? It will obviously be someone different from last year and, as a former center, I know the exchange is something that is practiced quite a bit. Could someone Rodgers is familiar with get the nod over Myers due to comfort even if Myers checks all the boxes?

I don't think so. If Myers proves he can be the guy, he'll be the guy I believe, no matter who's quarterback.

Don from Iron Mountain, MI

From here it sure looks like Gute and his staff have put together a talented roster. What position group on both sides of the ball will have the most competition to make the final 53?

Offensive line and cornerback.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, color me excited to see the effect the overall speed of our secondary has on the pass defense. With Darnell Savage, Jaire Alexander, and Eric Stokes we must have one of the fastest back ends of any defense.

If Kevin King, who's not a burner but no slow-poke, is your fourth-fastest DB, you're in good shape with that attribute.

Michael from Weston, Ontario

I was checking out your infographic on Packers jerseys, the 1922-1924 jersey would be a whole lotta fun. Any update on the third jersey? Or is it still on double-secret probation?

We're still waiting like the rest of you.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Ahh, the acoustic coupler. Brought me back to the old days in a press box (yeah, I'm a recovering retired sportswriter), and the antiquated equipment we used before cellphones and the internet. That coupler connected to a Tandy 2000; you could read four lines (four lines!) of your story on the tiny screen! And if somebody sneezed while you were trying to send your story through the coupler cups, you had to start over! Anyway, wondering: What's the most primitive computer you had to use?

You just described it, and one year covering the Wisconsin state wrestling tournament finals, I couldn't get the couplers to work to send my stories back on Saturday night for the Sunday morning edition. So I had to dictate them over the phone on deadline. All five of them.

TK from Grafton, WI

Bob Uecker once said that there is a natural tendency in baseball to exaggerate a player's strengths in contrast to his weaknesses; for example, a weak-hitting shortstop is then promoted as a great glove man. Do you think the same applies to football? Such as a weak pass-rushing defensive lineman is suddenly touted as a great run-stuffer?

The film doesn't lie, man.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

I guess Wes really likes soy sauce a lot. At what age do you think his doctor will put him on cholesterol medication to combat that high-salt diet?

It's just to keep that salty personality, for when he needs to draw upon it, seasoned just right.

John from Livermore, CA

How do you prepare for the upcoming season's workload?

Try to take as much time off between now and the start of training camp as the Inbox and Packers Yearbook production schedules allow.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Happy Father's Day to all the II fathers out there. I re-discovered my father's softball equipment from the '50s/'60s. The gloves were pretty disintegrated, but I can't tell you all how wonderful it was to hold the bats and balls. Memories of watching Dad pitch at Johannesburg Field and taking batting practice with him at the Howe School playground came flooding back. We lost my dad really young and these memories are truly precious. Play sports with your kids. They will love you for it.

Hope all the dads out there had an enjoyable Father's Day. I sure did. I was even given a beer mug that said "It'll always be Miller Park." So there. Happy Monday.


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