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Inbox: The area has come a long way

Rashan Gary knows how great he can be and wants to get there

Offensive linemen Josh Myers, Cole Van Lanen and Royce Newman
Offensive linemen Josh Myers, Cole Van Lanen and Royce Newman

Renee from Black Creek, WI

Cole Van Lanen. How frickin cool?!?! Can't wait to see him on that field!

I remember thinking it was the coolest thing in the world when Colin Cochart, of Kewaunee, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2011. And that was an awesome accomplishment. But now the Green Bay metro area has had four players drafted in consecutive years. I couldn't even tell you the last time that's happened in Brown County. The area has come a long way.

Rodney from Colleyville, TX

Do the Packers need other receivers to assist Aaron Rodgers?

Not at this point. The Packers drafted Amari Rodgers and are getting Devin Funchess back. Those are two big "gets" for a position room that's already returning every pass-catcher from the league's highest-scoring offense a year ago.

Jonathan from Muenster, Germany

Hi Insiders, regarding the top four QBs not drafted in the first round during the salary cap era, the fourth one has to be Matt Flynn, right?

I get why you'd say that, but Spoff clearly was referencing Tim Boyle.

Joel from Green Bay, WI

With regards to records that may fall with the expansion to a 17-game schedule, one I feel is still safe is Favre's career INT record. With a 16-game season, a QB would have had to average one INT per game (which typically would have them top-five highest INTs) for every game for 21 seasons to match. Even with the expansion to 17 games, it would take nearly 20 seasons' worth of games to get there, and if we ever have an 18-game season, we're still looking at nearly 19 seasons at one INT per game.

Favre had his highs and his lows, but man, you can't tell me it wasn't a fun ride. He belongs on all the Mt. Rushmores.

Sean from Cortland, NY

Good morning! Who was your favorite Packer as a child and also who was/is your favorite Packer as a Packers employee?

LeRoy Butler was my favorite Packers player as a kid (Can you tell?). As an employee, there have been so many. Jayrone Elliott, Andy Mulumba, Lucas Patrick, Kenny Clark, Micah Hyde, Robert Tonyan, Blake Martinez, Tyler Lancaster, Marcedes Lewis and TBLS are the first names (or acronyms) that come to mind.

Daniel from Waukesha, WI

Are any Packers defensive players poised for a breakout season in 2021?

The Packers could have a few of them this year, but Rashan Gary is my pick. I keep going back to what Mike Smith has said. When you have a guy, who is that supremely talented and works that hard at his craft, those individuals rarely fail. Gary knows how great he can be and wants to get there. I can't wait to see what Year 3 has in store for Gary.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

Good morning II. With this being the first OTAs for the last two draft classes, and specifically for the young OL, what will you be watching for those in the trenches? I think we saw enough of Jon Runyan last year to know he belongs, but for the other five it will be really their first shot at showing their wares at this level.

OTAs and minicamp are non-contact practices, so it's tough to draw any big conclusions about the offensive line. My eyes tend to be on the quarterbacks, running backs and pass-catchers, and seeing how players look after the break (e.g. Michael Neal trimming down and Raven Greene bulking up) and checking who's back following season-ending injuries.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Only the first- and third-round picks have not signed contracts. Are they holding out for bigger signing bonuses because you wrote pieces that inflated their value?

Third-round picks are always last to sign. It's my understanding that, while the signing bonuses are slotted, there is more wiggle room with the base salary for third-rounders (don't ask me why). That's what often leads to those contracts being the last ones to be signed. First-round picks tend to take a little more time due to offset language and guarantees for injury.

Curt from Algonquin, IL

Do you think the first NFL regular-season record to fall with the extended season is games played in a regular season? It currently stands at 17, shared by Chris Singleton (1993), Dexter Carter (1995), Jerry Rice (naturally) and Micah Ross (2004), Will Witherspoon (2009), and Will Allen (2013). Of course, games started in a single season will have a new high bar, as none of those players started every game in their overtime seasons.

Didn't Snacks Harrison do it, too? We'll have to start taking guesses on who'll be the first to play in all 18 regular-season games.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Based on his past defenses, how often would you expect Joe Barry to call for blitzes this upcoming season?

I couldn't give you an exact percentage, but based on Brandon Staley's defense, I think the Packers will blitz more frequently than they did last season.

Ronald from Edison, NJ

Who will be our starting tight end?

Keith Jackson.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Is this the strangest offseason ever?

We interviewed Aaron Rodgers from a Bed, Bath and Beyond parking lot last year.

Scott from Thornton, CO

Hello Insiders! I have a theory. Aaron Rodgers understands he is playing a high-stakes card game. He has chosen not to play his "public statement" card. He knows if he did it would blow up, create more division and essentially kill any chance at an agreement. Instead he will let the hand play out. If there is an agreement, then he will play his public card and it will be about reconciliation instead of division which would be much better for the fans, franchise and all parties involved.

Honestly, I'm not thinking about it. Rodgers will talk to Kenny Mayne on Monday night. He'll say something about the current situation…or he won't. Either way, Spoff and I will still be asked about it. So, nothing I say on a random Saturday in May will affect anything one way or the other. I'm pleading the 12th on this one.

Eric from Durham, NC

Thanks to Twitter I got a new wallpaper on my phone of Mike, Wes, and Larry. My brother and I are curious, though, where did the action shot of Wes come from? We don't see y'all doing a lot of running on "Three Things."


John from Rhinelander, WI

After reading Jacob's submission about underappreciated/undervalued players, I thought about the LS on teams. They certainly aren't underappreciated, but they do face a tremendous amount of pressure in many games. Isn't their pay fairly low compared to most players on the team?

Yes, in NFL terms, but it's also not like we're having to pass the hat for these guys to make ends meet. That's part of the gig – no different than their kicker and punter brethren.

John from Livermore, CA

How does someone get selected to be the holder for field goals and PATs?

There are two prerequisites: Either you're a punter or your name is Tim "Freakin" Boyle.

Chad from Rhinelander, WI

Hey Insiders! What made you guys choose journalism as a career path?

Three things – I like talking to people, telling stories you've never heard before and occasionally breaking some news. I don't get much of the latter anymore but I'll gladly trade that in for the steadier paycheck.

Brandon from Kronenwetter, WI

I just started reading II fairly recently and have seen a few references to the "number that should not be named." I am probably missing something obvious, so please forgive me if this is a dumb question, but what is the story behind this? Why can't this number be named? Thank you.

This is the one time I'll pull over the Inbox car to explain the lay of the land because you asked so nicely. The No. 88 is the number that shouldn't be named. It goes back to the 2016 season and all the consternation over Ty Montgomery wearing the number even after he moved to running back. Over the years, it's taken on a life of its own in Inbox.

Bill from Whiting, IN

I'm sure glad this forum is free because you guys have jumped the shark with questions about sports on Mars and the moon. Maybe this time of year you could cut down from six days a week to three. I know it's going to be a lot more interesting when it's learned whether The Pack will again challenge for a Super Bowl or be relegated to also-rans. What do you think the Packers record might be with Jordan Love quarterbacking all season as compared to Rodgers?

Or maybe you should cut down reading from six days a week to three?

Chris from Port Coquitlam, Canada

Backing up Nicholas from Baltimore, MD, no team can finish at .500. A team with an 8-8-1 record will have a win percentage of .471. We wouldn't call a team that goes 0-0-17 a .500 team, would we Spoff?

*Wes looks at the calendar for his next day of PTO…sees it's another month away…sobs quietly to himself while pressing 'Submit' and proceeds to walk out of the building.*