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Inbox: The biggest unknown with this team is … 

There’s no challenge they won’t accept with enthusiasm

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Packers team huddle

Taylor from Eagan, MN

What will be our hardest game?

The one right in front of them every week.

Todd from Brighton, MI

I find myself disappointed with the few Sunday noon kickoffs this year. I understand that is the downside of the Packers' success. What is your favorite game time and why?

Work-wise, it's always noon, because I can get to bed at a normal time.

Jeff from New Franken, WI

I have never thought of this before, but on game day, it appears that only the QBs on the sidelines are reviewing plays and formations on the Surface tablets. Are other player positions allowed to do the same with their position coaches during the game?

Oh sure, but the QBs doing it is a shot the TV producers are always looking to get.

Jonathan from Franklin, WI

This Sunday will be a big test for Rashan Gary to see if he's taken that next big step. My question is about the drafting of developmental prospects. They are drafted in all seven rounds. How good does a high draft pick like Gary (12) have to eventually become to be worthy of waiting the developmental years?

That's a hard question to answer. Every draft pick is developmental to a certain extent. If a player becomes the regular contributor envisioned and is worthy of a second contract, generally speaking I'd say the pick was worth it. In terms of "waiting" as you say, it merits noting that only one first-round pick from Nos. 9-32 in 2019 has earned a Pro Bowl selection thus far.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Good morning gentlemen. In Evan Siegle's (always good) practice photos from Monday, there were non-quarterbacks in red jerseys. Please explain.

They're non-contact jerseys for players dealing with an injury but are otherwise healthy enough to practice.

Katherine from Milwaukee, WI

Is the new punter a big upgrade?

His track record suggests the Packers will be better at that position. That's the whole idea.

Jake from Wauwatosa, WI

Regarding the trade for Corey Bojorquez, do you think it's possible that the Rams were playing next level here? They have a great punter and while competition is great, I am sure they knew it was unlikely Hekker would be beat out. If that is the case, do you think the Rams signed Bojorquez in large part to trade him later to a punter-needy team for a low-round draft pick? Basically buying a seventh-rounder from the Packers?

Hekker agreed to a restructured contract with a pay cut just before final roster reductions. I think the Rams leveraged the legitimate competition and threat of Bojorquez to keep their All-Pro veteran punter for less money. They didn't actually get a draft pick from the Packers, just a slightly higher pick. The two teams swapped their sixth- and seventh-rounders in 2023.

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

Hi Mike. Just curious, does our new punter know that most of the fans are more interested in his tackling ability than his punting skills?

I saw a smile when he was asked about tackling during his press conference, so I think he's aware.

Chris from St. Louis, MO

Morning. So Bojorquez tried getting Aaron's jersey after the Bills game in 2018 but it was bad timing. Excuse me for my ignorance but what made it to be bad timing? I took a hiatus from football during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, hence the question. Thanks guys!

That was a game the Packers won, 22-0, and afterward Aaron Rodgers conducted the most downtrodden post-victory press conference of his career. He was not happy after that game.

David from Appleton, WI

Hello Insiders! T-minus four days and counting! Due to scheduling intricacies, the Packers are the away team vs. the Saints for the second year in a row. When will the Saints play at Lambeau again?

In 2023, when the NFC North and South are fully matched in the scheduling formula. If the two teams finish in the same place in their respective divisions this year, the Saints would host the Packers again in 2022.

Travis from Caledonia, WI

Normally, I was a fan of the bye week being either smack dab in the middle of the schedule, however with the inclusion of the 17th game and a mini-bye week before Week 1, I do not think the Packers' Week 13 bye is all that bad. I am hoping the later bye really kicks things into gear for the playoffs. Any thoughts on the new bye week implementation? GPG!

I agree it could work out well for the Packers. The new, added rest time before the start of Week 1 makes it reasonable to get to Week 8 – the Thursday night game – before another weekend off. Then four more games, the full bye, followed by the stretch run. It's still going to be a tough road to get there in good shape. Last year, the Buccaneers had a Week 13 bye, and lost three of four heading into it to drop to 7-5. But they came out of it and never lost again.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

A variation on a preseason question. Vic liked to say, "The baloney (except not baloney) stops now." Besides concerns about special teams, what are you most concerned might smell like baloney?

I'm not smelling anything phony, but on offense/defense the biggest unknown with this team is the offensive line sans-David Bakhtiari with two rookie draft picks starting an opener for the first time in 15 years. We just have to see how it goes.

Matty from Troy, NY

What is the date and time that the baloney officially stops? I'm trying to plan ahead.

Sunday at 3:25 p.m. CT, when someone's foot connects with the ball.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

Question on grading the 2018 draft class. They're entering Year 4 right now, so how do you think that draft has played out? Obviously Jaire Alexander has knocked it out of the park, but is he enough to overcome the misses?

Landing an All-Pro player is huge in any draft class. The Packers also found a productive receiver in MVS who's still on the rise. The rest of the class did not pan out as hoped. Normally, I'd want a third starter or regular from a draft class to consider it successful as a group. Alexander's status mitigates that somewhat, as does the acquisition of an extra first-rounder in 2019 from that draft. On the other hand, the class had 11 total selections, more than normal, so there were plenty of chances for at least one more hit.

Joe from Wausau, WI

So if Bojorquez is pronounced buh-HOR-kez, does that mean we've been pronouncing Marquez wrong all this time? Asking for Robert Tonyan.

Nicely done.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

How will carries be split between the running backs this Sunday?

I have no idea, other than expecting Aaron Jones to get the ball more than AJ Dillon. Every game plan, and the flow of the game itself, can change how this will go.

Chase from Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Good morning team. I don't know if Dar from Mansfield, TX, had the best comment of the 2020 offseason or the 2021 season (has the season started?), but I haven't laughed like that at an II comment in a while. It might be a little early, but what is the first offensive play you're calling for the Packers in Jacksonville against NO? Thanks.

My gut says it'll be a bread-and-butter play in this offense, like the play-action short rollout throw in the flat to a tight end, probably Tonyan.

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

II, with the start of the regular season upon us, I have been planning my gameday menus. My idea this year is to make a dish that represents the team we are playing. For the Saints game, I am considering jambalaya or andouille sausage grill packs. Question for the Inbox, what are dishes that could be used for other teams (Bears – Chicago-style dogs, Vikings – lutefisk and lefse, etc.)? Thank you.

I'll let others advise you, but if Whitehall weren't all the way across the state, I'd be coming over for some Kansas City BBQ in Week 9.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

With Brees retiring, what changes will the Packers' defense have to make against Winston?

They just have to be prepared for the element of the running quarterback, which was never an issue with Brees. Winston will scramble around and take off.

Jim from Wind Lake, WI

We now have a release day for "The Greatest Story in Sports." What are you most looking forward to when reading Cliff's history of the Packers?

Learning more about the greats from the early championship teams of the 1930s. In addition to Lambeau, a bunch of those guys (Hubbard, Hutson, Blood, Hinkle, Michalske, Herber) are in the Hall of Fame and I don't really know much about them. Also, for the regular readers of Cliff's history pieces, we're starting a "sneak preview" series this Thursday, with Cliff teasing a book chapter once per week through Thanksgiving. Should be some good stuff.

The Green Bay Packers practiced on Clarke Hinkle Field on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.

Derek from Norton, KS

Good morning! Are you expecting less jet-sweep motion in games due to changes in our personnel from last year to now?

No. If anything, perhaps more with the addition of Amari Rodgers to the offense. But that's also very much game-plan related and can vary week to week.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

So let me get this straight, ol' bag of donuts threw out Flea's nickname. So how did he get his?

From John Madden on a TV broadcast, I believe.

Randy from Erlanger, KY

I started reading Jerry Kramer's "Instant Replay" for probably the fourth time over the past 50 years, a must for any Packer fan or NFL history fan. The game has changed so much but what struck me the most was the size of the coaching staff. Lombardi had six assistants and I counted 26 for the 2021 version. Is there a salary cap or size limit for teams?

Nope.

Fariborz from Coppel, TX

The example of Jace Sternberger coming back in two weeks makes me wonder. Does No. 52/53 know who they are or will it be a surprise demotion? Love II, daily reader.

First off, there's no guarantee Sternberger gets activated when his suspension ends. The Packers just don't have to make a decision yet whether to put him on the roster or release him, so they haven't. As for a corresponding roster move if he is activated, the way this league works there's a good chance an injury situation will dictate it.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

Good morning! It seems like Malcolm Jenkins has been around forever and just doesn't come off the field. What does that do for a team when there is such a constant on the back of the defense?

Reliability with communication is the first thing that comes to mind. Also, a player like that is one his teammates always trust to be where and when he's supposed to be there, which helps them do their jobs more confidently.

Jake from Decatur, GA

"Might as well get that under my belt, too." That is priceless. Do Elgton Jenkins and Alexander hang out much? From 1,000 miles away, those guys seem to have about as much in common as an OL and a CB can.

Jenkins' personality is far more understated, but they are alike in that there's no challenge they won't accept with enthusiasm.

Jeff from Sugar Land, TX

In your opinion, what are the best three NFL places to tailgate?

Lambeau, Arrowhead, and … Lambeau.

Zach from Moorhead, MN

A few years back, my parents bought me a Packers Woodson jersey as a gift. Holds a whole lot more meaning to me now that he is both a HOF and Packers HOF inductee. What is your favorite Woodson memory from when he was a Packer?

The year after winning the Super Bowl, I put in a lot of work on a book the organization published about the championship season entitled "One," after Woodson's famous speech in the Soldier Field locker room following the NFC title win over the Bears. The foreword to the book was by Woodson about the speech, ghostwritten by yours truly after chatting with him about the genesis of his powerful words. When the book was published, I caught up with him down in the training room to give him a copy and, having worked on the foreword together with him, asked him to sign that page in my copy. It's the only autograph I've ever asked for in 15-plus years working here.

Shaun from Sun Prairie, WI

Cut to the chase, is this a Super Bowl-winning team?

It's capable.

Steve from Wabasha, MN

Didn't Dar miss one topic that Spoff for sure will allow? Brewers pennant-related posts.

Let's hope. Happy Wednesday.

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