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Inbox: The key will be who develops additional strengths

Define those roles, find the right guys

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WR Allen Lazard

Todd from Brighton, MI

Next Packer to be elected to the HOF?

Charles Woodson, probably next year.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

The camera angle I'd love to see is one mounted to the front of Aaron Rodgers' helmet, split-screen with the normal TV view. I'd love to see what he sees as he scans the field and watch his read and react on the split screen. It would also be interesting to have a front row seat to feel what it's like as elite pass rushers and 300-plus pound angry men collapse the pocket around you. A peep hole camera on the helmet forehead wouldn't be hard to do.

It would be enlightening, but it might be harder to do than you think. The forehead is where helmet designs have accommodated safety changes in recent years – the cutout or cantilever, as I believe it's called – so I'm not sure if adding a camera would compromise the safety feature.

Allan from Holmen, WI

Why are we not seeing more draft picks get signed right now, particularly the higher-round picks?

Not to be a cynic, but the higher the round, the higher the signing bonus, which is paid immediately, and there are probably plenty of teams that would just as soon put off large cash payouts right now.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

Great article on Big Bak, boys. I love the man's personality. What are the odds we make him the highest-paid LT after this season? Between him, Kenny Clark, Kevin King, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, I don't remember any other year with so many big names set to become unrestricted free agents at the same time.

On a third contract and turning 30 in the first month of the 2021 season, I don't see David Bakhtiari becoming the highest-paid LT in the league. But he is in line for a large payday. Four straight All-Pro selections is no mean feat. Only one other offensive tackle in franchise history has pulled that off, and Forrest Gregg (six straight) is in Canton.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Do you think the discussion of George Floyd and racism will cause the players to think about their position as role models?

I don't want to revisit the whole Charles Barkley conversation from decades ago, but yes, I do. Embracing the full power of their platform carries extensive responsibility.

Peter from Ashland, WI

This is a comment on Wes's answer to fans not wanting to hear from professional athletes while in uniform. The point that was trying to be made, I think, is that fans enjoy watching sports to escape everything else and be entertained. There is a time and place for everything. I am as disgusted as anyone about the injustices that exist but on Sundays I want to enjoy watching my favorite team with my family. Also, those in "power" to change things is misguided, we ALL need to look WITHIN!

I certainly agree with your last six words. But I think we're long past the point of sports just being everyone's escape and entertainment. Sports have become a fabric of our society. We've certainly been reminded of that during the pandemic, when they've been missed not just as a diversion, but as an element of who we are. If sports are to remain a fabric of our society, they will inevitably take on more, represent more, be more. In so doing, if they can influence positive change, I see no reason to complain.

Aditya from Princeton, NJ

Some states, for example Michigan, are allowing outdoor gatherings of 250 people now. Barring any significant negative trend, has the league discussed the possibility of stadiums being filled to half capacity or lower? It would be a decent compromise between social distancing and keeping the lively element of sports intact. Do you see this as a viable option?

I'm sure the league is discussing all kinds of options, but we aren't hearing much about them because they're successfully keeping them internal for now.

John from Belleview, FL

When the kneeling controversy was going on the first time, a friend of mine thought owners and Trump were right to try to ban it. I asked him, what was more American: Protesting or trying to suppress the protest? He had no answer to that. He said they should find other, less intrusive ways. I responded that I'm sure the British thought the colonists didn't have to destroy all that tea, too. Protests are only effective if they are highly visible. Otherwise they are ignored.

True freedom can be uncomfortable at times.

Mike from Dubuque, IA

With the talk about restructuring the locker rooms for social distancing purposes, what changes to the press box do you envision? And do I hear a stifled whimper over the prospect of no food buffet?

The food issue aside, I think it all depends on how postgame media access and interview are arranged. If access won't be in person to comply with social distancing guidelines, is there any need for the media to be in the press box? But I'm fine with the league figuring out how to play first and let us know later. We'll all adjust, just as we have the past three months.

Mauro from Huntington Park, CA

What are the Packers doing to get a better rotation in the middle linebacker spot?

I don't think it's as much about a rotation as defining roles. Christian Kirksey, health permitting, is going to play almost every down. I think Pettine would love to have two go-to partners for him – one the more traditional inside linebacker on run downs, the other a hybrid safety moving into the box for other looks and packages. Define those roles, find the right guys.

Alex from Skokie, IL

Some recent questions in II downplayed the severity of COVID-19 in certain populations, but it can still cause problems regardless of age or health. Von Miller's comments on his experience with COVID-19 show this. Yes, he has asthma, but he is as strong and as in shape as they come and was still struggling to get back in shape two-plus weeks post-COVID-19. He's probably not the only player with asthma or underlying conditions to think about, either. There needs to be a plan in place to ensure safety.

There most certainly will be. Thorben from Bochum, Germany, also pointed out some of the issues discovered in overseas athletes. 'Tis not a trivial matter.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

Hearing that Dalvin Cook might holdout if he doesn't get a new deal from the Vikings, with their backs already against the cap, makes me a little happy, I can't lie. I almost never hear of a Packer holding out. Who was the last big name the Packers had who held out of training camp for a better deal?

Remember, the Inbox does not endorse chortling. B.J. Raji missed the first two weeks of training camp as a rookie in 2009, but rookie holdouts have practically been eliminated since the 2011 CBA. The Packers have had players skip voluntary offseason workouts to try to send a message (Sam Shields and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix over the past decade come to mind), but neither player missed mandatory minicamp or any time in training camp that I recall.

Tom from Oviedo, FL

I was very sad to read about you getting submissions from very irate fans saying they're done with the Packers and the NFL. It is telling about people and their lack of desire to understand. It made me think about all the stories about black players who were able to escape terrible situations growing up to make it in the NFL. Donald Driver is a great example. How many stories like that do you think you have done for white players compared to black players? That is probably telling as well.

There also are a number who aren't interested in sharing their stories, and that's their prerogative. Players like Driver and James Jones talked openly and often about their upbringing. A few years ago I found out about Devante Mays' circumstances practically by accident. His story is one I've been reflecting upon a lot in the past week.

Ryan from Appleton, WI

How will the NBA moving forward with a plan to finish the season impact the way the NFL approaches the start to their season?

Very little, frankly. The NBA is having all its teams converge on one location to play out the season. That's not something the NFL is considering, to my knowledge.

Daniel from Allen, TX

Mike, guys throwing a baseball that hard is what kept me focused on basketball and tennis. The one thing I found interesting was when USA women's softball pitcher Jennie Finch gave some pro baseball stars fits trying to hit her stuff. Pretty funny watch. Do you think a lot of that had to do with the whole different angle of launch and the fact they had never seen it?

Partly that, and the different movement and distance. Hitting is all about timing, and pitching is about disrupting that timing. Suddenly trying to get the timing down to hit a ball that's moving differently, coming from a different angle and from a shorter distance is mission impossible. Even for the world's best hitters, it could take at least a half-dozen batting practice sessions to have a chance.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

Do you think that the Packers will give Jordan Love a few starts in the preseason?

If there are preseason games, I would expect Love to get his share of playing time, but I doubt he would start, at least not right away.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, with 14 other offensive linemen on the roster how realistic is it for some of the fans to think that all three of the drafted linemen will make the team, or is it all wishful thinking?

Well, given the timing of Stepaniak's knee injury, the Packers likely won't need a roster spot for him at the start of the season.

Jake from Lake Mills, WI

Watching PFT on Tuesday, they did a draft of the best triple-threat offense in the NFL. 1. Mahomes, Kelce, Hill; 2. Russell, Carson, DK; 3. Dak, Zeke, Amari; 4. Murray, Drake, Hopkins; 5. Brees, Kamara, Thomas; 6. Ryan, Gurley, Julio. Those six combos were all mentioned ahead of the Packers. Call me a homer, but I take Rodgers, Jones & Adams over all of those triplets except for the Chiefs. Am I right or am I blinded by the Green and Gold?

I won't argue with No. 1, but No. 5 is too low and the Packers' trio definitely belongs in the top six.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

I appreciate that the groups on the team are taking the time to listen – it is the message I've received during this latest incident. Back to FB…what are the various strengths you see in each of the WR aside from Davante Adams?

I'm not familiar enough with Devin Funchess, Reggie Begelton or some of the other young guys yet, but at the risk of oversimplifying the returnees I'd say it's speed for Marquez Valdes-Scantling, catch radius for Equanimeous St. Brown, smarts for Jake Kumerow , and a combination of hands and sudden power for Allen Lazard. The key will be who develops additional strengths to become more reliable and well-rounded.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

A chickenpox party? Is that a real thing or did Wes make that up?

I never got invited to one. I contracted it from my sister.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Hi guys, I can just imagine a dozen camera drones flying around and getting superb looks at everything.

Until they start crashing into one another and endangering everyone below. Happy Wednesday.

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