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Inbox: The opportunities will find him

The name of the game is to stop the ball carrier

WR Jayden Reed

Subhadeep from Middletown, CT

The four "good" QBs Mike mentioned – Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Nick Foles – all took their team to the Super Bowl, if not win it. Packers went to SB last in 2010, it will be at least 14 years since we have been to the SB! So, if Jordan Love is just a "good" QB, I think the Packer nation will be happy and content with heading back to SB again instead of having first-ballot HOF QB Rodgers-led Packers failing to win it all. Thoughts?

I think many forget the Packers won early on with Rodgers, not just because of him. The 2009 and 2010 teams were arguably the two best "teams" of the Rodgers era. They might not have had the most talent, but they played complementary football and were stacked in all three phases. If the Packers win this year, it'll be because of how all the ends met in the first year a new QB under center. Love just needs to be himself and let the talent and cohesiveness of the roster drive Green Bay's fortunes.

George from Kennebunkport, ME

Unlike the "experts," I see a more effective offense in '23. With new weapons and a fresh start, we can leverage our strong run game, attack the middle of the field, and focus on ball control. With fewer deep incompletions on third-and-short, no more snapping the ball with "0" on the play clock and opening up the playbook we can be less predictable. If our defense performs and tilts time of possession, I see the potential for the offense to exceed expectations. GPG!

The past is the past. This is Love's offense now. So, I'm eager to see how he takes all his teachings the past three years and applies them to the field. This is Love's chance to take the reins of this offense and make it his own.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

I remember when we transitioned from Favre to Rodgers it was hard to watch Packers games because we went from a gunslinger to a very precise, careful QB. What can we expect from the transition from Rodgers to Love? No matter what I am looking forward to the new chapter.

Hopefully it'll be a blend of the two, but Love had a little "gunslinger" to him at Utah State, which I like because he doesn't play scared. The key will be recognizing what the defense is giving you and not forcing plays. Love said it himself last week – he's going to do everything he can to protect the football and give his team a chance to win.

Gary from Cross Plains, WI

Is JL given the right level of credence from the pundits compared to other first-rounders (this year's or from past couple of years)? Many think the Pack won't be good because of how they expect him to perform, but they just assume all these other QBs with just as little game experience (and far less practice experience) will somehow just be that much better. What would they say if some other team took him mid-first instead? Seems like neg bias because of the AR situation and not his actual ability.

Don't know. Don't care. Opinions mean nothing until the clock begins to tick in September. Please see Todd McShay's comments on Brian Brohm.

Jim from Mounds View, MN

After waiting three years, the first game of the Jordan Love era has finally arrived. Green Bay wins the coin toss. What would you do?

Defer. My feet are dug in on that belief. A change at quarterback won't draw me off that hill.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

Dennis from Appleton got me thinking about Jayden Reed being used as a punt returner with his submission yesterday. It kind of worries me after seeing what happened with Amari Rodgers. A muffed punt or two can really shake a rookie's confidence and start them heading in the wrong direction. Not saying Reed is anything like Rodgers, but after seeing how Rodgers' Packers career went, I'd be hesitant to put any rookie back there to field punts and/or kickoffs.

Returning punts in the NFL is a different beast and requires players with unshakable resolve. Keisean Nixon epitomizes that. Still, NFL teams need multiple options to survive a full season. The Packers got lucky – really, really lucky – that Nixon was such a natural because the cupboard had started to run bare. Reed's only concern right now is being the best all-around player he can be. If he balls out, the opportunities will find him.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, I promise I'm not trying to choreograph any twists or put you through any mental gymnastics. That said, do you see Jonathan Owens as the newcomer who vaults into a starting role? He seems to have the apparatus to land it, an all-around performer. Not that I want any competition to be uneven. Just setting the bar high, and I wouldn't be floored to see it balance out that way. (I'll see myself out as we welcome Mrs. Owens to Insider Inbox.)

I see what you did there, Dar…several times. Owens' signing drew attention for obvious and deserved reasons, but the young man has quite the inspiring story himself. The veteran safety's ascension to Houston's starting lineup last season came after years of grinding his way up the NFL ladder after a successful collegiate career at Division II Missouri Western. Owens proved last year that he's a more than willing tackler. Now, he looks to win another starting job. If Owens succeeds, the Biles-Owens family may become instant royalty in Green Bay.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I was at a practice two summers ago and I left very impressed by Innis Gaines. He displayed ball skills, athleticism, confidence, and appropriate Oxford comma usage. Here we are two years later and I'm still rooting for him. Do you think he will compete for a starting job?

Really, every safety in the room has a shot at starter. Seriously, that competition is WIDE open. Athletically, Gaines brings a lot to the table as a 6-2, 215-pound safety. But I feel like what separates him is his hunger and drive. Injuries have taken their toll a few times, but the guy keeps getting back up. If Gaines can stay healthy, I think he's going to surprise some folks this summer. To start, however, he'll have to outduel four veterans with significant NFL experience in Rudy Ford, Owens, Dallin Leavitt and Tarvarius Moore.

Mark from Vienna, VA

How much is the 5 yards per rush average given up by the defense skewed by not being able to stop running QBs? And what can be done about it?

It had something to do with it, but the name of the game is to stop the ball carrier. Every rushing yard counts the same regardless of whether it's a running back, quarterback or long snapper gaining it. The defensive front must get a lid on the run because even the NFL's best defenses cannot reliably stop the opposition on third-and-short. You have to make the offense work for it.

Kevin from Kirkland, IL

I agree with Ron from Waukesha on the run defense with only two down lineman. The play side DT almost always gets washed out with a double-team block resulting in positive yardage. The inside LB is too far off the line of scrimmage to knife in and cut down the RB at the line of scrimmage and the outside LB is responsible for contain, so it ends up a drag down tackle from behind for a 5-yard gain. I would rather use three down linemen and play more man coverage than play more zone or pass-off.

That is the point of that Bronco/Penny base front with three defensive linemen and two edge rushers in front of a nickel secondary. Regardless of the personnel, defending the run is heavily based on situation awareness, getting hats to the ball carrier, and tackling.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

Did I read correctly that Grant DuBose was the only drafted rookie that was unable to participate in the rookie minicamp? Do we know if this is tied to an injury? And if so, is this an injury that he incurred during the draft process and what the nature of the injury is? Thank you.

That's correct. DuBose didn't go into specifics but said they were "taking some precautionary measures." I would think the fact DuBose still signed his rookie deal last week means it isn't anything too significant.

John from Livermore, CA

We've heard a lot about the new additions to the players. What about the coaching staff additions? Anything stand out to you going into the season?

Greg Williams is the new pass game coordinator on defense. He was held in high regard in Arizona, where he coached the Cardinals' secondary for four seasons. That's probably the most notable change on Green Bay's staff other than former Western Michigan coach Tim Lester joining the staff as senior analyst. Ten-year NFL vet Kyle Wilber is also assisting Rich Bisaccia and Byron Storer after Micheal Spurlock was named the receivers coach at Western Kentucky.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hello II, I'm old and set in my ways, I won't temper my expectations and never have for my team, granted I had a lot of disappointments in the '70s and '80s, but I never had any regrets. Coach LaFleur said we should temper expectations with Jordan Love but again I would rather have disappointments instead of regretting not having faith in the young man! With that said do you believe a player can feel when his coaches and teammates don't have confidence in him?

I have no problem with fans having expectations. My issue is when they project their individual expectations onto the masses. Sometimes the house won't look exactly like the blueprint but that doesn't mean it was a failure. To put it another way, the Packers probably don't get B.J. Raji if they didn't miss on Justin Harrell. But yes, confidence is energy and players can feel that. To the Packers' credit, I feel they do a nice job of having each other's backs. But mistakes can snowball and players can be prone to putting extra pressure on themselves. That's only human.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2022 Green Bay Packers season.

David from Zephyrhills, FL

Do you think the Packers will pursue the Stars' kicker who put on a kicking clinic with eight field goals? Would be great competition for the position. Is his record for the season as good?

I'm not sure if it'll be the Packers, but somebody certainly will look at Luis Aguilar. I think we gotta see Anders Carlson and Parker White in OTAs before we start talking about any other kickers being brought into this competition – especially with Mason Crosby still out there.

Rodney from Escanaba, MI

Does Anders Carlson have the leg strength to put the ball in the end zone on kickoffs? How about 50-plus-yard field goals?

I think so. The numbers were what they were the last two seasons, but Carlson is finally healthy again. Prior to the injuries, he had 51 touchbacks as a freshman and 47 as a sophomore. As Spoff again touched on Monday, Carlson has the pedigree for it.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

In honor of Mother's Day, who's your favorite Packer player mom you've covered for a story?

I have three tied for No. 1: Yvonne Withers, Nicole Clark, and Tammy Tonyan. Three very different stories but I think the NFL success their sons found is directly tied to how they were raised.

Noah from Derby, KS

Not to quibble, but I would contend Stafford is a great quarterback. I think he was a fringe Hall of Fame guy before winning the Super Bowl and is a shoo-in now. If he would have stuck things out in Detroit, we would be talking about how he is the greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl let down by his front office and coaches

"Shoo-in" is an interesting way to put it. I hadn't thought much about Stafford's chances at Canton until this came up. I'd agree he's better than the other quarterbacks mentioned, but it's both a subjective and hypothetical argument. If Stafford doesn't leave Detroit, would he be the modern-day Archie Manning? A franchise quarterback who was victim of circumstances out of his control? I don't know.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

Am I allowed to tell everyone the video "Unscripted" has fewer commercials than the audio-only podcast? I switched over to the video version when the algorithm started feeding me some crazy ads.

Yeah. We're working on a solution to that. Thank you for listening.

Tom from New Berlin, WI

I guess I cannot understand why the Packers have started on the road for the last five years. Can you provide some insight on why?

The NFL schedule simulator keeps rolling sevens. Try again next year.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

I've heard everything from the prognosticators, from Green Bay has a chance to make the playoffs to Green Bay will be lucky to win four games. As long as we see growth from this young team during the season, I can honestly live with either of those predictions. I haven't been this excited for an upcoming season in a long time.

Neither have I…and we're another day closer. Have a great Tuesday.

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