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Inbox: The Packers already live in that world

We’ll see what the front office has in store for 2024

CB Keisean Nixon
CB Keisean Nixon

Lynn from Butler, IN

"The seeds of promise are sprouting." Now that should be on a T-shirt. That's awesome. Did you come up that or did you get it somewhere else?

That came straight from the metaphorical garden.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Regarding the new kickoff rule, how do you think this will affect the Packers, both in coverage and returning? And in particular, how will it affect Keisean Nixon? I know you said yesterday you'd withhold further comment until you talked to the coaches, but?

I would think the proposal favors Nixon and makes an already dangerous playmaker even scarier. No team had more kickoff returns in 2023 than the Packers (31) and that number would've been far greater if kickers hadn't been trying to boot the ball through the back of the end zone. Green Bay's 26 returns of more than 20 yards led the league while Nixon's two 40-plus returns tied for second. Listening to the conference call Thursday on rules proposals, I found the stat interesting that competition committee chair Rich McKay brought up about the drastic decline in kickoff returns over the past 13 years. In 2010, there were only 416 touchbacks and more than 45,000 return yards. Last season, there were 1,970 touchbacks and 13,530 return yards. Nixon was responsible for 782 of that (5.8%). The measure, if enacted, should benefit Green Bay's special teams but the Packers already live in that world.

Lane from Hurricane, UT

Who is the fastest player on the Packers? I was re-watching the playoff game vs. Dallas, and they mentioned that Bo Melton ran a 4.3 at the combine, which I hadn't heard before. Fastest on offense? Defense?

Melton, Christian Watson, and Jaire Alexander are the first three players who come to mind. For more on Melton and Watson, I wrote a story last year about how the two trained together leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. In the process, they pushed each other to posting 4.3s in the 40 at the combine.

Sharon from Lakewood Ranch, FL

To follow up on Mike from Allen TX comment/question, how would you describe what you witnessed by Jordan Love and what he accomplished with the youngest receiving corps in the NFL: a) surprised, b) amazed, c) shocked, d) ecstatic? And in your humble opinion, why was "10" so successful with that many rookies, when "12" struggled to succeed with a few of his newbies? Exciting times at Lambeau ahead! Love my Pack! GPG!

Love's success was a product of learning from mistakes and not allowing early failures to affect his confidence. He played the same way all season but used what he learned "on the grass" to become a better quarterback and leader. That seemed to resonate with teammates. That's why I'll go with "D) ecstatic" to categorize my response to Love's Year 1 as QB1.

Grant from Janesville, WI

Thanks for answering our questions daily. Our developmental OT guys are so tall! Caleb Jones is 6-foot-9 and Luke Tenuta is 6-8. Do those guys line up to block field goals? Or is blocking field goals more about speed off the edges instead of lengthy bodies in the middle? Is it more valuable to keep a true defensive player on the field in case a fake field goal is tried?

That's a possibility. Rich Bisaccia had no problem lining up 6-7 Yosh Nijman inside, which helped produce a block of Daniel Carlson's 53-yard attempt in Las Vegas last October. I think the only reason we didn't see Jones and Tenuta get a shot inside is because they were both inactive for most of the season.

Alberto from Barcelona, Spain

Wes, if players ranked same, which position do you prefer the Packers address with their first pick? CB, IOL or LT? It seems there are not off-line LB worth that high. Thank you!

I think tackle gives you the most bang for your first-round buck. The Packers also have enough versatility on the offensive line to accommodate an incoming rookie if one proves capable of starting right away.

Michael from Flint, TX

What do you think the ceiling is for the Packers' receiving corps this year? Is it possible to have two 1,000-yard receivers (Watson, if healthy, and Jayden Reed)? Or does Love have too many weapons to distribute too, for that to happen?

I believe the lack of a 1,000-yard receiver last season had more to do with injuries than anything else. Six different wideouts started for Green Bay. Love adjusted to the pieces around him but also fed the hot hand when one was consistently available.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

It's too early to put Matt LaFleur and Tom Clements at the Holmgren level. But this coaching staff shows a rare ability to develop QBs! Do you think the Packers' front office considers that, and could look to draft for future trade potential? Is creating value (see: Hasselbeck, M. and Brunell, M.) by leveraging the staff's unique strengths a realistic strategy, or just a happy result of trying to make your team stronger every year?

Again, the Packers have been vocal this offseason about their desire to draft more QBs. Love and Sean Clifford were two nice finds, with respect to where they were selected. We'll see what the front office has in store for 2024, but LaFleur, Clements and Co. can coach QBs with the best of 'em.

Carey from Egg Harbor, WI

How soon will the 2024-2025 schedule, including game dates and times, be published for the Green Bay Packers?

All's quiet on the schedule front, but last year's announcement was made on May 11 for whatever that's worth.

Edward from Canton, SD

A good Packers pal of mine agrees that the first four games of the regular season should be with teams outside of the division, to give teams the chance to get their rosters settled. Neither you nor Mike think that it is an idea worth publishing. How about reconsidering and putting it out there for Packers Nation to give its opinion?

It's not gonna happen, but what does everyone think? Personally, I don't care when teams play their division games. My only request is the NFL would do away with teams facing each other twice in three weeks. That happened way too often last year, particularly at the end of the regular season.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, I know Xavier McKinney is only one player, but when talent, need, and opportunity meet…Have you witnessed a single player addition have a monumental impact beyond what could be expected? I anticipate that possibility with McKinney. I would not be surprised by an exponential improvement in our turnover ratio, just one metric of many.

Za'Darius Smith, in terms of my time on the Packers' beat. There was a lot of projection involved with the decision to sign Smith in 2019 and he blossomed during that first season with the Packers. His 55 tackles, 37 quarterback hits and 13½ sacks remain personal career-highs. He also brought much-needed swagger back to Green Bay's defense.

TK from Grafton, WI

So, the draft is 32 teams, seven rounds, plus compensatory picks, with more than 260 players selected. I read recently that teams routinely go into the draft with only 150 players on their big board. What gives? Also, inspired by basketball, it occurred to me that the priority free agents that teams pursue after the end of the draft are kind of like the "NIT" of the NFL., yes?

That's the draft within the draft and every team's strategy is unique. While one team may only have 150 players on its board, that still may hold up over seven rounds based on how other teams pick. College free agency is like the NFL Draft's NIT, only the halves are like two minutes long to frantically sign prospects.

Tom from Plymouth, MN

I've been hearing a lot of people say that Josh Jacobs' contract is likely going to be for one season because it has a one year out and is for such a high amount down the road. Do you agree or do you think he's here to stay? Or do you think we need more time to see how he does?

I'm sure many of those same people said something similar when the Packers extended Aaron Jones in 2021. The NFL is a production-based business. If players produce, they'll stick.

Jason from Austin, TX

Wes, does the NFL have a limit for how many seats a stadium can have? Some college football stadiums hold over 100,000, while the largest NFL stadium is a little over 80,000. I know some teams struggle to fill the seats, but larger market teams like the Cowboys, Steelers, and Packers (to name a few) probably wouldn't have any issue filling 100,000 seats. What do you think?

I don't believe so. AT&T Stadium can seat 80,000 and holds more than 100,000 with standing-room availability.

Darrell from Bishop, CA

What's the latest on our punter?

He's still punting…and checking out some rugby, too.

Blake from Marion, IA

Good morning II, I am curious with your closer relationships with players than me (obviously), do you know if they enjoy becoming free agents? I am sure guys that get top dollar with a new contract are excited. What about the "average" guys? Do they prefer to know they have a job/contract for the upcoming season, or do they look forward to potential change and the unknown? Go Pack Go!

I don't know if "enjoy" is the right word, but I think players embrace free agency and discovering their worth. In a manner of a few months, Jon Runyan Jr. went a former sixth-round pick to making $10 million per year with the New York Giants. How could you not be excited to see your hard work pay professional dividends?

Dale from Port Washington, WI

Wes, I would like to add to the response on center and long snapper. Besides the time restrictions mentioned, they really require two different skill sets. Center basically snaps his arm/wrist to hand the ball to the quarterback. Long snapper has to throw a pass between his legs. It needs to be quick, on a rope and on target. Not to mention secondary assignments of blocking or coverage. Just because you're good at snapping a ball doesn't mean you are good at long snapping. Thanks! GPG!

Correct. I wonder if those questions mostly stem from a generation of football fans growing up with their center in "Madden" handling long-snapping duties.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

Robert Tonyan wore No. 49? Eww! That's crazy. I cannot picture him in any number other than in the 80s.

Oh, it was real…and it was unspectacular. Big Bob looked better in "85."

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, quiet on the free agent front and breaking news! You were a part of a great history night event on Tuesday at the Packers Hall of Fame. Chris Kuehn was our keynote speaker on what it takes to prepare for games, practices, training camps, and traveling with the team. It is a huge and vital part of the NFL game that fans rarely see. More than 100 of us met in HOF theater to listen to Chris and also visit with "Red" Batty. Your story was in the presentation, QR code. Thanks!

Chris and Red are two of the finest people in this building and played an integral role in helping bring the Packers travel essay to life. Both were generous with their time and provided so much background on what it means to work in NFL equipment. I hope you had a terrific time at the event.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I miss when the draft was in early April. At least we have March Madness and the upcoming NHL playoffs to keep us entertained for a while. Although my grandmothers Midwest roots lead me to the Packers and Iowa Hawkeyes, I do support one local team in the New York Rangers. Hockey doesn't seem to be brought up as much in the Inbox as other sports though. Does the Hod follow and have a favorite team? Do most Packer backers support the Blackhawks or Wild? Even though that's purple team country?

I was a Chicago Blackhawks fan growing up, but I don't pay much attention to the NHL anymore. The St. Norbert men's hockey team is the only squad I'm pulling for on the ice these days. By the way, congrats to Tim Coghlin and his boys on another NCAA tournament run.

Darren from Wakefield, MI

I went to grade school through high school with Tony. A fabulous guy, great player both college and short pro career. He's been an outstanding coach and feel a little bad for him for the outcome. His dad was no coaching slouch either...from Pointers on up.

The Bennetts are one of the first families of basketball in the Badger State. As a kid, it always astonished me how many basketball players were named "Bennett" across Wisconsin.

Mike from Granite City, IL

Wes, in your reply to Kyle from LA, you stated "Nobody tells me which questions to answer or how to respond." I think that is a good thing. Too much management over-site might take the humor out of the Inbox – for which I assume there is no (implied) rule. Or maybe we should be quiet about this in case someone picks up on this? What do you think?

I'm just grateful to the Packers organization for giving me a platform to make obscure movie references and tell unapologetically bad jokes.

Dave from Folsom, CA

I'm sure all 50 states have made the Inbox, but do you have a number for the foreign countries? Which one was the farthest or most unusual?


Gary from Davenport, IA

Wes, your memory of a game when you were young reminded me of the time when Spoff and I realized we were at the same game in 1980. UW-Platteville came back from 33-0 to clinch a football conference title. It hasn't won one since then. I was a college freshman and Spoff was 8 years old. If I could have seen the future and told young Spoff that he'd be writing for the Packers and answering questions from me on something called the internet, would I have risked changing the future?

I guess you'll never know. Well, I'm headed down to the NFL Annual Meetings in Orlando. Please stay tuned to for stories, videos, and updates throughout next week. In the meantime, good luck to Wisconsin and Marquette today!

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