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Inbox: The Packers would love nothing more

The moves made in spring shape the football we watch in the fall

DL T.J. Slaton
DL T.J. Slaton

Michael from Pound, WI

"Westonitus back and rested? We'll put that endurance to the test!"

Your questions will blot out the sun…then we will write in the shade.

Dec from Madison, WI

I see what you did there Wes. Chomping? You, sir, are the undisputed "champ"-ion. Well done.

You were one of the few, Dec. Shout out to Zak from Huntington Beach and Jeremy from Stallis, too. I guess it goes to show Spoff and I still have work to do before setting out on that highly anticipated "Insider Inbox Two-Man Comedy Tour."

Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL

I hope we can continue to watch Aaron Jones play for the Packers for years to come?

Me too?

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hey Wes, after watching the Aaron Jones video posted, I was astonished at how easily he picks a hole and explodes through it. He hits the edge more often than not and his speed is expeditious! Glad he will be back this year. Do you think AJ Dillon gets a second contract? He has shown his worth, as well.

The most underrated part of Jones' 2022 season is that he averaged 5.3 yards per carry despite his longest run going for just 36 yards. That tells his numbers weren't just propped up by a few big gains. He consistently gained yards every time he touched the ball. Everyone knows the stakes with Dillon, who's entering a contract year. His future will not only be decided by his on-field performance in 2023 but also the uncertain market free-agent backs are facing this year.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Whenever the career ends for Aaron Jones, I believe he would be a great mentor for younger players as a community rep, or a perfect fit to advise players on finances, agents, other opportunities, etc. Some way, GB needs to keep him around. Maybe even do what you guys do?

Like John Kuhn and LeRoy Butler, I easily could see Jones having a long, sustained presence in this community after his NFL career. He's classy, smart and introspective. I have no doubt Jones will be successful in whatever walk of life he chooses post-football.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Hey Wes, are we talking Packer football today? Do you think Coach reads the II? To help reduce fumbles and improve ball security, the Packers have ball carriers run between a couple assistants in front of them with boxing gloves on. Seems to me most balls that are stripped are from defenders coming up unexpectedly from the back or sides. They say practice like it's a game. I can think of a couple ways to accomplish it. Do you think it's a valid observation? GPG!

They already do that.

James from Appleton, WI

Do you think it's on the wish list of the Packers coaching staff that T.J. Slaton makes a third-year leap and takes over as the primary nose tackle, allowing Kenny Clark to slide over to the edge? Clark could make more big plays with perhaps less wear and tear.

The Packers would love nothing more. I think Clark has proven he can be a disruptive three-technique defensive tackle on an every-down basis, but the defense has been built around him lining up over the center. Slaton played some good football down the stretch and the Packers will need more of that in 2023. The defense needs big jumps from both him and Devonte Wyatt.

Johnny from Salt Lake City, UT

Wes, not including Matt LaFleur (incomplete resume), who would you rank as the best Packers head coach to never win a Super Bowl?

Curly Lambeau.

Robert from Sparks, NV

Is there a percentage of new players the Packers try to bring in each year through the draft? It seems like they are frequently at the top of the list of most draft picks.

I don't think that's exclusive to Green Bay. That's how the circle of NFL life works. Teams need to develop young talent not only to improve their roster but also to stay economically stable in a hard-cap league. That's why 30-40% of the roster on most teams are first- or second-year players.

Donald from Arkdale, WI

I honestly think we can win with either quarterback. But if what they think is a really good prospect, falls to them in the second round or later, I am always for drafting quarterbacks on a continuous basis. You never know where the next No. 4, 12, or 15 might come from. I don't bite my nails over all the what-ifs. Like Vic used to say, "I just watch." Keep up the good work guys. Fun season is here.

That's what makes this time of year exciting. The moves made in spring shape the football we watch in the fall. To your point, I've been saying for three years that Jordan Love was an investment – not just in the literal sense as a possible QB of the future but also as an NFL prospect who could produce draft capital depending on how things play out. The same will hold true the next time the Packers draft a QB. Ron Wolf didn't spend high draft capital on QBs but his dedication to the QB position resulted in Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks and Mark Brunell all blossoming into NFL starters. Jake Delhomme did the same thing in New Orleans (for five years!). Playing the long game with developing a QB has become a lost art in today's NFL because of the pressure teams face to invest high draft picks into the position…and then we see Brock Purdy nearly lead San Francisco to a Super Bowl. Every team has to find its own way. I guess, that's a long way of me saying the foundation is still firm in Green Bay…however this sorts itself out.

Mike from Hammond, IN

Will the team be championship caliber with Jordan Love as quarterback?

I don't know. None of us know. But one day, Love will jog onto an NFL field and show the league what he has to offer. Until that moment arrives, we can only use the available data in front of us to make our best guess. The data we've generated is promising, but there's only one way to truly find out.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The offseason can be long. There will be lots of discussion about Aaron Rodgers, free agency, Aaron Rodgers, the draft, Aaron Rodgers, and impending rules changes. What are the topics you least like to discuss this time of year?

I have two: "Will the Packers sign (Insert name of coveted unrestricted free agent whom the Packers won't sign)?" And then, "Why didn't the Packers sign (Insert name of coveted unrestricted free agent whom the Packers didn't sign)?"

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

Most people seem to think Allen Lazard is going to make more money than the Packers can afford, and deservedly so. It seems a little bit unfair to him that he's had multiple contracts now that pay him fairly little in comparison to the production he's had on the field. Do you see a world where the players would push for a way for guys to expedite their path from restricted to unrestricted free agency (or at least make a bit more as RFAs)? And would the owners ever seriously consider such a proposal?

I don't see that happening as long as draft picks are locked into a fourth season on their rookie deals. The only players who reach restricted free agency nowadays are undrafted free agents or draft picks who were released from their rookie contracts at some point. When 2030 rolls around, I just feel like the NFLPA will have larger fish to fry.

Joseph from Vermillion, SD

I'm not expecting you to have watched anything, but I hope someone from the NFL was watching how the XFL dealt with reviewing questionable plays. Just being able to see how decisions were made, even if I still disagreed with them, was so much more palatable than the infuriating NFL experience. It seems so simple, so why is it not so simple?

I did see it and here is my plea: Please come back, Dean Blandino. I beg you. And NFL…if this is about money, I'd happily start passing the cap to bring Dean back. I'll even throw in $20 and a "Buy 1, Get 1" coupon at 1919 to seal the deal.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Good morning, Wes! As Packers fans wait patiently for what will come forth from the darkness, which of the following quotes best describes your mindset? "Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness." "Creativity like human life itself— begins in darkness." "You will fear the darkness only to the extent that you yourself are not providing light."

Both personally and professionally, I relate well with Julia Cameron's "Creativity, like human life itself, begins in darkness." And yes, whatever decisions are made in the days and weeks to come, certainly will derive part of their origin from the process Aaron Rodgers is going through to determine what's next in his life and football career.

Richard from Madison, WI

You can level with us, Wes. Is it true that the whole concept of a "darkness retreat" was invented by George R.R. Martin?

That would at least explain why it's taken GRRM more than a decade to write "The Winds of Winter."

Vinny from Arlington, VA

So, between you and Wes, who do you think would last longer in a darkness retreat?

I can't sit still in my house for four hours, let alone four days in darkness. So, I'll happily concede this to Michael.

Tony from Davenport, IA

Who is the one player you have enjoyed interviewing the most?

Marcedes Lewis. He's the most thoughtful and eloquent athlete I've ever dealt with. I don't make the personnel decisions (obviously), but I'm pulling for him back in Green Bay. It would be such a cool feather in Lewis' cap to become the first tight end to play 18 NFL seasons.

John Breske of Elderon, Wis., was named the 25th member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. The one and only time I jumped up out of my chair while watching a game was January 16, 2011, when Tramon Williams intercepted a Matt Ryan pass right before halftime for a pick-six. Twelve years later, is Ryan's playing career over? It sounds like he did well in the pre-game TV studio.

That's kind of up to Indianapolis. Ryan has $12 million of his base salary guaranteed as long as he doesn't retire before the Colts release him. I'm not walking away from that if I'm Matty Ice. I'd wait for Indy to make its move and then figure out whether I want to play golf in the fall.

Mike from Marquette, MI

Good morning, Wes! All this talk about history repeating itself (the Jets being interested in our QB when we move on) gets me appreciating our situation even more. The Jets were looking for "the guy" 15 years ago. They are again, I mean STILL! And they went many years before 2008 without "the guy". In fact, in the Jets' 60-plus years of existence, I would say only Joe Namath was even close to being "the guy." We are so fortunate!

How dare you disrespect Neil O'Donnell and the Sanchize like that.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Well, Mr. Wes. It looks like you will get your Eric Bieniemy wish. Now all that's left is to wish him success on a team with a number of big questions.

I wish him well. I'm still bothered Bieniemy had to go this route, but I respect his decision to complete that final checkmark on his resume. If Bieniemy succeeds, he should have the pick of any open head-coaching job in the NFL.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

I know that math isn't allowed in the Inbox. But Wes, you started it with the Einstein reference. So here it goes. "Black holes are where God divided by zero".

I'll see your Einstein reference and raise you a quote from the great philosopher Marvin Barnes: "I ain't getting in no (darn) time machine."

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, what offensive and defensive positions need the most influx of new players or added competition?

Again, that will be decided in free agency. As the roster stands in the here and now, the Packers have several potential vacancies in the secondary, on the D-line, the receiving corps and tight end room. The "need" at those spots tie directly to veteran departures.

Josh from Newhall, CA

Just a comment on how II really is a community. I saw Bret from Hertel's comment about being in Kauai and thought "Hey, so am I!" Almost like we know each other in a way. Good to see I'm not the only one who still carves out time for II on vacation!

You should've met up on a beach somewhere and discussed pressing issues like who's going to wear No. 88 next season?

George from North Mankato, MN

Wes, what are some of the phrases that these newfangled Magic 8 Balls have? I hope they got rid of try again later.

Better not tell you now. Ask again later.

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