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Inbox: The possibility wasn't entirely lost

The sports world is massive and small, all at the same time

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Packers vs. Bears at Lambeau Field

Jacob from Oconto, WI

Can the intern write an Insider Inbox before the end of summer?

C'mon now. There's friendly hazing, and then there's cruel and unusual punishment.

Mick from Decatur, IL

Do you think the coaches that left for other teams are going to be watching who we let go at the end of training camp? They would have knowledge of them more than others.

Their personnel departments might bend their ear for an opinion time and again, but the waiver wire isn't the focus of coaches trying to prep their team to play games.

Josh from Apple Valley, MN

Are you allowed to come watch a practice after it's started? We scheduled a stadium tour an hour before the Saturday practice starts, and was wondering what the odds were that we could catch the tail end of that day's practice session.

You should be able to make it, and yes, as long as you can find a seat or viewing angle through the fence, you can show up to practice anytime. In fact, if choosing between the front or back halves of practice, the latter portions generally have more of the 11-on-11 action.

Ray from Middletown, NY

The first-round picks that didn't play: Clark refused and went to CFL for two years, then the Saints and Chiefs. Duncan went to the CFL for more money and because the Packers were terrible (right before Lombardi was hired). Gain went to CFL for $1,000 more than GB offered. Case signed with the Colts of the AAFC. Strzykalski signed with the 49ers of the AAFC.

There we have it, I guess, and thanks to all who submitted their research.

John from Dakota Dunes, SD

I didn't know that legendary Iowa Hawkeye QB Randy Duncan was the overall No. 1 pick of the Packers in the '59 draft. He opted to play for the BC Lions because "they paid more dough." He enjoyed a cup of coffee with the Texans in 1961 before finishing his law degree and returning to Iowa. Notably, that Iowa Rose Bowl team also featured a cornerback named Bob Jeter who was drafted No. 1 by the L.A. Chargers in 1960. He also played for BC before coming to the Pack and taking home two Super Bowl rings.

And then I watched Jeter's two sons, Rob and Carlton, play college basketball at UW-Platteville for Bo Ryan. The sports world is massive and small, all at the same time.

Robert from Harris, MN

The answer to the question yesterday about first-round picks not making the team prompted another question for me. In any those years ('80), ('59), ('51), ('47), ('46) where a first-round pick never played, did the Packers have an additional first-round pick?

In 1980, the Packers also drafted linebacker George Cumby in the first round with a pick obtained from the Chargers in the Willie Buchanon trade. Cumby played six years in Green Bay. There were no extra first-round picks the other years.

Eric from Holiday, FL

I was honestly at a loss for words when you said a guy wouldn't make it to a second contract because of how much a grind it is to make it in the NFL. Sorry but that's ridiculous. I work 60-70 hours a week as a bicycle courier in the Florida heat in Tampa. I ride 10,000-plus miles a year all for under $40,000 a year. I have to eat right, stay in amazing physical and mental shape, and I get no offseason. If I could make 10x as much to play a game even if I hated it, that's a no-brainer.

With all due respect to someone who sounds far more athletic, fit and dedicated than I am, go ahead and crash your bike into a wall a couple dozen times every Sunday this fall and get back to me.

Monty from Hazen, ND

I just saw an interesting bit of information. Green Bay is one win behind Chicago to be the winningest team in the history of the NFL. After Green Bay beats Minnesota and Chicago loses to San Francisco in Week 1, the Bears-Packers game in Week 2 will be for the crown of winningest team in NFL history. Do you think the schedule was set that way on purpose and how fun would that be?

I'm sure the possibility wasn't entirely lost on the schedule-makers, who put the Week 2 game in primetime. Because unless the Week 1 results combo is Packers lose/Bears win, the next week is for Green Bay to either tie or surpass Chicago.

Will from Milwaukee, WI

Good morning Mike, last preseason, I saw a lot to like from Juwann Winfree. He seemed to flash some good hands and moves when given his chances during the regular season as well. He's my Packer to watch that may be under the radar for the national sports press, but I think he's got enormous upside potential this year. Do you have a player to watch in this receiving corps that you think may stand out and turn his potential into production?

Winfree is the choice of many, and I'll certainly have my eye on him. As mentioned previously, Amari Rodgers is the one returning receiver I'm most curious about, though.

Scott from Hamlin, NY

Perhaps you're forgetting about a certain QB with two Super Bowl wins in three appearances in the modern free agency period. Perhaps you don't recall all the QBs the Packers have faced in the Super Bowl. Sorry, just giving you a hard time.

If you read the answer carefully, the context was QBs with more than two titles should Aaron Rodgers win a second one.

Rich from Manitou Springs, CO

Good morning, Insiders. Hope your day is going well. I'm just curious on your thoughts of these "new" megaconferences in college. Is it good or bad? And the NIL money that is now given to players. Will the game itself be affected? Just wondering if you've given any thought.

I have, and I've given up on trying to predict where this all might go. I don't think megaconferences are good for college sports as a whole, though. They're just going to create an even greater divide between the haves and have-nots.

Ken from Dallas, TX

The Packers have great depth on their defensive line. However, depth at edge rusher will be a concern if the Packers don't sign or trade for another experienced player before the regular season. Could this difference in talent depth cause Joe Barry to use a 4-3 defensive scheme instead of a 3-4 scheme when Rashan Gary and Preston Smith aren't both on the field?

I highly doubt it, not as a base concept. Might he have a sub-package with only one true edge rusher on the field? Sure. But you can't build a foundation and then decide to live somewhere else for too long.

Chris from New Richmond, IN

I've been out of the II loop for a bit. I am curious as to any major rule changes for the upcoming season? Any emphasis the refs will be putting on players?

We in the media get a rundown of rule changes and points of emphasis when an officiating crew visits during training camp. So stay tuned.

Andrew from Burke, VA

Are there any differences in how helmet headsets are used during camp or preseason vs. the regular season? My guess is preseason games are treated as a true dress rehearsal for all parties, but I could see some coaching benefits to staying in the QB's or LB's ear during practices.

Sometimes during camp practices the coaches relay calls into the helmet speakers via walkie-talkies, rather than traditional headsets. But I don't think they're in their ear for an entire play or anything.

Jay from Altoona, WI

Can Bakhtiari be placed on the PUP list if he is not yet ready for the start of camp, or does his return from IR last season preclude such a move? This assumes no new injury other than the ACL from December 2020.

As far as I know, everything starts over in the new year, so any player not available for the first practice can be (and usually is) placed on PUP.

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

Spoff, when the veterans return next week will all the eyes be looking for David Bakhtiari to take the field? And if he does how long do think before he takes the mantle back? His return is needed to cement the offensive line for a Super Bowl run. Comments?

Upon his return, Bakhtiari's reps could be limited initially as he's ramped up to full-time duty given the extended layoff, but there's no mantle to recover when you're a five-time All-Pro. When he's back, he's back, and I think the last two playoff exits have proven how much the line and offense as a whole need him when it matters most.

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.

Eric from Mequon, WI

A lot of writers are talking about the "raw talent" that Green Bay has in the WR room and some even say BG will be in a tough spot to keep seven WRs this year. Let's pretend that seven guys carve out a spot in that room, what position group would get the short end of the stick? TE maybe? DL perhaps?

If only three running backs are on the 53, with no fullback (and at least a fourth RB on the practice squad), that opens a spot for a seventh wide receiver that was a lot harder to find 10-12 years ago.

Cliff from Alexandria, VA

Mike, why does the league have roster size limits? If you have a cap, you have finite resources to work with, so why does the league care how you use those resources and how many players you spend them on?

For the owners, more players means more expenses (aside from salary). From the players' perspective, it means that fixed salary money is spread more thinly. Two negatives do not make a positive at the negotiating table.

Bill from Fort Worth, TX

The idea that the Lambeau Leap was grandfathered during an emphasis on excessive celebration seems so quaint and innocent now. With the appearance that more time is spent choreographing line dances for the end zone cameras than the CBA allows for full-contact practices, the Lambeau Leap seems more along the lines of just acting like they've been there before.

Nicely done.

Mike from Sacramento, CA

I, like many fans, didn't think a No. 1 receiver was needed to be successful. But reading Insider Inbox made me realize it's more than just the guy with the most hot routes during a game. Who will be the go-to guy when plays break down and receivers need to find open space? My money is on Randall Cobb.

And the dynamic could be very different in September compared to December. It's going to be a season of adjustments, like it always is. The Packers don't have a receiver like Adams whom defenses must game-plan around, so seeing where opponents emphasize their coverage/scheme is the first move in this season-long chess match.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

Will Fritz Shurmur get his name on the ring of honor given his new honor in Canton?

I don't see that being discussed. The award of excellence is a tremendous honor for Shurmur and his family, and a nice initiative on the part of the Hall of Fame. They'll be honoring assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers and publicity directors annually now, which puts a lot of Packers folks from over 100-plus years of history in the running. The Lambeau façade will run out of room if they're not careful.

James from Ottawa, Canada

Mike, when you were logging hours finalizing the Packers Yearbook, Wes answered my question on what his favorite part of training camp is, from his "Insider" perspective. His answer – a good one! – was the first preseason game, to watch the human aspect: players fighting to earn their keep. I'm curious to know what your favorite part of training camp is? PS: We're almost there!

11-on-11, ones vs. ones, two-minute drill. It's the most competitive action you'll see in a training camp practice. Each side genuinely wants to get the best of the other.

Eric from Holiday, FL

Now that Christian Watson has signed his rookie deal, does that mean the last "non-story" story of the offseason is officially over with? Just kidding, I'm sure tomorrow people will find something else to worry about, they always do. The lesson? Stop worrying, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. The football season is almost here.

Happy Friday.

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