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Inbox: The real games, and only the real games, will tell the story

Everything else is just part of the process

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Special teams

Taylor from Hull, IA

Did Mark Murphy consult with you two on how to handle a belligerent online presence? His response to Duane was very Insider Inboxish.

Ha, but no. The big boss needs no help from second floor, that I can assure you.

Tom from Highland Village, TX

WOW! A 2 and a 4 is all it took? Plus a 6 in return? You guys must be swamped!

Some people will never understand it's not just what you had to give up in the trade for Julio Jones, but what your cap had to absorb. It was never realistic for the Packers, which we tried to say in this space several times over.

Ronald from Panabo, Philippines

Hey Insiders, do you foresee the running back opportunities being divided up by the halves? Aaron Jones first half and AJ Dillon second half just naturally as the season progresses, especially with the 17th game? LaFleur would still be on the gas just switching between a Corvette and a dually F-150.

By halves? No. No way. Formulas inevitably impose limitations and restrict creativity. That's not how the LaFleur I know would ever operate.

John from Livermore, CO

What has been the biggest surprise for you in offseason activities to this point?

That it's early June and we honestly don't know who's taking the first snap of the regular season in New Orleans.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Now that Mark Murphy has stated that the Aaron Rodgers situation "has divided our fan base," what is the prevailing sentiment from Inbox contributors as to the wronged party in the dispute?

The sentiments aren't really about who's been wronged. There's a contingent that wants the organization to make sure Rodgers comes back. There's another that's fine with moving on. And the largest one just wants to know the answer to my question above rather than living in a world of uncertainty.

Barbara from Jackson, WI

I think Rashan Gary from Austin misunderstood your "cards on the table" reference. Boulwarism refers to making a take-it-or-leave it offer – basically a bottom line. I see Rodgers and the Packers both telling each other upfront what it is they want and then negotiating how to make both happy. That's what I think each putting their cards on the table would mean – just letting the other side know what they would need to do to make you happy. If both operate in good faith, it should work ... Right?

It should, which is why I don't think this situation is as simple as making someone happy. If it were, they would have worked it out by now. What's making it more complicated? It's hard to say exactly, and no one has explained it in detail, which is understandable. So all we can do is wait.

Mick from Tampa, FL

The coaches want Jordan Love to "read with his feet." Any specifics on how that happens?

It's just another way of saying the footwork has to match up with the progressions so his mechanics are in place to throw the moment the opportunity is there. If a young QB is going through his progressions only with his eyes/head, then he'll either be too slow delivering the ball because his feet are behind, or mechanically so out of whack his accuracy would be compromised.

Dale from Aurora, CO

Is the salary cap objective to establish parity in the NFL?

Not really. It's to level the playing field financially so teams can't just "buy" a loaded roster. It makes a lot more factor into building a championship team – the draft, player development, cap management, etc. – than just paying big money for the best players.

Troy from Westminster, CO

In regards to Jermichael Finley, I have long thought his impact was vastly underappreciated by those looking strictly at the numbers. Not only did he produce at a top level, but it seemed clear his presence had to be dealt with by opposing defenses and was significant in allowing Driver, Jordy and company to do what they needed to do. He was a true physical freak.

Yup.

Lyle from St. Louis, MO

Spoff, nice recap on Jermichael Finley's contributions on Saturday Insiders. It's hard to believe he's only 34 years old. As you reflected on Finley's career and knowing what has transpired since, do you now wish the GBP had retired his jersey number? I'll see myself out.

No, you can stay, for now. That's actually pretty good.

Carmen from Trimbach, Switzerland

Sorry if this is a stupid question. In the "Exp" column of the player roster, some of the players who were drafted in 2020 are listed as having one year of experience, others as two (Simon Stepaniak: 1, AJ Dillon: 2). Why?

Without getting into a lengthy explanation of the parameters, thresholds for service time must be met for a player to get an accrued season. During his rookie year, Stepaniak spent only four games on the 53-man roster, and none on the game-day 46, so he did not qualify.

Aaron from Dallas, TX

Mark Murphy says there will be a green throwback this year. Do you think we'll get the all green unis of the '50s?

I wouldn't mind.

With 98 days until the regular-season opener, packers.com looks back at those who have worn No. 98 in Green Bay.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, England

When the team plays in London, do both you guys get to come over to cover the game or have you got to do some creativity with holidays to both make it over?

I certainly hope we'd be on the trip to cover everything for the website. I can only imagine what our traffic numbers would be when this finally happens.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

You have to love coaches who start with the basics. Maurice Drayton on Amari Rodgers: "No. 1, he catches the ball." Is it time (please, please, please) to start feeling a little better about special teams?

We won't really know until September. Am I optimistic? Yes. But the real games, and only the real games, will tell the story. Everything else is just part of the process.

William from Speedwell, TN

I am a big sports card collector and I know Spoff has talked about having baseball cards from the '80s. The Packers have an avid card collector now in AJ Dillon. Strangely, he is the only player I can think of that I've heard about actively collecting cards while he is/was playing professionally. Do you know of other Packers, or just any other athletes for that matter, who are/were collectors?

He's the first for me, too. I'm not saying there haven't been others in my time here, but if so I wasn't made aware of it.

John from Weatherford, TX

After a year with no ability to travel I just made reservations for my wife and me to attend training camp. And I just read Mark Murphy's latest which indicated the Packers intend to allow fans at training camp, assuming continued progress with COVID-19. Is there any news about another longstanding tradition...the Packers 5K race which normally happens during training camp? Has there been any announcement about the 5K? Keep up the good work II!

Nothing yet but once there's news we'll have it on the website and social accounts.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Just curious, what game on this year's schedule are you looking forward to the most and why?

For me, it's always about QB matchups, and if all is normal with Rodgers, I'm most looking forward to seeing the first Rodgers-Roethlisberger meeting since Super Bowl XLV, and the first Rodgers-Mahomes one ever.

Doug from Lilly, PA

What are the salary cap ramifications for a team if a player who has a workout bonus in his contract misses the offseason activities and forfeits the bonus?

The money is credited back to the cap the following year.

Johnny from Madison, WI

Regarding the comment about kickers extending their careers by kicking in a dome, is that because kicking in a dome is easier on your body, or just that you don't need as much force to be accurate when kicking indoors so the old men can still hang?

When the conditions are controlled, kickers have a better chance to put up better numbers, at any age. Better stats mean a longer career.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Is it fair to state that at the end of his career Mason Crosby might arguably be the greatest cold-weather kicker in NFL history? I'm struggling to think of another (Jan Stenerud, maybe?) who had both longevity and great stats in a career played primarily outdoors in a northern climate.

Stenerud is the only other one who comes to mind for me, and even he played the last two years of his career in the Metrodome. He led the league in field-goal accuracy (87%, 20-of-23) in the season he turned 42 playing for the Vikings.

Nik from Moore, SC

Fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias. Should an athlete be forced to do interviews? "I'm just here so I don't get fined" is funny, but the deeper issue was he didn't like to speak in public. Part of me says it comes with the job, but speaking to millions and running in front of them are very different things. Just curious about your take, and should reporters continue to ask for interviews when they know the player is afraid?

I think the media should have reasonable access to players to be able to do their jobs the best they can. For athletes who have the types of issues you reference, I'd like to see the players' unions and leagues work together to make appropriate accommodations to help all parties involved.

Steve from Birchington, England

If you could sit at a dinner table with any player or coach in the NFL, who would you choose and why?

Active? It would be a tough call for me between Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh. Whichever one would have the best, and most, stories about LaFleur to share.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Now that the Inbox has a bouncer in Dan from Twin Lakes, can I assume happy hour specials are on the horizon?

Dar gets the double-dip. Why do you think I write the column, whenever feasible, the day before? Happy Monday.

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