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Inbox: The summer settles everything

The only way to achieve greatness is to put every ounce of energy into your craft

QB Tim Boyle
QB Tim Boyle

Paul from Bay View, WI

Guys, I read Monday's Inbox and couldn't believe not one question or comment was made regarding Aaron Rodgers' role in GoT Sunday night. With all the carnage shown, I was kind of hoping for another Hail Mary. Yes, I'll see myself out!

Nobody asked until after Inbox was posted Monday morning. For real. Evidently, you guys watched the episode and immediately went directly to bed. Good morning!

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

Something I meant to ask awhile back, I was extremely excited to see Mike Pettine back as DC. Was just wondering what your personal opinion was of him as a defensive coordinator?

My thoughts on Pettine haven't changed since the day he was hired. He's a sharp guy, very creative. I thought he also proved last year that he can adjust on the fly. Pettine has come as advertised. I'm eager to see what he has in store for Year 2.

Chun from El Monte, CA

Packers fans are excited this season! New coach, new offensive system, free-agent signing debuts, whole new rookie class, seeing which sophomore players make the big jump. Regardless of how this season turns out, there hasn't been this much change and excitement in a very, very long time.

We won't know what this Packers team is capable of until it starts playing the games, but no stone was left unturned this offseason. They've changed everything from the starting outside linebackers down to the paint on the walls. Whatever happens, you cannot say the Packers have rested on their laurels.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

I believe the Packers' 2019 season will be different from any other season in one way more than any other. Speed, speed and more speed. Our GM has added a stable of players that can wow you with their God-given speed. I think we will be in for a much faster overall gameplay than past generations, especially defensively. Is this the new norm for future generations or do you see it slowing down again someday?

Everything is cyclical – except when it comes to speed. I don't see the league walking back from that.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

I went to Green Bay last July and saw my first Packer practice. What struck me the most was how impressive Tim Boyle looked compared to Kizer. Given the ineffectiveness of Kizer during live-game action, isn't it reasonable to give Boyle more reps in practice and preseason? Which QB do you think has the most upside?

Kizer turned 23 in January, so I humbly suggest exercising a bit more caution before drawing conclusions about his upside. He's young. There's still time. However, the Packers expect Tim Boyle to push Kizer for the No. 2 job. That's why he's here. The guy has a laser for an arm and also epitomizes everything I love about the NFL. A year ago, Boyle was a journeyman college QB looking for an opportunity to prove himself. He flashed potential last year in camp and earned a yearlong spot on the 53. It's a good reminder that regardless of whatever perceived notions people may have about an individual, the summer settles everything.

Phil from Plymouth, MN

Spoff's response about needing roster depth on special teams, so the players feel threatened, got me thinking. How do the veterans that have no threat truly play at their highest level?

That's up to the individual. I know all the sayings about how fear can be a powerful motivator, but most elite athletes don't need that carrot dangled in front of them. Davante Adams wants to be great and the only way to achieve it is to put every ounce of energy into your craft.

Derek from Eau Claire

Are the days of the 1,000-yard rusher numbered?

I don't think so – not as long as the NFL keeps playing 16 regular-season games. There may not be 18 or 20 1,000-yard rushers every year like 2003, but there will still be 10 or 12 rushers who'll surpass that mark each season – especially as a counter to defenses that go light in the trenches.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

It has been reported that Le'Veon Bell skipped the voluntary practices for his new team and instead followed his own workout regimen. Is this a common practice for veteran players on the Packers, as well?

Not really. I could probably count on one hand how many players have sat out of offseason workouts during my eight years on the beat. The Packers traditionally have strong attendance. Everyone was present when they took the field two weeks ago for the voluntary minicamp.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Really love the Ka'Dar Hollman story and can't wait to see the next chapter unfold. But somebody needs to explain that Lambeau has been sold out since 1960, certainly more than 40 years, and that Packer shareholders are all over the world, making it a VERY large community.

I'm sure Matt LaFleur will get specific dates and times down for players during his presentation before the start of training camp.

Dennis from Kansas City, MO

I saw Bleacher Report's projected starting lineup had Preston Smith, Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell and Za'Darius Smith at linebacker. I like the sounds of that but have never seen Fackrell play inside. Any possibilities?

Neither has that writer, evidently. Fackrell had 10½ sacks last year. Why on earth would he play inside linebacker now?

Ross from Hudson, WI

I just re-watched the Packers-Seahawks playoff game on NFL Network and the one thing that stuck out was the amazing success brought about by play-action. Is Coach LaFleur's offensive history one that incorporates a lot of play-action?

LaFleur does incorporate a lot of play-action and rollouts into his offense, but the real question here is why are you re-watching the Packers-Seahawks playoff game? It's like re-watching "Rocky V." Who does that? If I'm a fan, I don't think I'd have any interest in reliving that game.

Paul from Oshkosh, WI

That was a nice article on Ty Summers; I enjoyed reading it. I do have one question that you didn't answer in the article...when Ty changed positions, did he get to keep his original number? Hehe

Paul, you were one of several readers who plucked this very low hanging fruit. I hope you are proud of yourself. Summers is an interesting prospect, though. If you haven't had a chance to read Spoff's story yet, please check it out.

Bill from Iowa City, IA

I recently read an article about Josh Jones playing as a third safety at times. Can you talk about how that position is similar and different to a nickel cornerback? Thanks.

A nickel corner usually lines up against the slot receiver, whereas the third safety can be utilized as more of a rover. That individual could be lining up in the box like a second inside linebacker, teasing a blitz off the edge or covering the slot like a nickel. Morgan Burnett was perfect in that role and Jones has the skill set to do it, as well.

Mick from Madison, WI

Regarding Woodson and his play style, I believe Woodson would bait the quarterback into throwing into an area he was ready to cover. If he faded off a route or drifted to one side to have the quarterback think he had an open hole to throw to, this would allow him to break on the ball while the quarterback was tossing it into coverage without knowing it. In other words, can you get the ball to this spot before I get there? Woodson was a master.

Speaking of rovers, Woodson was blessed with a quarterback mindset, a linebacker mentality and a defensive back's body. His versatility, toughness and football IQ made him one of the greatest to ever do it.

Matt from Manhattan, KS

Prediction: The Packers' defense plays great as a team for the year, ranking in the top 10 in scoring and top three in at least one major category (yards, sacks, third down) but, as much as I'd love to see Boar get it, does so without any individual player even being mentioned as a dark horse for DPOY. What are your thoughts?

Just win, baby. The Packers have invested a lot of resources into their defense over the years and it's time for that investment to start paying dividends on the field. If that results in a player or two receiving individual accolades, awesome – but it starts by getting it done on the field.

Bob from Bement, IL

Just before reading the outstanding piece about Kenny Clark's mom, Nicole, I happened to pick up the pre-draft issue of Sports Illustrated that detailed the lineage of Jake Kumerow's cousins, the Bosas, and the extended family. I was unfamiliar with both. Two very interesting, yet somewhat contrasting, articles. Hoping both are Packers for many years.

Thank you for the kind words on the Clark piece. The Bosa/Kumerow family tree is fascinating – from having Tony Accardo as a grandfather to their fathers' NFL careers. It also cracks me up every time a Packers fan discovers Jake Kumerow is first cousins with the Bosas.

Scott from Fredonia, WI

Do NFL coaches have agents for contract negotiation? I would think head coaches would use agents, but lower-level coaches, like those of the quality-control variety, probably don't.

Many coaches have agents, including those who may be lower on the totem pole. It just comes down to personal preference in how they handle their negotiations.

Randy from Salem, OH

Let's say one of our rookies was just jaw-dropping phenomenal right now. Is that something the front office would let you say in II or would it be unusual for you to be asked to "sit on that for now"?

I wrote like five Taysom Hill stories in 2017, so you tell me.

Henry from Madison, WI

How many years has Cenex been a proud sponsor of the Inbox?

At least six years, if memory serves, and my son is incredibly grateful for Cenex's continued support.

Mark from Wheaton, IL

I have always appreciated a bit of snarkiness in the answers; it adds a nice, spicy flavor to the Inbox. Is there something about answering our questions that brings that out of the Insiders? Maybe a better question is, was Vic really that snarky naturally or was it grown during his years of fielding (sometimes inane) questions? Nature vs. nurture round 10 million...

I'll leave it to Spoff to comment on Vic, but it definitely is nurture in my case. I have a dry, cerebral sense of humor but I don't think I'm very snarky by nature. It takes 80-90 questions a week to bring it out of me.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

When you pick questions to answer, do you often challenge yourself by taking on some of the tougher questions? Not exactly sure how to define tough but an example may be a lot of research (I realize you only have so much time) or maybe it's a sensitive topic. I'm not sure there are many tougher jobs than yours. You're expected to be correct, don't bend any feelers and deliver with a sense of exuberance, in a timely fashion. Sometimes I wonder if there really is a correct answer.

No answer we give is going to please everyone, so I just try to be honest and reflective in my replies. I'll answer anything as long as the question doesn't take a condescending tone. That's a quick way to get me to hit delete.

David from Santee, CA

What are the chances of the Packers being sold to a filthy rich private individual if that individual promised in writing to honor all the financial contributions the Packers make to the community, charities, stadium and team? Also, this person would introduce new innovative programs like reducing concessions to 1990 prices, work with the city to improve the entry and exit times for games, increase donations to various community organizations, and many other programs they do not provide now.

What are the chances? Is there anything less than zero?

Nate from Kewaskum, WI

How many Packers polos are in your closet?

More than three years ago.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Wes, did you catch No. 12's cameo? I haven't watched any of the last season of GoT yet, but it sounds like it was a "Where's Waldo" moment.

It was the penultimate episode of my favorite TV/book series, so I honestly wasn't looking very hard. I'm glad I didn't make it a point to find Rodgers. A day later, I still don't know if I've seen an undisputed image of him yet. Regardless, it sounds like he had a blast shooting it.

Andrew from Pollock Pines, CA

Does Ma Hod know that Wes has a "potty mouth"?

Yes. Daenerys Targaryen, breaker of chains. Ma Hod, possessor of soap. Hope you all had a great Mother's Day and an even better Tuesday.