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Inbox: There always will be a tomorrow

Each guy needs to take on a little extra to get this offense where it wants to go

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RB Aaron Jones

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi Wes! So, not a rebuilding year but a "retooling" year, which seems to happen to some extent every year. I saw the immediate need for WR help, especially since the Davante Adams trade threw a wrench in the plans. I hope we can drill down in the draft and find those players who will ratchet up the enthusiasm. I'm feeling positive the brain trust will be able to hammer out all the details.

Now that's the spirit!

Statham from Pineview, GA

With the departures of Lucas Patrick and Billy Turner, would you be surprised to see an OL picked in Round 1? I understand Gute and Co. have built great depth on the O-line the past few years, but an established rookie coming in to battle against Yosh Nijman and/or Royce Newman from Day 1 for the RG or RT job may prove beneficial with Elgton Jenkins' timeline uncertain.

The Packers don't have a pressing need on the offensive line, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they add there. Last year showed how deep you sometimes have to dig on the depth chart to put a starting five on the field. I am hopeful Nijman gets a chance at a starting spot at right tackle. I think he earned that opportunity with how he handled last year. If GB wants more competition, however, the draft is a great avenue to find more jars.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. Will Elgton Jenkins be considered for the starting right tackle spot when he's healthy enough to return? Thanks.

I'd be inclined to just let Jenkins go back to his (most) natural position at guard, but he needs to heal up first. The beautiful thing is he can play any position the Packers need him to.

Chris from Gallatin, TN

As I understand it, Mike McCarthy's system was built around players winning their one-on-ones, whereas Matt LaFleur has designed his system to scheme guys open or create favorable matchups. With that being the case, do you think we'll see less impact from losing Davante in this system than we would have in MM's scheme? I mean, there's no replacing Davante's talent, and guys still have to execute the scheme, but it seems we're setting up the young guys for more success with his system.

Adams is the best in the business, but LaFleur's system worked before he got to Green Bay. While he didn't have a Davante Adams in Tennessee, LaFleur caught the league's attention with his innovation and creativity. He found ways to get the ball in his playmakers' hands. I expect much of the same next season. No one player can eat everything on Adams' plate. Each guy needs to take on a little extra to get this offense where it wants to go.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Morning Wes, I think Patrick from Valrico, FL, raised a valid point regarding the explosion in super contracts, although his analysis might have missed the mark. I think the point should have been the days of any team dominating for a decade will cease to exist. The high salaries of a few stars will limit the cash available for the rest of the team leading to higher turnover. Teams will rise and fall regularly in the future, diluting the chances of the Patriots, 49ers and Steelers of the past.

Nathaniel Hackett was asked about the money franchise QBs are making these days and I felt like he had a great response to it: "In the end, it's about a quarterback. You can ask all the guys around here, you gotta have a quarterback to have a chance. Whatever it takes to have a quarterback." Later on in his media session, Hackett said the same thing when discussing Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill. The best players are going to get paid and deservedly so. The challenge for teams is making sure they're investing into the right players. If a big sum of money is allocated to the wrong player, then you're going to have problems.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

In terms of NFL teams' positional priority and importance in team-building, would 'Follow the money' be a good indicator? If you look at the top 5-10 salaries at each position it would indicate that in order QB, WR, Edge rusher, LT, and CB would be at the top and the most important. Also, it seems like WR jumped from about fifth to second on that list over the last few years. Is that line of thinking flawed?

For many years, QB, LT, pass-rusher and cornerback were widely viewed as the top four spots, but money talks – and receivers are pulling in a lot of green this offseason. At the same time, the question naturally becomes will that trend continue? Or will it subside once the bill comes due on some of these hefty contracts? That's to be determined.

Joe from Liberty Township, OH

I think an under-the-radar story is how Jordan Love will respond to Tom Clements' coaching. Aaron Rodgers wasn't ready to start until his third year and don't forget Clements was his QB coach. Love lost most of the 2020 offseason, and current CBA rules prevent the amount of time he gets with coaches vs. what Rodgers had. The Packers need a backup QB and Jordan Love still has too much potential to trade him away for pennies on the dollar. Let's see how he plays this preseason with Clements coaching him.

That's what I was saying last month. Yes, Clements has a good relationship with Rodgers, but he also is a talented teacher of the position. Clements' expertise will be valuable for Love, Kurt Benkert, Danny Etling and anyone else who strolls into that QB room this season. The pandemic created obvious challenges for Love and his development, but he'll likely take a lot of offseason reps this spring and summer. Each snap Love takes serves as another valuable lesson.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

When looking at the Packers' defense right now – they were the No. 9 defense in the league last season, they retained all the key contributors to that unit this offseason, they'll be getting one of the game's best CBs back in Jaire, and this will be Year 2 for DC Joe Barry with this unit. With all of that considered, and the holes present on offense, is it safe to say that the defense will be the strength of this team in 2022? It's been a long time since defense was Green Bay's identity.

We must get through free agency, the draft and OTAs before the "identity" narrative becomes anything other than offseason fodder. But the expectations will be high for the defense, as they should. With that many returning stars, it looks like a unit a team can confidently hang its hat on.

Derek from Norton, KS

I can't help but think that Rich Bisaccia played a role in the signing of Keisean Nixon. We are seeing similar situations with some of our past players following coaches to new teams. Do the new team's scouts have to sign off on such transactions, or is a coach's recommendation enough to satisfy a GM?

Bisaccia wasn't shy about using starters on special teams, but he also developed a solid nucleus of core guys in Vegas. Nixon was part of that. I think the Packers signing Nixon says a lot about how Bisaccia feels about the young man. What's more, he's an experienced corner who can play inside or outside.

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

With all the movement going on, who is the No. 3 running back for the Packers? Do you see them drafting a running back in the second or third round?

Patrick Taylor finished last season as the No. 3 after Kylin Hill tore his ACL. It's possible the Packers dip back into the draft for another back. After all, they've selected six in the past five drafts. How early will that happen? I have no idea.

Matt from Waterloo, IA

Wes, I know you probably have a ton of submissions regarding this but I still think the perfect veteran wideout to add would be Jarvis Landry. The ability to play outside/in the slot would work well. He also has always seemed to have the tenacity to really help out the younger guys.

I would agree. I'm a huge fan of Landry's game, too. Can you convince him to play for less than $20 million per year?

Jim from Tucson, AZ

Our team will be built with holdovers, draft picks, trades, free agents and...promotions from the practice squad. It seems like every year the p-squad provides good players. Who do you have your eye on this year?

I want to see what Michal Menet and La'Darius Hamilton do with a full offseason in GB. While a former draft pick, Menet seems like the Lucas Patrick/Lane Taylor type of O-lineman who could make an unexpected run at a roster spot. I remain high on Kabion Ento, too. He's been a long-term cornerback project for the Packers and they remain committed to seeing his conversion from receiver through.

Spencer from Hampshire, IL

In the conversation of losing MVS. Lest we forget Rico Gafford ran a 4.26 and 4.23 in the 40-yard dash at Wyoming's pro day. Huge opportunity ahead for him.

MVS or no MVS, I liked the Gafford signing. As a GM, that's the type of "street" free agent I'd be after once the season is over – no risk, an elite trait, still only 25. I'm eager to watch him compete this spring.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Just curious, if you were GM, how many receivers would you be looking at drafting?

If the Packers stand pat and draft 11 players, then I'd say at least two receivers.

Tim from Grimes, IA

Greetings II. After completing the first 17-game season, what are the coaches' and players' takeaways from the long season? Did the extra game increase the burnout for rookies? Were there any changes to roster moves to keep a team fresh for the final stretch? Do you think the owners will revisit roster rules?

The league was happy with it. There wasn't a massive spike with injuries and more than half the league had a shot at the playoffs during the final week of the regular season. That's a lot of fanbases tuning in to find out if their team can sneak in.

Steven from Algoma, WI

Do NFL owners ever ask the fans what they want to do about overtime? Man, I hate both suggestions that have been put forward. I would much rather go back to sudden-death and either go alternating possession depending on who won the initial coin toss (so if you win and defer to the second half that means you're giving the other team the ball first in overtime) or toss a coin in overtime but say there are no punts. Would you elect to receive if you knew you had to go for it on fourth down?

With Rodgers at quarterback, I'd still want the ball. Mike Spofford? Then, maybe we take the wind. All kidding aside, Mike Tomlin's take was interesting on Monday, saying he still prefers sudden death. It's a valid point. You had 60 minutes to win the football game and didn't. You left it to chance by not finishing the job in regulation.

Bob from Port St Lucie, FL

The Tennessee alternative brings up an interesting decision problem. If the first team scores a TD, would you even think about going for two? Going for it would probably be the wrong play as you can try to stop the opponent. Also, even if they match, you get the ball back with a chance to win with a field goal. Time may also become a bigger factor if they keep it to a 10 min OT.

I don't hate the Tennessee proposal, but there's something about that it that feels "gimmicky" to me. We'll see what happens with it today.

John from Civano, AZ

Hello! I love the frequent content and GBP Fandom community. My father passed away Saturday of heart failure. He was a Browns fan from the Otto Graham era. He was always up to watch the Packers with me, from when I casually started when Forrest Gregg was the coach, to when my friends and I started playing football on teams, to the three decades of HOF QB play and becoming a shareholder. We made time for each other and often talked during games more than watched. Memories are treasures beyond value.

My sympathies for your loss, John, but I'm glad to hear the game of football brought you and your father so many positive memories. I hope they bring you peace during this difficult time.

Roberto from Cleveland, OH

Before asking my question, thanks to both for all your work in adding great value to the experience of following the Packers. Mike, your response to a question last week mentioned "your eight-plus years covering preps in this state." Did you cover anyone then who gained national notoriety later? Thanks.

Mike isn't back yet, but in my 10 years at the Press-Gazette, I was fortunate enough to cover several nationally recognized athletes, including Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold (Bay Port), Olympian Deedra Irwin (Pulaski) and former Green Bay East standout Marc Shield (Green Bay East).

Steve from Marinette, WI

I have this vision of Wes sitting by the pool in Palm Beach writing up his Inbox answers, with a sandwich and ice-cold root beer on one of those little cabana tables beside him. And down swoops a seagull who (or is it whom?) steals his sandwich and flies away! Does that sound about right?

Over the past few days, I've written Inbox from the airport, on an airplane, in a hotel lobby, from my hotel room and now the media tent at the Breakers. I'm saving the pool for Wednesday.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, how do you keep from getting caught up in the extreme highs and lows of this team and the game? Losing fan-favorite players is hard; it's like losing family members. Having consecutive great seasons leads to grandiose hopes and expectations for the post season; losing in the playoffs with home field advantage is a bummer...

By realizing there always will be a tomorrow…and we're gonna have to write about that, too. Speaking of which, Matt LaFleur takes the podium this morning in Florida. We'll have more stories and videos coming to packers.com throughout the day. Have a good one.

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