Presented by

Inbox: There are a lot of variables in the equation

The decision came down to one game

200408-insider-inbox-2560
Wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown

Rex from Laramie, WY

Math major here. 88 would also be correct. Depends if you're adding or multiplying.

I guarantee you Wes's choice was intentional.

Nicole from Trempealeau, WI

Can the NFL still make trades right now?

Yes, the league is open for any virtual business teams wish to conduct.

Troy from Westminster, CO

Pete Carroll has more wins than McCarthy, more double-digit win seasons, more winning seasons and more Super Bowl appearances. Oh, and McCarthy got fired. I like McCarthy, he's a class act but it seems pretty clear who the better coach for the decade was.

I have no problem with Carroll as the choice, but let's be honest, the way it played out, the decision came down to one game.

Bob from Sydney, Australia

I genuinely try not to be too much of a homer. But Clay Matthews seems pretty stiff not making the All-Decade Team. Do you think his two years inside hurt his chances?

As far as his sack total, yes, but bigger picture I think it should have helped his bid. He proved to be much more than a pass rusher. He made two Pro Bowls playing 1½ seasons inside. Ultimately, it's hard to argue with Chandler Jones, Khalil Mack and Von Miller as the three outside linebackers who were chosen. I would say two things hurt Matthews' chances the most – having one of his four career double-digit sack seasons coming as a rookie in 2009 (not in the decade for consideration), and losing the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year voting to Troy Polamalu by two measly votes.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

There are four defensive tackles and two quarterbacks on the All-Decade Team. What team lines up four DTs? Brady and Aaron Rodgers are deserving but it is a shame Brees is not there with them. How are those numbers per position determined? Are they set or based on the votes?

The numbers are set, I think, unless there are ties in the voting. One difference this year is they didn't designate first-team and second-team selections, as they've done in the past. With the four defensive tackles you referenced, previously there were two on the first team and two on the second team. They also changed from selecting a fullback to an offensive "flex" position, otherwise John Kuhn might've made it.

Scott from Greensburg, IN

Comment not a question: Obviously, I understand the hype and such for creating "all-decade" teams using 2000-2009, 2010-2019, etc. I for one, however, have often wondered which players might have made an all-decade team from say a "6" year through a "5" year and so on. It just seems so many great players begin and end their careers, especially "their prime years," overlapping the "0" through the "9" they really don't have much of a chance to make such a team.

I'm not aware of any major injustices in that regard. Mack made this most recent team and he was a rookie in 2014. I think the voters do a pretty good job making sure someone significant isn't totally overlooked due to a technicality.

Mark from Toledo, OH

Tramon Williams has stated his preference to return to Green Bay next season. Do the Packers have shared interest in bringing him back? Or are they waiting until after the draft to see what potential DB prospects they add? From a leadership and ability standpoint, would certainly like to see him return in 2020 in the slot cornerback role.

As I mentioned in my live chat yesterday, I think a lot of teams are in wait-and-see mode with the draft regarding available veterans on the market.

Joey from Groveland, MI

If games are played without fans, how about three broadcasters in the booth? One neutral play-by-play guy (or gal), and two biased homers, one rooting for each team.

First, I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that. Second, and I'll probably regret saying this, but that doesn't sound like the craziest idea in the world, really.

Paul from Columbia Falls, MT

Do you have any insight into how the Packers operate on a typical draft day with Brian Gutekunst at the helm? Specifically, does he ask for people's opinions as situations develop? Is it a collaborative process right up until the pick? Or, for the most part has he assembled all the information he needs in the preparation leading up to the draft? And considering the special circumstances this year, is he fluent in modern technologies?

Gutekunst will be fine with whatever technology he needs to use. The vast majority of the debates and discussions take place in advance, to set the board. I think that's even more critical to get accomplished this year. Normally, various members of the personnel department are at the ready to give an opinion when asked, or play out a scenario mentally and verbally as something develops. Others are working the phones, fielding and/or soliciting trade offers, and reporting back. Someone is responsible for getting the pick on the phone if the decision has been made. It's all a very fluid process. I think communicating trade offers and scenarios will be the biggest difficulty in a fully virtual draft.

Christopher from Savage, MN

Spoff, I heard on the news that, along with a host of other considerations, MLB might use an "electronic strike zone" as part of their COVID-19 contingency options. What are your thoughts on that? If it goes well do you see it having staying power? I'd really miss some of the dramatic punch-out calls! Truly wild times. Stay safe out there!

Electronic strike zones are coming. They're inevitable. If this hastens their arrival, so be it.

Conor from Kouts, IN

I watched the Packers vs. Bears highlights from Week 1. On one particular play a Bears receiver caught a pass over the middle as he went to the ground. Darnell Savage was closing in when it seemed his college instincts kicked in. It looked as though he assumed the play was dead as the receiver's knee hit the ground. Luckily another defender made contact to officially rule it a tackle and end the play. Do you see rookies struggle with this rule alteration between college and the pros?

That'll happen with a rookie once a year or so. Usually it happens in a preseason game. I do remember the moment you're referencing and it reminded me of a play involving Jaire Alexander in his rookie preseason out in Oakland.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen, regarding top five receivers in Packers history, do Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale get some votes?

Others asked about Dowler, too, and I think after the first four, it's very crowded amongst Nelson, Howton, Dowler, Dale, Freeman and maybe a couple of others for the fifth spot and beyond. I put Nelson and Howton slightly in front of the rest and give the edge to Nelson if forced to choose.

Tabb from Houston, TX

The question about Jordy being SB MVP got me thinking. It would've been crazy to have two Hall of Fame QBs win the SB and not get it (Howard in XXXI over Favre). Is the SB MVP perhaps the last truly position-independent football honor? Seems like any player could potentially dominate a game and get the award, possibly excluding OL.

True, but the honor has become more QB-centric in recent years than in the past. Eight of the last 11 Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks, dating back to Brees one year before Rodgers. It's the most QB-heavy stretch ever for the award.

Hal from Lanesboro, MN

Much (?) has been made of Christian Kirksey's familiarity with Mike Pettine's defense, and there have been other examples of free agent players' familiarity with a member of the coaching staff. My question is does such a linkage exist for either Rick Wagner or Devin Funchess and a member of the current coaching staff or a member of Gutey's staff?

Milt Hendrickson, who is in player personnel as director – football operations, was with the Ravens as their Midwest area scout when they drafted Wagner out of Wisconsin in 2013. I'm not aware of any direct connections to Funchess.

Tom from Omaha, NE

In watching SB 45, I was looking at how the offense huddled up calling plays, and in watching this past season with NFL Game Pass, the huddle looks different. So who decides how they huddle up in calling plays? Is that the HC? OC? QB? I assume there is a method to the madness of how they arrange themselves in the huddle. Just curious as to who says this is how we huddle up?

The play caller, or architect of the offense, usually has a way he's always done it based on how the plays are communicated and to make it very easy for the QB to recognize is there's a mistake in a personnel group, or too many/too few players in the huddle.

Richard from Madison, WI

"Well, the Ice Bowl would obviously rank No. 1." For the football, sure, but how serious are you about wanting to spend three hours on a hard metal bleacher at 13 below? This reminds me of Mark Twain's remark: "A classic is something that everybody wants to HAVE read, but nobody wants to read."

Oh, rest assured, I was talking about covering the game from the press box. I've heard plenty about how cold it was in there, too, but if I'd been young enough I could've survived it.

Hugh from Sioux Falls, SD

Should the draft process end up being conducted in a virtual environment and with team participants remaining in their own homes, I expect hackers to have a field day trying to breach security systems! Would you think the league will mandate and administer the data security process or leave it to the teams to protect themselves?

For the most part, teams have to protect themselves anyway.

Joe from Wauwatosa, WI

We don't hear a lot about Equanimeous St. Brown. Was curious on your guys' thoughts on who you feel is going to be more productive this year: EQ, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, or Jake Kumerow? It seems pretty clear to me that Allen Lazard has stepped ahead of those three and I think MVS may have the most talent but, I see EQ having the best season of the three given he stays healthy. With the addition of Funchess, it should be interesting to see how it pans out with those three. Thoughts?

I have no interest in predictions, but I am curious to see how quickly EQ adapts to his first full year in LaFleur's offense and how MVS responds to a disappointing finish to his second season. There are a lot of variables in the equation.

John from Belleview, FL

Thanks for help keeping us sane. As far as underrated sports movies go, "Bang The Drum Slowly" with Robert DeNiro and Michael Moriarty is one of my favorite baseball films.

Phil from Oro Valley, AZ, mentioned that one, too. In my book it's one of the classics, which is why I didn't consider it for an underrated list.

Matty from Janesville, WI

The question on Russ Ball got me thinking, how often (when things are normal) do you see coaches, execs, players, etc., in passing around the facility? Do you strike up a quick chat with any of them? Are you allowed to publish anything from these conversations? Or do you need a formal interview to publish comments, stories, etc.?

I wouldn't publish anything from an impromptu chat unless the individual is clear it's an interview. But I wouldn't say it happens a lot. Usually folks are pretty busy and it's just a quick hello in passing through a hallway or wherever.

John from La Crosse, WI

Do you think that the Packers might ever use "naming rights" as an added source of revenue and name/attach a sponsor to Lambeau Field?

As I've said before, if the Packers were going to do that, they would have when they asked Brown Co. taxpayers for $160 million toward the 2003 renovation. But Bob Harlan insisted on not doing that, even as dicey as the referendum was, and it's never come up since.

Andy from Verona, WI

Which position could the Packers select with one of their first two picks in this year's draft that would be a big surprise to fans, but not as big of a surprise to you?

Cornerback.

Eric from Durham, NC

No question, just a comment. I used one of my favorite II quotes today at work and said, "So I've got that going for me, which is nice," only to learn that it's a "Caddyshack" reference! I'm sure that has been mentioned at some point, but I just wanted you to know that this will always remind me of II instead of a movie I saw once a long time ago. Thanks for all that you do!

I can't decide if that's worthy of a ban or the II Hall of Fame.

Terry from Sun Prairie, WI

What is the best draft class for the Packers?

The one with the best players in it. Or 1958. Happy Wednesday.

Advertising